This Baked Turkey Tenderloin comes out tender and juicy every time with a delicious maple and mustard marinade. Easy to make and packed with flavor.
Whether you are cooking a smaller holiday meal or just looking for another way to cook turkey this season, this Baked Turkey Breast Tenderloin recipe is for you!
Normally I make turkey tenderloin in the slow cooker, but last week I wanted to try something different. I made one of my favorite pork tenderloin marinades and added the turkey. The end result was so good!
Super juicy turkey in the most delicious maple and mustard marinade. Yum. I would happily eat this on Thanksgiving day, and plan on making it often while I can find turkey tenderloins in the grocery store.
Why We Love Baked Turkey Tenderloin
- Easy to make: 6 Ingredients and so much easier than roasting a whole turkey
- Great for a small holiday meal: The perfect size for a small Thanksgiving or holiday meal
- Always juicy and tender: Melt-in-your-mouth turkey breast every single time.
Looking for a way to cook a whole turkey breast? Try this foolproof Crockpot Turkey Breast.
Ingredients and Swaps
- Turkey tenderloin: Make this with two smaller tenderloins or one large one. Do not swap in a large turkey breast. This recipe would also work with chicken breast or pork tenderloin, just adjust the cooking time accordingly..
- Apple cider vinegar: The acid in the vinegar helps to tenderize the turkey and also adds flavor. Swap in balsamic vinegar or another mild vinegar.
- Maple syrup: For cozy fall flavors, maple syrup is delicious, Honey or brown sugar also works. You can leave the sugar out of the recipe but the turkey won’t brown as much when you sear it.
- Dijon mustard: Mustard is one of my favorite ways to add tons of flavor with a single ingredient. Stone ground, whole grain, and Dijon mustard all work in this recipe. Do not use yellow mustard.
- Garlic: Every recipe needs a little garlic, right? Use minced garlic or garlic powder if needed. You could also swap in shallots for a slightly different flavor.
- Thyme: Use dried or fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, or Italian seasoning.
What is a turkey tenderloin?
The turkey tenderloin is the part of the larger turkey breast that is closest to the bone. It is lean, boneless, skinless white meat.
If you think of a chicken breast tenderloin, it is basically the same thing but on a turkey.
In terms of cooking, you can use turkey breast tenderloins in the same way you would use boneless skinless chicken breasts. It also cooks similarly to pork tenderloins and works in most pork tenderloin recipes.
Cooking Tips For Juicy Turkey Tenderloin
Follow the tips below to make sure your turkey comes out moist and juicy.
- Internal temperature: Although the USDA recommends cooking the turkey breast to 165 degrees, we recommend taking it out at 155-160 degrees to make sure it stays nice and moist. Tent it in foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. It will come up to the 165 degree recommended temperature during that time. Cooking it to 165 degrees in the oven means it will be closer to 175 degrees (potentially overcooked) when it is done resting.
- Size of the turkey tenderloin: The size of turkeys, and hence turkey tenderloins can vary greatly. They can be as small as 4-8 ounces and as large as 16-24 ounces. The smaller the tenderloin the faster it will cook. For best results, use a thermometer to check the turkey as it cooks.
- Check the packaging: Some turkey breast tenderloins come brined or seasoned. If your turkey has previously been brined, make sure to cut back on the salt.
- One or two tenderloins: Most turkey breast tenderloins come with two in a package, much like pork tenderloins. Both can be cooked at the same time or one can be saved for later.
- Always sear first: For the best results, make sure to sear the turkey in a cast iron skillet. This gives the turkey a beautiful crust and also locks in moisture so it stays juicy.
- Let the turkey rest: Another trick for moist turkey is letting it rest so the juices can redistribute. Tent the turkey with foil so it stays warm and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Side Dish Ideas
Much like chicken breast, turkey breast works with almost any side dish. Here are some of our favorite side dishes for a classic turkey dinner or something more creative.
- Classic side dishes: For a classic turkey dinner, you will need mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, cranberry sauce, and gravy.
- Holiday favorites: Pair this with a healthy green bean casserole, cornbread stuffing, healthy broccoli casserole, slow cooker mashed potatoes, and apple cranberry sauce.
- Get creative: Pair this with some deliciously crispy balsamic brussels sprouts, roasted delicata squash, shaved brussels sprouts salad, or cinnamon roasted butternut squash.
Can you bake turkey tenderloin with vegetables?
Turn this into an easy one-dish meal by cooking the turkey tenderloins in a baking dish with the vegetables scattered alongside or under the turkey. Choose vegetables that will cook in the same time as the turkey or start the vegetables first. Good choices include onions, bell peppers, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, and small potato cubes.
How long should turkey tenderloin be cooked?
At 375 degrees, turkey tenderloin will take between 25-35 minutes to cook depending on the size and thickness. Turkey tenderloins can vary quite a lot in size. The USDA recommends cooking turkey to 165 degrees. For the best results, always check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.
Since the turkey will continue to cook as it rests, we recommend taking it out between 155-160 degrees so it stays nice and juicy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about this recipe.
Marinating the turkey tenderloin adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat to ensure the turkey comes out juicy and delicious. If you don’t want to marinate the turkey tenderloin, we recommend making it in the slow cooker.
This recipe works great in the slow cooker. Simply add the turkey tenderloin and marinade to the slow cooker and cook on low for 3-4 hours until the turkey is cooked through. Since the turkey isn't being seared, it won't have the same browned exterior but will still taste delicious.
Baked Turkey Tenderloin
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- 2 lbs turkey breast tenderloin (2 ~1 lb tenderloins)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (more to taste)
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- Nutritional Information
Place the skillet in the oven, uncovered. Cook for 25-35 minutes until the turkey is 160 degrees. The exact cooking time will depend on the thickness of the turkey. If you like a really juicy turkey breast, you may want to take it out a bit earlier at 155 degrees, but this isn’t the recommended temperature of the USDA. Remember it will continue to cook as it rests.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
Internal temperature: Although the USDA recommends cooking the turkey breast to 165 degrees, we recommend taking it out at 155-160 degrees to make sure it stays nice and moist. Tent it in foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. It will come up to the 165 degree recommended temperature during that time. Cooking it to 165 degrees in the oven means it will be closer to 175 degrees (potentially overcooked) when it is done resting.
Size of the turkey tenderloin: The size of turkeys, and hence turkey tenderloins can vary greatly. They can be as small as 4-8 ounces and as large as 16-24 ounces. The smaller the tenderloin the faster it will cook. For best results, use a thermometer to check the turkey as it cooks.
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