Best turkey legs recipe – the perfect dish if you're cooking for a smaller crowd

Make your turkey legs the star of the show with this easy delicious recipe, perfect if you are hosting for a small crowd too

Turkey legs recipe
(Image credit: Tesco)

Turkey legs, delicious as they are, often get a bit neglected... Even though we all end up fighting over who gets them at Christmas Day dinner, they aren't often given their own attention as the rest of the bird is. So this year, give turkey legs some love and turn them into the star of the show (or an amazing side dish) with this super easy recipe – simply roast and serve up with cinnamon-spiced red cabbage and tart, juicy plums. 

This is also a perfect dish for Christmas 2020 since most of us are catering for a much smaller crowd so might not need to buy a whole turkey, just serve up the legs with all the trimmings and nothing gets wasted. Oh, this makes for a fab leftover turkey recipe too...

You will need:

  • 900g red cabbage, core removed, cut into 2cm strips
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • 400g pack plums, halved and stoned
  • 30g pack fresh sage, 8 leaves finely chopped, rest left whole
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, halved
  • 75g light brown soft sugar
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • 2 x 800g turkey legs or drumsticks

How to make turkey legs with cabbage and plums

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours and 15 minutes 

Serves: 6

1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Place your chopped cabbage, onion and plums and add the cinnamon and a couple of bay leaves. In a separate cup miz the sugar and vinegar and drizzle over. Season and toss to coat. Cover with foil and bake for 45 mins.

2. Then, mix the butter with the chopped sage, garlic and seasoning. Carefully pull the skin away from the turkey legs and score the meat a few times. Smear half the sage butter in between the meat and the skin, then pull the skin back in place and reshape. Smear the remaining butter over the skin. Cover and chill.

3. Remove the foil from the veg and stir. Increase the heat to gas 5, 190°C, fan 170°C. Add the turkey legs on top, re-cover and cook for an hour. Uncover and cook for a further 30-35 mins, basting the turkey and turning the fruit and veg, until the turkey is cooked through and the juices run clear.

4. Transfer the fruit and veg to a warm serving dish, and discarding the whole sage leaves and cinnamon. Put the turkey legs on top; cover and rest for 10 mins.

5. Then you can use the remaining sage leaves for garnish. 

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