Turkey Legs Casserole

This Turkey Legs Casserole is a filling meal that is perfect for weeknight dinners once the weather gets cold. Juicy turkey legs are baked in an herb broth over a bed of rice – so hearty and delicious!

Looking for a Thanksgiving turkey recipe? Try this roasted turkey with maple gravy!

Easy Turkey Casserole Recipe

Turkey Legs Casserole (or turkey leg casserole, in my case) is a fall/winter weather meal that I adore. Sometimes I find myself making a lot of hearty chicken-based stews, bakes, and soups, so it’s nice to be able to switch it up with some turkey.

Another great thing about this turkey casserole is that it’s super easy on the dishwasher (or the dish washer!). You do need a soup pot to get the broth going, but after that everything is baked in the same baking dish, which is super convenient.

And, of course, the meal itself tastes great! This turkey and rice casserole is created with juicy turkey legs (or a turkey leg), fluffy rice, and a flavorful herbed broth. In other words, it’s a main course and a side dish all in one! What a win!

My final note to you is this: If you’re looking for a meal that serves a smaller crowd at Thanksgiving, this turkey legs casserole would be a great option.

Ingredients for turkey legs casserole.

What You’ll Need

Okay let’s cover the key ingredients for this turkey casserole. Here’s what you’ll need to gather up:

  • Turkey Legs: I used one large turkey leg this time, as you can see, but I often use two smaller ones. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on what course you take.
  • Water: This will be the base for the broth.
  • Olive Oil: For cooking the onion in – you can use another cooking oil if you wish.
  • Onion: I used some medium-sized onions – you can use white or yellow, either works.
  • Salt: To flavor the onions a little.
  • Garlic Cloves: Minced, for extra flavor in the broth.
  • Herbs: Combine fresh or dried parsley, dried thyme, and ground nutmeg.
  • More Seasoning: A simple dash of salt and pepper is good – season to your preferences.
  • Long Grain Rice: I used white rice but you could definitely try this recipe with brown rice.
A turkey leg cooked over rice and an herbed broth.

How to Make a Turkey Legs Casserole

Speaking as a mom, turkey legs casserole is a blessing on busy weeknights. Though it does take 2 hours total to cook, it only requires 15 minutes of prep work. Any recipe that allows me to multitask while making dinner is an instant favorite!

This is how it all comes together:

Boil the Turkey Legs: Place the turkey legs in a 4-quart soup pot and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to cook for 45 minutes.

Cook the Onions: Pour the olive oil in a casserole dish and place it in the oven, then turn the oven on to 425. Next dice the onions, then take the casserole dish out of the oven and add in the onions and the salt. Put the dish back in the oven and continue to cook until the onions are soft; about 5 to 8 minutes.

Make the Broth: Take out the casserole dish, then take the broth from the soup pot and pour it over the onions. Stir in the minced garlic, parsley, thyme, and nutmeg. Taste for salt and pepper.

Mix in the Rice: And place the turkey legs on top. Bake the dish in the oven for 45 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Turkey legs casserole in a baking dish.

Tips for Success

As far as turkey dinners go, this one’s pretty easy, but I still have some tips for you before you get started on your turkey legs casserole:

  • Can I Make This With Chicken Legs? Sure! Obviously the cooking time will change a little, but as long as the chicken makes it to 165 degrees F, everything will turn out wonderfully!
  • How Do I Know When It’s Done? If you’re using a meat thermometer, it should read 165 degrees F (try not to go too far over that or the turkey will dry out). Otherwise, you should see that all of the water has been absorbed by the rice.
  • Can I Use Other Meats? Yes. You could use ground turkey, ground chicken, sausage, etc. Make the meal your own!
Turkey and long grain rice in a baking dish.

Add-In Ideas

If you feel like changing up your turkey legs casserole, go for it! Here are a couple of suggestions on what you could add in:

  • Bacon: Bacon bits make everything better, including this dinner!
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add in peas, bell pepper, or any other vegetable you think would fit in with the rice.
  • Cheese: If you want to top your rice with some shredded/grated cheese (like parmesan), that’s not a bad idea at all!
Sliced turkey over baked rice and herbs.

Serving Suggestions

Since rice is already a large part of this turkey legs casserole, I often feel that side dishes aren’t necessary. Although, if you want to add on some steamed broccoli, a big salad, or even some crispy garlic bread, those would all be good options!

A turkey leg over seasoned rice.

How to Store and Reheat a Casserole

This turkey legs casserole will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, in an airtight container. When you want to reheat it, simply microwave it, or pop it back in the oven for a few minutes.

Can I Freeze This?

Yes! You can freeze this turkey casserole for 2-3 months. Make sure to let it thaw overnight in the fridge before eating it again, though.

A sliced turkey leg over a bed of rice.
A large turkey leg over a bed of rice.

Turkey Legs & Rice Casserole

Katerina | Diethood
This Turkey Legs Casserole is a filling meal that is perfect for weeknight dinners once the weather gets cold. Juicy turkey legs are baked in an herb broth over a bed of rice – so hearty and delicious!
Servings : 4
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Turkey Legs
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized onions , diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup long grain rice

Instructions
 

  • Place the turkey legs in a 4-qt. soup pot and cover with water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat and continue to cook for 45 minutes.
  • Pour the olive oil in a casserole dish and place it in the oven; turn the oven on to 425.
  • Dice the onions; take the casserole dish out of the oven and add in the onions and the salt.
  • Put back in the oven and continue to cook until soft; about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Take out the casserole dish, take the broth from the soup pot and pour it over the onions.
  • Stir in the minced garlic, parsley, thyme, and nutmeg.
  • Taste for salt and pepper.
  • Mix in the rice.
  • Place the turkey legs on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 256 kcal | Carbohydrates: 42 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 877 mg | Potassium: 133 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin C: 4.5 mg | Calcium: 28 mg | Iron: 0.6 mg | Net Carbs: 41 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: turkey and rice casserole, turkey casserole
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11 comments on “Turkey Legs Casserole”

    1. Avatar photo
      Sankofa Lovechild

      I know…I just attempted this recipe, and I think it might be too much water. I will know for sure in about 45 minutes!

  1. It’s interesting to know that most of us in the group had the similar problem with turkey. We didn’t grow up eating it. But it’s so wonderful to see how everyone creatively pulled this month’s event together. Those turkey legs looks absolutely delicious in the rice casserole. Great photos as well. It’s very nice meeting you through World on a Plate.

  2. Ooh, this looks so yummy! I’ve just recently come to like turkey legs even better than the breast. Great concept for a cooking group….and Macedonia is a bit more exotic than say, Indiana πŸ˜‰

  3. Avatar photo
    Sandra's Easy Cooking

    mmm..this look so good Kate! I love turkey, but much like you growing up we ate chicken, pig or lamb πŸ™‚ Turkey was really rare occasion. Love the combo, and I usually add some potatoes with the rice. Very yummmy meal!

  4. Turkey in Macedonia is more of a Christmas tradition. My grandmother used to purchase a live turkey a few months before the holiday along with a large bag of walnuts.(some of which were used for her delicious baklava) Our old family tradition was to care and feed the turkey every day with one whole walnut all the way till Christmas. I remember watching her do that too… Maybe that would be considered animal cruelty now… her secret recipe was very simple, the turkey was unbelievably unforgettably tender and tasty.
    The rice dish was prepared with leeks and marinated cabage… makes a delicious and different stuffing! Love your post!

    1. Katerina - Diethood
      Kate@Diethood

      I had no idea that turkey was a Christmas thing by us. Honest. I thought it was a totally new concept. I remember pig roast for Christmas and Lamb for Easter. πŸ™‚ If you have the exact recipe for the turkey, I’d loooove to try it!!

  5. Avatar photo
    Jean (Lemons & Anchovies)

    This looks great, Kate. Looking forward to seeing more recipes from Macedonia. πŸ™‚

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