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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
Turkey Legs & Rice Casserole
- 2 Turkey Legs
- 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
- 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.