Red Chimichurri Turkey Thighs

published Oct 22, 2021
Turkey Thighs Recipe

Roasted turkey thighs are one tasty way to change up mundane holiday turkey recipes.


Prep15 minutes

Cook40 minutes to 45 minutes

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roasted turkey thighs on a plate with a bed of greens and sliced limes
Credit: Sahara Henry Bohoskey

Garlicky, herby, spicy, and a little tangy, these red chimichurri turkey thighs will shine at dinnertime — whether it’s an ordinary weeknight meal or a special holiday feast. It’s a one-pan dinner that will leave you in awe of both its simplicity and complex flavors. The red chimichurri, made with Calabrian chili peppers, packs a bold punch that seriously upgrades roasted turkey thighs. Make a double batch and use it with chicken, steak or lamb. 

How to Avoid Overcooking Turkey Thighs

Luckily, it’s harder to overcook dark meat like turkey thighs. But when in doubt, I always have my cooking thermometer handy to check the temperature of meat. It’s a foolproof way of guiding you to a perfectly cooked meal.

What Herbs Should I Use to Roast Turkey Thighs?

The most common herbs for cooking a roasted bird would be thyme, rosemary, or oregano. But turkey can handle the robust nature of this chimichurri sauce, which features cilantro, garlic, and shallot. Zesty lime complements and cuts the richness from the olive oil and turkey fats, but orange would be a delicious addition too.

What to Serve with Roasted Turkey Thighs

Serve them with creamy mashed potatoes or crusty bread to soak up the mouthwatering drippings. I also like to serve mine with a simple green salad. 

Turkey Thighs Recipe

Roasted turkey thighs are one tasty way to change up mundane holiday turkey recipes.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 40 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info


  • 4 cloves


  • 1

    large shallot

  • 1 large bunch

    fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 cup

    plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    Calabrian chili paste

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided

  • 2

    bone-in, skin-on turkey thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1

    medium lime


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Mince 4 garlic cloves. Mince 1 large shallot (about 1/3 cup). Coarsely chop the leaves and tender stems from 1 large bunch fresh cilantro until you have 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons.

  3. Place the garlic, shallots, 3/4 cup of the cilantro, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons Calabrian chili paste, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

  4. Pat 2 turkey thighs dry with paper towels. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey thighs skin-side down, then use tongs or a spatula to press down on the thighs to create good contact with the hot pan for even browning. Cook until the skin is golden-brown and fat has begun to render, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

  5. Flip the turkey and pour the red chimichurri sauce over the turkey. Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 40 minutes. Meanwhile, cut 1 medium lime into wedges.

  6. When the turkey is ready, uncover and let rest for 10 minutes. Garnish with the remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro and serve with the lime wedges.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.