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Slow Cooker Turkey Drumsticks

  • 3 Servings
  • 15 mins Prep Time
  • 6 hrs Total Time


  • 3 turkey drumsticks (about 1/2 lb. each)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cups carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Chopped parsley, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serving Size 1 drumstick and about 1 cup vegetables and sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 490
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 33%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 160mg 53%
Sodium 800mg 35%
Total Carbohydrates 20g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Sugars 5g
Protein 46g
Vitamin D 0%
Calcium 6%
Iron 30%
Potassium 10%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. This is a representation of the nutrition label. The actual nutrition label on the product may vary slightly.
  • Step 1

    Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and add the oil.
  • Step 2

    Place drumsticks or turkey legs in the skillet and brown on all sides.
  • Step 3

    Place the potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic in an oval 5-6 quart slow cooker. Place drumsticks on top of the vegetables.
  • Step 4

    Combine the broth, Worcestershire sauce and salt in a small bowl and pour over the drumsticks. Sprinkle the drumsticks with the poultry seasoning.
  • Step 5

    Cover and cook on LOW until the turkey and vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.
  • Step 6

    Serve the turkey with the vegetables. Spoon some of the onions and sauce over the meat and garnish with parsley if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slow Cooker Turkey Drumstick FAQs

Cooking turkey drumsticks, also known as turkey legs, in a slow cooker is an easy and convenient way to make a delicious meal but this process can be new to some home chefs. Below are some tips and answers to frequently asked questions about using this cooking method.

Turkey drumsticks are best served crispy. There are a few tips to ensure your slow cooker turkey legs are crispy.

  • First, it is important to note that turkey legs should not be cooked frozen in the slow cooker so be sure to thaw them in the refrigerator before cooking (you don’t need to do this if you have fresh turkey legs).
  • After the turkey legs have thawed, pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Follow the recipe instructions above, which calls for pan-frying the drumsticks prior to placing them in the slower cooker.

An alternate method is to crisp your drumsticks after they’re done cooking in your slow cooker. Here’s how:

  • Apply your seasonings to your turkey legs and place them in your slow cooker without adding any extra liquids. Adding liquid will generate more moisture during the slow cook and prevent the skin from crisping.
  • Ensure that your turkey drumsticks are fully-cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F.
  • Once they are fully cooked, rub some butter on your turkey legs and broil them uncovered in your oven. Broiling for about 10 to 12 minutes should deliver lovely crispiness.
    • If your oven doesn’t have a broiler setting, place the turkey legs six inches from the flame or heating element. Check on it every four minutes until you achieve your desired level of crispiness.

Are you worried about food sticking to the bottom of your slow cooker if you don’t add liquid? You can accomplish the same result by placing carrots and onions on the bottom of the slow cooker before adding your turkey legs.

Turkey legs contain tendons and tough muscles. You need to cook the meat until the muscles soften, or you will end up with tough turkey legs. 

Slow cooking is a great choice for achieving tender and juicy turkey legs. If you want even juicier turkey legs, consider brining the meat in a sugar and saltwater brine for at least four hours before cooking because the salt in the brine will help tenderize the turkey legs by unraveling the muscle fibers to ensure moist turkey leg meat.

The right seasoning for turkey legs will depend on the flavor profile you want. The most basic seasoning will consist of salt and black pepper. You can elevate the seasoning by adding chili powder, paprika, thyme, cumin, garlic powder, and other spices.

If you want your seasonings to penetrate deep into the turkey legs, coat the meat with oil or butter before rubbing on your spices. Before cooking, let the turkey legs marinate in the seasonings for at least an hour in the fridge. 

Yes, you can use frozen turkey legs. However, it is best to thaw frozen turkey legs before cooking. Cooking frozen turkey legs will lead to a longer required cooking time to reach the recommended internal temperature of 165° F. Since the outer part of the meat will reach the desired temperature long before the frozen interior, it could result in uneven cooking and the potential for dry meat. Even worse, your seasonings may not penetrate into the frozen meat.

Unlike the breasts and other turkey parts that are white meat, turkey drumsticks are dark meat. White meat typically contains less fat and calories than dark meat, but that does not mean turkey legs are unhealthy. In fact, turkey legs contain less saturated fat and cholesterol than most beef and pork cuts.

A single serving of Shady Brook Farms Turkey Drumsticks contains 22 grams of protein, making it a good protein source for one meal. 

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