This grilled turkey tenderloin recipe isn’t the only irresistible turkey dish in my cookbook. My seven-ingredient Roasted Turkey Legs are a picture-perfect recipe for holidays and weeknight meals alike, while Ground Turkey Meatloaf gives classic beef meatloaf a lean yet rich edge. With these easy meal ideas, you’ll never wonder what to do with turkey again.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Grilling Turkey Loins
You only need two simple sets of ingredients to grill the perfect turkey breast fillets: the meat and my easy turkey tenderloin marinade.
- Olive oil
- Soy sauce
- Lemon juice
- Dijon mustard
- Coconut sugar (or brown sugar): Adding coconut sugar to your turkey loin marinade is an easy way to give your meat a luscious caramelized flavor using natural sweetness. However, you may also use brown sugar depending on what you have in your pantry.
- Onion powder
- Paprika: Paprika does wonders for giving this recipe its mouthwateringly complex, peppery taste, but you may also use smoked paprika for a more robust smoky flavor.
- Dried herbs: I recommend adding a light mix of dried thyme and dried sage (or dried oregano if preferred) to your marinade mixture. If you’d like your turkey tips to have extra earthy undertones, you may also use fresh versions of these ingredients. Just be sure to chop them finely before adding them in the marinade.
- Black pepper
- Fresh Garlic cloves: While we prefer fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder (2 teaspoons) if you prefer.
- Turkey loins: I designed this recipe to accommodate two 9-ounce turkey tenderloins, though this cut of meat often comes in many different sizes. If your cuts are larger, you may multiply the recipe to accommodate their size.
How to Grill Turkey Tenderloin
Learning to cook turkey tenderloin on a gas grill is a breeze when you use my simple cooking method. These step-by-step instructions will have even beginner chefs cooking this rich, juicy turkey recipe in no time.
- Mix the marinade: In a measuring cup, whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, onion powder, paprika, thyme, sage, black pepper, and garlic. Reserve three tablespoons of the mixture and set it aside.
- Prep the tenderloin for marination: Place tenderloins into a large resealable plastic bag or a bowl big enough to allow them to submerge fully in the marinade.
- Marinate turkey tenderloin: Pour the whisked marinade over the turkey breast fillets. Then, either seal bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap, removing as much air as possible. Transfer the covered container to the refrigerator and marinate the meat for at least one hour or up to eight hours.
- Transfer the tenderloins: Remove the marinated turkey tenderloin from the fridge 30 minutes before grilling.
- Heat grill: Preheat the gas grill to 400 degrees F. (medium-high heat), and scrape the grates to remove any remaining food residue. Then, dip a wad of paper towels into olive oil and use a pair of tongs to coat the grill grates generously. Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and shake off any excess liquid.
- Grill the turkey breast tenderloin: Place turkey tenderloins on the grill and cook, covered, for eight minutes. Then, flip the fillets and cook them for another 6-7 minutes, covered, until their internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. in the thickest part of the meat. If the turkey begins to burn, move it to the cooler side of the grill, cover it, and cook until done.
- Let the meat rest: Transfer the grilled turkey breast fillets from the grill to a plate and cover them with a loose tent of aluminum foil. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve: After resting, slice the turkey tenderloin to your preferred thickness, brush or drizzle it with the reserved marinade, and serve.
How to Make Ahead, Store Leftovers, and Reheat?
Whether you want to grill turkey breast fillets for dinner or make it a part of protein-packed meal prep, below is everything you need to know to get the most out of this easy recipe.
- Make ahead: To prep this dish ahead of time, I recommend making the marinade for the turkey breast tenderloin up to two days in advance. Then, store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
- Store: After cooking, let your grilled turkey tenderloins reach room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container. Then, store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.
- Reheat: After storage, you have two easy options to reheat your grilled turkey loin. If you prefer an oven method, reheat your meat in a low-heat oven (300 degrees F.) for five minutes or until warm. For a stovetop method, you may also reheat your turkey on the stove with a teaspoon of olive oil.
What to Serve With Grilled Turkey Breast Tenderloin?
One of my go-to ways to serve this easy recipe (as pictured here) is with sweet, buttery Grilled Corn and tangy Pickled Red Onions. Below, you’ll find a few of my other favorite side dishes to transform your protein into a delicious meal.
- Roasted or grilled vegetables: Exquisitely tender and nutritious, roasted veggies make an incomparable side for grilled turkey tenderloin. Roasted Portobello Mushrooms offer a savory, earthy accompaniment, while this Grilled Zucchini recipe comes with a rich balsamic vinegar glaze that will make mouths water. Or, if you prefer a sweeter side, Maple Roasted Carrots will brighten your spread with brilliant color and caramelized taste.
- Salad: Though any of my Summertime Salads would make a perfect side for grilled turkey loins, my Beets Goat Cheese Salad and Avocado Quinoa Salad will give your menu a creamy-yet-crisp balance of hearty flavors. For a healthy take on a classic grilling side, my No Mayo Coleslaw Recipe comes together with a tasty, two-minute dressing.
- Potatoes: If you are looking for a good starchy side, try my Rosemary Mashed Potatoes or Red Potato Salad to serve on the side.
Have more questions about how long to grill turkey tips or different turkey cuts? This hassle-free FAQ section will teach you everything you need about this easy grilled turkey tenderloin recipe.
Though both are cuts of lean meat, turkey breast is a larger piece of white meat that comes directly from the bird’s chest. Furthermore, turkey breast may have skin or no skin, bones or no bones, depending on its preparation. By contrast, turkey tenderloin is a smaller cut of meat that comes from just below the breast and is always boneless and skinless.
The temperature of your grill should reach 400 degrees F. before adding your turkey tenderloin to the grates.
When cooked at 400 degrees F., your turkey tenderloin grill time should be about 14-15 minutes for loins that are between 9-12 ounces. However, the timing might change depending on the size of your meat.
Turkey is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temp. of 165 degrees F. However, we find that turkey meat can go from perfectly cooked to terribly dry if it is overcooked. Therefore, we recommend removing it from the grill when it reaches 155 degrees F. and let it rest under an aluminum foil tent to continue cooking while it reabsorbs its juices. It should reach the ideal 165 degrees F as it sits, thanks to residual heat.
Other Turkey Recipes You Might Also Like
Here are a few other easy turkey recipes you won’t be able to resist:
If you try this Grilled Turkey Tenderloin recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Grilled Turkey Tenderloin Recipe
- ¼ cup olive oil plus additional oil to coat the grill grates
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika for a more smokey flavor
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage or oregano if you prefer ~ 9 ounces each
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 turkey tenderloins – 9 ounces each
- Make the turkey loin marinade: Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, onion powder, paprika, thyme, sage, black pepper, and garlic in a measuring cup. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade and set it aside.
- Place the tenderloins into a sealable plastic bag or a bowl that will allow them to be fully submerged.
- Pour the marinade over the tenderloins and seal the bag or cover the bowl, trying to remove as much air as possible. Marinate for at least an hour or for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
- Remove the turkey tenderloins from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.
- To start grilling, preheat the grill to 400 degrees (or medium-high heat.) Scrape the grates of any possible food residue, then generously coat the grates with a wad of paper towel that has been dipped in olive oil.
- Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and make sure to shake off any excess marinade.
- Place the turkey tenderloins on the grate and grill, covered, for 8 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes with the grill covered or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. in the thickest part of the tenderloin. (There will be carry-over cooking when removed from the grill so that the internal temperature will reach 165 degrees F.) If the tenderloin appears to be burning, move it to the cooler side of the grill, cover the grill, and continue to cook until done.
- Remove from the grill, and tent with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice your grilled turkey tenderloin to your desired thickness, brush it or drizzle with the remaining marinade, and serve.
- Yields: This recipe makes two 9 ounces of grilled turkey tenderloins, which I think is an ideal size for serving 4 people.
- Size and time: Please keep in mind that there is a direct correlation between the size of your loins and grilling time. If they are on the larger size, you might have to double the marinade and extend the cooking time.
- Ideal temperature: USDA recommends cooking turkey to 165 degrees F. In this recipe, we intentionally grill it until it reaches to 155 degrees F. We find that turkey meat can dry if it is overcooked. So, in order to prevent that we slightly undercook it and then immediately cover the meat with aluminum foil. The residual heat cooks it to 165 degrees while reserving and redistributing its juices during the 10 minutes resting time.
- You should discard any marinade after removing the turkey tenderloins.
- Make Ahead: You can make the marinade for up to 2 days in advance and marinade the meat the night before you are planning to grill them.
- Storage: Bring the meat to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a low heat oven (300 degrees F.) for five minutes or until warm. You may also reheat your turkey on the stove with a teaspoon of olive oil.