When it comes to seasoning turkey tenderloins, you can go in a few different directions. The two methods I like are made by using a simple seasoning mixture and using a simple marinade. The first one, coating them with a thin layer of seasoning, is the method I used in my Roasted Turkey Tenderloin recipe.
The second method, which I am covering here, is made by marinating turkey breast tenderloins in a soy sauce-based marinade for a few hours. The result is nothing short of a miracle with the most delicious and melt-in-your-mouth tender turkey tenderloins. Yes, there is a bit of advance prep and wait, but I think it is totally worth it.
Ingredients You Will Need?
To make this marinade for turkey tenderloin, gather olive oil, soy sauce, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, onion powder, paprika, dried thyme, dried sage, black pepper, and minced garlic.
To complete your oven-roasted turkey tenderloin, you will also need two turkey tenderloins that weigh about 4 ounces (~113 grams) each.
How to Make the Recipe?
Whether you’re cooking turkey tenderloins in the oven or preparing grilled turkey tenderloin for a summer get-together, this simple marinade will give every bite restaurant-quality flavor.
- Mix the marinade for turkey tenderloins: In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the marinade ingredients: olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, paprika, thyme, sage, black pepper, and garlic. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the mixture and set it aside.
- Add the turkey fillets: Pour the remaining marinade into a large resealable plastic bag or a medium size shallow bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Then, set turkey tenderloins in the marinade, fully submerging each piece of meat. Seal bag, if using.
- Marinate the turkey: Cover and refrigerate turkey tenders for 2 to 4 hours.
How to Bake Marinated Turkey Breast Tenderloins
Wondering how long to bake turkey breast fillets? Curious about how to bake turkey breast tenderloins without drying them out? This how-to guide has everything you need for baking turkey tenderloin like a pro.
- Prepare the oven: Fifteen minutes before you roast the marinated turkey tenderloin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Transfer the loins: Remove the marinated turkey tenderloins from the seasoning mixture. Transfer the meat to an ovenproof dish and discard any remaining marinade.
- Roast: Place turkey tenderloins in the preheated oven and roast them until a meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F. when inserted into the thickest part of the meat. For 4-oz. pieces, the turkey tenderloin cook time should be 20-23 minutes, though larger tenders may require more time. Remove the turkey from the oven.
- Let the turkey loins rest: Place a sheet of tin foil over the baked turkey tenders, and let the meat rest for 10 minutes. During this time, the internal temp. for turkey tenderloin should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve: Slice the turkey fillets, drizzle them with the reserved marinade, and serve.
How Long Should I Marinate Turkey Breast Fillets?
Before baking turkey breast tenderloins, I recommend marinating them for 2-4 hours or up to 8 hours. Any longer, the turkey tenderloin marinade’s soy sauce will begin to degrade the quality of the meat, turning it tough or mushy.
Marinades are mostly used to add a flavor to the meat and are usually made by mixing oil with some sort of an acidic ingredient (like soy sauce, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar) and various spices and seasonings. The marinading time usually varies between 2 hours to 8 hours.
On the other hand, brine is used to add moisture and properly salt the turkey meat by soaking it in a salty mixture for a longer period of time (usually 24 hours).
If you are using this turkey tenderloin marinade recipe, the answer is yes! Marinating each part of the turkey for up to 8 hours is the key to preparing flavorful turkey tenderloin.
Your turkey tenderloin temp. when done should reach 165 degrees F. However, I believe the best way to cook turkey breast fillets is by removing them from the oven when their internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F. Then, let the marinated turkey breast tenderloin rest under a tin foil tent, and its temperature should reach 165 degrees F. after 10 minutes.
Other Meat Marinade Recipes You Might Like:
Marinating meat to flavor them is probably the easiest way of seasoning and making them delicious. Below are my favorite meat marinades that I use often:
If you try this Turkey Tenderloin Marinade recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps 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.
Turkey Tenderloin Marinade Recipe
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage or oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 turkey tenderloins – 4 ounces ~113 gr. each
- Make the marinade: Whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, lemon juices, 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.
- Marinate the turkey: Pour the rest of the marinade into a sealable plastic bag or a shallow bowl with a tight-fitting lid. Place the turkey tenderloins in the marinade and make sure that they are fully submerged in the marinade. Cover it with the lid and marinate for 2-4 hours* in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven: Fifteen minutes before you are ready to roast the tenderloins, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Transfer to a baking dish: Remove the tenderloins from the marinade on an ovenproof dish* and discard the remaining marinade.
- Bake: Roast in the preheated oven for 20-23 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 155 degrees.*
- Rest: Tent it with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. As it sits (covered) with foil, it should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Serve: Slice and drizzle it with the reserved marinade before serving.
- Baking time: These recipes were tested using two turkey tenderloins that were about 4 ounces each. The baking time might vary slightly depending on the size of your loins. The best way to check doneness is by using a meat thermometer (affiliate link.)
- Internal temperature: While the ideal internal temperature for Turkey Tenderloins, according to USDA food safety guidelines, is 165 degrees F., we are removing them from the oven a bit earlier than they reach 165 degrees because we found that if we bake them any longer, they become dry. Instead, by covering them and letting them rest, we help residual heat continue to cook them. As a result, we end up with perfectly moist and melt-in-your-mouth moist turkey tenderloins.
- Equipment: When baking marinated tenderloins, I used a metal baking dish as it does a good job of retaining heat. Plus, since we rely on the residual heat to continue to cook the tenderloins, I find that a metal baking dish works the best. Therefore I would not recommend using a glass baking dish (like Pyrex) for this recipe.
- Marinating time: If you have the time, you can marinate the meat for up to 8 hours. Though I wouldn’t recommend longer than that. If you are short on time, 25-30 minutes of marinating time should work as well.
- Seasoning: For a slightly smokey flavor, use smoked paprika as a part of the seasoning.
- Make-ahead: You can make this marinade 24 hours in advance and store it in the fridge in an airtight container until you are ready to use it.