Small Batch Turkey Tenderloin

Small Batch Turkey Tenderloin                        

I am hopeful that this year will mean smaller gatherings for people in the US for Thanksgiving. I wanted to assist with your small Thanksgiving gathering. This round up is perfect for Thanksgivings sizes 1-4. These recipes make about 4 servings each, which is perfect for 1-4 people and leftovers if less than 4 people! Tyler and I have had so many small Thanksgivings when we lived in St. Louis and couldn’t make it home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukah. So, we usually chose the latter and I would make us a small Thanksgiving meal like this.

small batch turkey tenderloins with sides

I do also want to take this time to bring up Thanksgiving and how we learn about it. Thanksgiving is something I now celebrate as a time for good food and showing thanks and gratitude for the ones I love. However, the story we learned as kids about Thanksgiving is so off and really shouldn’t be a part of the celebration, but rather a learning opportunity. Please do NOT dress in Native American headdresses. Please take the day to maybe educate yourself and the ones you love. Especially young children. Many Native Americans see Thanksgiving as a day of mourning and triggering. Remember, “pilgrims” led a mass genocide to the Native American population.

Hopefully, you will consider and implement the above before celebrating along with me.

butter and herbs in cast iron skillet

Table of Contents

Celebrating a Mini Thanksgiving

cooked turkey tenderloin in cast iron skillet

Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving Drinks

Thanksgiving Favorites and Leftover Recipes

turkey tenderloins with gravy and cranberry sauce

Now, I’ll go into some best tips for making these turkey tenderloins.

How do I make turkey for two people? How do I make turkey for four people?

I think turkey tenderloins are a great alternative to a whole bird. And you can find them year-round at Trader Joe’s!

What do I cook turkey tenderloins in?

I suggest using a cast iron skillet or something that is stove to oven safe. It just makes for a much easier process when cooking.

side shot turkey tenderloins on table

How do I season turkey?

I suggest using plenty of fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage, and even parsley are great additions to season your turkey to perfection. And of course, never forget your salt and pepper!

How do I make turkey gravy using turkey fat?

I usually buy store-bought gravy and add the saved turkey fat/butter remaining in the pan at the end of the bake to complete the gravy. Just add to warm gravy, stir, and you’re ready!

turkey tenderloins with sides
small batch turkey tenderloins with sides

Small Batch Turkey Tenderloin

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Amanda Wilens


  • 2 turkey tenderloins pat dry and add a pinch of salt and pepper to both sides
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter divided
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tso thyme
  • 1 tsp sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375° F. Prepare a lipped baking sheet or use an oven-safe pan below for stove-top to oven transfer.
  • In a large sauté pan heat 3 Tbsp butter on a medium heat. Add in herbs until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Place under side of tenderloins down into the pan, cook on one side for about 4-5 minutes until golden and has a nice sear. Flip and do the same for the top side of the tenderloins. Baste as you go. Flip back to best side up, remove herbs, add 1 more Tbsp of butter until melted.
  • Move turkey to prepared sheet (or keep in oven-safe pan) to oven, baste again, and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Until internal temperature is 165° F.
  • Let rest for about 15-20 minutes. Plate, slice, and serve.


  • You can use extra juice from cooking turkey to make or add to a gravy.
  • Pans that will get a nice sear and are oven safe are cast-iron, enamel coated cast-iron (like Staub or Le Creuset), full stainless steel. Be sure to read your pans safety information.


Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 59mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @amanda.wilens or tag #amandawilensmakes