How to Bake Crispy, Flavorful Turkey Tails

Prepare a side dish of baked turkey tails for your holiday table.
Image Credit: bhofack2/iStock/GettyImages

Turkey tails are full of fat and extra flavor, and you can make them extra crispy if you bake in the oven. These little gems are sold as turkey tail packages at many grocery stores and make a great side dish during holiday feasts.


Marinating the tails before you bake them makes the bundles of fat even more flavorful, and baking the tails on a wire rack enables some of the fat to drip off, which keeps the skin from being soggy. Here's what you'll need and how to do it.

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Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl

  • 2 to 3 lbs. turkey tails

  • Paper towels

  • Colander

  • Rimmed baking sheet

  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil

  • Wire baking rack

  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • Marinade

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 small onion, sliced

  • Sauce

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp. soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onions

  • 2 tbsp. chopped green onions

  • 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes (optional)

  • 5 grape tomatoes, halved

How to Bake Turkey Tails Step-by-Step

  1. Prepare a marinade for turkey tails by mixing distilled white vinegar, soy sauce, dark brown sugar, granulated garlic, ground black pepper and a sliced small onion in a bowl. Stir to thoroughly combine.
  2. Rinse 2 to 3 pounds of turkey tails and pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Place the turkey tails in the bowl of marinade for 45 minutes, stirring once after 20 minutes.
  4. Drain the turkey tails and the onions through a colander for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Line the baking sheet with the foil and place the wire rack over the sheet.
  7. Spray the rack with nonstick spray.
  8. Place the turkey tails, bottom side down, on the wire rack, leaving about a half inch around each tail. Wrap the onions in a small piece of heavy-duty foil and seal to close.
  9. Bake the tails and the onions in the oven for about an hour or until the meat is cooked done and the skins are crispy.
  10. Prepare a sauce for the turkey tails by combining distilled white vinegar, soy sauce, chopped yellow onions, chopped green onions, hot pepper flakes and grape tomatoes in a large glass bowl.
  11. Remove the cooked turkey tails from the oven, placing them in the bowl of sauce.
  12. Serve immediately with a large serving of white or brown rice to soak up the fat and a side of baked onions.


Put the oven on broil at the very end of the baking time if you want the skin extra crispy and slightly burnt.


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