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What to Make for Thanksgiving for a Couple or Small Family: Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins

Rather than cook a giant turkey, opt for turkey tenderloins that you can cook in your air fryer and that turn out moist and juicy with minimal preparation and cleanup. No, you won't have lots of leftovers, but that's the point! A package of turkey tenderloins--about 24 ounces--will serve four people, with maybe a bit leftover (depending on appetites!). The tenderloins will air fry in about half an hour, and you can use your "big" or regular oven for side dishes and/or pies, if you'd like. You can stuff the tenderloins, but I generally prefer to cook the stuffing or dressing separately. Want turkey bones for soup? Get some turkey legs or thighs and cook them early in the week, or, my preference, get a Costco chicken, eat part, and use the rest for soup and to make the gravy for the air fried turkey tenderloins. You can, of course, make the gravy ahead of time. Try the air fryer turkey tenderloins, and you won't go back to cooking a giant turkey soon--unless you have to feed an army! Enjoy!

What to Make for Thanksgiving for a Couple or Small Family: Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins
What to Make for Thanksgiving for a Couple or Small Family: Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins

Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins -- Serves 4+


24 ounces of turkey tenderloins, seasoned or not

Salt and pepper, if the tenderloins aren't seasoned

Olive or canola oil spray


Line your air fryer basket with aluminum foil, arranging the foil so that it comes about two inches up the sides of your air fryer basket. I usually do a double layer of foil to ensure no leaks and make cleanup easier. Spritz the foil with non-stick or olive oil spray. Place the turkey tenderloins (they usually come two to a package) in the basket, arranging them so that one thicker side faces the thinner side on the opposite tenderloin. Spritz the tenderloins with olive oil or canola oil spray (or drizzle oil on them and use your fingers to spread it). Put the basket in the air fryer, set the temperature to 400 degrees, and cook the tenderloins for 15 minutes. Flip them over and cook them for 5-10 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer registers at least 165 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of a tenderloin. Remove the tenderloins from the air fryer basket and let the tenderloins rest for at least five minutes before slicing them.

What to Make for Thanksgiving for a Couple or Small Family: Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins
What to Make for Thanksgiving for a Couple or Small Family: Air Fryer Turkey Tenderloins

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