The best smothered turkey wings are coated in a delicious seasoning blend with bell peppers and onions, then baked in a rich, savory homemade gravy. Serve this during the holidays as a delicious alternative to traditional Thanksgiving turkey or make any day special when you serve this hearty entree.
Want another tasty entree for the holiday season? Try our perfectly tender Dutch Oven Pot Roast recipe.
Southern Smothered Turkey Wings
Smothered Turkey Wings are among my top 3 comfort meals. There’s no dry, overcooked turkey in this house! Baked just until tender, this juicy turkey is swimming in a luscious gravy made from scratch. And while we’re on the topic, I could bathe in this gravy! Yeah, it’s THAT good.
Why You’ll Love This Smothered Turkey Wings Recipe
- The Best Part of Turkey! Turkey wings are my favorite part of the turkey and it’s a big deal deciding who gets the wings during the holidays. But now everyone gets to feel special!
- Perfect for Holidays! This is ideal for smaller, more intimate holiday dinners. It’s also a tasty departure from the dry roasted turkey most are used to.
- Comfort Food! Anything smothered in gravy is on my list of best comfort meals and this is no exception! Paired with soul food classics like sweet potatoes or collard greens, you can’t go wrong.
- Homemade Gravy! Thick, creamy, and flavorful, this is that down-home southern gravy that you can’t get enough of. The base of the gravy is turkey drippings so skip the canned stuff and the packets full of artificial flavor.
Smothered Turkey Wings Ingredients
- Whole Turkey Wings: Cut the portions in half (separating the flats and the drums) so you have 8-10 wings in total.
- Seasoning: These turkey wings are zesty with a kick of spice. I use a flavorful mix of all purpose seasoning, poultry seasoning, cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, celery salt, and ground mustard. You can also add onion powder and garlic powder, if you’d like.
- Onion: Sprinkle sliced onions over seasoned turkey wings.
- Peppers: Slice one green bell pepper and one red bell pepper.
- Unsalted Butter: Slice it thinly so pats of butter can be spread throughout the pan. It tenderizes the turkey as it roasts, adding a great buttery taste.
- Avocado Oil: This is slathered all over the turkey in order to coat each wing with seasoning.
- Gravy and Pan Dripping from Wings: The main source of flavor.
- Flour: This adds body to the sauce. Use cornstarch as a gluten-free replacement.
- Chicken Stock: The base of the gravy. You can use chicken broth instead.
- Poultry Seasoning; For a boost of savory flavor.
Instructions for How to Make Smothered Turkey Wings
Season Whole Wings
Preheat oven to 375°F. Then rinse and pat dry your turkey wings. Whisk your spices together in a medium bowl.
Add your turkey wings to the large bowl, baking dish, or roasting pan that you will be using. Coat wings with avocado oil and your spice blend. Mix well to ensure all wings are completely covered.
Add Peppers, Onion, and Butter
Next, add your sliced peppers and onions and toss to combine.
Get your turkey wings into your preferred baking dish and top with knobs of butter slices.
Bake Turkey Wings
Cover completely with foil and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. The turkey wings should be starting to tenderize. Use pan drippings to make gravy to cover the wings with (see notes in recipe card).
Bake an additional 45 minutes or until desired tenderness. Finally, serve and ENJOY!
- Other Cuts of Turkey: You can use turkey legs (turkey drumsticks) and turkey thighs instead of wings but the cooking time will increase. Use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked (165°F).
- Instant Pot Smothered Turkey Wings: Sear the seasoned wings in batches on the stove then add them to an instant pot.
Tips for the Best Smothered Turkey Wings and Gravy
- For super crispy turkey wings, completely dry the wings after rinsing them. The oil and seasoning will stick better to a dry surface.
- The wings are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Use a meat thermometer for accuracy. A visual cue that the turkey is done is when they easily fall off the bone.
- For depth of flavor, add bay leaves to the gravy while it simmers. And for a pop of umami flavor, add Worcestershire sauce to the gravy.
- Outside of the holiday season, turkey wings may be hard to find. Go to your local butcher or meat market if you can’t find them in the grocery store.
What sides go with Smothered Turkey Wings?
- Cornbread: Sop up that extra gravy with some buttery cornbread.
- Rice: Use white rice, yellow rice, or brown rice.
- Potatoes: There’s nothing more satisfying than gravy with some potatoes. Serve smothered turkey wings with mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or potato salad.
- Vegetables: If you’re planning veggie sides, I’d go with candied yams, brussels sprouts, green beans, asparagus, or collard greens.
- Mac and Cheese: For the ultimate soul food plate, you need to pair this with creamy macaroni and cheese.
Store leftover smothered turkey wings in an airtight container or zip-lock bag for up to 4 days in the fridge. Pour leftover gravy in a separate container if you want to use it for other recipes. For longer storage place them in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you are ready to reheat the wings, warm them up in a preheated oven set to 360°F until warmed. Cover them with aluminum foil in order to prevent the wings from drying out.
Do you wash turkey wings before cooking?
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), you should not rinse turkey and the only effective way to kill bacteria is to fully cook the meat. However, I always gently rinse my meat and pat it dry before cooking.
Why are my turkey wings tough?
If the turkey is tough, it was either overcooked or undercooked. The best way to prevent this is by using a meat thermometer to cook the turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F.
How long do turkey wings take to cook?
Turkey wings need approximately 2 hours of cooking time, give or take, depending on the size of the wings.
I hope you enjoy making this Baked Smothered Turkey Wings recipe! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more Internet Chef content!
Best Smothered Turkey Wings
- 4-5 Turkey Wing Portions cut in half (8-10 total)
- 1 tbsp All Purpose Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Poultry Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp Celery Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Mustard
- 1 Large Onion sliced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper sliced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper sliced
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter sliced thinly
- 2 tsp Avocado Oil
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Rinse and pat dry your turkey wings. Mix your spices together in a medium bowl. Add your turkey wings to the large bowl or baking dish that you will be using. Coat wings with avocado oil and your spice blend. Mix well to ensure all wings are completely covered.
- Next, add your sliced peppers and onions and toss to combine.
- Get your turkey wings into your preferred baking dish and top with knobs of butter slices.
- Cover completely with foil and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. The turkey wings should be starting to tenderize.
- Use pan drippings to make gravy to cover the wings with (see note).
- Bake an additional 45 minutes or until desired tenderness.
- Serve and ENJOY!