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Grilled Turkey Tenderloin

Barbecue Grilled Turkey Tenderloin – Grilled turkey tenderloin seasoned with a smoky rub and grilled to perfection.  Coated in your favorite barbecue sauce for the perfect summer meal.

This post is sponsored by the National Turkey Federation.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving, there are so many ways to enjoy it all year round. I love using it in recipes like my Lemon Turkey Cutlets, because it is low in calories and full of protein, where there is absolutely no guilt just deliciousness. 

In fact June is Turkey Lovers’ Month, so I think we should celebrate it with this turkey tenderloin that is grilled and all ready for summer! This is perfect for your summer get togethers and even your 4th of July party!  

Sweet and Smokey rubbed turkey tenderloin grilled and brushed with barbecue sauce


Safe Turkey Handling Tips

  • One of the most important steps when cooking turkey is to make sure that you are handling it properly from start to finish!  First off, DO NOT wash your turkey.  This goes if you are cooking the whole bird or even just the turkey breasts in this recipe.  It spreads bacteria all over your kitchen and is not safe. 
  • The next thing is cook your turkey to 165 degrees. It is best to use a meat thermometer, even when you are grilling smaller pieces of turkey, to ensure you get to the proper temperature.  
  • And finally, make sure you are washing your hands after touching the turkey, washing all the utensils, using clean plates when prepping and plating the final dish.  Avoiding cross contamination is the key to making sure you are safe when handling raw protein. 
Safety grilling tips for turkey

This turkey tenderloin recipe is super easy to make and your family is going to love it.  Turkey really absorbs the flavor of whatever you put in it, so this smoky barbecue rub gives the meat so much flavor!  Plus top with your favorite barbecue sauce for the perfect summer dinner. 

What is Turkey Tenderloin

People always wonder is Turkey Tenderloin the same as Turkey Breast? It is a piece of meat that is under the breast of the turkey. It is the boneless skinless piece part of the turkey breast.  It is an underused part of the turkey, so it is a super tender piece of white meat. You will see them labeled different at the grocery store.

How Long To Cook Turkey Tenderloin

That really depends on how thick your pieces are.  You want to make sure you use a meat thermometer to cook to 165 degrees.  But on a high temperature grill it usually takes about 9-10 minutes per side.  

Grilled turkey tenderloin with a sweet and smoky rub and barbecue sauce

How to Cook Turkey Tenderloin

  • You can use the homemade rub in the recipe below or your favorite store bought rub.  But generously coat the turkey with the seasoning.  This is what gives it all the flavor. 
  • Preheat the grill to high heat.  
  • Once the grill is hot, place the turkey on the grill.  
  • Cook for about 9-10 minutes per side.  This varies depending on how thick the cut of meat is.  Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part, and when it reaches 165 degrees you are done.
  • Brush on your favorite barbecue sauce during the last couple minutes of cooking time so it gets nice and golden and delicious.
  • Serve with even more barbecue sauce on the side.
Grilled turkey with a smoky rub and barbecue sauce

What Temp Should Turkey Tenderloin Be Cooked To?

You want to use a meat thermometer and have it reach 165 degrees F in the center of the tenderloin.

One of the things I really like about turkey, is how you can use it in just about any recipe. It is really interchangeable with other proteins.  These Italian Turkey Cutlets were originally made with chicken, but are absolutely delicious with a turkey cutlet.  So many possibilities! 

It is time to re-think turkey!  It is more than just ground turkey or the center piece at Thanksgiving.  It is great with just about any type of recipe all year round.  Head over to to see even more cooking tips and recipe ideas. 

Barbecue rubbed turkey tenderloin on the grill

More Great Grilling Recipes

Barbecue Turkey Tenderloin - Grilled turkey tenderloin seasoned with a smoky rub and grilled to perfection.  Coated in your favorite barbecue sauce for the perfect summer meal.
Yield: 4

Barbecue Grilled Turkey Tenderloin

A piece of turkey sitting on top of a wooden cutting board

Barbecue Turkey Tenderloin - Grilled turkey tenderloin seasoned with a smokey rub and grilled to perfection.  Coated in your favorite barbecue sauce for the perfect summer meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 - 1 1/2 pounds turkey tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce


  • 1 Tbls granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbls brown sugar
  • 1 Tbls chili powder
  • 1 Tbls kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder (optional)


  1. In a bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the rub.
  2. Generously sprinkle the rub all over the turkey and rub until it is well coated.
  3. Preheat grill to high heat
  4. Add turkey to the grill and cook for about 10 minutes per side until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  5. During the last couple minutes of cooking time brush both sides of turkey with barbecue sauce.
  6. Remove from the grill and slice to serve. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 322Total Fat 4gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 136mgSodium 697mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 1gSugar 13gProtein 52g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Terrassenüberdachung mit Montage

Tuesday 21st of March 2023

Great website, thanks for the great recipes... I'll use them again in the future ;-) THANK YOU !!! Greetings from Germany


Monday 29th of August 2022

I’ve been looking for turkey tenderloin recipes to do in the oven and this one was easy tho adapt. I sear the rubbed loins in a pan over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes each side. Then transfer to a wire rack in a baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven. I do 10 minutes each side and then check the internal temp. Based on the temp I cook another 3-5 minutes each side with the barbecue sauce. So brush with sauce, cook 3-5 minutes, turn over and repeat. It comes out great! Definitely keep an eye on the temp to avoid overcooking. Thanks for the recipe!


Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Can it be done in the oven or a George Foreman grill.

Kim Coulson

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

@Linda, do you put a cover or aluminum foil over them in the oven?


Monday 29th of August 2022

I've been looking for turkey tenderloin recipes to make in the oven and this one was easy to adapt. I pan-seared the rubbed tenderloins over medium high heat for 3 minutes each side. Then transferred the tenderloins to a baking sheet with wire rack and roasted at 400 deg. Total cooking time in the oven depends on the size and thickness of the tenderloins. I start with 10minutes each side and then check the internal temp to decide how much more time. I brush with barbecue sauce and then continue cooking usually 5-8 more minutes, turn, brush the other side, and cook another 5-8 minutes. Check the temps when turning to keep from overcooking.

Thank you for this recipe! One thing I change is the amount of salt. Maybe because I am not using Kosher salt, I find that a teaspoon is plenty.

Erin S

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Yep, that would work great. I just don't know the time on a George Foreman because I don't have one and don't know how it compares to a traditional grill. Just cook until the internal temp is correct and it will be great!


Wednesday 16th of June 2021

This was perfect for our dinner the other night! So delicious and juicy! Can’t wait to make this again! We love grilled anything this time of year!

Beti | easyweeknightrecipes

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

I can't wait to try this grilled turkey tenderloin! It looks incredibly juicy and delicious!!

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