Microsatellite (simple sequence repeats, SSRs) marker is one of the most widely used markers in marker-assisted breeding. As one type of functional markers, MicroRNA-based SSR (miRNA-SSR) markers have been exploited mainly in animals, but the development and characterization of miRNA-SSR markers in plants are still limited. In the present study, miRNA-SSR markers for Medicago truncatula ( M. truncatula) were developed and their cross-species transferability in six leguminous species was evaluated. A total of 169 primer pairs were successfully designed from 130 M. truncatula miRNA genes, the majority of which were mononucleotide repeats (70.41%), followed by dinucleotide repeats (14.20%), compound repeats (11.24%) and trinucleotide repeats (4.14%). Functional classification of SSR-containing miRNA genes showed that all targets could be grouped into three Gene Ontology (GO) categories: 17 in biological process, 11 in molecular function, and 14 in cellular component. The miRNA-SSR markers showed high transferability in other six leguminous species, ranged from 74.56% to 90.53%. Furthermore, 25 Mt -miRNA-SSR markers were used to evaluate polymorphisms in 20 alfalfa accessions, and the polymorphism information content (PIC) values ranged from 0.39 to 0.89 with an average of 0.71, the allele number per marker varied from 3 to 18 with an average of 7.88, indicating a high level of informativeness. The present study is the first time developed and characterized of M. truncatula miRNA-SSRs and demonstrated their utility in transferability, these novel markers will be valuable for genetic diversity analysis, marker-assisted selection and genotyping in leguminous species.