Thanksgiving Recipe Idea #2: Herb Roasted Turkey Breast Cutlets

Eric November 16, 2010

I’m not going to tell you to replace your traditional roasted turkey with this recipe, as roasting the whole bird is too steeped in tradition and symbolism to say that anything less is completely satisfying. However, if you’re looking for a figure-friendly and convenient way to enjoy turkey, today’s recipe is a good option either to supplement your whole turkey or grace your dinner table at any time of year.

Turkey breast cutlets are a new favorite of mine. Turkey breast actually has more protein and less fat than chicken breast, ounce-for-ounce. In addition, the muscle fibers in turkey breast are thicker and more dense, making for a texture like a cross between chicken and pork loin. It has more inherent flavor, as well.

Despite the simplicity of the herb rub, the resulting main course is literally massaged with flavor (or at least patted, if you follow the directions :)). Besides taking less time and hassle than preparing a full turkey, the added surface area from using cutlets means you can more easily permeate the meat with the herbs. (This dry rub is also good on a full bird, if you want to double or triple the recipe and distribute it throughout your whole turkey.)

The recipe deets are after the break!

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes


  • 1 ¼ lb lean turkey breast cutlets (4 cutlets)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried, crushed rosemary leaves
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder until the seasonings are well mixed.

Pat the turkey cutlets dry with paper towels and place them on a flat surface. Brush the surface of the cutlets with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Then cover each cutlet with a thin layer of the herb mixture. Rub or pat the herbs into the cutlets to help the flavor sink into the meat. Turn the cutlets over and distribute the oil and seasonings as with the first side.

Roast the cutlets for about 15 minutes (will vary depending on the thickness of the cutlets), until the juices run clear when the meat is cut. If desired, switch the over to broil for an additional 3-5 minutes to crisp the surface of the turkey.

Remove the turkey from the oven and allow cutlets to “rest” for a few minutes before serving. Makes 4 cutlets.

Nutritional data (per cutlet): 210 Calories, 9g total fat, 1.5g sat fat, 0g carbs, 32.5g protein

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