Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets

Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets


Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets | MarlaMeridith.com

Raise your hand if you are not cooking a BIG Thanksgiving turkey dinner. Don’t be shy. This recipe is for any time of year anyway…

The holidays can be awfully intimidating especially when you don’t feel the need, want or desire to cook up a giant meal. Relax. That is OK. There are quick, easy and delicious solutions for you. No need to miss out on all the fun. Just improvise. You can still dig in to holiday foods. Just in smaller portions.

There is so much emphasis on making the perfect holiday meal. I am here to tell you that all is GREAT no matter how you slice it and cook it up.

You can still make enough cutlets for everyone’s favorite leftovers

Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets | MarlaMeridith.com

Perhaps you are the only meat eater in a home of vegans. Maybe you just moved into a new home and all you can dig out is a sauté pan. Maybe you are a couple with a newborn baby who keeps you up around the clock. Your relatives all live 3000+ miles away. You are a couple whose children are grown and grand babies all live far. Maybe you will be at a restaurant for the big day..but you still want to cook something.

Trust me on this, roasting a whole turkey is not as hard as it seems. The payoff is huge. But don’t kick yourself if you can’t do it this year. That is the whole point of this post.

Do what you can with whatever resources and time you have.

Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets | MarlaMeridith.com

I love the word cutlets. It implies little and cute. Cut-let. I am going to say that over and over again. Because I can.

Cutlet also suggests, quick and easy. What I like about pan searing is the crispy outside and delicately cooked inside. The juices are sealed in when meat is cooked in a pan over a high heat.

With the abundance of holiday recipe development going on here, these cutlets have been enjoyed in everything from salads to pasta, shredded into quinoa and used in all kinds of sandwiches too. Let’s be sure you try my recipe for Brown Butter Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes too. That is what is in those cute little Le Creuset Mini Cocottes.

Stay tuned for more holidays recipes and what to do with all of those leftovers!

Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 4-8 servings

Serving Size: 1 cutlet

Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets


  • 1 - 2 pounds (4-8 pieces) Turkey Cutlets (they should be nice and thin)
  • Olive Oil
  • Season with
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder (or Garlic Sea Salt)
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • Optional
  • Smoked Paprika
  • a few pinches Dried Thyme, Oregano or your favorite spice blend


  • Put a few splashes of oil in a large sauté pan or a cast iron skillet. Heat over high heat. Season your turkey cutlets and carefully place in the hot pan. Let cook a few minutes on each side. The outside should be nicely browned and the inside fully cooked and opaque. Cook in batches. Let rest a few minutes before serving. Season with any additional fresh or dried spices.

Turkey Cutlets Recipe Links


48 Responses to Quick Pan Seared Turkey Cutlets

  1. I love that you are mentioning cutlets. Being that I don’t eat turkey and we have no family within 3000 miles of here…whatever I do make is for Scott and Skylar if she wants but she’s 4. Therefore Scott doesn’t need a whole turkey so I buy a turkey breast and make that. So much easier than doing a whole turkey! I love that you are all about keeping things EASIER!!

    And congrats on your recent TS accept. I was over there looking at submissions and saw yours. Beautiful :)

    • Thanks Averie! I need to take a gander at Tastespotting & Foodgawker. Been a while since I have buzzed around. Will do so now! You are right, this sort of quick & simple recipe is great for a small family like yours…especially since you cook but do not eat meat.

  2. This is a great recipe Marla-When I was younger we would occasionally have a small Thanksgiving. We often just roasted a Turkey breast- this would have been an ideal recipe for those years. It also seems like a wonderful weeknight dinner.

    • Heather, it is all in the simplicity. I almost felt silly posting this & then I thought why the heck not. Sometimes people need to take pleasure in the little things. This is the perfect meal for any time of the year. Of course searing any protein is always delish!

  3. We don’t celibrate thanksgiving in France but I don’t ever cook turkey at Christmas any more. For a number of years we have had a salmon, though one year I did do duck breasts. With only 2 of us……… Diane

  4. Dearest Marla! Thank you for recognizing all the people who have no reason to cook a huge turkey. There are many people who do not live near family, or are older and single and living on their own, students, newly divorced, or new to town. I would like to ask everyone who reads your blog to look around and see if anyone knows someone who will be lonely this thanksgiving and invite them to your table.
    It doesn’t matter if you serve a huge turkey or a simple yummy dish like these turkey cutlets! Cook it with love and be grateful for all your blessings!

    • Hi Angie! I am so glad you could identify with this post. It is all about enjoying life’s simple pleasures and not putting too much pressure on your self. I hope you guys have an AMAZING Thanksgiving. No matter how big or small it is :) XXOO

  5. These absolutely looks yummy! We don’t have thanksgiving here, but we love turkey too! I love the implication of the word cutlet. I’ve never realized that.

  6. Haha, cutlets…that’s one word I’ve never actually liked. Makes me think of veal. And I hate veal. Maybe in a round about way, that’s why! 😉

    But you make it all cute sounding…

  7. This year it’s just my Husband and I for Thanksgiving, he wants the whole Thanksgiving ordeal, but thats easy when he sits his butt on the couch and I stand in the kitchen for 6 hours, so not worth it for just the two of us. I made Thanksgiving for just the two of us last year and I threw out 3/4’s of the food. He will only eat Turkey leftovers. This year he only wants mashed potatoes, turkey and bread. I like the stuffing and butternut squash side dish, so needless to say I make it all. I asked him if we could just go out this year, (no answer yet) and suggested making pieces of Thanksgiving meals, one each night so he gets his fix and instead of Turkey a small Chicken Roast. We’ll see how it goes.

    • Jennifer, I hope you get through the holidays with as little stress as possible. It does not feel good to toss out that much food. Perhaps you can keep the focus on smaller portions :) Good luck my friend! xo

  8. Wonderful idea. I was given a whole turkey for a show recently and since there’s only 2 of us it was more of a burden than a gift to have to figure out what to do with all that meat! Sometimes less is less stressful ; )

    • I remember reading about that big turkey the two of you got. The leftovers are good for a few days but then they need to be tossed. I guess you could cook up big batches of turkey curries, chili and such to freeze. But then you would have no life outside the kitchen for a few days. Think I would opt for the toss 😉

  9. Nice simple idea for a smaller turkey dinner. I made some cornish hens as part of a dinner for a family this week, haven’t made them in years (I was actually looking for a turkey breast, couldn’t believe there were none to be found) but they are also a nice holiday alternative to turkey. I agree with Angie’s comment. One of the families at our church is opening their home to people who are by themselves this Thanksgiving. After all, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is definitely meant to be spent with friends and family.

    • Jeanette, it is so nice when people open their homes up to other folks. It is also nice to enjoy quiet, thankful sweetness in a small family setting. Either way…it is all about being thankful, grateful and enjoying some kind of feast. I have never made cornish hens, but I hear a lot of people make those little birds a holiday family tradition. Bet they are super tasty…not much in the line of leftovers though. I hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving. Bet you are so excited to have your son back home from college :)

  10. What a terrific meal for folks who don’t want to fuss with the whole turkey, or for those of us going to someone else’s house for the holiday and won’t have leftovers to enjoy the next day!

  11. my family WILL be having a huge turkey but I think they’d probably be more successful just cooking some of these turkey cutlets! That seared outside looks fabulous.

  12. I made this tonight……thank you for such a nice and simple receipe. I did a small pre-Thanksgiving dinner…..I’m craving turkey and this was just great with the “cutelets!!”
    Thanks again…..new to cooking and always looking for something that seems like I stayed in the kitchen all day!! :)

  13. Very interesting! I’m going to try this tonight with the turkey breast steaks I bought last night. I’m a little worried about them drying out, however this recipe has instilled some confidence in pan frying them.

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