How to Bake Turkey Cutlets in the Oven: Tips for Marinating and More

Pair turkey slices with veggies for a balanced, protein-rich meal.
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Turkey cutlets don't take long to bake in the oven, making them a convenient and quick weekday meal. Anything you'd use to flavor chicken breasts or cutlets works just as well for marinating turkey cutlets.

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This high-protein entree satisfies without as much saturated fat and cholesterol as beef and other red meats. Along with fish and legumes, skinless poultry should be one of your go-to sources of lean protein, as the American Heart Association suggests.

What Are Turkey Cutlets?

Turkey cutlets are thin, boneless pieces that come from the turkey breast. They're usually sliced about 1 1/2-inch-thick. A 4-ounce serving of turkey cutlets contains 120 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 26 grams of protein, according to the USDA.

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You can cook turkey slices or cutlets in many ways, including roasting, baking and frying.

Are Turkey Chops the Same as Turkey Cutlets?

Yes, turkey chops are another name for turkey cutlets.

What's the Difference Between Turkey Cutlets and Turkey Tips?

Turkey tips are small pieces of white breast meat. Turkey tips and cutlets come from the same part of the bird — the breast — but they differ in size and shape.

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How to Marinate and Cook Turkey Cutlets

Things You'll Need

  • Glass or ceramic dish

  • Acidic liquid

  • Cooking oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Herbs and spices

  • Knife

  • Plastic wrap

  • Baking tray

  • Aluminum foil

1. Make the Marinade

Mix equal parts acidic liquid (such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, fruit juice or wine) and cooking oil in a glass or ceramic dish, making enough to submerse the turkey cutlets.

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Add salt and pepper to taste, along with complementary herbs and spices. Minced ginger and garlic work well with soy or teriyaki sauce for an Asian-influenced preparation, while rosemary, dill, citrus zest, honey or brown sugar go with orange or pineapple juice. Try basil, thyme, rosemary, tarragon, an Italian or Tuscan seasoning mix or herbes de Provence with a wine-based marinade.

2. Trim the Fat and Marinate the Turkey Cutlets

Trim the fat off the turkey cutlets with a sharp knife. Put them in the marinade and cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the marinating cutlets for one to four hours.

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Tip

The longer the turkey marinades, the more intense the flavor. Because cutlets are thin, you risk negatively affecting their texture with a lengthier soak time in an acidic ingredient.

3. Preheat the Oven

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 20 to 30 minutes before the end of the marination time. Cover a baking tray with foil and grease it lightly with cooking oil or nonstick cooking spray.

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4. Bake the Turkey Cutlets

Remove the turkey from the marinade and let the excess run off back into the dish. Lay the cutlets on the lined baking tray, leaving space between them.

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Bake them for about 15 minutes. Cooking time varies by cutlet thickness, oven temperature accuracy and other factors, so it's only an estimate.

What Temperature Should Turkey Cutlets Be Cooked To?

Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 F, per the USDA, but most meat thermometers won't work reliably on such a thin piece of meat. The cutlets are fully cooked when you can cut into their centers and the juices run clear.

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Tip

Transfer the marinade to a saucepan if you'd like to use it as a sauce. Bring it to a full boil for 5 minutes to sterilize it after contamination by raw poultry, per the Utah State University Extension.

FAQs

How Long Will Uncooked Turkey Last in the Refrigerator?

Store fresh turkey breasts or cutlets below 40 F. Cook or freeze them within two days of purchase, per the USDA.

Should I Cover My Turkey With Foil While Cooking?

While you don't have to cover your turkey with foil while cooking it, doing so does add moisture and prevent drying out while in the oven.

How Do I Keep My Turkey Moist?

Use these tips to keep your turkey moist:

  • Cover turkey with foil while cooking
  • Baste the turkey every 15 minutes while cooking
  • Marinate for at least a few hours before cooking
  • Use the marinade as a sauce after boiling it for 5 minutes

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