Tender and juicy turkey cutlets are seasoned, breaded, and pan-fried to make this savory Turkey Scallopini with Creamy Lemon Sauce. You’ll love the gourmet taste of this easy, low-carb recipe!
An Easy Low-Carb Skillet Dinner
Every so often I just want something a little indulgent – and by every so often, I mean… frequently. Real talk, you guys. Real talk. Like fried chicken, or onion rings, or a giant slice of cake!
Well, these cutlets aren’t quite that indulgent, but let me tell you, they are delicious. Seasoned perfectly and breaded with panko and Parmesan cheese, they are a pan-fried piece of heaven! And the creamy, garlicky pan sauce just takes things up a whole other level.
But, although turkey scallopini tastes like a home-cooked meal, your Italian Nonna slaved over all day, they are surprisingly easy and quick to make! Turkey cutlets only take a few minutes to cook, and the sauce comes together in the same skillet with ease. It’s an awesome gourmet dish you can make at home, anytime!
What’s the difference between piccata and scallopini?
You might be wondering if scallopini is essentially the same as piccata, and the short answer is…sort of! Chicken piccata is a popular dish that basically combines chicken scallopini (thin, breaded, and fried cutlets) and a zesty sauce known as “piccata.” So Chicken piccata is a type of scallopini dish, featuring piccata sauce!
This dish is similar, using turkey scallopini – again, thin, breaded and fried cutlets – in a creamy, garlicky pan sauce. The sauce is simpler than piccata, and the turkey cutlets have a slightly deeper flavor than chicken. Plus, this recipe is designed to be low-carb!
What You’ll Need
To make this rich and flavorful main course, you’ll need to use turkey tenderloins sliced into thin cutlets. If you can’t find those (or don’t want to use them), see the Tips section below for substitution ideas. For the full recipe card with amounts, scroll down to the bottom of this post!
For the Turkey Cutlets:
- Turkey Breast Tenderloins: These are large, but not the same as a big whole turkey breast! Two tenderloins will weigh between one and two pounds.
- Flour: To keep things low-carb, I use coconut flour, but if low-carbing ain’t your thing, you can use all-purpose flour.
- Garlic Powder, Paprika, Salt, and Pepper: This basic seasoning blend is good on everything!
- Panko: Again, you can go low-carb here, using pork rind panko crumbs, or go with regular panko crumbs if you prefer.
- Parmesan: Grated parmesan cheese makes the breading mixture extra flavorful and adds a great texture.
- Egg and Water: Beat one egg with a little water for dipping and breading the cutlets.
- Butter: For browning the cutlets.
For the Sauce:
- Butter: You’ll need a little more butter for sauteing the garlic.
- Garlic: The fresh garlic cloves should be pressed or minced.
- Broth: Chicken or vegetable broth is fine; I usually go for low sodium chicken broth so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Lemon Juice: While bottled lemon juice is great (and super convenient!), to really make the sauce bright and perfect, use freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Cream: You’ll want heavy whipping cream here, not half and half. Whipping cream is best for making this sauce thick and flavorful.
- Parsley and Lemon Slices: Chopped fresh parsley and fresh lemon slices make the perfect optional garnish.
How to Make Turkey Scallopini with Creamy Lemon Sauce
The technique for making turkey scallopini is so simple and makes an elegant plate! The cutlets are breaded and pan-fried, and then a savory pan sauce is made in the same skillet.
- Prepare the Cutlets: To cut the tenderloins into cutlets, place a turkey breast tenderloin on a cutting board and hold it flat with the palm of your hand. With the other hand, using a sharp knife, slice the turkey tenderloin horizontally into two even ¼-inch thick pieces. Repeat with the other tenderloin and set them aside.
- Make the Breading Mixtures and Egg Dipping Mixture. You’ll need three shallow bowls or dishes for this; one for the breading, and one for the egg mixture. Combine the coconut flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in the first bowl. In the second bowl, combine the pork rind panko crumbs and grated parmesan cheese. Finally, in the third bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
- Bread the Cutlets. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add half of the butter. Dredge the turkey cutlets in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg mixture, and finally coat each cutlet with the panko crumbs mixture.
- Fry the Cutlets. Cook the cutlets in the hot butter, two at a time, for 4 to 5 minutes per side. The internal temperature of the cutlets should register between 162˚F and 165˚F. When they are done, remove them from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
- Make the Sauce: Wipe down the skillet and return to the heat; melt a tablespoon of butter in it. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant. Then whisk in the chicken broth and lemon juice; bring the sauce to a boil, and cook until it has reduced by half. Finally, whisk in the heavy cream, taste for salt and pepper, and adjust as needed.
- Finish the Dish. Pour the sauce over the cutlets, garnish with parsley and lemon slices, and serve.
Tips for Success
Here are my top tips for making this turkey scallopini skillet chef’s-kiss perfect. Bon appetit!
- Know When to Turn: When turning the cutlets, don’t forcefully try to flip them. If there’s resistance, it means that the cutlet is not done cooking. Give it a minute before trying again. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the cutlets.
- Skip the Breading: You can also make the cutlets without breading at all. Just season with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, and then pan-fry them!
- Turkey Substitutes: This recipe would also work with veal cutlets, thinly sliced, lean boneless pork chops, or chicken breasts sliced or pounded thin!
What to Serve with Turkey Scallopini
You can serve turkey scallopini with lots of different side dishes, but I like to include something that will pair well with the gorgeous pan sauce! Here are some good ideas to get you started:
- Keto “Breadsticks”: These easy, Cheesy Zucchini Breadsticks are keto-friendly and packed with eggs, cheese, and veggies. Yum!
- Cauliflower Rice: Another great way to skip the carbs! Garlic Butter Cauliflower Rice with Spinach is a beautiful and easy side that goes perfectly with scallopini.
- Roasted Veggies: This sheet pan Roasted Vegetables recipe is so simple, but the caramelized, crisp-tender medley of veggies is anything but! We’re talking gorgeous, slow-roasted goodness here.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- To store leftover turkey scallopini, place in airtight containers, storing any leftover sauce separately. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
- Reheat in a skillet over low heat, until the cutlets reach a safe internal temperature (162˚F to 165˚F) again. Do not overcook.
Turkey Scallopini with Creamy Lemon Sauce
For the Turkey Scallopini:
- 2 (about 1.5 pounds total) skinless boneless turkey breast tenderloins
- ¼ cup coconut flour, (you can also use all purpose flour)
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 cup pork rind panko crumbs, (you can also use regular panko crumbs)
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
For the Creamy Lemon Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- lemon slices, for garnish
- Cut the turkey breast tenderloins into cutlets: Place a turkey breast tenderloin on a cutting board and hold it flat with the palm of your hand. With the other hand, using a sharp knife, slice the turkey tenderloin horizontally into two even ¼-inch thick pieces. Set aside.
- In a shallow bowl combine coconut flour, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- In another shallow bowl combine pork rind panko crumbs and grated parmesan cheese.
- In a third bowl, whisk together the egg and water.
- Set a large frying pan over medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons butter.
- Dredge turkey cutlets in flour mixture, then dip in egg mixture, and finally coat each cutlet with the crumbs mixture.
- Once the butter is melted, add 2 of the turkey cutlets to the skillet and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per each side, or until internal temperature of the cutlets registers between 162˚F and 165˚F. Do not forcefully try to flip the cutlets; if there’s resistance, it means that it’s not done cooking. Give it a minute before trying again. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the cutlets.
- Repeat with the remaining turkey cutlets, adding 2 more tablespoons butter to the skillet.
- When done, remove cutlets from the skillet and set aside on a plate.
- TO MAKE THE SAUCE:
- Wipe down the skillet; return skillet to the heat and melt 1 tablespoon butter.
- To the melted butter add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Whisk in the chicken broth and lemon juice; bring mixture to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced by half.
- Whisk in the heavy cream; continue to whisk until fully combined and heated through.
- Taste sauce for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
- Pour the sauce over the cutlets.
- Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.
- NET CARBS: 4 g
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.