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Mediterranean Turkey Cutlets

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These turkey cutlets, especially served with hummus, take me right back to my teenage visits to Israel. I love the flavors of cumin and coriander, which I think most people feel intimidated to cook with. If that’s you, I urge you to try this one! It’s definitely a worthy investment in these wonderful spices—which you will hopefully use again and again.

Turkey Cutlets

When I was still leading Weight Watchers meetings in Los Angeles, one of my members kindly gave me Steve Raichlen’s Healthy Jewish Cooking.

I couldn’t believe that even Mr. Picky said, “F— yum! Even the strange green balls.” (Referring to the Basil Pearled Cous Cous—one of my favorite sides. Add a sprinky-dink of salt to make the flavors pop.)

Near East Basil Pearled Couscous
My picky toddler can’t get enough of this stuff!

I kept a theme and served the cutlets with a simple Israeli-style salad, delicious Low Fat Hummus with Greek Yogurt (see Fav Food Finds) and sautéed mushrooms.

Hummus with Greek Yogurt

So easy. Sooo good. Very healthy.

Definite redo!

For Passover

Substitute matzo meal for the flour and bread crumbs.

Breading Tip

I learned a great trick from Chef Anne Burrell (I LOVE Secrets of a Restaurant Chef): when breading anything, use one hand for wet and one hand for dry ingredients; that way you don’t end up breading your fingers!

Orna’s Notes

The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup egg substitute, but I prefer using the real deal.

He uses 1 cup bread crumbs or cracker crumbs, but I love the extra crunch and crispiness of Panko bread crumbs. You can find them in the Japanese section of your market, though most markets now carry them next to the regular bread crumbs; they are the Japanese-style breadcrumbs—crispy and flakey. Even Trader Joe’s now carries them.

If you like cumin, be sure to try my delicious Cowboy Caviar recipe >> 

Mediterranean Turkey Cutlets

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 6 - 7 broad thin slices of turkey breast, about 1/4-inch thick (recommended: Jennie-O Turkey Breast Cutlets, extra lean)

For the spice mix

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika called "paprika", not "smoked paprika"
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour for dredging
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • lemon wedges for serving


  • Wash the turkey and blot dry with paper towels. If any pieces are thicker than 1/4-inch, place between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound with the side of a cleaver.
  • Combine the spices and salt in a bowl and stir to mix. Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over turkey slices and rub in on both sides. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes to marinate.
  • Place a baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  • Place the flour in a shallow bowl, the eggs—lightly beaten with a fork—in another, and the bread crumbs in a third.
  • Just before serving, dip each slice of turkey first in flour, shaking off the excess, then in eggs, and finally in bread crumbs, shaking off the excess.
  • Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and spray with cooking spray. Arrange the turkey cutlets in a single layer, and spray the tops of them lightly with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes, turning twice. (I forgot this step!)
  • Sprinkle with salt right as you take them out of the oven; serve with lemon wedges.


Adapted from Steven Raichlen's Israeli Spiced Turkey Cutlets in Healthy Jewish Cooking


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