Recipe: Turkey Tender Parmesan with Lemon Caper Sauce

This time we’re riffing on chicken parmesan, but using our turkey breast tenders (sometimes called turkey tenderloins). Many chicken breast recipes can be reworked without much adaptation to substitute turkey tenders, and it helps in meal planning to know that a turkey tender is approximately the same size as a chicken breast. This particular recipe is an example of a situation where it might help to branch out into turkey if you are stuck in a chicken rut.

Turkey Tender Parmesan with Lemon Caper Sauce

This recipe would go nicely with a simple preparation of arugula or fresh garden greens.
Course: Main Course
Servings: 4
Author: Katy Sparks


For Turkey Parmesan

  • 2 turkey tenders, cut in half lengthwise and pounded to 1/2" thickness
  • 1 Tbsp minced thyme
  • 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, whisked, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper
  • 2-3 cups panko or other unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup fat or oil for frying turkey tenders
  • 2 cups good quality marinara sauce
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarela
  • 2-3 oz grated parmesan (I prefer the real Parmigiana Reggiano)

For the Lemon-Caper Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp capers, drained
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • Season the pounded tenders with the thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper about 1 hour before breading. Keep in the fridge during this time.
  • Set up your breading station: Set up a large plate with the seasoned flour. Whisk the eggs and season lightly with salt and pepper and pour into a shallow dish that can accommodate the pounded turkey. Set up a large plate with the bread crumbs.
  • First dredge both sides of the turkey in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip completely in the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs. Set aside without stacking the breaded cutlets until ready to shallow fry.
  • In the meantime, heat up your marinara sauce and get your cheeses ready. Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Have a sheet pan ready for baking the cutlets.
  • Bring the fat or oil to the point that it shimmers in a large skillet. Fry two cutlets at a time until they are nicely golden brown on both sides. Remove from the skillet and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the other two cutlets.
  • Spoon some of the marinara on each cutlet – about ¼ cup per cutlet. Arrange the fresh mozzarella over the sauce and sprinkle with a small amount of the parmesan. When all the cutlets are dressed, place in hot oven until the cheese melts and starts to brown. The turkey should reach 160 degrees internal temperature.
  • Mix the lemon caper sauce ingredients together and drizzle on the turkey tenders before serving.

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