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Easy Turkey Chop Recipe (with Balsamic Sauce)

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Do you want to keep it simple this year for Thanksgiving? You don’t always need a whole roasted turkey; a simpler dish can be just as great! Try this easy turkey chop recipe; you will love it!

roasted veggies on a plate with turkey cutlet and sauce.

Why will you love this recipe?

  • It’s turkey: You might not want to cook a whole turkey, especially if your family is small, but you might still want to have turkey for Thanksgiving (or Christmas). If you’re going to cook a whole bird anyway, have a look at our Dutch Oven Turkey or Red Wine Turkey, both recipes are easy and delicious.
  • Perfect for guests: This is a beautiful-looking dish; the flavors are rich and exciting, making this turkey chops recipe perfect for serving guests.
  • Simple: Prepare some vegetables, cook the cutlets shortly and mix a few ingredients to make the sauce.
  • Quick: It all comes down to how quick you are in peeling and chopping the veggies needed for roasting; that is the most “challenging” task when cooking this recipe. Otherwise, the vegetables will need about 30-40 minutes of roasting time; frying the meat will take 4 minutes and making the sauce another 8 minutes or so.
  • Budget recipe: Turkey cutlets are much cheaper than a whole bird or larger parts of it. You will have to buy a bottle of good quality Balsamic vinegar, but you will only need about 5 tablespoons of it, and the rest keeps well for a long time.
  • Complete meal: Main dish and side dish in one recipe.

Recipe ingredients

raw turkey breast slices and all ingredients for making balsamic sauce.
  • Turkey chops, also known as cutlets or escalopes. They are boneless slices of turkey breast, about ½ inch/ 1 cm thick. You will need 4 of them, each weighing about 125 g/ 4.5 oz.
  • Vegetables: Fresh Brussels sprouts, carrots, sweet potato, onion, garlic. If you would like to try a similar side dish for this recipe, I recommend Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes.
  • Frozen sprouts are not that great for roasting; I recommend using fresh. It is also nice if you can get smaller sprouts, which you can leave whole. If they are larger, halve them before roasting.You can swap some of the veggies according to taste. How about beets, regular potatoes instead of sweet ones, cauliflower, or broccoli?
  • Balsamic: Use good quality vinegar; it is an essential ingredient, making or breaking the sauce.
  • Red wine: Dry red wine, medium price range. You don’t have to buy something expensive, but don’t choose the cheapest one either. Use something you would enjoy drinking as well, you will only need a scant cup for the recipe, and you might want to drink the leftovers with dinner.Honey: Runny, clear honey.
  • Other ingredients: dried or fresh thyme (dried or fresh rosemary are great as well), olive oil, chicken broth, cornstarch, sea or kosher salt, and black pepper.

How to cook the recipe?

Start with the vegetables:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Prepare vegetables: Peel the outer leaves of the sprouts and trim off the stem. If the sprouts are small, leave them whole; if they are large, halve them. Peel and cut the carrots slightly on the diagonal. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1.2 inch/3 cm cubes. Peel and cut the onion into thin wedges. Peel and slice the garlic cloves.
  • Season: Place all vegetables on the prepared baking dish. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil. Rub well with your hands until the veggies are coated with the oil mixture (1).
  • Roast for 30 to 40 minutes; it depends on the oven and the size of the veggies. Check with a fork to see if they are done (2).
  • During the last 10-15 minutes of the roasting time, start with the meat and the sauce.
collage of two pictures of vegetables on a tray before and after roasting.

Meat:

  • Pat the meat dry with a paper towel (you don’t have to rinse turkey chops, the bacteria on it will only be destroyed by heat). Season with sea salt and pepper on both sides. Rub them slightly with the spices. You can also use poultry seasoning.
  • Cook: Heat oil in a large skillet nonstick pan. Place turkey chops into the hot pan and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, flip using tongs, and cook on the other side for another 2 minutes until golden brown (3).
  • Keep warm: Remove from the pan and keep warm while you make the sauce.
four turkey cutlets fried in a nonstick pan.

Sauce:

  • Reduce wine: Pour red wine into the pan and reduce it by half; this will take about 3-4 minutes (4).
  • Add chicken stock, balsamic, and honey. Stir well and cook for about 1 minute.
  • Thicken sauce: In the meantime, whisk cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Slowly whisk the slurry into the sauce. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly (5).
  • Return chops and their accumulated juices to the pan, spoon some sauce over them, and reheat gently on low heat for 1 or 2 minutes (6). Don’t overcook!
collage of two pictures of making red wine balsamic sauce in a pan.
four turkey chops reheating in balsamic sauce in a pan.

FAQ and Expert Tips

  • You can cook more cutlets if you like, as many as they fit in the pan, or you can fry them in two batches. However, the sauce should be enough even for the double amount of meat.
  • The sauce doesn’t need more seasoning, the chicken stock is usually salty enough, and the vinegar and honey are strong flavored. However, you might want to adjust the sweet and sour balance; the final flavor depends very much on the vinegar; one brand might be different than the other. Taste the sauce and add a little more vinegar or a little more honey according to taste.
  • Choose other side dishes if you like; you don’t have to serve this dish with roasted vegetables. See 21 Potato Side Dishes for Thanksgiving for more inspiration.
  • You could also make Green Bean Casserole without Soup, Buttered Vegetables, Buttered Peas, Roasted Leeks, or Sweetheart Cabbage. Consider Cornbread in the Cast-Iron Skillet, rice, pasta, or Fried Gnocchi.

Recipe FAQ

How to check if the chops are done?


Typically, I would suggest using a meat thermometer. However, the cutlets are thin, so checking the temperature properly with a thermometer doesn’t really work. If you are unsure, cut one cutlet in the middle, the juices should run clear, and the meat should be white and not pink. Be careful not to overcook the meat because you are afraid it might not be done yet; if you cook it too long, it will become chewy.

How to keep the cutlets warm while you make the sauce?

Place chops on a warm plate and cover them with a plate or microwave cover. If you don’t have one, cover them with an aluminum foil tent. However, don’t wrap them in foil, as the meat will cook and dry out.

Can I use another kind of meat?

This recipe is super delicious with veal escalopes. Chicken breasts would be great as well. However, as they are thicker, it is best to slice them diagonally into two thinner chicken cutlets. Or you can try pork chops, preferably boneless.

Can I cook the turkey chop recipe in advance?

The dish is best served immediately; turkey chops tend to dry out if reheated. It is speedy and easy to cook; I would not bother much about making anything ahead. Except for cleaning the Brussels sprouts and the carrots, you can do that in advance and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to roast. Don’t prepare the sweet potatoes in advance; they will change their color and texture if left peeled and chopped for too long.

Can I reheat the leftovers?

Reheat the vegetables in the oven at 350 degrees Celsius/ 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-15 minutes or until hot.
Reheat the meat in the sauce on low heat until heated through. You might want to halve the turkey chops to speed up the process. However, reheating will make the meat dryer. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash of water, stock, or wine to loosen it a bit.

How to make this part of a Thanksgiving menu?


The turkey chops with Balsamic sauce will be the main dish, and the roasted vegetables the side dish.
You can start with a soup or another light appetizer. For example, you could try Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup, Pumpkin Orange Soup, or Red Cabbage Soup; they are all seasonal, delicious, and look amazing!
And finish with dessert. How about Roasted Pears, Skinny Filo Pumpkin Pie, or No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust.

overhead view of a plate with turkey breast and roasted vegetables.

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overhead view of a plate with turkey breast and roasted vegetables.

Easy Turkey Chop Recipe (with Balsamic Sauce)

Delicious turkey chop recipe with balsamic sauce served with roasted vegetables and balsamic red wine sauce, an effortless way of having Thanksgiving dinner ready in less than one hour.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Poultry
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 517kcal
Author: Adina

Equipment

  • Skillet or nonstick pan
  • Baking tray

Ingredients 

Vegetables:

  • 1.7 lb Brussels sprouts 750 g
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 3-4 sprigs fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Balsamic turkey:

  • 4 turkey chops about 4 ½ oz/ 125 g each
  • 1 cup scant chicken stock 200 ml
  • 1 cup scant dry red wine 200 ml
  • 5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar good quality
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • fine sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

Vegetables:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/ 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Prepare vegetables: Peel the outer leaves of the sprouts and trim off the stem. If the sprouts are small, leave them whole; if they are large, halve them. Peel and cut the carrots slightly on the diagonal, about ½ inch/ 1 cm thick. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1.2 inch/3 cm cubes. Peel and cut the onion into thin wedges. Finally, peel and slice the garlic cloves.
  • Season vegetables: Place all vegetables on the prepared tray. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil. Rub well with your hands to coat the vegetables with the seasoning.
  • Roast for 30 to 40 minutes. Check with a fork to see if the vegetables are done.
  • During the last 10-15 minutes of the roasting time, start with the meat and the sauce.

Meat:

  • Season the turkey chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Rub them slightly.
  • Cook turkey: Heat oil in a large nonstick or heavy-bottomed pan. Cook turkey slices for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Keep warm: Remove from the pan and keep warm while making the sauce (Note 1).

Sauce:

  • Reduce wine: Pour red wine into the pan and reduce it by half; it will take about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, balsamic, and honey. Stir well and simmer for about 1 minute.
  • Slurry: In the meantime, whisk cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Slowly pour the slurry into the sauce while whisking continuously. Simmer gently for 2-3 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly (Note 2).
  • Return the turkey cutlets and their juices to the pan, spoon some sauce over them and reheat gently on low heat for 1 or 2 minutes. Don't overcook!

Notes

  1. Place them on a warm plate and cover them with a plate or microwave cover. If you don’t have one, cover them with an aluminum foil tent. However, don’t wrap them in foil, as the meat will cook and dry out.
  2. The sauce doesn’t need more seasoning, the chicken stock is usually salty enough, and the vinegar and honey are strong flavored. However, you might want to adjust the sweet and sour balance; the final flavor depends very much on the vinegar; one brand might be different than the other. Taste the sauce and add a little more vinegar or a little more honey according to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 517kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 1338mg | Potassium: 1531mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 14603IU | Vitamin C: 172mg | Calcium: 157mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe Rating




Ema

Friday 19th of July 2019

I tried your recipe and now this turkey stew is my favorite meal. Thank you very much.

Adina

Thursday 21st of November 2019

So glad to hear it, Emma.