Pan-Seared Turkey Breast With Lemon and Herbs

Pan-seared turkey breast

The Spruce 

  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 4 mins
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
293 Calories
13g Fat
24g Carbs
26g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 293
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 1290mg 56%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 7g 24%
Protein 26g
Calcium 183mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This simple recipe for pan-seared turkey breast with lemon and herbs takes less than 10 minutes to cook and is incredibly flavorful and aromatic.

Quickly browned thin slices of turkey breast are bathed in aromatic herbs and chicken broth. Greens are added at the very end and steamed in the pan juices, and the dish is finished with a generous spritz of fresh lemon juice.

Ask your butcher to slice very thin cutlets for you, ideally a hair less than 1/4 inch. Thicker slices will require a couple of minutes more cooking time. Keep in mind that turkey can get quite dry when overcooked.

If you want a side dish, try oven-roasted sweet potatoes or spiced sweet potato fries. Both are very easy to make and bring your total cooking time to less than 30 minutes.


  • 8 to 10 ounces turkey breast (cut in 4 thin slices )
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil (like vegetable or canola)
  • 1 tablespoon mixed and chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, and sage, or 2 pinches dry herbes de Provence)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 cups spinach (or baby kale leaves)
  • 1 lemon (cut into wedges)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turkey cutlets, spinach, lemon wedges, olive oil, and seasonings
     The Spruce
  2. Heat a cast-iron or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

    Cast-iron skillet with oil
     The Spruce
  3. Season the turkey cutlets with sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.

    Two turkey breast cutlets with salt and pepper
     The Spruce
  4. Place the oil in the skillet and tip it to coat the entire bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in a single layer and sear until golden, about 2 minutes.

    Browned turkey breasts in cast-iron skillet
    The Spruce 
  5. Turn the cutlets and sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Cook an additional 2 minutes, until the slices are golden brown.

    Turkey breasts in skillet with sprinkled herbs
     The Spruce
  6. Remove them to two plates. 

    Seared turkey breasts on plates
     The Spruce
  7. Add the chicken broth to the pan along with the greens. Steam the greens down in the broth, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. 

    Greens steamed in chicken broth in cast-iron pan
    The Spruce 
  8. Remove the greens with tongs or a slotted spoon and divide between the two plates. Reduce the broth by half, add a squeeze of lemon, and pour the sauce over the cutlets. 

    Adding greens and lemon juice to the turkey breasts
     The Spruce
  9. Serve with additional lemon wedges on the side.

    Plated greens, turkey breast, and lemon wedge garnish on plate
     The Spruce


  • For a slightly richer dish, add 1/4 cup white wine along with the broth. Finish the sauce with a teaspoon of organic butter whisked in.
  • Add a pinch of hot pepper flakes and/or 1/4 cup green olives.
  • Try varying the herbs and seasoning. You can use a single herb like rosemary, sage, oregano, lemon thyme, marjoram, or a blend like Cajun seasoning