Spicy Fried Turkey Tenderloins

Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe

 The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Marinate: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
471 Calories
18g Fat
29g Carbs
45g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 471
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 789mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 45g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 395mg 8%
*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.)

If a piece of crispy fried chicken is right up your alley, give these delicious turkey tenderloins a try. They might become a new favorite fried food, too. Covered in a flavorful outer crust of bold seasonings, these pieces of turkey make a great dinner alternative that everyone will enjoy. Who doesn't love tasty finger food? Marinated in a mixture of half and half and spices, the turkey needs 2 hours in the fridge to absorb the flavors, and then just a quick pass in hot oil to cook and bring them to golden brown perfection. Serve them as a casual weeknight meal with oven fries and chopped crunchy veggies, or make it more formal with mash potatoes and roasted veggies. Any and all table sauces and creamy additions work well: think of honey-mustard, ketchup, tzatziki, or gravy. The hands-on work is just 25 minutes. Easy, delicious, and filling.

Roasted, grilled, or fried, turkey tenderloins are the perfect weeknight meal. Most home cooks think of turkey as a holiday centerpiece, but the fact is that most stores carry turkey breasts and drumsticks all year round. It's as easy to bake a turkey breast as it is to slice some tenderloins and season them to taste. Turkey is a great alternative to chicken or fish and is easy to cook. Its mild flavor makes it a great canvas to work with, as many flavors can be added to it. What's sold as turkey tenderloin is actually the skinless and deboned turkey breast, so if you want to save some money simply buy the whole breast and do the work yourself, saving the bones and other bits to make a tasty soup. White turkey meat with no skin is high in protein, but very low in saturated fat. A 4-ounce serving of this type of meat (raw) has 129 calories and an outstanding 26.8 grams of protein.

Serve these delicious tenderloins with any side dishes of your liking. Have them as an appetizer during cocktail hour or use them as the filling for sandwiches and wraps. When frying the tenderloins, use a neutral oil like canola or safflower. If not using a deep fryer, we recommend having at hand an instant-read thermometer to make sure the oil is at the right temperature.


  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey tenderloins

  • 3/4 cup half-and-half , or milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • Oil, for deep-frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Cut the turkey tenderloins into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces.

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. In a large food storage bag, combine the turkey tenderloins, half-and-half, garlic, and Creole or Cajun seasoning. Let the tenderloins marinate in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Heat oil in deep fryer to about 360 F.

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Dredge the turkey pieces in the flour, coating well. Shake off excess flour.

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Deep fry the turkey nuggets until golden brown, about 4 or 5 minutes.

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
    The Spruce 
  7. Serve with ketchup or your choice of condiment.

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. Enjoy!

    Fried Turkey Tenderloins Recipe
     The Spruce

Recipe Variation

  • Feel free to use turkey cutlet pieces or chunks of turkey breast in this recipe, or use chicken breasts or chicken tenders.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Turkey, Breast, Meat only, Raw. FoodData Central. United States Department of Agriculture.