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Fried Turkey Nuggets


Chef notes

I love this recipe because it really transforms leftover Thanksgiving turkey into something totally new. The rich flavor of dark meat turkey is perfect for making tasty nuggets that kids — and grown-ups — will love.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 sleeves saltine crackers
  • 2 pounds leftover cooked dark meat turkey, cut into chunks
  • vegetable oil, for frying



Mix the flour with the allspice. Mix together the eggs, buttermilk and mustard. Mash the saltines (I do this by putting them in a heavy freezer bag and crushing them with a rolling pin).


Dredge about 1/4 of the turkey chunks in the flour, then the egg wash, then put them in the freezer bag with the crushed saltines and shake well to coat. Before you take them out, press the crushed saltines into the meat. Set the chunks on a baking sheet and repeat the process with the rest of the turkey, 1/4 of it at a time.


Rest the breaded turkey nuggets in refrigerator for 1 hour; which will make the coating adhere to turkey better.


When you are ready to fry, put enough oil in a large frying pan to come up about a finger's worth (about 1/2 inch) and bring it to somewhere between 325 F and 350 F. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet and put that in your oven. Set oven to warm.


Fry turkey nuggets in batches so you don't crowd the pan. Set the finished turkey nuggets on the rack in the warm oven while you do the rest.