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Sesame Turkey Cutlets with Israeli Couscous Pilaf

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Crisp pan-fried turkey cutlets offer a nice change of pace from chicken. Their richness is balanced by the tangy feta and bright parsley in the couscous. Look for the larger Israeli-style couscous next to regular couscous at the supermarket, or substitute the same amount of orzo.


  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 4-1/4-inch-thick turkey breast cutlets (4 to 5 oz. each)
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 lemon wedges

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 860
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 350
  • Fat (g): 40
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 14
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 165
  • Sodium (mg): 910
  • Carbohydrates (g): 76
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 50


  • In a 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring constantly, until deep golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep covered.
  • Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, 1/2 tsp. of the paprika, the cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk the eggs in a second shallow bowl. Put the flour in a third shallow bowl and stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and the remaining 1/4 tsp. paprika. Dredge each cutlet in the flour, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet or platter.
  • Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add two of the cutlets and cook, flipping once with tongs, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes total. Transfer the cutlets to a paper-towel-lined plate. Heat the remaining 3 Tbs. oil in the skillet until shimmering hot and cook the remaining cutlets in the same manner.
  • Uncover the couscous and stir in the feta, parsley, onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Serve the cutlets with the couscous and lemon wedges.


Rate or Review

Reviews (8 reviews)

  • DiyaKwasny | 05/15/2019

    This recipe is a summer staple in our household. Flavorful, light, and delicious. I usually put more generous amounts of the onion, feta and parsley than the recipe calls for but I like a lot of flavor. Couscous is best served the day of, but if you need to reheat, add a little chicken broth before you put into the microwave.

  • penelopeplantlady | 11/05/2013

    This is a review for the cous cous; haven't tried the turkey yet, but definitely will. Although I realized too late that my parsley was way too far over the hill, the recipe with the cous cous, chicken broth, red onion and feta cheese (s&p, of course), this went together very well. Of note, I was cooking a lamb dish, and this was a great side!

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