This lightened up air fryer turkey cutlets are a twist to the traditional beef kotlet, which is usually pan fried. If you are looking to cut the fat, this recipe uses ground turkey and is air fried until golden and crispy.
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Middle Child gave me an air fryer for Christmas. To some people this may seem like a weird gift, but my boy knows me. And he watches a lot of TikTok so he wants to make sure I learn how to make these delicious recipes using it.
After testing it out by enjoying some really crispy french fries and tater tots, I decided to try air frying some tried and true family recipes. Who says cutting the fat means bad tasting food?
Why this recipe is so awesome
One of my family’s favorite recipes is Persian kotlet, which is a patty made with ground beef, potatoes and onions flattened, breaded and pan fried. It is served as a main dish, appetizer or afternoon snack, as my teenaged kids prefer.
With the new year and everyone choosing to eat lighter and healthier foods, I decided it was time to lighten up this recipe without skimping on flavor or texture. Cutlets are coated in bread crumbs and fried until crispy on the outside.
I did not want to lose this crispiness.
Kotlet is also made with ground beef. I cut the fat and swapped it out with lean ground turkey. You could also use ground chicken, either are much leaner options than beef. So I am sure you asking, with all of this fat out of the recipe, how does this kotlet taste?
My kids ate them up. By air frying the cutlets for 14 minutes, they turned out nice and crispy. And they were pretty tasty, too. No one seemed to miss the old beef cutlets.
Ingredients you need
- Potatoes: Traditional kotlet is made with potatoes, specifically russet potatoes. You want the starchy potatoes and not waxy ones. You can make the cutlets with potatoes only or a combination with cauliflower.
- Onion: Regular brown onions work perfectly in this recipe. They are grated so they melt into the meat mixture. You can get away with finely dicing the onions, but grated is preferred. Be sure to squeeze out the juice. You do not want this in the cutlet.
- Ground turkey: Traditional kotlet is made with ground beef. This recipe uses ground turkey, but you can also use ground chicken, too.
- Egg: In this recipe, the egg is used as a binder. It is even more important when using a very lean ground meat like turkey or chicken.
- Seasonings: dried turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper
- Pantry staples: baking soda, all purpose flour, bread crumbs, non-stick cooking spray
1. Boil the potatoes until fork tender. Drain the water then mash. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.
2. Grate onion by hand or use a food processor with a grating attachment. Squeeze out excess juice and place grated onions with mashed potatoes.
3. In the same mixing bowl, add ground turkey, baking soda, flour, egg and seasonings. Mix by hand until fully incorporated. Ground turkey does not have a lot of fat, so it is easier to form into patties and handle if chilled for a couple hours. This also helps the flavors meld together. This is optional.
4. Pour breadcrumbs on a plate. Grab a 2 inch-ball of meat mixture and flatten to an oval shape about the size of your hand up to ½-inch thick.
5. Press both sides of cutlets into bread crumbs and reserve on a large platter or baking sheet.
6. Generously spray both sides of the prepared cutlet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
7. Set your air fryer to ‘air fry’ and set time for 14 minutes. Once preheated, add patties in one single layer. For my fryer, this fits 5-6 pieces. At the halfway mark, use a spatula to flip the cutlets over and continue air frying until done. Repeat until all of the kotlet are air fried.
Recipe tips and FAQs
Kotlet is a classic Persian comfort food. My family enjoys eating them as a meal, as well as a snack. And if you have ever hungry teenagers that never get full, 3 or 4 cutlets are a snack!
These cutlets can be served warm or cold, alone or with dinner. I like to serve them with fresh herbs (sabzi khordan), radishes and pickles. Wrap them in pita or lavash to make cutlet sandwiches.
Want more Persian recipes prepared in the air fryer? Check out my air fryer kebab koobideh recipe.
Persian cutlets are made with ground meat, cooked potatoes, grated onions and seasonings. Similar to a croquette, it is coated with bread crumbs and fried. Persian kotlet are shaped into flat patties, smaller than a hamburger patty. It can be made with ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork.
Once it is shaped and coated in bread crumbs, cutlet is typically pan fried in oil until the inside is cooked and the outside is crispy. It can also be baked and prepared in the air fryer, which uses less oil.
Properly stored in airtight containers, cooked kulet will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze leftovers. Wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap or store in freezer safe containers or freezer bags. They should keep in the freezer for about 3 months.
You can substitute bread crumbs with crushed saltine crackers, pretzels even panko crumbs. You can toast gluten-free or low carb bread and make your own bread crumbs, to suit your dietary restraints.
- 1 lb potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 medium onion
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 TBS all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon dried turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Non-stick cooking spray or spray olive oil
- In a medium-sized pot, add potatoes and cover with water.
- Bring to boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Drain water out and mash a potato masher until mixed thoroughly.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.
- Grate onion by hand or use a food processor with a grating attachment.
- Squeeze out excess juice and place grated onions with mashed potatoes.
- In the same mixing bowl, add ground turkey, baking soda, flour, egg and seasonings. Mix by hand until fully incorporated.
- Ground turkey does not have a lot of fat, so it is easier to form into patties and handle if chilled for a couple hours. This also helps the flavors meld together. This is optional.
- Pour breadcrumbs on a plate. Grab a 2 inch-ball of meat mixture and flatten to an oval shape about the size of your hand up to ½-inch thick.
- Press both sides of cutlets into bread crumbs and reserve on a large platter or baking sheet.
- Generously spray both sides of the prepared cutlet with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.
- Set your air fryer to 'air fry' and set time for 14 minutes. Once preheated, add patties in one single layer. For my fryer, this fits 5-6 pieces.
- At the halfway mark, use a spatula to flip the cutlets over and continue air frying until done.
- Repeat until all of the kotlet are air fried.
Serve with fresh herbs, radishes, pickles, tomatoes and lavash or pita bread. For less carbs, swap out the potatoes for 1-pound of cooked cauliflower.
Serving Size:2-3 patties
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 384Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 779mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 25g
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