Spicy Turkey Scaloppine With Peppers and Onions 6.000

Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Nourish Oct 26, 2011

Sweet peppers are so flavorful that they can take the place of a sauce, as they do in this fajita-inspired dish with lime and cilantro.

Instead of creating your own spice rub (see below), feel free to use 2 1/2 teaspoons of your favorite packaged fajita-style spice rub instead.

Thin-sliced turkey cutlets are widely available at grocery stores; you can also buy turkey breast cutlets and pound them between pieces of plastic wrap to a thickness of 1/4-inch, or buy turkey breast halves and freeze them for 15 minutes or so, then cut them into thin cutlets. Figure on 4 ounces per serving.

Servings: 6
  • For the rub
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or more if desired
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • For the turkey and pepper-onion mixture
  • 1 1/2 pounds turkey cutlets, about 1/4-inch thick, cut into 12 portions; see headnote)
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 limes (3 to 4 tablespoons)
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 medium (12 ounces total) yellow, orange and/or red sweet bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 cups)
  • 2 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 3 cups)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste (see NOTE)
  • 1/2 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish


For the rub: Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, cumin, nutmeg and chili powder in a small bowl. Rub together to pulverize the oregano leaves and break up any clumps.

For the turkey and pepper-onion mixture: Lay the turkey cutlets on a large platter or sheet of aluminum foil. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of the rub to season them evenly on both sides. Sprinkle the cutlets with the juice of one of the limes and 2 teaspoons of the oil, turning to coat the cutlets evenly. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.

While the turkey is marinating, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large saute pan or on a rimmed, two-burner-size griddle pan over medium-high heat. Use tongs to stir in the peppers and cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the onions and season with the salt, adjusting the heat so the vegetables cook but do not brown too quickly. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, tossing the vegetables with the tongs, until they are soft and just beginning to brown.

Add the tomato paste and the remaining 1 teaspoon of the spice rub. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to incorporate. Stir in the broth and cook for 2 minutes, then transfer the vegetables and pan juices to a shallow bowl. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Use a paper towel to wipe out the pan or wipe off the griddle. Return to medium-high heat; add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to coat the cooking surface evenly.

Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, lay the turkey cutlets in the pan or on the griddle. Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side, until nicely browned. Turn and cook for 1 to 2 minutes on the second side until cooked through. Transfer to a large serving platter or to individual serving plates.

Top with the vegetables and pan juices. Drizzle with the remaining lime juice, then sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve.

NOTE: Double-concentrated tomato paste is found in the Italian section of most supermarkets or near the regular tomato paste. It's a wonderful product that comes in a tube and keeps for months in the refrigerator. If you can't find it, 2 tablespoons of regular tomato paste may be substituted.

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Recipe Source

From Nourish columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.