Turkey and Smoked Cheddar Croquettes with Smoked Tomato Sauce

By Executive Chef Dean Dupuis, South City Kitchen
Culinary Setting
Meal Type
40 MIN

About this Dish

Poppable, dippable and all-around enjoyable. Croquettes or Croquetas as they are known in Spain are one of the fundamental building blocks of Tapas Cuisine. We love seeing fresh modern American takes on classic dishes, especially when they include turkey! Try these delicious turkey croquettes at your next gathering. Don’t just take our word for it, see what recipe creator, Chef Dean Dupuis, had to say below.

“What I like about ground turkey is obviously its healthy qualities, but beyond that, the texture and flavor is fantastic. It stands up to long cooking without becoming dry, and though it has its own flavor, it works wonderfully with additional flavors in a dish. Above and beyond the uses in our restaurant, I enjoy eating ground turkey when I’m not at work because it is so versatile and is also usually inexpensive!” – Executive Chef Dean Dupuis, South City Kitchen in Atlanta, Ga.

Cooking Style
Deep Fry
Ground Turkey
Dish Type


1/2 lb unsalted butter

1/4 c bacon grease

1 lb ground turkey

1-1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/2 c diced yellow onion

8 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 qt half and half cream

1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

To taste salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 c good quality smoked Cheddar, grated

1 c minced scallions

2 c all purpose flour

To taste salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 large eggs, beaten

4 c Japanese panko breadcrumbs

As needed oil for frying

12 medium very ripe red tomatoes

2 small yellow onion

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 lemon juiced

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp crushed red pepper


Turkey Croquettes

Melt butter and bacon grease together in large skillet.

Cook ground turkey until lightly browned.

Whisk in 1-1/2 cups & flour to make a roux. Cook for 3-4 minutes, continually stirring.

Stir in onion and garlic. Reduce heat and slowly stir in half and half cream. Cook until thickened. The mixture should be very thick at this point.

Fold in thyme, crushed red pepper, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cheese and scallions.

Cover and let cool in the refrigerator until completely set.

Deep Frying

After the turkey mixture is set, mix together 2 cups flour, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons cold water and salt and pepper.

In a third bowl, combine Japanese breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.

Scoop out a small ball of the turkey mixture and roll into desired shape. Dip the ball in the flour mixture, then the egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs.

Deep fry at 365 degrees F until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F and are lightly golden.

Smoked Tomato Sauce

Smoke tomatoes and onion over hickory and mesquite wood.

Puree tomatoes ;and onions in blender with basil, tomato paste and lemon juice.

Once pureed, slowly stream in the extra virgin olive oil.

Strain through a course strainer and add the crushed red pepper.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper and additional lemon juice if needed.


Serve 4 small croquettes per portion. Spoon the Smoked Tomato Sauce in the center of the plate and stack the croquettes in a pyramid atop the sauce.