As the name suggests, a turkey tenderloin is the most tender and juicy part of the turkey.
Many enjoy using this cut of meat in place of a chicken, turkey tends to be lower in fat, calories, and higher in iron than chicken, which is why many choose to use it over chicken and other meats.
In any case, for those thinking about moving to the turk tenderloin over a chicken breast, or those who already have and are looking for more ideas to use it with, here are some of our favorite ways to use this unique cut of meat.
Keep reading to learn more about the turkey tenderloin as well as how to use it in some of our favorite turkey tenderloin recipes. Find out our favorite uses below!
What Is A Turkey Tenderloin?
A turkey tenderloin is a cut of the turkey that is similar to the breast but actually more valued by butchers as it is more juicy and tender. The tenderloin is a long strip of meat that is cut from either side of a turkey breast.
They are attached to the breast on the underside.
Often turkey tenderloins are detached from the breast during the butchering process as they can cook differently from the breast due to having less fat, meaning they can overcook in the time it takes the breast to cook.
Moreover, in comparison to a chicken tenderloin, the turkey tenderloin is much larger and longer due to the turkey being a larger animal, so many would say, in addition to the turkey’s higher health benefits, that this makes the turkey tenderloin superior to the chicken tenderloin.
Turkey Tenderloin Recipes
Here are our favorite ways to use this humble cut of meat.
If you want a low calorie meal that can still be really tasty, perhaps if you are on keto or want something gluten free, this meal, while super basic, shows you an ideal dish for low calorie diets.
A simple herb and spice rub provide the tenderloin with loads of flavor but doesn’t add any unwanted fat or calories.
Searing the turkey in the pan is a great idea that really helps create flavor, while finishing it in the oven reduces the calorie content of the meat. Serve with some vegetables for something pretty healthy, high in protein and tasty!
When celebrating a special occasion or holiday we often enjoy having large meals with a whole turkey or chicken at the center of the table.
This recipe is great as it shows how we can have this slightly more healthy cut of meat at a holiday table while not scrimping on flavor. This is ideal to serve alongside any holiday sides for a guilt free holiday celebration.
This recipe makes the tenderloin in a slow cooker, taking much of the cooking element out so you can have something healthy and low calorie without much skill required, ideal for when you come home from a long day.
The marinade is a combination of your classic French white meat flavorings – olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic and mustard. The recipe even provides a really easy turkey gravy.
Overall this recipe shows you something really easy but actually quite classic in its cooking techniques.
Everyone loves a breaded chicken tender, but why not create something much more healthy but with just as much satisfaction.
This dish uses a classic breading combination of parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs with a bunch of classic herbs.
The turkey is merely baked too which is really hands off but the outcome is super tasty and really healthy. Forget KFC with this recipe and embrace the superior turkey tenderloin!
Everyone loves a filet mignon but why use red meat when you can use the superior white meat of a turkey tenderloin. The delicate tenderloin is wrapped in bacon and grilled nice ‘n’ crispy all while remaining pretty healthy and low calorie.
The dish doesn’t take that long to cook at all, and has much less risk than filet mignon, which can be at more risk of being overcooked. Equally, filet mignon is much more expensive than using this cheap cut of a turkey that we think is superior.
One thing you can do with a turkey tenderloin, that many often do with chicken, is go for a honey mustard flavoring. Honey and mustard are a perfect balance of sweet and acidic flavors and are ideal to have with white meat.
The perfect meal in summer, you can serve this with green beans and potato salad for a low calorie barbeque treat. The tenderloin is super juicy and mixes so well with the sauce itself.
Everyone loves a turkey sandwich, and using the turkey tenderloin is the ideal gabagool to make you drool.
Cutting up the tenderloin and having it in a sandwich like this gives you valuable opportunities to add more salad vegetables to let the delicious turkey juice slide onto.
It’s also an ideal way to use any leftover turkey tenderloins you may have from other meals or recipes. The turkey tenderloin is larger than other tenderloins so is more likely to create leftovers – the kind of sandwich even Tony Soprano would enjoy.
A Chicken Kiev is a classic dish made from a chicken breast, so why not swap it for the superior turkey tenderloin. It has all the classic flavors of the kiev but with the more nuanced flavor of a turkey.
Considering that a turkey kiev will be stuffed with butter, which is great, using turkey tenderloin cuts can help create something juicy but brings the calorific content down just a little bit to make the dish a bit more palatable.
The turkey tenderloin is already low in calories and more healthy than other meat choices in this recipe, but air frying it simply reduces this calorie factor even more.
So why not wrap it in some bacon to get that crispy bacon satisfaction without so much guilt. In any case, this recipe makes an ideal saturday meal to celebrate the weekend, served with some veg for an extra health kick.
Minus basil and salt and pepper, this dish has a meager three ingredients, but they come together to make a whole dish that is really nuanced and tasty, ideal for anyone who loves that Italian flavor.
Provolone is classic Italian cheese (see also “Best Cheese Tortellini Recipes“) that you would commonly see in an Italian inspired turkey sandwich, while pesto is another classic Italian flavor.
The dish is super tasty, nuanced, sophisticated, but remains low calorie healthy and super high in protein but low in carbs.
This recipe has a long name basically equates to BBQ turkey tenderloin. This is a very highly reviewed recipe and we aren’t surprised due to the flavors going on here.
While you do cook this on a BBQ, the BBQ flavoring is the classic combination of sweet elements like brown sugar with other acidic elements like mustard, as well as a smoked flavor from the grill.
This is the ideal meat for a low calorie and guilt free BBQ, ideal to serve along your favored BBQ sides.
Kadhai, sometimes called Karahi, is a type of North Indian dry curry made with chicken.
This recipe uses the classic Indian style of a dry curry but uses turkey tenderloin in place of chicken, creating something really tender and juicy, ideal for a dry curry.
A dry curry is just a curry that isn’t super focussed on being saucy, and is usually eaten on its own or with a small amount of rice, they are often super spicy.
This recipe isn’t that spicy, made for American audiences, but you can spice this curry up a lot. It’s an ideal dish to serve with other curries on a curry night. As the turkey tenderloin is so juicy it is basically self saucing which is ideal for a dry curry.
What should be clear is that the turkey tenderloin is a superior cut of meat if you want something lower in fat but still tasty and juicy.
Moreover, it should be clear that turkey tenderloin can be used in place of any other white meat, whether that be turkey breast or chicken breast.
The turkey tenderloin, while slightly more expensive than other cuts of meat like the breast, is really easy to find.
Instead of going to the grocery store, why not ask your local butcher to provide you with some local and organic turkey tenderloin cuts. It’s always great to support local farmers and butchers rather than the grocery stores.