New recipes and updates

Get new recipes
in your inbox

Cuisine Fiend

Find a recipe by ingredient

Turkey schnitzel with dukkah coating

Sat, 18 May, 2024

Turkey schnitzel coated in dukkah crumbs, fried crisp and golden, with gorgeous flavours of seeds, herbs and nuts.

turkey schnitzel with dukkah coating

Bland meat with punchy coating

Let’s be honest: turkey steaks are useful but awfully boring. A great source of lean protein but zero flavour.

Even if you’re not a fan of the Christmas version of the bird, you have to admit it is more interesting than a slice of breast fillet on special offer in the supermarket, in the middle of summer. A sensible choice healthwise, but you’re not going to be looking forward to that dinner with anticipation.

That is unless you turn it into an exciting schnitzel, coated in mildly exotic, easy to make and super flavoursome ingredient: dukkah.


How to make dukkah

Dukkah, or duqqa, is Middle Eastern and Egyptian mix of herbs, seeds and nuts. It’s potent and fragrant, made easily at home within minutes.

There are many variations in terms of ingredients: mine includes an array of fragrant seeds, crushed nuts and sesame.

The nuts and seeds should be toasted, though you might think it’s superfluous as they will be fried later in the coating. But toasting in a dry pan brings out the flavour of seeds and nuts, which frying in oil later would not achieve quite as well.

toasting nuts and seeds for dukkah

First the nuts, cashew and hazel in this case with a few almond flakes if you feel like it, then seeds, cumin, fennel and coriander plus sesame are toasted until fragrant. Everything, warm and aromatic, is then pounded in a pestle and mortar with salt flakes, oregano and cinnamon until crushed but not pulverised.

Can you blitz it in a food processor or a spice mill? Certainly, but I’d argue what you end up with will not be quite the right stuff, considering ‘dukkah’ means ‘to pound’. Joking aside, you can use a food processor but make sure your dukkah comes out coarse.

turkey steaks in dukkah breading

How to coat turkey schnitzels

Breading, or coating meat and fish in crumbs of various kinds is best done with a good setup.

Prepare your mise en place, in this case three shallow bowls. One with plain flour for dredging the meat, the second with egg beaten with a tablespoon of water which makes the egg cling better, and the third with the crumbs mix. For the dukkah coating mix it with some panko breadcrumbs in a 2:1 ratio, two tablespoons of panko to four of dukkah.

mise en place for breading

You can prepare the schnitzels in advance as they will benefit from chilling in the fridge for a while before frying, even up to overnight.

First dredge a steak in flour on both sides and pat off the excess.

Then dunk it in the egg wash, dragging it through on both sides twice so there is no dry flour visible. And then straight into the crumbs: wiggle the steak about on one side, then turn it over and do the same on the other side, making sure the cover is complete.

You can do it all with your hands though personally I prefer to use a fork to avoid messing up the coating with my fingers.

Arrange the schnitzels on a plate lined with paper towels and send to the fridge. You can of course fry them straight away if needs be.

coating schnitzels in crumbs

Shallow frying is less messy

I know that the absolutely crispiest and crunchiest results would be achieved with deep frying, but honestly, who can be bothered with the mess, the smell, the oil disposal? Also, there are a lot of fans of air fryers but since I’m not one of them, I’ll propose old fashioned shallow frying.

The best approach is to heat up the frying pan until almost smoking, then turn it down to medium before you add the fat.

The combination of oil and butter gives the food the best flavour but butter burns something awful, hence best avoided. The golden middle is to use ghee, and it’s such a useful ingredients you’ll use up a jar in no time at all, even if you don’t cook curries or samosas.

The oil and ghee combo will also cook the coating lovely, golden and crunchy. The frying won’t take longer than five to six minutes on both sides as turkey cooks quickly.

shallow frying schnitzels

Drain the schnitzels on paper towels and serve promptly.

dukkah coated schnitzels

More turkey steak recipes

Pan fried turkey breast steaks coated with crushed pink peppercorns, with an easy anchovy cream sauce. Pink peppercorns and smoked salt season the turkey steaks without the need for a fancy marinade.

Turkey breast fillet steaks with wild chanterelle mushroom creamy sauce, this is an easy-but-impressive dish. Cook these simple turkey escalopes with wild mushroom sauce for the next special occasion!

More breaded meat recipes

Crispy chicken Milanese with tarragon flavour, traditionally served with a rocket salad. Marinate the chicken in buttermilk before coating in breadcrumbs, which is the secret to extra crisp crust and succulent meat.

Buttermilk fried pork fillet cutlets seasoned with mustard and marjoram, pork tenderloin brined in buttermilk and shallow fried in cornmeal coating.

Tonkatsu is a Japanese dish of breaded fried pork cutlet; there is also chicken version called torikatsu. My tonkatsu recipe uses flattened pork medallion coated in panko breadcrumbs with tomato and Worcestershire sauce flavour.

crunchy coated turkey dukkah schnitzels

Turkey schnitzel with dukkah coating

Servings: 4Time: 45 minutes


  • For the dukkah:
  • 25g (2 tbsp) blanched hazelnuts
  • 25g (2 tbsp) cashew nuts or salted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp salt flakes
  • ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
  • For the schnitzels:
  • 300g (10 oz.) turkey breast steaks
  • sea salt
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee plus more as needed


1. For the dukkah, toast the nuts in a dry frying pan for 3-5 minutes, until coloured. Add all the seeds and toast for another minute, until the seeds are fragrant and start popping. Transfer everything to a pestle and mortar (you might need to do it in batches), with the salt flakes, oregano and cinnamon, and pound until the nuts are crushed. Set aside.

2. Season the turkey steaks lightly with salt. If very thick, flatten them a little with a mallet or a rolling pin.

3. Prepare three shallow bowl for coating, with plain flour in one, egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water in the second. Stir 4 tbsp of dukkah with 2 tbsp of breadcrumbs in the third.

4. Dredge each steak in flour, shake off excess. Dip it in the egg wash to coat, then turn in the dukkah-breadcrumb mix making sure it’s covered thoroughly. Set on a plate lined with paper towels and chill for at least 15 minutes.

5. Heat a large frying pan over high heat until smoking. Turn the heat down to medium high, add the oil and 1 tbsp ghee. When bubbling, add the schnitzels. Cook for 3-4 minutes until crisp and browned underneath. Turn them over, add some more ghee and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. Remove onto a warm plate lined with paper towels.

6. Serve with lemon wedges and mayonnaise or Greek yoghurt.

NEW recipe finder

Ingredients lying around and no idea what to cook with them? Then use my NEW Recipe Finder for inspiration!

Recipe Finder

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published

Characters left 800
Recipe rating
Email address*
Web site name
Be notified by email when a comment is posted

* required

Cuisine Fiend's

most recent

About me

Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


Sign up to receive the weekly recipes updates

Follow Fiend