This recipe is a great way to use up leftover turkey, and although croquettes might sound complicated, these are really just shallow-fried patties made from cooked, shredded turkey and a few vegetables and seasonings. What a way to dress up leftovers!
Velouté sauce acts as the binder in this recipe, acting similarly to egg, breadcrumbs, or grated cheese in many meatball or meatloaf recipes. If you’ve never made it before, don’t be intimidated by velouté sauce; maybe you have made it without knowing what it was called – you wouldn’t be alone if that were the case! Have you ever used a roux (melted butter and flour) to thicken up some stock? If so, you’ve made velouté!
Although it might sound fancy, it’s really no harder to make than any of the other French mother sauces (which include béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise, and tomato). These sauces are referred to as the “mother” sauces because most other sauces are derived from one of them. Something I recently learned that I found interesting is that these sauces are also known by their colors: béchamel is white sauce, velouté is blonde sauce, espagnole is brown sauce, tomato is red sauce, and hollandaise is yellow sauce.
After you’ve made this recipe once, you’ll see just how easy it is, and I think it will become one of your go-to recipes for using leftover turkey!
- 1½ tablespoons butter
- 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups chicken stock, warmed
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2½ cups shredded, cooked turkey (I like to use a mix of dark and white meat for this)
- ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves (or 1½ teaspoons fresh minced thyme)
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Canola oil, for shallow frying
- Lemon wedges, for serving
- Salad greens, for serving (optional)
- For the velouté sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; whisk in the flour. Turn heat down to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the roux is just slightly darkened and fragrant, about 4 to 6 minutes. Slowly whisk in the warm stock and simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 15 to 20 minutes; make sure to keep the sauce at a simmer and don’t let it come up to a boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- For the croquettes, heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat; add the onion and sauté until the onion starts to soften and change color, about 5 to 7 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the velouté sauce, onion, turkey, parsley, black pepper, thyme, nutmeg, and salt to taste.
- Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the turkey mixture; refrigerate until very cold and firm, at least 2 hours.
- Put the flour and breadcrumbs into separate shallow bowls, and beat the eggs in a third shallow bowl. Divide the chilled turkey mixture into 8 equal parts (about ¼ to ⅓ cup each), and shape each into a patty. Roll each in flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs to coat.
- Add enough oil to generously cover the bottom of a large skillet; preheat the oil over medium-high heat. Fry the croquettes until golden and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side, then place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. (You might need to do this in 2 batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.)
- Serve the croquettes warm, alongside salad greens with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.
Shaping the Croquettes: The key to having croquettes remain intact when you fry them is to have the mixture very cold and firm, and to work quickly. You can shape the croquettes into any shapes you like, such as pyramids, cylinders, or ovals (patties); I shaped mine into patties so that they would fry up nicely on both sides without the need to deep fry them.
Serving Suggestion: Croquettes are very rich and heavy, so to cut through some of the richness, I serve them alongside salad greens with fresh lemon to squeeze over top.
[email protected] says
Thank you so much for the award; I am honored (and just a little bit tardy :o).
Hi, It has been busy around here so I am just coming to claim my award. Thanks again. It has made my day. Off to share with some of our outstanding bloggers, just like you.
Love turkey croquettes! My recipe is similar to yours but I like your additions so I’ll make yours next!
so you’re saying i shouldn’t eat this with a pile of mashed potatoes and gravy? duly noted. :)
congrats on the awards!
Blond Duck says
I hope you had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving! I love eating croquettes :)
These look lovely and today would be the perfect day to give my leftovers from yesterday a boost. Found this recipe on “tastespotting”. Lovely pics and great site.
I love turkey croquettes, my mom always makes them!
Coconut Recipes says
Looks fabulous and what a wonderful way to use the turkey leftovers! Congrats on your post to Tastespotting!
I’ve never had croquettes before! They look fairly easy to make and sound really tasty.
Congrats on the awards. It was neat to learn a bit more about you! ;)
Oh Faith – you just made my day! Thank you so much! Happy Thanksgiving! Your croquettes look fabulous. I know what I’m making with the leftover turkey :)
I love croquettes and this seem like a great alternative with lean turkey, especially with Thanksgiving today!! thanks for sharing :)
Your croquettes look wonderful. I’d love to make them! I’m having dinner at my in-laws so I’ll have to steal some turkey. :D
Congratulations on your lovely awards! It was fun reading a few fun facts about you! Thanks for passing this on to me.
Have a very nice and relaxing Thanksgiving!
Thank you so much for the award! Very sweet. And it’s nice to learn more about you. The croquettes look delicious! So nice and crusty on the outside. A great use for leftovers. Happy Thanksgiving!
Your croquettes look delicious. This is a great idea for a meal. During the year, this could be made with chicken.
Thanks for the award. So nice of you. I have to be more “kreative” and earn the title.
Happy Thanksgiving to you too! And thanks for sharing a great recipe to get rid of the leftover turkey. I’m always looking for new ways to eat it without getting sick of it!
Aw, thank you Faith! This warmed my heart right up! :D
And croquettes…I’ve made them before! They are quite labor-intensive…mine had beef and potatoes, the usual Japanese kind…I’ve never tried turkey ones…that sounds great, and so appropriate for this season! Hee hee!
Have a great Thanksgiving!!! >.<
Nutmeg Nanny says
Thank you so much for the award! You’re so sweet :) Now these croquettes look amazing. I love the crunchy breading….can you send me some….haha.
i simply love croquettes (esp. crab ones!), but i’ve never attempted at making one. this shall be my first try!
and congrats on your awards :)
[email protected] says
faith thank you soo much!! so sweet of u :) those croquettes looking gooooooooooood!!
Blond Duck says
We make tuna croquettes all the time, but THESE look stupendous! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Bake and Sew says
They look great – such a lovely idea for leftovers
Congrats on your awards! And no, I haven’t tried croquettes yet … but they look like a real treat, so will give them a shot. Yours turned out so neat and perfectly formed!
Karyn Bernard (French Charming) says
Congratulations on your awards, I loved learning a bit more about you! I have never had Croquettes before but they look fabulous and I will give it a try!
Sending Thanksgiving blessing to you and your family, have a wonderful day!