Turkey Croquettes

When I was growing up, turkey croquettes were among my favorite dishes! We always had lots of leftover turkey and my mother was challenged to find creative ways–beyond making a big pot of soup–to serve up tasty dishes that we’d all happily eat.

This is a great way to use up leftovers and these croquettes freeze well, so you can make them and save for a quick dinner down the road.

I typically serve croquettes with veloute sauce; it’s simple to make and only uses four ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper

Heat stock over medium heat. In a separate pan, melt butter and add pepper. Slowly add in flour, stirring for about 5 minutes until a roux is formed. Do not let the mixture get brown–you want the sauce to be a pale yellow color. Once the roux has cooked for 5 minutes, slowly whisk in the chicken stock, making sure that you don’t have lumps. Once the chicken stock is incorporated, cook for about 5 minutes until it can coat the back of a spoon. If it becomes too thick, add more stock.

Want to skip the sauce? Try sprinkling some ponzu sauce over the croquettes. Ponzu is a Japanese sauce with notes of citrus. No ponzu? Try using soy sauce!


  • 1 lb ground turkey (mixed light/dark meat will result in a moister croquette, but you can use all white meat if you prefer)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2/3 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1/3 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tbs olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp each, salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp thyme
  • 4 oz chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Add oil, onions, carrots and celery to a hot skillet; sweat the vegetables over a low heat until the onions become translucent (~4 minutes)
  • Add salt, pepper, spices, garlic, stock, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste; stir for 2-3 minutes to ensure that everything is uniformly mixed
  • In a mixing bowl whisk one of the eggs; add the turkey and the vegetable mixture; mix thoroughly
  • Form 3″ cones and put into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes so that the croquettes set
  • In a small bowl, beat egg and milk to make a wash
  • On a small tray spread out breadcrumbs
  • Dip each of the croquettes in the egg wash
  • Roll each croquette in the breadcrumbs until coated; you can repeat this process if you want an extra crusty coating
  • Place the croquettes on 3″ apart on a foil-lined cookie tray
  • Bake for 25 minutes
  • While the croquettes are in the oven, make the veloute sauce

Note: you can substitute ground chicken for the turkey if you prefer.

Veloute is one of the five French “mother sauces“:

  • Béchamel sauce: White sauce, based on milk thickened with a white roux
  • Espagnole sauce: Brown sauce based on a brown stock reduction, and thickened with brown roux. Ingredients typically include roasted bones, bacon, and tomato (puréed and/or fresh).
  • Tomato sauce (sometimes “Tomate” or “Tomat”): As well as tomatoes, ingredients typically include carrots, onion, garlic, butter, and flour, plus pork belly and veal broth.
  • Velouté sauce: Clear sauce, made by reducing clear stock (made from un-roasted bones) and thickened with a white roux. Velouté is French for “velvety”.
  • Hollandaise sauce: Warm emulsion of egg yolk, melted butter, and lemon juice or vinegar.

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