How to Make Turkey Croquettes

And a little bit of croquettes history


Who would have thought croquettes would have such a wonderful history. These little devils epitomize my love of food and how singular we are even in our varied cultures.

The croquette is originated in France in 1898 and the base recipe we use today was written by August Escoffier, the master of the French kitchen. Versions of croquettes can be found in many cultures. In the Polish version a thin pancake is stuffed with meat, mushrooms, and kraut, or any combination, breaded and fried. The Spanish and Portuguese use meat fillings and a béchamel as a binder. Puerto Rican croquettes are usually ham or chicken. Brazilians use beef but have a chicken version called coxinha using chicken and shaped like a chicken thigh.

Versions of the croquette can be found with ham, fish, poultry, or vegetables and the common theme is they are small rolls of whatever filling you choose with a bread crumb crust. Why even the crab cake is a version of croquettes. They can be found in Russia, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Croquettes are a regular United Nations of the food world.

They make great street food in some cultures or the base of meal in others. The best part is they are quick to make and tasty.

Mom always bought a larger turkey and made croquettes and as a child I remember helping her make them. A more vivid memory though, is eating croquettes slathered in gravy with giant glop of mashed potatoes.

When my mom gave me the recipe all she said was grind up the turkey and add some white sauce. It’s a good thing I helped her make them or else we wouldn’t be enjoying them today. The white sauce (béchamel) is simple to make and uses roux (here’s the roux recipe from another post) to thicken the milk:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoon of flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • paprika to taste

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the flour. Stir constantly for 2 minutes. When the roux smells a little nutty and is golden blonde add the milk and turn heat to high. Whisk constantly until the milk thickens. Remove from heat and season to taste.

Do you make croquettes? Tell us what kind.


Turkey Croquettes


  • 2 pounds turkey, from roasted turkey
  • 1 cup bechamel
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs


  1. Cut the roasted turkey into 1/2 or 3/4 in cubes. Place into food processor and pulse until ground. About 2 minutes.
  2. Place ground turkey into a bowl and add 1/2 of the white sauce. Mix well. Add more white sauce as necessary to make the mixture resemble the texture of packaged ground beef or turkey. Use just enough white sauce to hold the turkey together.
  3. Shape 3 tablespoons of mix into small balls or log shapes and set aside.
  4. Whisk eggs and milk in small bowl.
  5. Put flour and bread crumbs in separate small bowls. Coat the croquettes in flour, then egg mixture, then bread crumbs. Transfer to baking sheet pan.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until breading is lightly browned. Alternately these can be fried in a cast iron skillet with 1/2 inch of oil until golden brown.
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