Mastering the Art of Cooking Delectable Turkey Tips: A Comprehensive Guide

Turkey is a versatile and flavorful protein that has graced our tables for countless occasions, from Thanksgiving feasts to casual weeknight dinners. However, beyond the traditional whole turkey or turkey breast, there’s a hidden gem that deserves more attention: turkey tips. These bite-sized morsels of lean and tender meat are not only delicious but also incredibly easy to prepare, making them the perfect choice for busy weeknights or outdoor grilling adventures. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the art of cooking turkey tips, offering you a wealth of tips, techniques, and mouthwatering recipes to elevate your culinary game.

What Are Turkey Tips?

Turkey tips, also known as turkey tenderloins or turkey tenders, are small, tender strips of meat that are attached to the turkey breast. They are often sold separately from the whole turkey or breast, providing a convenient and economical option for those seeking a quick and easy protein source.

The beauty of turkey tips lies in their versatility. They can be grilled, sautéed, roasted, or even air-fried, making them a fantastic canvas for a variety of flavors and cooking methods. Additionally, turkey tips are lean, low in fat, and high in protein, making them a healthier alternative to other meats.

Preparing Turkey Tips for Cooking

Before diving into the cooking methods, it’s essential to understand how to properly prepare turkey tips for optimal results. Here are a few key steps:

  1. Trimming: Depending on where you purchase your turkey tips, they may come with a thin membrane or silver skin attached. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to carefully remove this membrane, as it can become tough and chewy during cooking.

  2. Marinating: While turkey tips are naturally flavorful, marinating them can take their taste to the next level. Consider using marinades or dry rubs that complement the turkey’s flavor, such as herbs, citrus, or spice blends. The marinating time can range from 30 minutes to overnight, depending on your preference and the intensity of flavors desired.

  3. Patting Dry: Before cooking, pat the turkey tips dry with paper towels. This step helps ensure even browning and prevents steaming, which can result in a soggy texture.

  4. Portioning: If your turkey tips are particularly large, you may want to consider cutting them into smaller, bite-sized pieces for even cooking and easy serving.

Grilling Turkey Tips to Perfection

Grilling is one of the most popular and flavorful ways to cook turkey tips. The high heat and smoky essence of the grill impart a delicious char and depth of flavor that’s hard to replicate with other cooking methods.

According to the recipe from A Family Feast®, the key to grilling turkey tips is to start with a marinade. Their recipe calls for marinating the turkey tips in Italian dressing and lemon juice overnight, which not only adds flavor but also helps keep the meat moist during the cooking process.

Once you’re ready to grill, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat the Grill: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, aiming for an internal temperature between 350°F and 400°F (177°C and 204°C).
  2. Oil the Grill Grates: Use a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil to lightly oil the grill grates, preventing the turkey tips from sticking.
  3. Grill and Flip: Place the turkey tips on the hot grill and close the lid. Grill for 7-10 minutes, then flip and grill for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (63°C).
  4. Add the Sauce: Once the turkey tips reach 145°F (63°C), transfer them to a bowl and slather them with your favorite BBQ sauce (or try one of A Family Feast®’s homemade BBQ sauce recipes).
  5. Finish Grilling: Return the sauced turkey tips to the grill and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally and brushing with more sauce until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (71°C).
  6. Rest and Serve: Remove the turkey tips from the grill, transfer them to a platter, and cover with foil to rest for a few minutes. The residual heat will continue cooking the turkey tips to a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Serve hot with extra sauce on the side.

Honey Garlic Turkey Tips: A Flavor Explosion

If you’re looking for a flavor-packed alternative to grilled BBQ turkey tips, try the recipe from Is She Really?. This recipe features a sweet and savory marinade that combines honey, coconut aminos (or soy sauce), ketchup, brown sugar, and garlic.

Here’s how to make Honey Garlic Turkey Tips:

  1. Prepare the Marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos (or soy sauce), honey, ketchup, brown sugar, and minced garlic cloves.
  2. Marinate the Turkey Tips: Slice the turkey tenderloins into 2-inch pieces and add them to the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight for maximum flavor.
  3. Cook the Turkey Tips: You can grill the turkey tips over medium heat for 7-8 minutes per side, broil them in the oven, or even cook them in a grill pan on the stovetop.
  4. Serve and Enjoy: Once the turkey tips are cooked through (with an internal temperature of 165°F or 74°C), transfer them to a serving platter and enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of the honey garlic marinade.

Additional Cooking Methods for Turkey Tips

While grilling is a popular choice, there are several other cooking methods that work beautifully with turkey tips:

  • Sautéing: Sautéing turkey tips in a hot skillet with a little oil or butter is a quick and easy way to cook them. This method is perfect for weeknight meals or when grilling isn’t an option.
  • Roasting: Roasting turkey tips in the oven at a high temperature (400°F or 204°C) can yield a crispy exterior and juicy interior. This method works well for larger batches or when you want to free up stovetop space.
  • Air Frying: For a crispy, guilt-free option, consider air frying your turkey tips. The rapid air circulation and high heat will give you a deliciously crunchy exterior without the need for excessive oil.
  • Skewering: Thread marinated turkey tips onto skewers and grill or broil them for a fun and festive presentation. This method is perfect for backyard barbecues or summer gatherings.

Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes

Turkey tips are incredibly versatile and can be served in a variety of ways. Here are some delicious serving suggestions and side dish ideas to complement your turkey tip masterpiece:

  • Salads: Serve grilled or sautéed turkey tips over a fresh green salad, or create a hearty main-dish salad by combining them with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and a tangy vinaigrette.
  • Wraps or Sandwiches: Stuff turkey tips into warm pita bread or between slices of crusty bread for a delicious and portable meal.
  • Rice or Grain Bowls: Pair turkey tips with fluffy rice, quinoa, or couscous, and top with fresh vegetables, avocado, and a flavorful sauce or dressing.
  • Pasta: Toss turkey tips with your favorite pasta shape and a zesty tomato sauce or creamy Alfredo for a satisfying and protein-packed meal.
  • Vegetable Sides: Complement the savory flavors of turkey tips with roasted or grilled vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, or Brussels sprouts.
  • Potatoes: Mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, or crispy French fries make the perfect accompaniment to turkey tips, soaking up all the delicious juices and sauces.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do turkey tips last in the fridge or freezer?

Cooked turkey tips can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, you can freeze cooked turkey tips for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and reheat them in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave.

Can I use turkey tips for meal prep?

Absolutely! Turkey tips are an excellent choice for meal prepping. They can be cooked in advance and then reheated or incorporated into various dishes throughout the week, such as salads, wraps, or pasta dishes.

Are turkey tips a healthy protein option?

Yes, turkey tips are a lean and healthy protein option. They are low in saturated fat and high in protein, making them a nutritious choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.

Can I substitute chicken for turkey tips?

While turkey tips have a distinct flavor, you can certainly substitute them with chicken tenderloins or chicken breast strips in most recipes. The cooking times and methods may need to be adjusted slightly, but the overall preparation will be similar.


Turkey tips are a versatile, flavorful, and often overlooked protein that deserves a spot in your culinary repertoire. Whether you prefer to grill them to perfection with a smoky BBQ sauce or marinate them in a tantalizing honey garlic blend, turkey tips offer endless possibilities for delicious and satisfying meals. With the tips, techniques, and recipes provided in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of cooking turkey tips and impressing your friends and family with your culinary skills. So, fire up the grill, gather your ingredients, and get ready to experience the juicy, tender goodness of perfectly cooked turkey tips!

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