Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sausage and Pepper Sauce with Breaded Turkey Cutlets

To download a copy of the recipe for Sausage and Pepper Sauce, click HERE. For the breaded turkey cutlets recipe, click HERE

What is Sausage and Pepper Sauce, and why are we using a sauce made with one meat as a topping for another meat? Good questions. Here are the answers.

Sausage and Pepper Sauce is a nice change from the usual tomato sauce. It’s a savory red sauce, but instead of being made from tomatoes, it’s made from freshly roasted red peppers that have been pureed, seasoned, and combined with browned sausage meat. (Some tomatoes are used, but the flavor of the sauce is really defined by the roasted red peppers and the sausage meat.) It’s simple to make, and ideal anywhere you’d usually use tomato sauce.

Why turkey cutlets? The idea of using meat as a condiment, either on vegetables or on other meats, is one that has been around a long time, and that has gained new traction in recent years after Chef Michael Symon began to champion it.) Sausage, with its deeply seasoned flavor, seems a natural choice to be used this way. Even if you put it on more traditional dishes like pasta, however, this is a sauce you will be very glad to have in your arsenal.

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:
  • This recipe makes more sauce than you’re likely to need for any one dinner. Homemade sauce is one of those things it’s just as easy to make more of than less, so make the extra and save it to use with another meal.
  • I usually roast red peppers on the stove top. That’s fine for one, or perhaps two, peppers. In this case I roasted three peppers, so the stove top would have been cumbersome. As described in the recipe, in this case I used the oven broiler.
  • In the photos, you’ll see the sauced cutlets served with rice and baked zucchini sticks. Needless to say, feel free to serve them with whatever sides you like.
This recipe makes one quart of sauce (about twice what you’ll need), and four breaded cutlets.

First, we’ll marinate our cutlets.

To make the marinade, combine 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar; ¼ tsp salt; ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper; and 1 Tbsp fresh thyme in a bowl. Whisk in 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Place four turkey cutlets in a sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Let the cutlets marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours, turning occasionally.

When the cutlets are almost finished marinating, begin making the sauce. First, we’ll roast our red peppers. Set the oven on broil, and prepare the peppers as follows.

Remove the tops, bottoms and cores from three red bell peppers. CCut into quarters; remove any remaining seeds; and trim away the ribs.

Place the peppers, skin side up, on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.

Broil for several minutes until the skins of the peppers are blackened. (Be sure to keep an eye on them. You’re looking to blacken the skin, not cremate your peppers!)

Remove the baking sheet from the oven, Wrap the blackened peppers in the foil and set aside while the peppers steam and gradually cool a bit.

When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel away and discard the blackened skins.

Cut the pepper flesh into pieces and set aside.

Next, we’ll cook the sausage.

Remove one pound of sausage meat from the casings.

In a non-stick pan, cook the sausage till well browned, breaking any large pieces up into small pieces as it cooks. Set the cooked sausage aside.

Now it’s time to cook the remaining sauce ingredients.

Add a little olive oil to the sausage pan. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook until translucent.


Add ¼ tsp red pepper flakes; 2 chopped garlic cloves; ½ cup chopped fresh basil; ½ Tbsp chopped fresh oregano; 1 tsp chopped fresh mint; and 15 ounce can diced tomatoes. Cook for another two minutes.

Add 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, and the chopped roasted red peppers.

In a blender or food processor, or in a bowl using an immersion blender, puree the pepper mixture.

Add the cooked sausage to the pureed pepper mixture, stir to combine, and set aside till needed.

To make the turkey cutlets:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Shake the excess marinade from the cutlets. Bread the cutlets by dredging in all-purpose flour, dipping in 2 egg-substitute eggs, and coating with seasoned panko breadcrumbs.

Place the cutlets on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

To plate:

Place the turkey cutlets and your side dishes on the plate. Top the cutlet with sauce, remembering not to over-sauce the turkey. Serve hot, pausing only long enough to accept compliments from your family and guests!

To download a copy of the recipe for Sausage and Pepper Sauce, click HERE. For the breaded turkey cutlets recipe, click HERE.

All that’s left is to decide what you’ll put the extra sauce on for another special dinner soon!

Looking forward to seeing you here again next week for another tasty, home-style recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Love your delicious blog! May I share my ancestors' low-rent Italian-American approach to pepper roasting? 1. Remove grate and put peppers directly on your gas burner. Watch them carefully, using tongs to turn them so all sides are blackened. Because peppers have not been cut, they will steam from the inside while skin is charring. 2. Place charred peppers in a brown paper bag. 3. Once cooled (10 minutes), burnt skin can be rubbed off against the bag. 4. Pull out top of cooked pepper, which will take most of the seeds with it. 5. (Optional) Listen to Tony Bennett. Manga biene!

  2. Thanks, Club! What you've described is a great way to roast peppers. I usually use the burner for one, or perhaps two, peppers. (That has long been one of my favorite things to do in the kitchen - there is just something fun about about!) The oven is for when I am doing three or more. Rubbing off the skin using the bag is a great idea!