How to Make the Best Fried Turkey Nuggets

By Cody MarshallMay 13, 2022

One of the finer aspects of hunting is the opportunity to enjoy the hunt  long after you’ve left the woods. The memories you make, and the meat you haul out of the woods, ensure there’s more to the hunt in the days to come. That’s why if you’ve found success in the turkey woods this spring, the meat you’ve stored in your freezer is such an added bonus to the good times spent in the field. And if you’re looking for the best way to prepare that turkey meat, we’ve got a recipe you really need to try. 

Fried turkey nuggets are standard table fare among turkey hunters, but this wild turkey recipe will take things to the next level. 

These delicious turkey nuggets, soaked in pickle juice and fried golden brown, will quickly become a household favorite.

Best Fried Turkey Nugget Recipe
Looking for the best fried turkey nuggets? Give this recipe a try.

Ingredients for Fried Wild Turkey Nuggets

There are only a few simple ingredients for these delicious fried turkey nuggets.  The hidden gem here, though, is the pickle juice.  It creates a taste that brings a smile to my face every time! You will need the following:

  • Pickle Juice
  • Zatarain’s Chicken Fry Mix (or your preference)
  • Wild Turkey Breast
  • Oil for frying

How Long to Cook Wild Turkey Nuggets?

At the recommended size, fry these wild turkey nuggets for approximately six minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  The nuggets will often float when done.

Best Fried Turkey Nugget Recipe
Be sure to let your nuggets drip dry from the grease to prevent them from quickly becoming soggy.


  1. Cut a turkey breast into nuggets (approximately 2 in x 1.5 in).
  2. Using a hammer tenderizer, lightly tenderize both sides of the nuggets. While this is not a requirement, it definitely improves the quality of fried turkey nuggets by offering a cleaner bite. Don’t over tenderize. Just lightly beat each side with a tenderizer hammer.
  3. Soak the nuggets in pickle juice for 30 minutes or longer. This makes all the difference! 
  4. Heat the oil to about 360 degrees*. We generally use peanut or corn oil for deep frying.
  5. Roll the nuggets in the fry mix ensuring that it is well coated.
  6. Place the breaded nuggets in the fry basket and lower them into oil. Fry until golden brown and the internal temperature is 165 degrees, or about six minutes. The nuggets will often float when done.
  7. Let the nuggets drip dry by placing on a roasting basket/rack. This helps prevent the soggy bottom that can come about by using the old paper towel method.  Simply place a roasting basket on a baking sheet or on a paper towel sheet to allow the oil to drip off. 

* 350-375 degrees is typically acceptable for deep frying. The given time and temperature is based off of what works best in my fryer. 

Sure, you can buy domestic turkey at the store (or chicken) and make this recipe, but where’s the fun in that? Get out there and gain some experiences and memories. Enjoy the outdoors and some time with friends and family. What better way to make the meal even more rewarding and enjoyable?

Cody Marshall
Cody Marshall is an avid bowhunter, adventurer, and wild game chef. His outdoor adventures take he and his family into wild places across the country throughout the year.
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