Szechwan Turkey and Peanuts

Every year we raise about six or seven turkeys for our freezer. Since most people only eat turkey for a holiday or two every year, plus a sandwich here and there, we get the inevitable question when people hear how much turkey we eat. “Don’t you get tired of it?” they ask. Well, I suppose if we were just roasting all of them like Thanksgiving dinner, we might get tired of that, but we have quite a repertoire of turkey recipes. About the only turkey that gets roasted whole is the one on Thanksgiving. 

We cut up most of our turkeys into strips or bite-sized pieces, and we grind up quite a bit for burgers and chili. The strips get turned into “turkey tenders,” which is pretty much like chicken fingers, and the bite-sized pieces get used for stir-fries, such as this recipe.

Szechwan Turkey and Peanuts is one of my favorite turkey recipes, and if you are a fan of chicken breasts, you will probably love this too. We’ve served this to guests with rave reviews. 


Szechwan Turkey and Peanuts

Course Main Dish
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 pound boneless turkey breasts skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry or sake
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
  • ½ cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons parsley minced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 tablespoons peanut oil unrefined for best flavor
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 to 3 small dried red hot chili peppers crushed (removed seeds for less heat)
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 1 tablespoon gingerroot minced
  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 quarts water
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • ½ pound spinach leaves rinsed and chopped


  • Cut turkey into ½ inch cubes. (Slicing meat is easiest if it is still slightly frozen.)
  • In a medium bowl, blend sherry, cornstarch (or arrowroot) and salt until smooth. Add turkey and toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or more.
  • In a bowl, stir peanut butter, soy sauce (or coconut aminos), sugar, 2 tablespoons water, parsley, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the oil and hot pepper sauce until well blended. Cover and set aside.
  • In a wok or large cast iron skillet over high heat, heat the oil. Add turkey and red peppers. Sauté while stirring for about 2 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.
  • Add green onion and ginger. Stir-fry until turkey is lightly browned.
  • Add peanuts and the peanut butter mixture, stirring until peanuts and turkey are coated with sauce.
  • In a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a rapid boil. Add noodles, return to a boil; stir several times and cook until done. During last 30 seconds, add spinach and cook just until limp. Drain well.
  • To serve, arrange noodles and spinach on a platter, then mound turkey mixture on top.


Some additional options ...
If you don't have dried whole red peppers, you can use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
If you are soy free, you can substitute coconut aminos and add a little more salt to taste.



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