Skewers of tender, flavourful turkey served with lemony asparagus is perfect for grilling all spring and well into summer. This crispy spiedini is perfect as an appetizer, with a gorgeous salad, or served as the main course – no matter what, it’s sure to please.
This recipe and post are sponsored by Turkey Farmers of Canada. As always, all opinions are my own.
Despite it being the beginning, spring has just arrived here on the prairies. The trees are finally budding, we’ve had a few hot days (I’ve been tempted to turn the air conditioning on) and I’m about to spend the next 3 months outside on my patio. The kiddo is completely sick of being inside, so much so, that she cries every time we head into the living room. It’s time for a change of scenery. That means hanging out in the backyard, plenty of time in the pool and al fresco dining.
Al fresco dining for us means BBQ everything and cooking with whatever is in season. When I think of spring vegetables, asparagus is at the top of the list. For me, nothing beats roasted or grilled asparagus, with a little butter and lemon. It’s bright, fresh and super simple, which is what I need these days with a busy toddler clinging to me.
When it comes to BBQ, I instantly think of the OG (original gourmet) kebab – a bunch of ingredients tucked onto a wooden skewer where one will surely catch fire. The OG Italian version of the kebab is the spiedini, which is noticeably different in that it lacks vegetables. It can be made with your protein of choice, and in the name of variety, I’ve chosen to make mine with lean turkey breast. Not only is turkey a family favourite, but it’s a great everyday protein option because it goes with just about everything. The flavour options are virtually endless, but in keeping things light and fresh, this spiedini features lots of lemon, herbs, and fresh spring asparagus.
What you’re going to need:
Turkey Breast – thinly sliced or cut into cubes. Do your best to ensure all the pieces are uniform. Boneless skinless thighs can also be used.
Dry White Wine – wine is the traditional option, but honestly, I hardly ever have any on hand, so just sub in some poultry or vegetable stock instead.
Breadcrumbs – Panko is the crumb of choice for me because of it’s crispy, crunchy texture, but regular Italian-style breadcrumbs work just fine, too. If you want to keep things gluten-free, you don’t have to bread the turkey at all, just marinate, skewer and grill.
Red Pepper Flakes – totally optional, as they add a little heat to the speidini, which I happen to love. Not a fan of spice? Just leave them out, no problema!
Lemon Juice – Do yourself a favour and use fresh lemon juice. It really does make a difference.
Skewers – If you’re going to use wooden skewers, soak those suckers in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling. Better yet, invest in some metal skewers – no soaking required, and you can use them forever.
Asparagus – Bonus points if you can find locally grown asparagus. When picking your bunch, look for bright green and firm spears with closed, firm tips (you do not want mushy tips, as this is an indicator the asparagus is going bad). In the fall when asparagus is no longer available, zucchini works as a great alternative, but you can serve the spiedini with any vegetable you like.
These tender and juicy turkey spiedini are fun to prepare and even more fun to eat. Throw them on the grill alongside some spring asparagus, and top everything off with a quick lemon pepper butter sauce and you’re in business. These work great as an appetizer (without the asparagus) or as the whole meal. No matter how you serve it, these turkey spiedini are bound to be a hit.
Turkey Spiedini with Lemon Sauce and Asparagus
- 1 lb boneless, skinless turkey breast
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or poultry stock
- 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced about 1 tbsp full
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 bunch of asparagus* see note
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Lemon Butter Sauce
- 5 tbsp salted butter
- 1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Skewers for grilling
- If using wooden skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Slice the turkey into thin strips, or chunks, making sure they are of uniform size.
- In a medium bowl, mix together wine or stock, lemon juice, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic slices, red pepper flakes (if using) and salt.
- Add the turkey to the bowl and toss to coat. Allow the turkey to marinate for at least a half hour, or up to two hours.
- In a shallow dish, mix together breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, fresh pepper and grated parmesan.
- Coat each piece of turkey in the breadcrumb mixture, then thread onto a skewer.
- To grill, place skewers on a medium-hot grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. You should only need to turn them once. Alternatively, you can bake these in the oven. See tip below.
- Meanwhile, trim the asparagus and toss lightly in the oil and grill alongside the turkey spiedini until desired doneness. I like my asparagus to still be a little firm.
- When ready to serve, in a small saucepan, melt butter with the lemon juice and pepper.
- To serve, drizzle 2-3 tsp of the lemon pepper butter sauce over the turkey and asparagus.