Like alligator meat, turtle meat is considered a delicacy and can be hard to find unless you live in an area surrounded by water. It’s also considered to be an exotic meat, so it can get a little pricey. On average, boneless turtle meat costs between $25 to $35 a pound and can usually only be purchased online. Turtle meat is said to taste like veal, especially when fried, but even on the more expensive weeks, veal isn’t that pricey, so that has to mean something, right? A lot of work goes into cleaning the meat before preparing it, so we recommend purchasing it ready to cook to avoid some of the hassle.
Besides the savory flavor, turtle meat also provides a great deal of protein and less saturated fat than beef. A cup of turtle meat contains about 220 calories, 33 grams of protein and only 2 grams of saturated fat. A cup of beef steak has about 340 calories, 37 grams of protein and 8 grams of saturated fat. Turtle meat is also high in calcium and vitamins, and is even a recommended alternative medicine in some areas of the world.
So, if you’re an adventurous eater, or if you're tired of chicken being your main source of protein, we're here to share some recipes on how to cook turtle. If these 7 dishes aren't enough, check out a few more on our Pinterest page.
- Camp turtle soup – Turtle soup is one of the most well-known turtle recipes, and, in fact, it might be the easiest! All you need is the essential ingredients for any soup (onions, stock, garlic and a few others) and a large pot and you’re good to go! The prep work is the hardest part of this classic dish.
- Turtle sauce piquant – For all the Cajun seasoning lovers out there, this one is for you! Bell peppers, green onions, garlic and enough Cajun seasoning to make you think you’re eating at a restaurant in New Orleans. This recipe is simple yet filling, and the meat can even be substituted out if you’d like.
- Deep fried turtle nuggets – You didn’t think we’d forget this recipe, did you? Anything fried is always delicious, especially when it involves bacon!
- Turtle gravy and rice – When we think about gravy, turkey is the first meat that comes to mind, but this recipe may have you reconsidering what’s on the menu for Thanksgiving this year.
- Barbecue turtle – This BBQ recipe doesn’t require a grill, just your favorite BBQ sauce and an oven.
- Southern twice-fried turtle – This may be a unique Florida recipe but anything fried twice is a meal worth trying in our book. This dish can be paired with grits, biscuits or any of your other favorites, too!
- Swamp turtle gumbo – Gumbo isn’t gumbo without smoked sausage and some southern hot sauce – and, of course, turtle meat! This recipe will have you wishing you could hop on a plane and head straight to Louisiana.
If cooking just isn’t in the cards anytime soon, give us a call to find out if we’re currently serving turtle at the Chomp House Grill. Although we only serve it seasonally, you can try other delicacies such as gator and catfish year-round. These unique Florida recipes are sure to delight!