Thanksgiving Recipes: Soda Pop Turkey

Coke is it when it comes to sweetening your bird this Thanksgiving. Sprite will work too, if you follow the recipe below.

A week from today most of us will be gorging ourselves on turkey and all the fixings, but before we gather around the dining room table someone has to cook the Thanksgiving bird. If you are reading this blog, that “someone” is probably you.

Of course, not everyone will be creating a Thanksgiving feast for dozens of extended family members. Some clans celebrate the holiday with an intimate gathering of just a few very close loved ones. In those cases a 20-pound bird is not necessary. If you aren’t hosting a house full of people this Thanksgiving you might consider making Soda Pop Turkey.

It’s a great alternative to a whole roasted turkey and features soda to sweeten it up. The recipe uses strips of turkey breast meat that are marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a cup each of Coke and Sprite instead of sugar. The meat is grilled and served with traditional Thanksgiving sides.



1 pound turkey breast meat, cut into strips

Ingredients for Marinade:

1 cup Coca Cola

1 cup Sprite

6 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1/2 cup vegetable oil


Combine marinade ingredients and pour over turkey. Marinate, refrigerated, at least 4 hours.

Heat charcoal or gas grill.

Remove turkey from marinade and grill over medium heat until cooked through, but not overcooked.

Serves 2.

NOTE: If it’s too cold to fire up the grill you can use a grill pan on the stove. Pan-frying is acceptable, though it does compromise the flavor and texture a bit. The turkey is juicier if you grill it. Also, chicken breast tenders can be substituted if you prefer to pass on the turkey this Thanksgiving, or you plan to use this recipe after the holiday.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.