I was vegetarian for several years and ate enough veggie burgers to keep Gardenburger and Boca in business. Then, when I was eating poultry again, I went on a business trip to Atlanta and a coworker ordered a turkey burger. I was sort of shocked by the idea (turkey??), but since after about 10 years of nothing but veggie burgers, I was intrigued and ordered one as well. I loved it. My coworker told me about some good turkey burgers back in DC, but I kind of forgot about it by the time I got home. It wasn’t until I moved to Boston and starting ordering turkey burgers at Sunset Grill that I became completely hooked.
But with Joseph working full time on his PhD at Tufts, well, suffice it to say, we don’t eat out a whole lot. I was looking for healthy recipes and found this turkey burger recipe from the Mayo Clinic. Totally healthy! Even though Joseph was still vegetarian, he made me these turkey burgers for our first Super Bowl in Boston and several times since. Eventually he got tired of making these awesome burgers and having a veggie burger and he starting eating them too. He’s modified the recipe several times and this is the most current version. I’m sure that a month or two from now it’ll be different again.
These burgers are a great way to kick off the Super Bowl because you can go ahead and make the patties ahead of time and then cook them up when you’re ready. They’re pretty healthy and packed with yummy, smokey flavor and subtle heat from the cumin and the chipotle. Personally, I’d take these over a beef hamburger any day. If you want even less work while you’re watching the Steelers and the Packers, this chili can be made in advance and all you have to do is throw it in a pot to heat up while you watch the game. Just make sure you serve it with cornbread.
Inspired by the Mayo Clinic
These burgers are great with just some lettuce and tomato, but are truly awesome with either guacamole or what we did here: Gorgonzola and caramelized onions. Serve with spicy sweet potato fries to complete the meal.
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped shallot
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Jalepeño hot sauce*
1 teaspoon barbecue sauce
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Combine the ground turkey breast with all of the other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Divide the turkey mixture into 4 equal portions and form into patties.
If you’re crazy (or if you live in a warmer climate or if you’re making these during the summer) heat up your grill. If you’re cooking indoors, heat up a skillet. Grill burgers until nicely browned on both sides and heated through, about 7 minutes a side or until internal temperature reaches 165 F. Serve the burgers on a bun with your toppings.
*We use Trader Joe’s hot sauce which is super tasty, but not all that spicy. We use this in addition to a Tabasco-like hot sauce. You certainly don’t have to run out and buy the TJ’s hot sauce, although you’ll be so glad you did if you do (we buy at least 3 bottles at a time when we go to Trader Joe’s because we don’t ever want to run out and we put it on a lot of the things we eat). But if you’re not feeling it, just leave it out, or, if you want the extra spice, just add a little extra of whatever hot sauce you have lying around.