Turkey Burgerrific

Let’s gab about the gobble (I’m sorry, I know.  I can’t help myself).  Turkey is great on Thanksgiving.  Who doesn’t love a trytophan-induced coma once a year?  But ground turkey is pretty awesome too, and it’s a great way to make your favorite ground beef recipe a little healthier.  Turkey burgers tend to get a bad rap.  They can be dry, flavorless lumps if you’re not starting out with a good recipe, or if you overcook them.  Luckily, I’ve got not one but TWO turkey burger recipes that are easy, moist, and super flavorful.

The first comes from my own family.  It can be made into turkey burgers or a turkey loaf, but it’s summertime so let’s be real: you’re not turning on the oven if you don’t have to.  And if you have a grill you’ve got an outright obligation to use it as much as you can (is it too obvious that this is my first time living without a grill and it’s killing me?).  SO.  This turkey burger recipe is extra healthy, and has a really odd-sounding mix of ingredients that somehow come together to make magic.  If you’re sad and grill-less like me, just use a non-stick pan with a little canola oil in it to cook these guys up.  They taste extra delicious with lots of veggies like lettuce and onion on ’em.  Extra points if you eat it without a bun.  I promise you won’t miss it!

Mary’s Turkey Loaf

1 Beaten Egg

1/2 c. Shredded Carrot

1/4 c. Orange Juice

1/4 c. fine dry Bread Crumbs

2 T. Parsley

3/4 t. Salt

Dash of  Pepper

1 # Ground Turkey

Combine ingredients well.  Cook in pie plate at 350 for approx. 30-35 min or til done.  OR, make into patties and grill til done.

What to do when you've got just enough meat for two too-small-for-the-bun burgers?  Make a monster burger, obviously

What to do when you’ve got just enough meat for two too-small-for-the-bun burgers? Make a monster burger, obviously!

I have loved this recipe for a loooong time, from a far younger age than most kids probably liked the idea of turkey burgers.  And I was a darned picky kid, so my endorsements were not given out often.  But recently I came across another recipe that’s just as delicious as Mary’s classic recipe, even if it is a bit less healthy.  I have made it a few times now, and every time it has reaffirmed its place in the coveted “Favorite Recipes” folder in my bookmarks.  I am the QUEEN of bookmarking recipes.  I have approximately 2.3 zillion different recipe folders, and all of them contain far more recipes than I will ever have time to make before I die.  But the “Favorite Recipes” folder only contains about a dozen.  The decision to move a recipe to this folder is not one to be made lightly.  So it’s a big deal.  Honest.

Seriously though.  This burger gave me an excuse to break out the MEGA spatula.  Which is actually bigger than my head (this, to me, is extremely exciting and amusing).

Seriously though. The monster burger gave me an excuse to break out the MEGA spatula. Which is actually bigger than my head (this, to me, is extremely exciting and amusing).

You can find the original recipe here, but as usual I’ll put it below too, because who likes having to click away to another site just to get the recipe?  Not this lazy girl.

Buffalo Turkey Burgers

Note: I cut this recipe in half for BF and I, since we usually buy one container of ground turkey with 1.3 pounds in it.  But I’m lazy and don’t feel like thinking about what the fractions convert to (seriously, 1 egg divided by 1.3 is not something I’m willing to do.  ever.)  so I just use a scant measurement of all the ingredients for everything except the turkey.  And it works out just fine.

Note again: If you’re doing this on a stovetop like me, just use a nonstick skillet with a little canola in it on medium heat.  But definitely do the last-minute basting thing with the buffalo sauce.  Yum!

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast (99% fat-free)
  • 1 pound ground turkey (94% fat-free)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, grated or finely minced
  • ¼ cup Buffalo wing sauce (I use Frank’s)
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Extra canola oil for grilling
  • Extra wing sauce and and blue cheese for topping
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients (except the extra oil and toppings) with a large wooden spoon or with your hands until thoroughly combined.
  2. Form into burgers of whatever size you’d like and place on a large baking sheet or platter.
  3. Heat your grill to medium-high (about 400 degrees), and make sure the grates are as clean as possible to help prevent the burgers from sticking.
  4. Using paper towels and a long pair of tongs, very carefully coat your grill grate with canola oil, being careful of possible flare-ups. Have a spray bottle filled with water handy just in case.
  5. Brush your burgers with additional canola oil and place them on the grill grates oiled side down. Close the grill and cook the burgers until they release easily, about 5-10 minutes. Brush the burgers with more canola oil and flip using a large turner/spatula. Close the grill and cook another 5-10 minutes until you have nice grill marks on each side.
  6. When the burgers are almost done (the best way to check for doneness is a meat thermometer, 160 degrees for poultry) baste them with a little of the wing sauce, flip them and brush the other side, then top with some additional blue cheese crumbles if desired. Close the grill, reduce the heat to low, and continue to grill until the cheese starts to melt and the burgers reach 160 degrees. (*I never bother checking temps and will probably someday get salmonella for it, but I’m still kicking so far.)
  7. Please note: All grills are different, so the cooking times can vary quite a bit. On my gas grill, the total cooking time was about 15 minutes.
BF was going to eat the monster burger like a normal human, but then I requested a face that reflected its gargantuan size.  And this is what I got.

BF was going to eat the monster burger like a normal human, but then I requested a face that reflected its gargantuan size. And this is what I got.

If you haven’t jumped on the turkey burger bandwagon yet, you should.  And if you had a traumatizing experience with them in the past, give them another chance!  They’re really pretty great.  Especially these two recipes.  It’s the season of the burger, why should beef get to have all the fun?

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