Summer is FINALLY here and cookout season is in full swing. Now, I love me a good hamburger, but when I’m trying to eat better (keyword: trying), hamburgers can be very good and very bad all at once. The hero to the rescue: the turkey burger. I’ve been using ground turkey as a substitute for ground beef for awhile now because I have a sensitive stomach and in dishes like tacos, lasagna, etc., turkey holds it’s own. But when it comes to burgers – the meat is the main star and beef is just so delicious. How can turkey compare?
Enter: the perfect turkey burger recipe. There are just so many ways to adjust this recipe and because turkey is so light and delicate, the flavors you add truly come through. Now I could spend some time here harping on the health benefits of turkey, but I’ll let you be the judge. Here are four ways to change up the classic recipe (at the bottom of this post) and make an unforgettable burger:
1. My favorite: Add 2 teaspoons of dried herb mix (Penzeys Spice’s Bouquet Garni is my favorite) to the burger mixture. Top burger with arugula and mayo mixed with a couple teaspoons of Sriracha to taste.
2. Asian: Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger to the burger mixture. Top burger with handful of fresh cilantro and slaw made of shredded cabbage and carrots mixed with peanut dressing (like this one) and wrap in a large lettuce leaf.
3. Tex-mex: Add 1 tablespoon of cumin, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano to the burger mixture. Top burger with guacamole and/or salsa, and shredded lettuce.
4. Italian: Add 2 teaspoons of dried basil and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or 2 cloves of fresh minced) to the burger mixture. Top burger with a little marinara sauce and a slice of provolone cheese.
The key to making a great turkey burger is to not let the patties overcook and dry out. If you’re having trouble getting the meat to cook through, try lowering the heat a bit and cooking for longer (this prevents the outside from burning while the inside is still raw). Another important tip – make sure the patties are the same size! They will cook at the same rate and all be done at the same time.
This recipe originally appeared on our other blog, Cooking in College.