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How to make a turkey burger juicy? With grated zucchini! This turkey zucchini burger has basil, onions, and garlic, served with garlic mayo
Photography Credit:Elise Bauer
Turkey meat is much leaner than beef or pork, so it can be a challenge to make a burger with ground turkey that still gives you the satisfaction of eating a juicy burger.
One trick I use to infuse moisture into ground turkey is to add freshly grated zucchini! This is perfect for summer when those of us who garden have more zucchini than we can possibly use.
It’s a trick I learned making these spicy turkey zucchini burgers with middle eastern flavors from the Jerusalem cookbook.
No, the burgers don’t taste like zucchini, and yes, the grated zucchini works great to keep the burgers from drying out.
Just make sure you are using fresh summer zucchini, and not something that’s shipped from thousands of miles away in the dead of winter when they are out of season.
Zucchini doesn’t add much in the way of taste, and ground turkey is mild as well, so we need to bump up our turkey burgers with herbs and spices.
In this Italian inspired turkey burger we are including chopped fresh basil and oregano into the burger mix, and serving the burger with a slathering of garlic mayo.
Turkey Zucchini Burger with Garlic Mayo Recipe
These turkey burgers don't have a binder in them so are best cooked gently on the stovetop rather than the grill.
If you would prefer to grill them, I recommend squeezing out some of the excess moisture from the grated zucchini, and adding some mayonnaise to the burger mix. The egg in the mayonnaise will help bind the burger while it cooks, and the oil in the mayo will help the burgers stay juicy.
I have found that zucchini have a higher water content than patty pan or other types of summer squash, so are the best type of summer squash to use in this recipe.
- 1 pound ground turkey (thigh meat preferred)
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound of zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
Rest of burger
- Several leaves of lettuce
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Thinly sliced tomato
- Burger buns
1 Make the burger mix: In a large bowl place the ground turkey, green onions, chopped basil and oregano, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Using clean hands mix together thoroughly. Then mix in the grated zucchini until well distributed throughout the ground turkey.
2 Form burger patties and cook on both sides: Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Carefully form six patties with the turkey zucchini mixture.
Working in batches, gently cook the patties for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. You don't want the heat to be too high or the patties may get too browned before they are cooked through. Remove to a plate to keep warm.
3 Toast the buns: When you are finished with the pan for the burgers, wipe out any burned bits. Melt a little butter in the pan and place the buns in the pan, cut side down to brown. Increase the heat to medium high. Remove the buns from the pan when the edges start to brown.
4 Make garlic mayo: Whisk together the finely minced garlic and the mayonnaise in a small bow.
5 Build the burger: This is how we recommend to build the burger. Start with the bottom half of the burger bun. Spread a layer of garlic mayo over it. Place a layer of lettuce leaf over the mayo. Place the burger over the lettuce. Place the onion on the burger. Place a slice of tomato on the onion. If you want, place another lettuce leaf on the tomato. Top with the other half of the bun. The lettuce leaf on the bottom of the burger help prevent the juices from the burger from running into the bottom bun and making it soggy.
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Juicy and flavorful healthy Turkey Burgers with 5 simple ingredients. These lean burgers made with ground turkey will disappear as soon as they come off the stovetop or grill. Sumptuously moist, smack-your-lips and the best turkey burger recipe on the web!
Serve these turkey patties traditionally on a whole grain bun with Instant Pot corn on the cob or “naked” over a bed of lettuce salad or pictured arugula salad. Yum!
Unlike traditional beef patties, ground turkey on its own doesn&apost contain a punch of flavor. While beef burgers only require a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides, you can elevate your turkey burgers by mixing seasoning straight in with the meat. I typically add garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to my ground turkey for a classic Italian flavor profile (and I use the same technique for my turkey meatballs). But you can really get creative with the seasoning. Try adding Old Bay seasoning for a Cajun twist or making our favorite Ranch Turkey Burgers. If you&aposre in search of a classic, beefy burger taste, add a splash of Worcestershire sauce to your mixture.
A spoonful or two of mayonnaise, mixed right in with the ground meat. Now hear me out. Most recipes use egg to bind ground turkey, helping the meat to form into cohesive, juicy patties. And isn&apost mayonnaise really just an emulsification of egg yolk, oil, and acid? While raw egg can be used to bind the burgers, mayonnaise does the trick while also adding an irreplacable dimension of creaminess, moisture, and flavor. When the patties cook, the mayo melts into the pockets of the meat to create a wonderfully juicy patty. Goodbye, dry turkey burgers.
WATCH: How to Make The World&aposs Best Burger
CAN TURKEY BURGERS BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME?
You can totally make these turkey burger patties ahead of time and get dinner on the table even faster. These patties keep well, covered, overnight in the fridge.
You can also make a big batch and freeze them for days. Then they&rsquore ready to go on busy weeknights or when unexpected company comes calling. Arrange patties on a parchment-covered baking pan, freeze, then place in storage containers or freezer safe baggies.
What to cook with ground turkey?
Having left over organic ground turkey breast and zucchini (always) in the fridge, I knew what I was going to make. Zucchini burgers it is.
The best part – as most of my recent recipes, these Oven Baked Turkey Zucchini Burgers are kid friendly.
They actually are a great way to make everyone at home eat their veggies. Perfect for parties, too.
The addition of zucchini lowers the calories, but does not sacrifice taste and flavor.
These will make a great addition to your lunch box. They reheat beautifully.
When your non-THM hubby says it&rsquos good, you know you&rsquove got a winner!
My hubby is incredibly supportive and very rarely won&rsquot eat something on plan for Trim Healthy Mama that&rsquos on the supper table. I&rsquove learned to steer clear of quinoa and kale for him, so those kinds of things are reserved just for me and little Mister, who also loves them. Still, my man prefers &ldquonormal&rdquo man food.
So when he said &ldquothese are really good just like they are, I don&rsquot even want bread&rdquo I had to suppress the urge to sprint to the PC to type up this post! I knew I had a winner, because my doesn&rsquot-get-excited-about-food man doesn&rsquot hand out &ldquoreally good&rdquo very often.
That&rsquos typically reserved for steaks, wild game, pizza, and morel mushrooms.
Getting a really good on a THM turkey burgers recipe, well that&rsquos like getting a Michelin star!
Frequently asked questions:
Garam Masala is a combination of 30+ spices. Some of the ingredients it would include would be star anise, bay leaves, fennel seeds, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and more.
Many grocery stores including Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell it in their spices section. Amazon stocks it as well.
Brown Rice would be a nice addition or one of my Lebanese salads.
The cayenne to the recipe is optional and does add a little bit of heat to it. Leave it out if you would like to serve mild.
What are your favorite ground turkey recipes? Any questions I can answer for you? I’d love to hear from you. Your fork is waiting.
How small should you cut your zucchini?
Cut off and discard the ends. Cut your zucchini length-wise. Then slice horizontally to create half-moons or half-circles. Slice each half-moon again. That’s the size you want.
Each piece will be about 3/4 to 1 inch. They’re small enough to cook quickly but substantial enough in size to hold up to the heat of the skillet.
Your bell pepper and onion should be cut so they’re close in size to the zucchini pieces.
Herbed Turkey Burgers with Zucchini Buns
Turkey burgers are for sissies . They're like veggie burgers made from meat. At least that's what I used to think when I ate red meat. I assumed they lacked flavor, were dry and crumbly, didn't have that juicy pink center and were plain old boring.
But don't let the light meat fool you. Turkey burgers are awesome . Not only are they lower calorie, but they typically are lower in fat and easier on your system. Plus, turkey burgers just taste good.
Especially when they're spiced with fresh oregano and topped with avocado.
But how can you make the already healthy turkey burger even healthier? Skip the bun, of course!
Yes, I know, gluten-free bread and hamburger buns are utterly delightful, but sometimes the extra calories feel unnecessary. Wouldn't you rather save those calories for a piece decadent chocolate cake? Or a slice of heavenly cheesecake?
Skipping that carbo loaded bun can sometimes throw a burger off completely, but not when it's sandwiched between two slices of char grilled zucchini. Your mind tricks you into thinking you're eating a bun, but your taste buds outsmart you with the rich, summery taste of grilled vegetables.
If you're still a turkey burger skeptic, this recipe will change your mind.
Filled with fresh herbs and garlic, topped with juicy red tomatoes and ripe avocado, and sandwiched between two grilled zucchini slices, these burgers are simply summer in every healthy bite.
I usually tend to use dried spices and herbs because they're so convenient. So in this recipe too, I use garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
If you've never used smoked paprika, give it a try! You can probably find it in your supermarket's spice shelf. It's very flavorful.
I do like to use one fresh herb in this recipe - chopped fresh parsley. I find that it adds great flavor, and it also makes the burgers prettier!
If you don't have fresh parsley, you could use 1 teaspoon of dried parsley or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. But I don't think the burgers will be as good as when made with fresh parsley.