Turkey Versions of Traditional Beef Dishes: Turkey Burgers

11 Nov

This morning while getting ready for work, Tre and I were discussing the foods I’d prepared the night before, most of which were made almost entirely of ground turkey. Tre made the astute observation that while red meat may adhere to his diet restrictions, we should not necessarily be eating it every night of the week. The shift to turkey, which I’d purchased on a whim, was very welcome and my meals had no less esteem than the red meat entrees I’d made for him before.

I’m glad Tre drew this conclusion on his own — a sign that he’s growing. Our diet is not entirely about finding substitutes for old favorites or cooking without wheat, corn, rice, and soy. It’s about maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and enjoying foods that are not only delicious, but also good for us. In the first week or two of the new diet, we were enjoying everything from ground beef burgers to filet, mashed potatoes to fried latke, parmesan to brie: comfort foods I’ll admit, to help take Tre’s mind off pizza, but not something I ever intended to become regular. Although delicious, and at times luxurious, a diet like that is both expensive and certainly not as healthy as it could be.

With an excess of 2lbs of ground turkey, I was able to wring out three separate meals, the first of which was actually a substitute for one of my own recipes. Although I love beef burgers, it’s difficult to find budget-friendly ground beef that also boasts a low fat content. 95/5 lean to fat ground beef is exactly double to cost of 80/20 at my local market and because I have a slight sensitivity to beef, I’m alright with limiting it to one night a week. Feeling a lack of creativity, I decided to revisit an early favorite, my guacamole swiss burger over latke. However, this time I opted to give it a try with my ground turkey minus the latke.



Getting ready to combine the ground turkey with Tre’s breading.

Turkey Guacamole Swiss Burger

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup breading
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup swiss cheese, grated or 4 slices swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup guacamole*
  • 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and halved
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

*Guacamole was premade with 2 avocados, pitted and mashed with the juice of one large lemon, coarse sea salt to taste, pepper to taste, 1 small onion finely diced, and cajun seasoning (chili powder, paprika, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder). Store-bought guacamole or mixes will do as well.


  1. In a small pan, heat olive oil over low heat. Add onions and cook until they have softened and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix ground turkey with breading until combined. Divide mixture into four equal sized balls and shape into burger patties either with your hands or a patty press.
  3. In a large pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Place your turkey burgers in the pan and cook both sides until meat is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer burgers to  baking dish and place cheese on each burger. Place the burgers under your oven broiler for about 2 minutes or until cheese has melted and browned slightly. Do not over broil. Remove the baking dish from the oven and transfer the burgers to plates.
  5. Assemble by adding caramelized onions, turkey bacon, and a dollop of guacamole to each burger.

This burger was enjoyed on its own with a side of baked sweet potato. While it had almost identical flavor characteristics to the beef version, the turkey burger was much leaner and much healthier without the addition of fried latke.


2 Responses to “Turkey Versions of Traditional Beef Dishes: Turkey Burgers”


  1. Italian Spice Turkey Burgers — Double Onion, Double Cheese « 23 and Grain Free - November 28, 2010

    […] them a bit more gourmet — placing the meat over mashed potatoes or latke topping them with guacamole or handmade sauces, and stuffing them chockfull of spices, cheeses, and veggies to make the patties […]

  2. Guacamole: A New Kind of Condiment « 23 and Grain Free - December 2, 2010

    […] pass up this wonderful fruit. Guacamole has made appearances here on this blog in my beef and turkey swiss burger recipes. But behind the scenes, it goes on everything from cold cut sandwiches (with […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: