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Gobble Gobble - Burger Time (Part Deux)

roast turkey

Most people think of turkey and equate it with mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, etc., but turkey is not just for Thanksgiving anymore. I find ground turkey to be a great substitute for beef whether it’s for tacos, chili, and burgers.

I feel like turkey is an underrated bird while chicken tends to revel in all its glory. Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein. One serving of turkey provides more than half your body’s protein requirement, with half the fat of beef and 30 percent fewer calories. This high-protein alternative also contains minerals such as selenium, plus niacin and Vitamin B6. The facts about turkey point to a simple conclusion – turkey is a “super” food and one we should cook up more often.

While turkey is still a better choice than ground beef, the fat grams between white and dark ground meat is more than double. So be careful when selecting your ground turkey.

Meat Cut Serving Calories Fat Grams
Turkey, white meat 3 ounces 133 2.7
Turkey, dark meat 3 ounces 159 6.1
Beef, ground, 70% lean-30% fat 3 ounces 230 15.18

A lot of packaged ground turkey will label it similarly to ground beef- 70/30, 80/20, 90/10. If you are purchasing ground turkey from a butcher you can request a certain amount of fat to make it the most healthy selection for you. In the following recipe I used 93/7.

I chose to create an “Italian” inspired burger substituting ground turkey over the majority utilized beef.

Italiano Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Italiano Stuffed Turkey Burgers


  • 1 lb ground turkey (preferably lean 90/10)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • sea salt, cracked pepper
  • 1/2 chopped onion or 1 package onion soup mix
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic cloves chopped or 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 4 fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 6 fresh mozzerella balls- Ciliegine (little cherry size) (ask at your deli counter for this size)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced (for garnish)
  • 6 leaves of spinach or romaine lettuce (for garnish)
  • 6 Kaiser rolls (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellmann’s preferably)
  • 2 tsp sour cream
  • salt, pepper, to taste
  • 1 package of Italian herbs seasoning (I use Tastefully Simple’s Spinach and Herb mix for dips)


  1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper and spinach mixture. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours prior to making the burgers.
  2. For the burgers, combine the ground turkey, egg, breadcrumbs, onion or onion soup mix, garlic or garlic powder, salt/pepper, basil, and spinach leaves. Mix well.
  3. Take a small scoop (the size of 1 tbsp), and place one fresh mozzerella ball in the middle.

Making turkey burgers

  1. Take an equal size (1 tbsp) and form around the ball. Mash between both palms to make flat.
  2. Repeat until all ground mixture is formed into patties.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. On a hot grill over medium heat, place all six patties on grill. Cook on each side for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Additionally, toast the rolls on the grill for 1 minute.
  5. After each patty is cooked thoroughly (no pink in the middle), place on a platter to rest.
  6. Arrange patty on the roll with one slice of tomato and spinach leaf, and spread the chilled sauce on the roll.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with your choice of side: sweet potato fries, chips, or fresh fruit. Mangia! Mangia!

Tags: American, barbecue, burger, sandwich, turkey

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