I love ground turkey – why? Two main reasons: 1. It is an awesome source of protein. 2. It can take on the flavor of pretty much ANYTHING! This is why so many people love to use it as a substitute for beef. Throw a pound of turkey in a pot of chili instead of beef, you just might not be able to tell the difference! Turkey burgers have blown up in the past few years. People are realizing how delicious they can be and how much HEALTHIER they can be than traditional beef burgers.
No, I do not think that turkey burgers taste like beef burgers. BUT that doesn’t take away from the fact that they can still be delicious!
For a long time now, I have loved to cook ground turkey for the purposes of meal prepping. Heat olive oil in a pan, add turkey meat, salt, pepper, maybe even some crushed red pepper – badda bing badda boom! Voila! Delicious turkey meet ready to go. I like to buy the 93% or 99% fat free as well, even though it can be a little bit more expensive.
I have been wanting to experiment with turkey burgers for a while now, but I honestly have been lazy… and a bit nervous. I am not a HUGE fan of touching raw meat. I can handle it – but I don’t love it. I often opt for pre-formed or pre-frozen burgers for this specific reason – but you know what, IT’S TIME to STEP IT UP!
I looked up quite a few fun recipes for turkey burgers that looked truly awesome, Greek feta turkey burgers, buffalo blue cheese turkey burgers, jalapeno cheddar turkey burgers … the list goes on and on. Having never made homemade turkey burgers before though, I knew I had some serious research to do before I could start cooking!
As I have mentioned in the past, whenever I am trying to create a new recipe I always like to look through other similar recipes to see the most common ingredient variations. I was surprised to find that there are quite a few common turkey burger variations.
Some minimalists swear by pure meat burgers. Others suggest only salt and pepper should be added. Ultimately whether you are mixing other ingredients into the meat or not, the consensus is clear, handle the meat as little as possible – this will keep your burgers tender and juicy.
Here are a few of the most commonly found turkey burgers additions as well as the reasons why I decided to try / or not try them out in my own turkey burger expedition!
- Breadcrumbs and eggs – I was somewhat surprised to see that breadcrumbs and eggs were so regularly used in burger recipes, but then I realized – breadcrumbs and egg whites are used in meatballs! And meatloaf. They act as a binding agent – so why not burgers? I figured I would give it a shot. However, to be honest – I did not like the result. The turkey burger tasted too much like a meatloaf for my taste. Also, in order to get the egg / breadcrumbs fully incorporated, I think I inadvertently over-handled the meat – causing the final result to be less tender.
- Fresh onions and garlic vs. onion powder and garlic powder – Another common addition to turkey burgers – garlic and onion! But there is a debate – do you use fresh or powdered? In my recipe testing, I honestly liked the flavor of both! However, I did not love the texture of chopped onions or garlic in my burger! This is why, in my recipe, I recommend that you pulse the onions/garlic in a food processor, to get them as finely chopped as possible! That is, if you choose to go fresh!
- Worcestershire sauce – Another common addition in high debate! Who knew?? Personally, I don’t love the flavor of worcestershire – even in commonplace recipes like chili. Therefore, I chose to opt out of using worcerstershire.
- Veggies – spinach, kale, peppers, and jalapenos – where the goal is to sneak in a few extra nutrients for the kids or add extra flavor, veggies are a great why to spice things up with your turkey burger! Not to mention, veggies can hold a lot of moisture which will help your burger stay fresh and juicy!
So MANY choices! So what the heck should I put in these turkey burgers?
Well – lets take a step back – my FAVORITE turkey burger EVER is from the Athletic Club of Columbus. Why is it so special? It has chopped mushrooms BLENDED throughout the turkey burger! Not just on top of the patty! Mind blown... YUM!
The mushrooms keep the burger moist and absolutely delicious – the flavor is not overwhelming, but just right. Ever since the first time I tried one, I just knew I had to try and make a similar type of recipe to share with you all!
So yes, decision made – including mushrooms! What else?
Well! My boss came in to work the other day with a few HOME GROWN jalapenos – WHATTTTTTTTT? I couldn’t say no – and this seemed like the PERFECT opportunity to enjoy them.
Mushroom Jalapeno Turkey Burgers – LET’S GO! Now to find the perfect combination of ingredients so that these turkey burgers are as awesome as I know they can be! It took a few test runs – and for sure a few duds. But I think I finally came up with the perfect recipe – I cannot wait for you to try for yourself!
Deliciously juicy and flavorful, perfect for topping with whatever traditional, or unique toppings that your heart desires! I love them most topped with a slice of cheese, avocado, lettuce, and tomato. However, I also tried them out with a slice of mango and avocado – WOAH! Divine.
Enjoy on a whole wheat bun or bunless over a bed of greens!
Deliciously juicy and flavorful, perfect for topping with whatever traditional, or unique toppings that your heart desires! Mushrooms keep the burger extra moist with subtle flavor, jalapeno provides the perfect zing!
- 2 tbsp olive oil separated
- 1 1/2 tsp onion powder or 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 5-6 cloves fresh garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms
- 1 large fresh jalapeno diced (for additional spice, use two)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 4 whole wheat buns if desired
- avocado peeled and sliced
- tomato sliced
- onions caramelized
- mushrooms sauteed
Place 1 tbsp olive oil, onions, mushrooms, onion powder (or onion), garlic (garlic powder), salt and pepper into a food processor or high-speed blender, pulse until desired texture is reached (I like smooth, but some may prefer finely chopped). Add jalapenos and pulse a few additional times until diced and dispersed throughout mixture.
In a medium bowl, combine ground turkey and mushroom mixture. Stir gently, just until ingredients are evenly distributed (careful not to overwork the meat or it will become tough).
Use clean hands to form the five equal sized patties. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook turkey burgers uncovered for 5-6 minutes on each side. After both sides have been seared, cover and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.
Heat grill to around 500F, cook turkey burgers for 10-12 minutes, flipping half way through. Check that burgers are cooked completely before removing from grill.
Serve on whole wheat buns with desired toppings, such as lettuce, tomato and avocado!
Storage: Refrigerate cooked turkey burgers in an airtight container for 4-5 days.