mains, poultry

california turkey burger


I’m not going to trash talk about beef burgers.  They most certainly have their time and place.  I’m just giving you a juicy, delicious and more healthful option.

Turkey is a super lean meat so you have to work with it.  It’s really not so hard to coax out some serious flavor and turn this bird into something deeply satisfying.  One easy trick is to use ground breast AND more flavorful thigh.  You’ll also need to add a little fat by way of an egg and some olive oil.  Make sure you not only oil your grill when you cook the burgers but brush them with a little as well.

Make a batch of this smoky spice mix and keep it in an airtight container.  It’s great as a rub on chicken, pork or even salmon on the grill.

california turkey burgers

makes 6 burgers

1 lb ground turkey breast

1 lb ground turkey thigh

1 large egg

¼ c cilantro, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T smoky spice mix

1 T  olive oil 

olive oil for brushing

to serve:

pickled onions


avocado, sliced

heirloom tomatoes, sliced

turkey bacon

hot sauce

monterey jack cheese

whole grain english muffins, toasted

ketchup (try mixing ¼ c ketchup with a couple of teaspoons or so of ground chipotle for a little extra kick)

smoky spice mix:

1 T kosher salt

1 T brown sugar

1 T smoked paprika

1 T cumin

1 T  cayenne pepper


Gently mix all of the ingredients together and form 6 burgers.  Brush each side lightly with olive oil.  Grill over medium heat until just done.



Pile on the toppings as you like.


I like to serve them with a tangy salad and baked sweet potatoes.