When you hear “turkey burger”, what do you think? Boring, dry, flavorless. I used to think that way too. Honestly, I thought that about any recipe that used ground turkey instead of beef. What, if I told you that a turkey burger can be just as juicy and flavorful as a beef burger? Well, it’s true.
I have learned when it comes to using turkey, it is all in the way of how you prepare it and what you do to enhance the flavor. You CAN make a turkey burger that eats like a beef burger. In this household we pretty much eat mostly turkey, where most people would use beef. The only time we eat beef is if it is grass fed and it is usually a special occasion. Mostly, because turkey is healthier (especially when it’s no hormone and no antibiotic) and it is less expensive (grass fed beef is not cheap).
I have become somewhat an expert in using turkey meat. I think a lot of people haven’t converted their favorite taco, or burger recipes, because they don’t know how to make turkey taste good. I can admit if you don’t do it right, it can be pretty bland. There is definitely a method when using turkey. I have an arsenal of turkey recipes that I am excited to share with you in the future. Most of them are not very sexy and I usually make them in bulk (so I can freeze them), so I haven’t quite worked out how to share them yet. This burger recipe is the first one I have completed an actual recipe for. It is flavorful and healthy, so it is perfect for the clean eating phase we are in. When I eat healthy I don’t like to think of it as eating healthy, I just want to eat food that taste good. And these burgers taste good!
So wait for it…. the secret ingredient in these burgers to make them juicy and meaty are…..
Mushrooms! For those of you who don’t like mushrooms, sorry for you. But, honestly you can’t even tell there are mushrooms in it. Mushrooms hold a lot of water so they keep moisture in the burgers. They also have an earthiness to them that give the turkey more of a beefy flavor. I know it may sound kind of odd but, I promise, you will not be disappointed. Oh, and the addition of green chiles adds major flavor. This summer we roasted hatch chiles so we have green chiles readily available from our freezer. You can use the cans in the Latin/International aisle of the grocery store. If green chile isn’t your thing, use some chopped sweet onion in the mix and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Don’t let the yield of burgers scare you, this recipe can easily be halved. I make a decent amount so I can feed the fam for a couple of days.
Green Chile Turkey Burgers
2 – 16 ounce packages of ground turkey
*12 ounces of white mushrooms
*2-3 tbsp of chopped roasted green chiles
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
grapeseed oil, for pan frying
In a food processor, chop the mushrooms finely. You don’t want any big chunks of mushroom left where you can visibly see its a mushroom. It should be chopped to the consistency of the turkey meat. This may have to be done in batches depending on the size of your food processor. Place the chopped mushrooms in a large bowl. Chop the green chiles and garlic in the food processor, then add to the mushrooms.
In the bowl of mushrooms, add the turkey, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Use a fork, like a rake to mix the meat. Mixing it this way keeps it from getting too dense and over mixed. Mix well.
To create the patties, use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop the turkey meat mixture out on to a sheet pan. This mixture is very sticky and using the measuring cup gives them a patty form without having to use your hands. After all patties are scooped out and on the sheet pan, chill for 30 minutes. Chilling helps the patties hold their shape as they cook.
After chilling, preheat the oven to 325 and heat a cast iron pan (or heavy bottomed skillet) on medium- high heat. Add enough grapeseed oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once hot, pan fry the patties for 4 minutes on each side. Do this in batches, add more oil as needed. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, as the patties will not brown. Place browned patties on a sheet pan. Once all patties are finished browning, place the sheet pan in the oven for 12-14 minutes to finish cooking.
Serve however you like to eat your burgers. We are eating healthy right now, so we served them on a bed of lettuce, topped with avocado, red onion, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
*Use white mushrooms here as they have less flavor than a crimini or shitake. This helps provide moisture without too much earthy flavor. Plus, white mushrooms are cheaper!
*Green chiles vary in heat. The green chiles in the can are usually mild, so adding 3 tbsp won’t add much heat, only flavor. We used green chiles from our freezer that we roasted ourselves in the summer time. These are very spicy, so we only added 2 tbsp.