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If the words “turkey burger” generally strike fear in your heart because you’ve suffered through one-too-many dry and tasteless specimens, then take heart because today I’ve come to change your mind about the poor and much-maligned turkey burger. What you’ll find here is a true burger lover’s turkey burger and, I won’t lie, it’s excellent. Challenged with crafting a burger for dinner guests who don’t eat beef, this recipe forced me to think creatively and I was rewarded with a tangy, sweet, and juicy burger that’s perfect for entertaining. The best thing may be that it “worked” on a first run – don’t you love it when that happens?
Pineapple Teriyaki Turkey Burgers
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 25 min
1 lb ground turkey
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup Moore’s Teriyaki Marinade
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten
Salt & pepper to taste
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 can sliced pineapple
4 buns or rolls of your choice
1 cup baby spinach
Gas or charcoal grill
Instant-read meat thermometer, I prefer the digital Thermapen* from Thermoworks
- Combine turkey, bread crumbs, marinade, onion, parsley, garlic, and egg in a large mixing bowl.
- Using your hands, mix gently and divide into four equal portions.
- Form each portion into a patty, place on parchment paper, and season with salt and pepper. Place the seasoned patties into the refrigerator while you light the grill.
- Once the grill is hot, place the burgers over direct heat and cook for about four minutes on the first side, rotating 90 degrees halfway through.
- Flip the patties and top each with a slice of cheese.
- Place your pineapple slices on the grill and cook until they’ve caramelized in a few spots and have nice grill marks.
- Once your burgers reach an internal temp of 180 degrees, remove to a plate.
- Brush each side of your buns with a bit of the teriyaki marinade and add a small handful of spinach to the bottom of each bun.
- Place your burgers onto the spinach, add a slice of pineapple, and finish with the top bun.
- Serve and enjoy!
Step 1: Start by combining all the ingredients minus the salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. It’s important to get this mixed together well and the best way to do that is to just get in there with your hands and mix it up. I’ve tried using utensils for this and it just doesn’t work, so glove up and mix away.
Step 2: Once it’s mixed, divide it into four equal parts. You don’t have to weigh them for exact portions, just go by sight and get them as equal as possible. I like to roll them into balls for the best estimate, this also makes forming patties really easy as well.
Step 3: Form your patties and place them on parchment paper. This is when I sprinkle them with salt and pepper before putting them in the fridge while I light the grill. The time in the fridge allows them to set up and makes for an easier transfer to the hot grill when you’re ready.
Step 4: Once your grill is hot, we’re going to cook these patties hot and fast. By that I mean we’re cooking them right over the hot section of your grill. Remember, these turkey burgers have very little fat in them and because of that they will tend to dry out, so be careful not to overcook them. I recommend 4 minutes on either side, with a 90 degree turn at the halfway point. On the flip, add the Swiss cheese. Feel free to substitute your favorite cheese – I have used blue cheese as well and it pairs very well with the sweet pineapple.
Step 5: You can also grill your pineapple slices at this time too. Not only will the grill marks on the pineapple look appealing, but the pineapple actually tastes more intense when it’s grilled because the natural sugars caramelize and intensify the flavor of the fruit. That concentrated flavor really helps on this burger.
Step 6: When the burgers hit an internal temp of 180 degrees they are ready to come off. I brush both sides of the bun with a bit of the Moore’s Teriyaki Marinade and add some spinach to the bottom bun. Then I slide the burger onto the spinach, add a slice of pineapple to each burger, and add the top bun.
Step 7: Serve and enjoy watching even die-hard turkey burger haters happily polish off these juicy and flavorful creations!
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