A Burger Tongue Twister

Happy New Year! Sometimes (often) I crave a burger, and when I do I have no other choice than to immediately satisfy that craving. It seems that all restaurants have been trying to elevate the burger by piling as many things on top of a beef patty as possible. In my opinion, these burgers are too big to eat, and if I want onion rings, I’ll order them on the side.

When I do decide to stray from the traditional cheeseburger, I like to travel to the other end of the spectrum, for instance, a lamb burger.  Seeing as we’re only two weeks into the New Year and everyone is still sticking to his or her resolution to eat healthier, instead of using lamb, I used turkey for this recipe.

Turkish Turkey Burger with Tzaziki & Couscous Tabboule

Turkish Turkey Burger with Tzaziki & Couscous Tabbouleh

Turkish Turkey Burgers with Tzaziki & Couscous Tabbouleh Salad 

Serving Size: 2-3 Depending on the size of your burgers

Time: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Easier than saying the title of this recipe 3 times fast


–       a cutting board

–       a knife

–       a medium sized mixing bowl

–       a small mixing bowl

–       a small/medium pot

–       a medium pan


–       1 package ground turkey

–       1 egg yolk

–       1 bunch parsley, cleaned and roughly chopped

–       1 tbs cumin

–       1 tsp coriander

–       ¼ tsp. cayenne

–       2 lemons, juiced

–       arugula for garnish (optional)

–       English muffins (optional)

–       feta, cubed or crumbled (optional)

–       1 individual sized greek yogurt

–       1 cucumber, cut in half (half medium dice, half brunoise(very small dice))

–       1 red pepper, medium dice

–       1 clove garlic, minced

–       1 cup dry, 5 minute couscous

–       1 onion, small dice

–       2 tbs olive oil

–       salt & pepper to taste


First, start your couscous (follow instructions on the package).  Once you take your couscous off the heat, start your turkey burger mixture. In a medium bowl, mix the turkey, egg yolk, cumin, coriander, half of the chopped onion and half of the chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper.  Form into patties. This mixture may be very sticky, don’t be alarmed. I like to fill my turkey burgers with feta. If you choose to do this, place about a teaspoon of feta in the center of each burger, making sure that none is exposed. If the cheese isn’t covered by meat, it will run right out of the burger once it heats up.

To make the tabbouleh, fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add the red pepper, medium dice cucumber, 1 tbs of olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and the rest of the parsley and onion. Mix. Season with salt and pepper. Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur wheat, but I think couscous gives it a fresher, lighter feel. I’ve also replaced the traditional tomato, with red pepper in this recipe because the tomatoes at the grocery store looked terrible.  For a gluten free version of tabbouleh, use quinoa!

Heat your pan with 1 tbs olive oil. Make sure your pan is hot before you put the burgers down. Once the burgers start to cook you can reduce the heat as to not set off your fire alarm. Once the bottom of the burgers start to brown, they will release themselves from the pan and you can flip them. If they feel stuck, they need more time. The burgers will need approximately 5 minutes on each side.

While the burgers are cooking, mix your tzaziki. In your small mixing bowl, add the yogurt, brunoised cucumber, 1 tsp of lemon juice and the rest of the minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Feel your burgers to test for doneness. They should be firm, but give a little. With your left hand, touch your thumb to your pinky. Then touch the ball of your hand, under your thumb with your right index finger. Does the burger feel like that? If not, keep cooking! Keep in mind, that if you stuffed a lot of cheese in the center of your burger, it may continue to feel undercooked even when its cooked through.

Serve your burgers on a toasted English muffin, or for those who are really taking those resolutions seriously, without a bun. Top with a spoonful of tzaziki, and finish with a few arugula leaves. Add your side of couscous tabbouleh salad and enjoy!


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