Turkey meat is much leaner than beef or pork, so it can be a challenge to make a burger with ground turkey that still gives you the satisfaction of eating a juicy burger.
One trick I use to infuse moisture into ground turkey is to add freshly grated zucchini! This is perfect for summer when those of us who garden have more zucchini than we can possibly use.
No, the burgers don't taste like zucchini, and yes, the grated zucchini works great to keep the burgers from drying out.
Just make sure you are using fresh summer zucchini, and not something that's shipped from thousands of miles away in the dead of winter when they are out of season.
Zucchini doesn't add much in the way of taste, and ground turkey is mild as well, so we need to bump up our turkey burgers with herbs and spices.
In this Italian inspired turkey burger we are including chopped fresh basil and oregano into the burger mix, and serving the burger with a slathering of garlic mayo.
Turkey Zucchini Burger with Garlic Mayo
- 1 pound ground turkey (thigh meat preferred)
- 2 green onions, white and green parts, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 pound of zucchini, grated (about 2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic Mayo
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Rest of burger
- Several leaves of lettuce
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Thinly sliced tomato
- Burger buns
Make the burger mix
In a large bowl place the ground turkey, green onions, chopped basil and oregano, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Using clean hands mix together thoroughly. Then mix in the grated zucchini until well distributed throughout the ground turkey.
Form burger patties and cook on both sides
Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Carefully form six patties with the turkey zucchini mixture.
Working in batches, gently cook the patties for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. You don't want the heat to be too high or the patties may get too browned before they are cooked through. Remove to a plate to keep warm.
Toast the buns
When you are finished with the pan for the burgers, wipe out any burned bits. Melt a little butter in the pan and place the buns in the pan, cut side down to brown. Increase the heat to medium high. Remove the buns from the pan when the edges start to brown.
Make garlic mayo
Whisk together the finely minced garlic and the mayonnaise in a small bow.
Build the burger
This is how we recommend to build the burger. Start with the bottom half of the burger bun. Spread a layer of garlic mayo over it. Place a layer of lettuce leaf over the mayo. Place the burger over the lettuce. Place the onion on the burger. Place a slice of tomato on the onion. If you want, place another lettuce leaf on the tomato. Top with the other half of the bun. The lettuce leaf on the bottom of the burger help prevent the juices from the burger from running into the bottom bun and making it soggy.