Recipe: Turkey Avocado Burgers

Recipe: Turkey Avocado Burgers

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Sheela Prakash
Jul 31, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

These turkey burgers look beef burgers straight in the face and make them quiver a bit. These are far from the wimpy, dry-as-sandpaper turkey burgers you've had before. Instead, they are juicy, spicy from chili powder and cayenne, and fragrant from cumin and chopped shallots. Topped with melted Monterey Jack and lime-scented avocado mash, this is how you make a turkey burger that people will actually want to eat.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Juicier Turkey Burger, Thanks to Greek Yogurt

The key to any successful burger, regardless of the toppings, is the patty itself. This one takes this point very seriously. Based off of our cooking lesson, these turkey burgers are bound by breadcrumbs and a few big spoonfuls of Greek yogurt, which moistens the meat and prevents it from overcooking, and therefore ensures juicy results. All that's left to do is top these turkey burgers with sharp cheese and creamy avocado mash to make it the hit of any barbecue.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Wine and Dine! What to Drink

Chances are you'll be eating these burgers out in the backyard, which is why I'm suggesting pairing them with rosé. A summer meal like this one matches perfectly to pink wine. As turkey is a lean meat, a light-bodied wine works best, but because rosé has a little bit of tannins, it can hold up to the richness of the cheese- and avocado-topped burger. The crispness of rosé also helps cut through these rich ingredients.

3 Bottles of Rosé Under $15

Turkey Avocado Burgers

Makes 4 burgers

2/3 cup fresh or panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup minced shallot (from 1 large shallot)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound ground turkey (93% lean/7% fat)
1 medium avocado, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 slices tomato
4 thin slices red onion
4 hamburger buns

Place the breadcrumbs, yogurt, shallot, garlic, chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cayenne in a large bowl and mix to combine.

Add the turkey and use your fingers to combine the meat and flavorings until just combined. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. Form each a patty about 1 inch thick and 3 1/2 inches wide. Place on a plate or baking sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each patty to create a dimple, which will help keep the burgers from bulging in the center as they cook. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Meanwhile, lightly mash together the avocado, lime juice, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl.

Grill the burgers uncovered until cooked through and they reach an internal temperature of 160°F, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. During the last minute of cooking, top each burger with a slice of cheese, cover the grill, and let the cheese melt. Transfer to a clean plate.

Grill buns until toasted, about 30 seconds per side.

Place a patty on the bottom of each bun. Top the patties with the mashed avocado, along with a slice of tomato and red onion, and close the bun.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Refrigerate leftover patties, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days.
  • Stovetop option: You can also cook the burgers inside instead of grilling them: Heat the oven to 375°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the burgers and cook undisturbed until a golden-brown crust forms on the bottoms, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers with a flat spatula. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 160°F, 5 to 7 minutes more. During the last minute of cooking, add a slice of cheese to each burger, return them to the oven, and let the cheese melt.
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