Nothing says summer more to me than grilling outside. As a family, we turn up the music and all sit outside enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. I almost can’t believe we are finally at this point in the year! This truly is my favorite season.
Yesterday, I made one of my favorite recipes for the grill — Greek turkey burgers with homemade tzatziki sauce. These burgers are loaded with flavor due to a saute of vegetables and the addition of some crumbled feta cheese. To literally top it off, a quick cucumber-yogurt sauce adds to the mediterranean flavor of the burger. The addition of crumbled feta to the burger takes the flavor over the top, too. The cheese melts and caramelizes on the outside of the burger, yet remains creamy and tart on the inside.
This burger recipe can easily be adjusted for larger gatherings. In fact, I made these burgers for my family at our annual reunion and 25 of them were gone in no time. Everyone, even the kids, loved them. They are actually not too bad for you either due to the lean protein and are packed with veggies.
Here is what you need to make about 4-6 burgers:
1lb ground turkey (not turkey breast — it will be too dry)
1/2 Cup diced red bell pepper (or 1/4 Cup red and 1/4 Cup yellow)
1/4 Cup diced sun dried tomatoes
1/2 Cup finely diced onions (I like to use red onion, but any kind will do)
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp herbes de Provence (this is a mixture of dried herbs — if you don’t have it, you could add some thyme, rosemary, and oregano)
1-2 tsp worscestershire sauce
1/2 Cup crumbled feta cheese
4-6 hamburger buns (I like the whole wheat buns my grocery’s bakery makes)
1 Cup plain Greek yogurt (I use full fat)
1/4 Cup finely diced cucumber, seeded
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper to taste
Lettuce and tomato to garnish the burgers
In a medium skillet, 1 Tbs olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute until softened. Put in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside to cool down.
In a smaller mixing bowl, add finely diced cucumber, lemon juice, lemon zest, yogurt and salt and pepper together. Adjust seasonings. You could add some minced garlic at this point if you like it. Set the sauce aside in the fridge while you assemble and cook your burgers.
Once your vegetables have cooled, combine your turkey, 1 Tbs of olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, worscestershire, your dried herbs, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Make sure these ingredients are evenly incorporated, then gently fold in your feta cheese. It is best to do this with your hands so the cheese doesn’t break up too much.
Form your burger patties and set on a plate in your freezer to firm them up. I usually leave them in the freezer for about 10-20 minutes while I am waiting for the grill to heat up.
These burgers should be cooked completely on the grill because they are poultry based — 20 minutes should do ya, but that all depends on how thick you make your burgers.
Serve on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato and a spoonful of tzatziki sauce. So good!
These burgers could be made in advance and frozen for grilling later, too. Feel free to add other ingredients to the mix — pine nuts, fresh herbs, grated carrots. It all works! Just make sure you saute any vegetables that are firm so that they cook completely while grilling.