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Turkey Burger with Herbs & Tzatziki Sauce


I shot a wedding on Saturday for a lovely young couple.  It was an indoor/outdoor event with temperatures hovering at about 90 degrees most of the day.  Those type of hot days can be so draining when you are on your feet for 9-10 hours.  So on Sunday, we were heading to the beach to spend it with family. Sunday was also our 29th anniversary, so there was no other place we wanted to be.

You know from my praiseworthy post about Stella’s Greek Restaurant that I love Greek flavors. So when I got to my sister’s place at the beach, I learned that a Greek Turkey Burger with Tzatziki Sauce was on the menu, I was so excited and just knew I had to share it with you all.  Sunday dinner at the beach is always a group effort.  Somebody’s chopping, somebodies stirring and somebody is always doing dishes so we can stay ahead of the mess.  Today was no different.

Turkey Burger with Herbs & Tzatziki Sauce

This recipe has a bit of prep work but it is super simple and quick to make.

The Tzatziki Sauce

1/3 cup white vinegar
3 garlic cloves
3 cups plain Greek yogurt
3/4 large English cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise, seeded, cut in ¼-in. pieces
2 1/4 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 tsp. black pepper

Process vinegar and garlic in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl. Add yogurt; gently whisk until fully incorporated. Fold in cucumber, dill, salt, and pepper. Set aside.  You can make ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.

The Turkey Burger

1/2 cup whole milk
4  bread slices, crusts removed
1 egg
2 lb. ground turkey
Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Line a small tray with parchment paper, and rub parchment with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Place the bread slices with crusts removed in a large shallow bowl. Cover with milk.  Press down on the bread to be sure it is submerged in the milk. Let soak for 30 seconds for soft pillowy bread or a minute or more for a more rustic or GF bread. Once completely soaked. Remove bread from milk mixture; discard liquid. Squeeze excess liquid from bread, and tear bread into small pieces.

Combine torn bread, egg and turkey in a medium bowl. Using your hands, gently mix just until combined. (Do not overmix.) Shape mixture into 6 patties.  Place patties on prepared tray, and rub with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Let rest in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes

The Toppings

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
8 tomato slices
8 thinly sliced red onion rings
1 cup packed arugula
fresh herbs of 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped; 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped; 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

Combine the three herbs into one small dish.  All other toppings need to be prepped and ready when the turkey burgers cooked.

The Bread

6 pita bread, trim off about 3/4 inch around – We went with the pita because it was thin and would hold the sandwich together but not be a lot of bread. You will need to warm the pita to split it.

Notes:  You can also create the sandwich using English muffins, split and toasted, or a toasted brioche roll.

Cooking the Turkey Burger

You can cook on the grill

Preheat grill to medium-high (about 450°). Sprinkle patties evenly with salt and pepper. Now grill just until burgers are cooked through and juices run clear, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

You can cook on the stovetop

Heat a large cast iron skillet on the stove top on high heat.  Once a splash of water dances when flicked in the pan, drizzle a small amount of olive oil in the skillet and place the patties in the skillet. Sprinkle patties evenly with salt and pepper. Do not touch or check them for 4 minutes.  When the burger is caramelized then flip and do not touch for 3 minutes.  Check for caramelization.  Both slides should be caramelized and cooked through with juices running clear, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Assemble the Turkey Burger

Spread a spoonful of the cucumber-yogurt mixture on the inside of each cut side of the pita.  Top each bottom half with 1 patty. Top patties with lemon juice, tomato slices, red onion, arugula, mixed herbs. Cover with top halves the pita.  Remaining cucumber-yogurt mixture to serve on the side or for another use.

Makes 6 burgers


We ate the Greek Turkey Burger with a Greek Salad containing torn Romaine lettuce leaves, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, celery and feta cheese with a purchased Greek-style salad dressing.

Download Recipe Here:  Turkey Burger with Herbs & Tzatziki Sauce





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