The other week, as we were heating up our lunches in the little kitchen area at work, Trieste told me about a really good turkey burger she had made. I had never made a turkey burger myself…I’m not sure why–I guess I just think of beef when it comes to burgers, and never thought about trying a turkey burger. But when Trieste told me what was in the recipe, I had a hunch I would like it. So I made a note to buy some ground turkey on my next trip to the grocery store and made this burger a few days ago. And I did like it…very much! It’s mildly seasoned with Cajun spice blend and has finely diced onion, bell pepper, and some fresh cilantro mixed in with the ground turkey, which give the burger a great flavor! I added some chopped green chiles, which you can’t really taste, but I think it added a little to the juiciness of the burger. If you don’t care for ground turkey, I think this recipe would also work great with ground beef, although I haven’t actually tried that yet.
The recipe makes one burger, which is handy if you are just cooking for one or two…you don’t have to make a big batch of burgers! If you do need to make more, just multiply the recipe by the number of burgers you are wanting to make. If you don’t happen to have Cajun spice blend on hand, I’m also including a recipe for one you can make yourself!
TRIESTE’S SEASONED TURKEY BURGER (makes 1 burger)
- 4 ounces ground turkey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend, divided
- 1/8 cup finely diced bell pepper
- 1/8 cup finely diced onion
- 1 teaspoon finely diced green chiles, canned or fresh, optional (if using fresh, remove seeds)
- 1 Tablespoon finely diced fresh cilantro
- cooking spray or a little olive oil
- whole wheat burger bun or roll
- some thinly–sliced onion, grilled, to top burger (optional)
You can cook this burger in a frying pan on the stovetop, or you can make it in the oven in an oven-proof skillet or baking pan. Or, you could probably grill it if you have one of those small countertop indoor electric kitchen grills.
If making this in your oven, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and place a medium-size oven-proof skillet or baking pan in the oven (I used a cast iron skillet).
Place the ground turkey in a small mixing bowl and add the salt and pepper with 1/2 teaspoon of the Cajun spice blend. Using a fork, blend the seasonings and the ground turkey well. Add the second 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun spice blend, the bell pepper, onion, green chiles (if desired), and cilantro; blend all ingredients well.
Form a patty with this mixture (this makes a thick, good-sized patty–mine was about 3/4 inch thick). Spray your skillet or pan lightly with oil (or coat lightly with some olive oil, which is what I did). Add the burger to the skillet or pan. If frying this on your stovetop, cook burger until done, turning several times to cook evenly. If making this in your oven, place skillet with burger in oven and cook for about 5 minutes on one side, then turn burger over and cook 5 minutes more, or until done. NOTE: my burger was not quite done after the 10 minutes in the oven; instead of keeping it in the oven longer, I just decided to take it out of the oven and fry it on the stovetop a little while longer until it was done. I added some onion slices to the pan, too, so I could top the burger with grilled onion.
I decided to use a whole wheat roll instead of a burger bun, and I put some mayo, lettuce (I used arugula) and a tomato slice on the top half of the roll. I topped the burger with my grilled onions. It was delicious! Put whatever you like best on your burger. And if you want to be extra healthy, serve it with some apple wedges instead of potatoes!
Here’s a recipe for Cajun Spice Blend if you want to try making your own…
CAJUN SPICE BLEND (from Allrecipes)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional–this will make the blend hotter!)
Stir together all ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container. Makes 1/4 cup.