Big flavor, satisfying meal, and healthy without tasting ‘healthy’. The first time I made these turkey burgers my youngest brother-in-law was in town and he asked “So, if I was to make these for, say…a lady, would she be impressed?” The answer was ‘yes!” These pack a ton of flavor into surprisingly few calories (only 300 per serving!). This meal is why I LOVE eatingwell.com. Every meal I’ve ever made from their website tastes amazing and is healthy without feeling sparse.

Just a couple of notes:

  • I did try making these with ground beef once when it was all I had on hand and they were nowhere near as good. The mildness of the turkey allows the flavors of the sauce and the seasonings in the burger to really pop.
  • I have tried three different grocery stores around here and no one carries focaccia (seriously?!), so I use ciabatta rolls and slice them in half. They work very well. 
  • They are meant to be served open face. Don’t mess with that! :)
  • I made the sauce for this during the summer when tomatoes were in season and froze it for later use, so I don’t have pictures of that process. I LOVE this sauce…So simple, so flavorful, and can be easily used for many other things!
  • The ground turkey I get comes in a 1.25 lb package. This made 5 burgers and one small extra burger (that one was not stuffed.)
  • I get the best cooking results when I use my cast-iron skillet. Don’t flip them a million times, just leave them about 5 minutes per side and let them get a good sear.
  • They are wildly popular with the entire family (Lilly had four servings!) so whether you are making them for a date night or a family meal, this recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
  • If you’ve read my other cooking posts I know what you’re thinking….These look really similar to the mozzarella stuffed meatballs….Yes. BUT, they are a fraction of the calories without sacrificing flavor!

                    Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers (from eatingwell.com) 

MARINARA SAUCE

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with juices
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

BURGERS

  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted
  1. To prepare marinara: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.
  2. To prepare burgers: Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4-inches wide and 3/8 inch thick.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (see Grilling Variation). Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
  5. Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted focaccia, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese. Grilling Variation: To grill the turkey burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Grab and knife and fork and dig in because these are delicious!!!

And healthy!! No need to share that tidbit with people who turn up their noses at healthy food though…because they’ll never know. These are that good!

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