Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-12Burgers are a clean slate of creative possibilities. Not only can you be innovative with the type of burgers that you choose to grill, but you have a myriad of options for the toppings that will complement the burgers.

The #1 attribute of a good burger in my opinion is juiciness. If a burger is tough and dry, the flavors won’t be enough to compensate. Since poultry is a lean meat (Yay! Healthy!) it also has has a tendency to dry out very quickly, since it doesn’t have a bunch of fat to help keep it moist and plump. I added some grated zucchini to the burger meat, which not only adds flavor, but also adds juiciness, which I’m all about, as you can see. Creamy and zesty bites of feta cheese dispersed throughout the meat gives you a nice surprise as you enjoy bites of your burger, as they start to melt, but still keeps most of the texture, since the pieces of feta are generous in size to begin with.

The combination of the creamy, flavorful guacamole is such an awesome, summery complement to the turkey burgers and I love the crisp, crunchy cucumbers and tomatoes to top it all off.

Ingredients:

1 – 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 – 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey

1 onion, minced

4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

salt, ground black pepper

4-6 Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns

Toppings:

4-6 slices Provolone cheese (or any other cheese that you like)

1 cup guacamole

2 tomatoes, sliced

2 medium cucumbers, sliced

Instructions:

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-1-17Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-2Season it with about 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt and then place it in a colander or a fine mesh sieve to drain for 15 minutes up to 30 minutes. I usually do this while I prep the rest of the ingredients. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can out of the zucchini. Zucchini is very watery, so it helps to do this step, so that the burgers don’t end up mushy and watery.

Place the ground turkey (you can also use ground chicken), grated zucchini, minced onion, and 3/4 teaspoon of table salt and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-3Mix to combine. Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-4Add the crumbled feta cheese and gently mix it into the burger mixture. If you add the feta cheese right away, it has a tendency to completely fall apart. Adding it in last will help the feta crumbles to stay in nice and big chunks, so that you have wonderful pockets of melted feta in throughout the burger.

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-5

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-6Shape the burgers mixture into 4-6 burgers, depending on how much meat you are using and how big the hamburger buns you are using. I was using Kaiser rolls, which are on the bigger size, so I got 5 burgers from 1.3 lbs of meat. When you shape the burgers, use the buns as a guide to how big to shape the burgers. The raw burgers should be slightly bigger than the bun, since the meat will contract as it cooks and become smaller. Also, make a slight indentation in the center of the raw burger, since it will also puff up a bit in the center as the burgers cook.

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-8You can prepare the burgers up until this point and store them in the refrigerator (covered) up to a day in advance, until you’re ready to cook them.

Preheat the grill to high heat for at least 15 minutes, then clean the grates. Dip a wad of paper towels in oil, and go over the grill grates with the oil 3-5 times, which helps to make them somewhat nonstick and cleans them too. Place the burgers on the preheated grill and cook them for 4-6 minutes per side.

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-9You can also make these burgers on the stovetop and they make wonderful, juicy patties. Heat some oil in a skillet on medium high heat and then cook the burgers on the skillet until golden on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. You don’t even have to serve them as burgers but as patties.

During the last 2 minutes, place the slices of Provolone cheese (or any other cheese that you like) on top of the burgers to melt. You can also grill the hamburger buns if you like.

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-1-18Add toppings of your choice to the burgers and serve immediately. I used guacamole, tomatoes and cucumbers.Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-11Now comes the task of getting your mouth around this monstrous taste fest. It’ll be worth every juicy bite!
Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers-14

Zucchini and Feta Turkey Burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6 burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 - 1½ cups grated zucchini
  • 1 - 1½ lbs ground turkey
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 4-6 Kaiser rolls or hamburger buns
Toppings:
  • 4-6 slices Provolone cheese (or any other cheese that you like)
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 medium cucumbers, sliced
Instructions
  1. Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater. Season it with about ⅛ of a teaspoon of salt and then place it in a colander or a fine mesh sieve to drain for 15 minutes up to 30 minutes. I usually do this while I prep the rest of the ingredients. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can out of the zucchini. Zucchini is very watery, so it helps to do this step, so that the burgers don't end up mushy and watery.
  2. Place the ground turkey (you can also use ground chicken), grated zucchini, minced onion, and ¾ teaspoon of table salt and ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
  3. Add the crumbled feta cheese and gently mix it into the burger mixture. If you add the feta cheese right away, it has a tendency to completely fall apart. Adding it in last will help the feta crumbles to stay in nice and big chunks, so that you have wonderful pockets of melted feta in throughout the burger.
  4. Shape the burgers mixture into 4-6 burgers, depending on how much meat you are using and how big the hamburger buns you are using. I was using Kaiser rolls, which are on the bigger size, so I got 5 burgers from 1.3 lbs of meat. When you shape the burgers, use the buns as a guide to how big to shape the burgers. The raw burgers should be slightly bigger than the bun, since the meat will contract as it cooks and become smaller. Also, make a slight indentation in the center of the raw burger, since it will also puff up a bit in the center as the burgers cook.
  5. Preheat the grill to high heat for at least 15 minutes, then clean the grates. Dip a wad of paper towels in oil, and go over the grill grates with the oil 3-5 times, which helps to make them somewhat nonstick and cleans them too. Place the burgers on the preheated grill and cook them for 4-6 minutes per side.
  6. During the last 2 minutes, place the slices of Provolone cheese (or any other cheese that you like) on top of the burgers to melt. You can also grill the hamburger buns if you like.
  7. Add toppings of your choice to the burgers and serve immediately. I used guacamole, tomatoes and cucumbers.
Notes
You can also make these burgers on the stovetop and they make wonderful, juicy patties. Heat some oil in a skillet on medium high heat and then cook the burgers on the skillet until golden on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. You don't even have to serve them as burgers but as patties.

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