How to Make Greek Style Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce
This week my oldest daughter Nell and I were on our own. Before heading to Wyoming for a wedding, my wife and youngest daughter were heading to Salt Lake City. Nell and I dined out a couple of times, but she said she wanted to make some Greek-style turkey burgers with fresh corn and Caprese salad.
Oh yeah, she wanted tzatziki sauce to serve with turkey burgers. She must have been looking through a cooking magazine for this menu.
Tzatziki sauce is a Greek-style yogurt sauce made with cucumber, garlic, mint leaves, and a few other ingredients, depending on who makes it.
It sounded like a great summer meal, so I went to Whole Foods to pick up some ingredients. Thinking about what would be good in a turkey burger, I picked up some ground turkey and feta cheese. Although I've previously prepared tzatziki sauce for lamb burgers, I picked up a commercial product to save a few steps.
I already had garlic and shallot at home, plus a flower bed full of mint; I was ready to make my own Greek-style turkey burgers. I'm sure you can add many other ingredients to your turkey burgers to make them more Greek style and I would love to hear your ideas in the comment section below.
While at Whole Foods, I noticed they sold light and dark meat ground turkey. I opted for the light-meat ground turkey, thinking my daughter would prefer it, but I'll give the dark meat a go next time.
Because I like dark meat turkey more and think it is more moist and flavorful than white meat turkey. On Thanksgiving, there is always a rush for the leg and thigh meat I de-bone and stuff. No matter how perfectly you roast a turkey, the white meat always seems a little drier than the dark thigh meat.
Now imagine grilling ground white turkey over a very hot grill. You must be extremely careful not to overcook it, or you'll end up with a hockey puck. Hint - don't walk away from the grill!
Corn on the Cob
Fresh Corn is starting to get really good here in the Philadelphia region. I don't think it's coming in from New Jersey yet; the best corn ever, but it is still very good.
Here are some of my posts on buying and cooking corn on the cob:
- How to Buy & Cook Corn on the Cob
- Cooking Corn on the Cob
- How to Grill Corn on the Cob
- Grilled Corn On the Cob with Parmesan Butter
When tomatoes are in season, especially Beef Steak tomatoes from New Jersey or our garden, we eat Caprese salad made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, extra virgin olive oil, good balsamic vinegar, and a little salt & pepper.
We may have some version of it 3 or 4 times per week during this time. Here are a few of my favorite ways to prepare it.
- Insalata Caprese Recipe
- Caprese and Panzanella Salads Combined
- Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Recipe
- Grilled Peach Insalata Caprese Style Recipe
- Tomato, Mozzarella and Green Bean Salad
Although serving these turkey burgers on hamburger buns would be perfect, I've been trying to keep my bread consumption down so I opted not to buy them for this meal. My 19-year-old daughter was perfectly fine with that decision.
RG's Cooking Tips
- You can make the turkey burgers beforehand and let them sit in the refrigerator if you like. I made them right before grilling, so I started my gas grill about 10 minutes before grilling so the grates would heat up.
- The best tip I can give you is not to overwork the turkey. Instead, gently combine all the ingredients using your hands, careful not to over-mix.
- These are not beef burgers, so I suggest you don't eat them bloody rare like some people like their beef, but also be careful not to let them overcook until they are inedible. The exact times will depend on your grill's temperature and the turkey burger's thickness.
Greek Style Turkey Burgers Recipe
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 shallot peeled & minced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1½ tablespoons mint minced
- ¼ cup Feta cheese crumbled
- salt & pepper to taste
- hamburger buns optional
- Spray oil for the grill or any oil to coat the grill
Making the Turkey Burgers
- I put the ground turkey into a stainless steel mixing bowl, added the shallot, garlic, mint, and Feta cheese, and seasoned with salt & pepper.
- When all the ingredients are well combined, make four equal-sized burgers with your hands and set aside until ready to grill.
- When the grill is medium hot, coat the grates with olive or vegetable oil to help prevent the burgers from sticking. I like spraying oil from a can, but you can also use olive oil and a paper towel.
- Add the turkey burgers and grill for 4 - 5 minutes until nice grill marks form on one side of the burger. Flip and continue cooking for 3 - 5 more minutes until the burgers are cooked to your liking.
- I like to use my finger to determine doneness, but I recognize this is totally unscientific but works for me but not for everyone. I suggest you use an instant thermometer to reach an internal temperature of about 160°F, but most home grillers don't feel the necessity of using one when grilling a burger. I can understand that.
- Remember to let the burger rest for a few minutes after removing it from the grill and before serving. During resting time, the burgers will continue to cook off heat, and the internal temperature should rise to about 165°F.
- Just like a beef hamburger, you want to let the juices inside the burger redistribute throughout the meat.
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