Sizzling Herbal Burgers: Italian Turkey Burgers

Use your favorite flavor combinations for an international flare. 

Italian Turkey Burgers
Makes 4 to 6 servings

I use ground turkey in place of ground beef in many recipes, but I had not convinced my husband that poultry could completely replace beef until I made this yummy combination. I was also happy to find an Italian-flavored replacement for our weekly pasta meal.

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • ? cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped oregano (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh, chopped basil (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 8 to 12 slices focaccia bread
  • Marinara sauce
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

Burger Basics
Don’t hold back when mixing up your own herbal burger creations! But do remember a few tips of the “mix” along the way:

Too lean can be mean. Lean meat is great, but be sure to add adequate moisture and fat via vegetable oils and sauces to avoid an unpalatably dry burger that you end up drenching with condiments.
Heat safe to eat. The internal temperature of egg dishes and cooked ground meat, including veal, beef, pork and lamb, should be at least 160 degrees. Ground turkey and chicken should be cooked to 165 degrees, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Use your hands. Wash your hands, then use them to mix the meat and seasonings. This allows you to feel when the mix is too dry or too moist, and to ensure that the seasonings are mixed in evenly. You’re going to have to get your hands dirty to make the burger patties anyway; just make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.

  1. Combine turkey, bread crumbs and seasonings. Depending on the amount of fat in the ground turkey, you might need to add more or less oil.
  2. Add oil gradually and mix until moist, not soggy. Form patties and grill or fry until juices run clear.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top of each patty 1 minute before removing them from heat.
  4. Serve on toasted focaccia bread along with your favorite marinara sauce and fresh basil leaves in place of lettuce.

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