We love burgers, but we limit our red meat to one serving per week. Consequently, I look for alternatives to the juicy beef burger. (Boca Burgers and MorningStar Farms aren’t an option for me right now because they contain soy, which interferes with medication I take; however, veggie burgers are a good alternative if your doctor agrees)
I buy lean ground turkey for making my own sausage, pasta sauce, etc. and I’ve experimented with ways to make it more palatable as a burger. The problem is the taste. Turkey has a tendency to be bland, so it’s necessary to bump up the flavors. One solution is my recipe that’s a knock off of a popular beef burger at a fast food chain, the jalapeño patty melt burger. It has a kick, especially if the salsa is hot. If you aren’t a fan of spicy hot food, you can vary the recipe with milder cheese, salsa, and peppers.
- ½ pound lean ground turkey
- dash of salt and pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. salsa, divided
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 ounces pepperjack cheese, divided in fourths
- 2 whole wheat burger buns
- Preheat a cast iron grill pan, outdoor grill, or contact grill.
- Combine ground turkey with the salsa, chopped cilantro, salt and pepper. Do not overwork the meat.
- Form turkey mixture into two equal patties (make a bit thinner in the centers to prevent burger bulge)
- Cook for five minutes on hot grill or grill pan, turn, and cook opposite sides of burgers five minutes.
- While burgers cook, separate the bottoms and tops of the buns. Place on fourth of the cheese on each bottom.
- Remove burgers from heat and place on the cheese on the bottom portions of the buns. Add a fourth of the pepperjack cheese, and the jalapeño slices.
- Place burger, bun and all, back in the grill pan or on the grill. Weight the burger down and cook one minute or until cheese melts. (If using a contact grill, no weight is necessary)
- Carefully remove jalapeño patty melt burger from the grill and serve.
Yield: 2 burgers
Variations: Mix the salsa with 1 Tbsp. sour cream and spread on each bun before adding the cheese.