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Friday, December 2, 2011

Recipe for Blue Cheese, Pistachio, and Cranberry Turkey Burgers

It's only been a week since Turkey Day, I know.  Trust me, these turkey burgers pumped up with tangy blue cheese, salty pistachios and dried cranberries are worth a trip back to the turkey case at your grocery store. Or are you like me and always keep a package of ground turkey breast in the freezer?

Sometimes, ground turkey breast gets a bad wrap as being too dry, not flavorful, hard to work with.  Not true as long as you follow a few things I've learned after making lots of turkey burgers.  You do have to be liberal with the flavorings.  Add in various herbs.  Either mix in a small amount of your favorite healthy oil or small amounts of a flavorful cheese to add a little fat and flavor.  And, importantly, don't over cook.  I always cut into one burger once I've browned both sides and take them off the heat and out of the pan or off the grill when it looks "almost" done (slight amount of pink in the middle).  Like all meat, the burgers will keep cooking off the heat during the next couple of minutes.

The only debate over these guys was whether there was too much cranberry in them.  For me, they were perfect.  Mr. ELEB thought the cranberry should be dialed back.  It's a preference thing.  I love meat and fruit flavors together-not everyone does so use the taste preferences of those at your dinner table to decide!

This is the first time I have used coconut oil for cooking.  I've been reading how, once thought to be a fat to avoid, it is now believed to be an acceptable, some would propose beneficial, fat to use.  I mainly want to try it in baking but I saw it in the cupboard when going for the olive oil and decided to give it a try for pan browning. It browned these burgers nicely.

Yield: 4 burgers
Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/4 lb. ground turkey breast
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 3 TBSP (or less) of dried cranberries
  • 2 TBSP crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 TBSP coarsely chopped roasted, salted pistachios
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP coconut (or other) oil
  • 4 whole grain hamburger buns
  • Lettuce leaves for serving
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add oil.
  • Combine all ingredients (except buns, oil, and lettuce) and form into 4 patties (don't over mix or over work the meat).
  • Brown patties on both sides for 2 minutes per side (don't try to move the patties until browned-they will stick if you do-be patient).
  • Turn heat to medium and cut to the center of one patty so you can see the center.
  • Cook an additional 4 minutes per side or until just barely pink in center of cut burger.
  • Remove from heat and rest for 2 minutes or so.
  • Serve over lettuce on buns.
  • If cooking on a grill, coat both sides of the patties with the oil and preheat and clean the grill thoroughly before cooking.

Here is another turkey burger recipe for you:

What are you making on burger night?