Greek Turkey Burgers with Tzatziki

It’s almost summertime, and we’ve had a few weeks of some pretty freakishly warm weather in San Francisco. If you are wondering why I am surprised by this, thinking perhaps, “Warm weather is not the warm for summer in San Francisco?” let me tell you first that no, it is not normal, and then direct you to Karl the Fog who can show you a little bit about why it isn’t warm here.

Another summer pastime: watching my beloved Oakland A's beat the stinkin' Yankees!

Another summer pastime: watching my beloved Oakland A’s beat the stinkin’ Yankees!

One day last week when I was feeling particularly indecisive about food I somehow ended up getting fixated on the idea of a Greek/Mediterranean dish, which made me think chicken skewers with tzatziki, which made me check my Pinterest and then that lead me to remembering turkey burgers I’d made about a year ago but had wanted to re-vamp. You didn’t need that extended story about how I came to make these Greek(ish) turkey burgers with tzatziki, you say? Too bad, you got it.

While the first time I made a variation of these turkey burgers they were all right, nothing to write home about, these ones were amazing. Super good. Not dry, just delicious. They are full of bright flavor from the basil and mint, and between the feta and a teensy drizzle of olive oil, they do not dry out when cooking. Combined with the creamy/tangy/crunchy tzatziki, it was such an awesome weeknight dinner I know I will be making these again. The absolute only thing I could think was missing was a tomato (preferably a couple of slow-roasted slices of roma tomatoes for that sweetness).

Greek Turkey Burgers with Mint, Basil, Feta, and Tzatziki

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (I used 93/7 I think)
  • ~3 tbsp each chopped fresh mint and basil
  • ~1/2 c panko crumbs
  • 1/4 c diced red onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced fine or grated
  • 1 c crumbled feta (full-fat, come on people)
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Olive oil (a baby drizzle, 1-2 tbsp)
  • Salt and pepper (~1 tsp each)

For serving:

  • Buns or pita bread
  • Sliced red onion
  • Tomato (even better if slow-roasted!)
  • Lettuce/spinach
  • Tzatziki sauce
    • 1 c greek yogurt (I used Fage 2%)
    • 1/2 hothouse cucumber (seeds scooped out), diced
    • 1/4 c chopped fresh mint, or to taste
    • Zest from one lemon and roughly 1 tbsp juice
    • Salt & pepper
    • Pinch of oregano

Get cooking:

  • Prep your tzatziki: toss all of your ingredients (just a pinch each of salt and pepper to start), taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Feel free to throw some garlic in there if it so pleases you, but as is this was yummy.
    • Optional: salt your cucumber prior to mixing into tzatziki (like I did with my squash last summer)–this will eliminate some of the water from them and can help it from getting watered down. Not a necessary step.
Ready to go!

Ready to go!

  • Prep your burgers: Plop everything into a big bowl and dig in there with your hands to combine it all.
All mixed up!

All mixed up!

  • Cook dem burgers: I formed balls that were about 3/4 c of the meat mixture and made them into patties about 3/4 in thick. I cooked my burgers in a cast iron skillet in a little bit of butter  over medium heat (they can’t be too healthy, now) but if you have a grill pan or an actual grill, knock your socks off! They need to be cooked to 165°F to be considered done, so use that thermometer. It took I think between 5-7 minutes each side.
Look how juicy!

Look how juicy!

All assembled and ready to devour!

All assembled and ready to devour!

These are so easy and a great weeknight treat. The cool and creamy tzatziki is a perfect complement to the juicy burger. The herbs in the burger are outrageously on point, so fresh they really lighten up the burger. The feta and little bit of olive oil help keep this really lean patty juicy and it is just the right amount of indulgent flavor. Again, you would not be remiss to add a fat slice of fresh or slow-roasted tomato for extra juiciness and flavor (I just didn’t have tomatoes at the house!). I will definitely be making these again. So good.

Enjoy! 🙂



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