Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion and Cumin are a delicious marriage of plant based ingredients and meat.
Turkey and zucchini burgers are a delicious way to lighten up meat
I can’t resist a burger that’s packed with greens, whether it’s green veggies, leafy greens, or fresh herbs, it doesn’t matter, greens mixed in with the meat make burgers extra tender, juicy and bursting with flavor.
These turkey burgers get their green personality from grated zucchini, green onions, mint and cilantro. They’re browned in a skillet and then finished off in the oven, which gives them great caramelization on the outside and helps insure that they aren’t tough inside. With their spring green color, almost meatball-like texture, and subtle Middle Eastern spicing, these patties are worlds away from any turkey burger you’ve had lately. But it gets even better — they’re topped off with a wonderfully tangy sumac yogurt sauce. Sumac is a deep red tart spice that’s well worth tracking down. It looks a little like chili powder, and it’s used in a lot of Middle Eastern dishes. It gives a citrusy tang to meats, rice, hummus and salads.
This recipe is from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Jerusalem
It came out a couple of years ago to great fanfare, and the fanfare hasn’t died down one bit, at least in my kitchen. It is hands down my favorite cookbook, and everything I’ve made from it has turned out perfect, and has introduced me to something new. Sami Tamimi have a flair for vivid flavors and compelling, but not at all fussy, presentation. I most often choose what I want to cook by eye, and the photos in this book are so enticing that I can hardly get past a page or two before I’ve made my choice. Every page is a killer. If you don’t have this book, I can’t recommend it enough. When I get in a rut and can’t think of anything to make, I turn to this book. It never lets me down.
You could eat these turkey zucchini burgers just like a classic hamburger, on a bun with all the fixings,
but you can also forgo the bun and eat these just as they are, drizzled with the sauce, or on top of a pile of fresh salad greens for a super low carb option (and the way we like them best.)
You could also put them in pockets of soft pita bread, topped with tabouleh or hummus.
Aaaaaand you could also make these into cocktail meatballs…they’re very versatile little fellows.
Promise me you’ll give these a try — they’ll change the way you look at turkey burgers, for sure, and I bet they’ll inspire you to get creative with all your spring and summer grilling.
More Yotam Ottolenghi recipes
- Red Pepper and Baked Egg Galettes
- The Best Yotam Ottolenghi Recipes You Don’t Want to Miss!
- Flourless Coconut Cake
- Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce
Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onion and Cumin
for the burgers
- 1 lb ground turkey, I used white meat, you can also use dark meat
- 1 large or 2 medium zucchini, grated (2 cups grated)
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- oil for browing
for the Sumac Sauce
- 2/3 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp sumac
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- Set oven to 425F
- Make the sumac sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. Refrigerate until needed. Thin with a little water if you like a thinner sauce.
- Put all the burger ingredients, except the oil, in a large bowl Mix well, using your hands, making sure to get all the ingredients well incorporated, but don’t over-work the meat…use a light touch!
- Form the meat mixture into patties. I used a 1/3 cup as a measure, and made about 9 burgers. (You can make your burgers as large or small as you like, but will need to adjust the cooking time.) Note that the mixture will be very wet. Don’t worry, they will firm up as they cook.
- Coat the bottom of a skillet lightly with oil and heat until it is nice and hot. You should hear a good sizzle when the patties hit the pan, If not, let the oil heat more. Working in batches, brown the patties on both sides, for about 2 minutes per side, and add more oil as needed.
- Set the burgers on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, just until done inside.
- Serve the burgers with the sauce.
Recipe from Jerusalem
Questions and Reviews
Wow, Sue, I’m so happy I stumbled upon your site. Your photos are gorgeous, and you seem to cook the type of food I absolutely love. I saw that you enjoyed a simple onion tart as well as these zucchini turkey burgers, which reminded me of one of my favorite recipes that uses zucchini in a tart: http://www.pondermom.com/?s=zucchini+tart I’m definitely going to give these burgers a try. Thanks!
Thanks so much Becky, welcome! I’ve never seen pndermom’s site, that tart looks amazing, I’m going to check out the recipe now…don’t be surprised if you see a version of it here soon 🙂
Ooh, I would love that!
I loathe turkey burgers because they’re so bland and dry, but the photos made me give these a shot — outstanding! No sumac, so I used the basic sauce recipe and added cucumber and dill to make a bastardized tzatziki. My boyfriend stuffed about 3 or 4 patties in a pita, slathered them with sauce, and went to town. Success!
Outstanding. Just made these turkey zucchini burgers and sumac sauce for lunch (used my homegrown mint and cilantro in the burgers). After the cumin..lime…cilantro…shrimp I made a few days , I am on a roll cooking. This too is a keeper..easy and flavorful and healthy! Thank you for another wonderful meal! BTW, I think this would be even better subbing Lamb for the turkey:).
Me again. I made these for dinner tonight. The sumac sauce is yummy enough to dip cracked pepper and sea salt fries in. The burgers packed with flavor — no bun required.
Oh gosh, the idea of using the sauce for fries is genius!
Sue, I fell in love with these burgers in your first paragraph and decided that I’m definitely going to try making them (hubby will love them!), and then I couldn’t believe it when you started talking about Yotam’s Jerusalem! I wrote my next blog post yesterday in which I did exactly the same as you … gushed about that book being my favourite! (Great minds … !) The funniest thing is that I don’t even own the book! Haha! It’s just that every time I see a recipe of his online it grabs my attention and I want to make the recipe, so I know intuitively that when I do buy it (I’m holding off as I’m moving house) it’s going to become a firm favourite! I’ll let you know when I make these. They truly look and sound amazing.
Hi Sue, thank you so much for posting this recipe!! I tried it the other day and it was a smash hit with my family – my kids ate everything and didn’t even notice there were greens inside the burger! The sumac sauce was incredibly delicious too.
I’m so happy to hear that, I loved them, too. I am already thinking about variations… definitely meatballs are in the works!
These burgers look so enticing!! I love all of the greens mixed into them! It makes for such colorful pictures. 🙂 Pinned!
I just bought sumac and can’t wait to try this (I had to order it online). I do love a good turkey burger too. I also love my new Jerusalem cookbook! You’ll see the roasted butternut squash and onions with tahini sauce on my blog soon 🙂 Absolutely delicious.
A friend brought these for lunch today – I loved them! And honestly, I am not a turkey burger fan, but these changed my mind.
I so agree, turkey burgers can be dry and dull, these are anything but!
Looks absolutely delicious! I just discovered sumac through Jerusalem cookbook myself. I love it! I can’t wait to try this recipe. 🙂