Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli

Cover recipe- Bon Appetit, Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli: August 2009

I love this cover of Bon Appetit… just a simple photograph of this really delicious-looking burger, labeled with the title of being The Ultimate Turkey Burger.  That’s a pretty big title to live up to, right?  This recipe was placed into a section of the magazine called, “fast easy fresh,” quick dishes for every-night cooking from the Bon Appetit test kitchen.

I’ve tried so many different burger recipes, and many of them have been turkey burgers.  I was pretty excited to try this “ultimate” version- Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli- to see if it was the real deal.   A simple Moroccan-spiced aioli is mixed in with the ground turkey to keep the burgers moist and give them tons of flavor.  A Healthy Bites tip shares that cumin seeds (in the turkey burger’s aioli) are a good source of iron and magnesium. Research has also shown that they aid digestion.  See my notes below to see if my family thought this burger lived up to its promise of being “ultimate.”

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Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar & Smoky Aioli

Yield: Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 min + chill time

Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 pound ground dark-meat turkey
4 (1/3-inch-thick) red onion slices
1 large or 2 small red bell peppers, quartered
4 slices white cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
4 sesame-seed hamburger buns
arugula
pickle wedges
corn chips

Directions:

1.  Toast cumin seeds and coriander seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic and slightly darker in color, shaking skillet often, about 1 1/2 minutes. Cool. Finely grind toasted seeds in spice grinder or in mortar with pestle. Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, and ground spices in small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD Aioli can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
2. 
Place turkey in medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently. Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into scant 3/4-inch-thick patty, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. Using thumb, make small indentation in center of each burger. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
3. 
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper. Brush onion slices and bell pepper pieces with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions and bell peppers until soft and charred, about 4 minutes per side.
4.  Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes. Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. Top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer. Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Arrange grilled red pepper pieces, then grilled red onion slices over. Top each with dollop of aioli and some arugula. Cover burgers with bun tops and serve with pickle wedges and corn chips.

Tips:

*I don't have a spice grinder, but a mortar and pestle worked just fine in grinding the seeds.
*Dark meat turkey was nowhere to be found in my market.  I went with Jennie-O ground turkey, but I didn't get the leanest kind.
*I opted for sharp white cheddar cheese.
*One pound of ground turkey was a little bit skimpy for this recipe.  I would have liked my burgers to be more substantial.  I'd probably toss in more ground turkey next time.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 burger
Calories per serving: 657
Fat per serving: 45g
Saturated Fat per serving: 10g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 36g
Cholesterol per serving: 109mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 24g

Source:  Bon Appetit, August 2009

The results:

I loved everything about this burger… from the grilled vegetables and spicy arugula to the smoky aoili and the spices in the burger too… so good. I couldn’t stop tasting the aioli… it was delicious! Was it the “Ultimate” turkey burger?  Definitely, maybe.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes!  What a wonderful recipe to celebrate the summer season.  It was refreshing to see a burger with a bit of alternative spice incorporated into the sauce, and the addition of grilled veggies made it phenomenal.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

18 Responses to “Grilled Turkey Burgers with Cheddar and Smoky Aioli”

  1. 1

    Dragon — May 26, 2010 @ 10:35 am

    Want! Great job Lori!

  2. 2

    Heather (Heather's Dish) — May 26, 2010 @ 10:36 am

    i’m glad you tried this recipe out…i have the mag, and never tried this one before! i LOOOOOOOVE burgers :)

  3. 3

    Angie — May 26, 2010 @ 10:48 am

    This burger looks great! I am buying alot of ground turkey lately. But I still haven’t made burgers with it. Made spaghetti and turkey meatballs last night. I will definitely try this recipe

  4. 4

    Cheri — May 26, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    This looks so good Lori! I’ve got to try it soon.

    I’m always amazed at your ability to replicate the magazine photo. Good work! ;)

  5. 5

    Krista — May 26, 2010 @ 1:15 pm

    Great job, Lori! :-) The veggies are such a marvy addition, and I really like adding the aioli to the meat. Delish!

  6. 6

    Natalie @ Perrys' Plate — May 26, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    Gorgeous shot of that burger!!! I tried this burger last year when the mag came out and loved it as well :)

  7. 7

    Elizabeth — May 27, 2010 @ 8:01 am

    I’m embarrassed to ask, but what is aioli – is it the mayo, olive oil, lemon juice and spices?

    • Lori Lange replied: — May 27th, 2010 @ 9:29 am

      You’re exactly right… it’s the mayo-based sauce :)

  8. 8

    Katrina — May 27, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    Mmm, this one really does look and sound great! Aioli is dangerous for me. There’s one at Carrabba’s Grill served with their zucchini frites that I could almost just spoon in my mouth! ;)
    This looks like MY kind of burger.

  9. 9

    ThatsSoYummy — May 27, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    How funny… I was just saying to myself I might make them this weekend… Love it!

    -Natasha

  10. 10

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — May 28, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

    Looks like a great burger! Yum :)

  11. 11

    Louise — May 29, 2010 @ 4:39 am

    That’s one good looking burger, Lori! I must add this link to the post I did for National Hamburger Day (28th:) So glad I didn’t miss it! Have a GREAT weekend!!!

  12. 12

    grace — May 31, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    i couldn’t pass through without complimenting your burger. it looks even better than the one in the no doubt heavily-stylized magazine picture–bravo!

  13. 13

    Sues — May 31, 2010 @ 8:17 pm

    I’ve loved that cover ever since I got the issue too… But your burger? You take it to a whole new level!! Yours actually made me drool :)

    • Lori Lange replied: — May 31st, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

      Wow, thanks!!

  14. 14

    Karen — June 21, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

    We’re glad to hear you enjoy cooking these burgers, Lori. I’ve posted a link to your article over on the original recipe. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/quick-recipes/2009/08/grilled_turkey_burgers_with_cheddar_and_smoky_aioli

    best,
    Karen Wilson
    producer, bonappetit.com

  15. 15

    gourmetgreg — July 13, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

    I saw this recipe and will try it for an upcoming party which includes turkey burger sliders on the menu as this recipe includes many of the spices and concepts I have been using in my own “ultimate” turkey burger recipe. I add the following: finely chopped half of a large red or sweet Vidalia onion, half cup breadcrumbs, half cup grated parmesan and 1/2 cup cubed cheese (I use parmesan) and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (in honor of Rachel Ray). This way, there is no need to top with melted cheese or sliced onion and the melted cheese cubes add a surprise smile to the face of the guest. I assume you use the remaining aioli, not used in the meat mixture, as a condiment?

    • Lori Lange replied: — July 20th, 2010 @ 10:26 am

      I love your modification ideas! Yes, the aioli may be used as a condiment to the burger. Delicious!

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