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.”

Print Print Recipe

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.


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11 Responses to “Pasta al Pomodoro”

  1. 1

    Jenny Flake — May 4, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    Love pasta and this one looks great!! Glad it stood up to the test! :)

  2. 2

    Cookin' Canuck — May 4, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    My reaction was the same when I saw the cover – boring. However, I also know that sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. You’ve inspired me to try this, Lori.

  3. 3

    Amanda — May 4, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    LOVE all these pasta tips, thanks for sharing them here, Lori! Bookmarking this :)

  4. 4

    Maria — May 4, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Great pasta post! Can’t wait to try it!

  5. 5

    Tracey — May 4, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try this one since my issue of BA arrived. Glad to hear it exceeded expectations!

  6. 6

    Tracy — May 5, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    I haven’t tried this yet but it sounds delicious!

  7. 7

    mary (sisters running the kitchen) — May 5, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    i am so glad that you featured this! i have this magazine and have yet to try out this recipe. looks so good though. sometimes the most simple dishes are the best.

  8. 8

    Mrs. L — May 6, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    While it sounds like the dish is one to make, I still have a little trouble with it being on the cover. Covers to me are ideas I must get in the kitchen ‘right now’ to make, they are there to make me pick up the magazine to buy (I subscribe by the way). If it wasn’t for several bloggers like you making it and saying it was good, I’d probably pass it right by!

  9. 9

    Erin R — May 8, 2011 @ 8:28 am

    I made this dish for my fiance’s and my dinner last night. It was FABULOUS! Knowing that neither my fiance’s nor my knife cuts on our garlic and onion would ever be close to tiny enough for them to blend in with the texture of the pureed tomato, after we’d added the red pepper flakes and let it simmer for a smidge, we put the oil, garlic, onion portion in the food processor so it would puree too.
    Then, we just put that back in the pan with the tomato and it was smooth and wonderful.
    The sauce was waaaay better than any sauces we buy at the store, and since we just had to buy the can of tomatoes, it was super cheap too ($1.50).
    I truly feel that this is a restaurant-quality dinner.
    (also, we made this with linguini noodles, since that’s what we had, and I felt they held the sauce really well)

    I’m not sure if the photos capture the vibrant orange-red of the sauce, but this is totally a cover quality recipe.

  10. 10

    Nick — May 17, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    The dish looks delish! Reading through the 10 point guide, 2 of the points stand out to me. #3 You’re not using nearly enough salt and #4 Don’t dump the pasta water. Those are 2 things I have not been doing with my pasta and I really think they’ll make a big difference. I am going to try them today when I make spaghetti with clam sauce.

  11. 11

    Sue — June 18, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! I’ve made it three times now and I simply love it. Mine doesn’t turn out quite as smooth as it should, because chopping onions kills me so I tend to leave them a little chunkier than they should be for this particular recipe, but this is now my favorite pasta sauce.

    And while I’m not vegetarian, I absolutely love that I can cook something so delicious and satisfying that has no meat in it!!!!

    LOVE this blog!

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