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.

13 Responses to “Pimiento Mac and Cheese”

  1. 1

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — May 13, 2013 @ 7:00 am

    Thanks for your review!

    “spicy sweet flavor of the pimiento” — mmm that sounds so good! But I can see what you mean, that this is not at all classic mac n cheese. But a fun twist!

  2. 2

    Lori @ RecipeGirl — May 13, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    So I have to admit… I was like, “Wait… where are the pimientos in the recipe??” I guess I didn’t know what Pimientos were, but I’m guessing they’re the same as the red peppers listed in the recipe? I’m excited to try this out, especially since it’s touted by the magazine as being the tastiest version of mac they’ve had!” Glad you enjoyed it too!

  3. 3

    Renee @ Awesome on $20 — May 13, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    I’ll eat mac and cheese in just about any form. Box or otherwise. And I love adding new flavors. I can’t wait to try this one out.

  4. 4

    Kathryn — May 14, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    I’ve been keeping this issue of Bon Appetit since March 2011 meaning to make this recipe and never quite got round to it. It sounds pretty great although I completely take your point around comfort food – I sometimes crave that wonderful blandness of mac and cheese!

  5. 5

    Beth — May 14, 2013 @ 7:12 am

    Love it – and if anyone can change his mind, it’ll be you!

  6. 6

    Tracey — May 14, 2013 @ 8:21 am

    I have never had pimiento cheese, and I keep telling myself I’m going to try it and then promptly forget. This looks like the perfect introduction!!

  7. 7

    sandra — May 14, 2013 @ 8:25 am

    That boyfriend is one tough customer. But I see his point. You like what you’re used to. He likes his out of the box the same way you like it homemade – it is the nostalgia you are both looking for and not the culinary expertise.

  8. 8

    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic — May 14, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    I grew up eating pimiento cheese by the spoonfull and I would be all over this dish, especially with my love for any kind of mac and cheese. Great job!

  9. 9

    Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily — May 14, 2013 @ 6:54 pm

    Say What?!?! Poor, poor boy! You must remedy that ;)
    This looks fantastical!

  10. 10

    Faith — May 15, 2013 @ 8:32 am

    I’m always up for trying a new version of mac and cheese! I’d love to test this one out to see if it could make a mac and cheese lover out of my hubby. :)

  11. 11

    Reeni — May 16, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    I grew up on homemade too and am always looking for new versions to try! This looks utterly delicious!

  12. 12

    Chris — May 21, 2013 @ 4:56 pm

    I’m a big fan of homemade pimento cheese so I know I’d like this version of mac and cheese.

  13. 13

    Tieghan — May 21, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    I am with you, homemade mac and cheese is the way to go. Always! I can not wait to try this fun pimento version! YUM!

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