Monday, January 23, 2012

Mozzarella (stuffed) Turkey Burgers

Taken and adapted from Eating Well
Marinara Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 4-8 slices low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 x 4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted
  • fresh & crisp romaine lettuce leaves (about 8-10)


  1. To prepare marinara: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.
  2. To prepare burgers: Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and basil in a large bowl. Gently combine, without over-mixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 thick patties about 4-inches wide and 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat . Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total on each side.
  4. Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, place a slice (or two) of mozzarella cheese on one side of bread and spread 3 tablespoons of marinara, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and top with romaine lettuce. 
Note:  The original recipe called for making "stuffed" burgers, which means that instead of making 4 thick turkey burgers and topping with mozzarella would make 8 thin turkey burgers and stuff the center of two each with mozzarella cheese.  However, I decided NOT to stuff the burgers after I read several reviews of the recipe that described the cheese "stuffing" as oozing out and not being as enjoyable as simply topping a burger with cheese.  Please make the burgers to your own fancy!

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