Turkey burgers are difficult to make as juicy as beef burgers. When America’s Test Kitchen did it, they tried to make a faux hamburger by adding lots of mushrooms and soy sauce.
I don’t eat hamburgers (or any red meat). Why would I want my turkey burger to taste like one? I did steal one of their ideas though. They add gelatin to the burger to make them moist. It works very well. Silly me! I’ve just been cooking mine in tons of caramelized onions all this time. So I have combined the two ideas to bring you the best of both worlds!
As the burgers cook, the gelatin seeps out and makes the caramelized onions stick to the burgers. It’s almost like a caramelized onion candy-coated burger only a hundred times better than that sounds. LOL!
To make the insides as good as the outside, I add salsa to my turkey for a zesty kick. I call mine Tomato Onion Jam or, because my handwriting is too large for my canning jars, “Tom On” Jam. I’ll share that recipe with you as soon as I make it to the farmers market for ingredients. Any salsa you like would work here, but you may need to add more binder if you’re salsa is very liquidy instead of chunky.
You can use the same recipe to make turkey meatballs but the cooking process is a little different. The raw meatballs are a little too tender for the pan. So I baked them in the oven, then finish them in the pan surrounded by all those caramelizing onions. Yum!
I serve these burger style, but I also will have them over gluten-free pasta. For breakfast, I like to break up the meatballs for an omelet filling. Check out my meatball stuffed un-cornbread muffins for a great snack that kids and adults will love!
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 2 tbsp unflavored beef gelatin
- 6 tbsps chicken broth
- ½ cup salsa (plus additional binder, if needed)
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk powder (or 1 egg)
- 1 tsp roasted garlic
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups sautéed onions
- Pour broth into a small bowl and sprinkle unflavored gelatin. Allow it to soften for at least 5 minutes.
- Take ½ cup of the ground turkey and put it back into the food processor. Add softened gelatin, salsa, psyllium powder, and garlic.. Process for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the food processor as necessary. Then drizzle oil into the food processor as it is running. Continue processing for 10 seconds.
- Empty mixture back into large bowl with the rest of the ground turkey and mix until it is uniformly mixed.
- Divide into 8 even balls. Pat them into ¾″ patties. Season with salt and pepper
- Pan fry 4 burgers with 1 cup of sautéed onions at medium low heat. The burgers will seep out gelatin at first. Don't even try to flip for 8 minutes or the burger will fall apart. Cook until browned on both sides.
You can use the same recipe to make turkey meatballs but the cooking process is a little different. The raw meatballs are a little too tender for the pan, so I baked them in the oven at 350° for 15 minutes. Then finish them in the pan surrounded by all those caramelizing onions.
You may need to compensate for the wetness of the salsa with some additional binder, like oat flour. Each salsa is different, you'll need to test it out for yourself if you have difficulty getting the burgers to stay together.