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SEASONAL RECIPE

Recipe: Juicy turkey burgers filled with spinach and feta fit your healthy eating resolutions

Turkey Burgers with Spinach and FetaSally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

If you're still clinging desperately to this year's healthy eating resolutions, you need to know about making your own turkey burgers. If only they weren't so bland. Well, these burgers have plenty of zip: lemon rind and juice, tangy feta, cooked fresh spinach, and garlic, all held together with an egg and panko and served with a tahini-yogurt sauce. Cook the burgers in a skillet, low and relatively slow, to allow the meat to come up to temperature while the exterior browns. Buns are optional. Mediterranean flavors are a nod to warmth and sunshine. We can dream, can't we?

    SAUCE

    • ½

      cup plain Greek yogurt

    • 1

      tablespoon tahini

    • Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more to taste

    • 1

      teaspoon ground coriander

    • Pinch of salt

    • 2

      tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  • 1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, coriander, and salt. Stir well to blend them.

  • 2. Stir in the parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt, or coriander, if you like.

  • BURGERS

    • 3

      tablespoons olive oil

    • 1

      clove garlic, finely chopped

    • 5

      ounces baby spinach

    • Salt, to taste

    • 1

      egg

    • ½

      cup panko or other dry white breadcrumbs

    • Grated rind of 1 lemon

    • 2

      tablespoons lemon juice

    • ¼

      cup chopped fresh parsley

    • ¼

      teaspoon ground black pepper

    • 1

      pound ground turkey

    • 3

      ounces feta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

    • 2

      medium tomatoes, cored and sliced (for garnish)

    • ½

      medium red onion, sliced (for garnish)

    • 1

      English cucumber, thinly sliced (for garnish)

  • 1. In a large nonstick skillet, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the garlic. Set the pan over medium heat. When the garlic sizzles, add the spinach and a pinch of salt. Cook, turning the leaves with tongs, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach wilts. Set aside to cool. Coarsely chop the spinach. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

  • 2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, panko or breadcrumbs, lemon rind and juice, parsley, spinach, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Add the turkey and stir until blended. Add the feta cubes and stir gently to distribute them.

  • 3. Form the turkey mixture into 4 patties (each 3 1/2 to 4 inches wide).

  • 4. In the skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the burgers to the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until brown on the undersides. Turn and cook 4 to 5 minutes more, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 165 degrees.

  • 5. Serve each burger with tomato, onion, and cucumber slices, and yogurt sauce.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

If you're still clinging desperately to this year's healthy eating resolutions, you need to know about making your own turkey burgers. If only they weren't so bland. Well, these burgers have plenty of zip: lemon rind and juice, tangy feta, cooked fresh spinach, and garlic, all held together with an egg and panko and served with a tahini-yogurt sauce. Cook the burgers in a skillet, low and relatively slow, to allow the meat to come up to temperature while the exterior browns. Buns are optional. Mediterranean flavors are a nod to warmth and sunshine. We can dream, can't we?

SAUCE

½cup plain Greek yogurt
1tablespoon tahini
Juice of 1/2 lemon, or more to taste
1teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch of salt
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, coriander, and salt. Stir well to blend them.

2. Stir in the parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, salt, or coriander, if you like.

BURGERS

3tablespoons olive oil
1clove garlic, finely chopped
5ounces baby spinach
Salt, to taste
1 egg
½cup panko or other dry white breadcrumbs
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2tablespoons lemon juice
¼cup chopped fresh parsley
¼teaspoon ground black pepper
1pound ground turkey
3ounces feta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2medium tomatoes, cored and sliced (for garnish)
½medium red onion, sliced (for garnish)
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced (for garnish)

1. In a large nonstick skillet, combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the garlic. Set the pan over medium heat. When the garlic sizzles, add the spinach and a pinch of salt. Cook, turning the leaves with tongs, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the spinach wilts. Set aside to cool. Coarsely chop the spinach. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.

2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, panko or breadcrumbs, lemon rind and juice, parsley, spinach, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Add the turkey and stir until blended. Add the feta cubes and stir gently to distribute them.

3. Form the turkey mixture into 4 patties (each 3 1/2 to 4 inches wide).

4. In the skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the burgers to the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until brown on the undersides. Turn and cook 4 to 5 minutes more, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the patties registers 165 degrees.

5. Serve each burger with tomato, onion, and cucumber slices, and yogurt sauce.Sally Pasley Vargas