Spinach-Stuffed Turkey Burgers
This recipe is both pretty healthy and kind of decadent, which makes it an absolute must!
"Belly burgers" are so satisfying and such a fun way to eat your veggies. Stuffed with chopped spinach and parmesan, these turkey burgers will make a vegetable lover of anyone. There is a whole school of thought that you should "sneak" vegetables in your kids' food by hiding them as purees in sauces or baked goods. Don't hide the vegetables, I say. Feature them! Added bonus: this recipe is a one-dish meal because the "side" is in the belly of this burger. Serve it as-is, or with French fries if you must. Swiss or smoked cheddar cheese and some caramelized onions are ideal toppings. The very best thing: these burgers are baked in the oven, making this recipe both foolproof and an easy clean-up!
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; mixing bowls; rubber spatula; spoons; rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil; offset spatula
1, 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1½-2 pounds ground turkey 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Garnishes: 4 brioche rolls 4 slices Swiss or smoked cheddar cheese caramelized onions or Bacon-Onion Jam
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and grease with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
"Dark meat ground turkey is preferable to all-white meat. Not only is it more flavorful, it has a bit more fat, which makes it more moist, too. If you are buying packaged ground turkey, look for 93% or less."
2. First, prepare the spinach filling. Make sure that the chopped spinach is very well drained, squeezed dry. In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, Parmesan, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, white pepper, and the optional egg. Mix well to combine, divide into four equal portions, and set aside.
ILOC tip: using an egg will help to bind the spinach filling, but it is not essential. The burger will be successful without the egg, should you wish to leave it out.
3. Next, prepare the turkey meat. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, Worcestershire, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
4. Now form the burgers. Divide the turkey mixture in four equal parts. Divide those quarters each in half, so that you have a top and a bottom for each "belly burger." Moisten your hands with some of the olive oil or some cool water. Place one portion of turkey in the palm of your hand and flatten into a patty. Place 1 portion of spinach filling on the patty, leaving a small border, like sauce on a pizza. Take another portion of turkey and place it on top of the spinach, spreading over the spinach and onto the bottom turkey border. Pinch the seams. Place the burger on the prepared sheet pan and repeat.
5. Place the sheet pan in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the turkey is cooked through, springy but firm to the touch.
6. Remove the pan from the oven and top each burger with a slice of cheese. Return the pan to the oven for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
7. Place each burger on the bottom of a brioche bun and top with 2 tablespoons of caramelized onions or Bacon-Onion Jam. Top with the brioche bun tops and serve immediately.
Makes 4 burgers.