Italian Turkey Burgers

At the risk of sounding super cheesy, this one is healthy for the hips, but tastes naughty on the lips!

This recipe is one of the best happy accidents I’ve made in awhile. In fact, I just made it tonight and was so excited that I had to post about it right away. Turkey burgers have a tendency to be bland, dry, and frankly unappetizing. But at the same time, they’re incredibly healthy, so I try to eat them every once in awhile to mix it up. When I came across a recipe for an Italian Turkey Burger, I was intrigued and thought I would try it out.

This morning, I wrote down all the ingredients I would need and planned to stop on my way home from work. The recipe called for lean ground turkey, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Since the seasoning, garlic, and Parmesan are all in my kitchen staples, I knew I had them in my kitchen. All I needed was the turkey and tomatoes. After spending some time at the market gathering ingredients for dinner and other meals this week, I checked out and went home. Not long after getting home, it hit me: I forgot the crushed tomatoes. Shoot!

But then I got to thinking… crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and garlic… that’s basically pasta sauce! And I always have a jar of basic pasta sauce in my cupboard because it’s a kitchen staple. So I swapped out the crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and garlic for my basic tomato basil pasta sauce, and came up with these 3 ingredient Italian Turkey Burgers.

And I must say, these are delicious. Not in the this-is-a-fine-Tuesday-night-meal way. But in the finger-licking, oh-my-God-this-is-amazing way. Because of the pasta sauce, these are juicy and tender, not at all dried out like a typical turkey burger. The sauce and Parmesan add a huge punch of flavor that reminds me of biting into a giant, gooey meatball – and not the healthy kind, the naughty kind.

I wrapped these in lettuce, which gave it a nice crunch and texture to offset the burger – not to mention, it’s much healthier than a bun. But you can certainly put these on a bun, as well, or even eat them plain. You really can’t go wrong.

YUM.

What you’ll need (makes 4 servings):
1.25 lbs lean ground turkey
1/2 cup pasta sauce – I used a tomato basil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

What you’ll need to do:

Set a grill pan (or a large skillet) over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray.

Dump your turkey in a medium size bowl. Add the pasta sauce and Parmesan, then use your hands to combine.

3 simple ingredients. 1 amazing dinner.

Divide the mixture into four (approximately) equal parts. Roll 1/4 of the mixture into a ball in your hands, then flatten to make a patty. Place these in the pan as you go.

Because the pasta sauce is red, it gives these the allusion of looking like beef.

Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until it’s no longer pink in the center.

Wrap in lettuce, put them in a bun, or just eat it plain. Whichever way you choose, get to it! I will definitely be making these often.

Wrapped in lettuce and served with a side of spinach drizzled with a mustard vinaigrette. This unexpected Tuesday night meal was definitely worthy of a Friday.

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