Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

36 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2008

These tasty turkey burgers, served on toasted focaccia and dressed with marinara sauce, are reminiscent of a sausage pizza. Shredded mozzarella combined with fresh basil melts beautifully inside these gems.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • Marinara Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes, with juices
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Burgers
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
  • ¼ cup finely chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted


  • Active

  • Ready In

  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, sun-dried tomatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ 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, ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4 inches wide and ⅜ inch thick.
  3. Combine ¼ cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (see Grilling Variation). Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
  5. Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted focaccia, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese.
  6. Grilling Variation: To grill the turkey burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the marinara sauce (Step 1) for up to 5 days.
  • Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 sandwich
  • Per serving: 265 calories; 10 g fat(4 g sat); 2 g fiber; 13 g carbohydrates; 34 g protein; 56 mcg folate; 54 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,074 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 155 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 693 mg sodium; 380 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (33% daily value), Vitamin A (21% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, 1 vegetable, 3½ lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 36

June 26, 2019
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By: Beth Rodland
I tend to use recipes as a way to get ideas when I'm stuck for what to cook rather than follow them verbatim, which is what I did here. I made the sauce as written, but added a good 1/2 - 3/4 cup (I don't measure) of white cooking wine and let it cook down since the recipe didn't call for any liquid. It turned out pretty good. In addition to the garlic and onion, I seasoned it with salt, pepper, oregano, parsley and basil. I may add some red pepper flakes next time. For the burgers, I didn't use the recipe. I use 1 lb ground Turkey, chopped scallion, salt, pepper and garlic. I also add about 1/2 cup of plain bread crumbs to the mixture because ground Turkey tends to be very sticky. Added the cheese as described and cooked on the stove top. Turned out delicious and fit my eating plan because outside of the cheese and sun dried tomatoes, everything is fresh whole foods.
December 15, 2017
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By: Christie
This took over an hour to prepare and nobody in my family liked it. I have had good experiences with these recipes but I would not make this again.
August 13, 2016
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By: suzanne
Since I was in a hurry, I didn't make the marinara sauce. It was really tasty by itself. Plan to make it again with the marinara. I used dried, minced garlic instead of fresh and I used only 1/2 T of oil in the pan. As mentioned, it took longer to make than I expected and it was going to over cook or burn if I waited until the suggested internal temp. I removed it from pan @ 111 degrees F and it was well done.
August 21, 2014
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By: trendleman0725
Amazing!! The whole family loved this meal!! Pros: Great natural flavors!! Cons: Needed to make more Marinara Sauce
May 12, 2014
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By: BrandyS
Well-Made Turkey Burgers Having never made nor enjoyed marinara sauce, this recipe was delicious. I made this for 5 people on Mother's Day and it was a hit! My finace couldn't stop talking about it the next day, and told me it was his new favorite. We even plan on making a bunch to freeze for the week. I wasn't able to use focaccia as the store didn't have any, but any type of pita bread will do & instead of using plum tomatoes, I used whatever the grocery store had in stock. I did 1.5 of everything in the recipe and it made 6 burgers. At first I expected the mozzarella to come out during cooking, but it didn't. Will definitely be a new recipe of mine!! Pros: Delicious
May 20, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Pretty Much a Letdown After reading all the reviews, I was really disappointed by this relatively bland dinner. More like a Salisbury-style turkey Parmesan than a burger, it needs a LOT of kick and the calories are likely much higher than the nutrition info suggests (do the math individually and see). I'm not a fast chef but it took FOREVER to make and took much longer than expected to reach a safe temperature without burning. We won't make this one again. Pros: Relatively healthy Cons: Lots of work; too much effort for the result
January 11, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
This was absolutely DELICIOUS! It's definitely on our favorites list Cons: A little time consuming - but well worth it!!
August 10, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Super Delish!! This is hands-down my favorite dish!! It's so fresh and flavorful with all the basil and the marinara sauce is to do die for!! My only suggestion would be to either toast the bread or skip spreading it on top and bottom pieces of bread (it gets soggy before your first bite). I've made this for my husband, 1 year old son and my mom a few times - we savor EVERY bite!! HIGHLY recommend.
June 04, 2012
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By: icyeyes1
wonderful, tastes great These burgers were tastey and easy to make. My husband and son both liked them so they are moving into the can make again file. Pros: easy to make
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