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Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

  • 50 m
  • 50 m
Bruce Aidells
“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.”


    • 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


  • 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.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2019 Printed From 10/23/2019