Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Turkey Pesto Burgers

This week, I put my huge yield of basil to use and made a big batch of walnut pesto. It is great for so many uses and can be easily frozen for the future. This recipe uses just 4 Tbsp of pesto, so if you make a big batch, use it as a salad dressing, mix it in with shrimp, marinade chicken, or toss it with your eggs in the morning. It is SO versatile! This burger incorporates pesto in both the turkey and the spinach tomato topping. It has a great flavor and, once the pesto is done, comes together quickly. Enjoy!

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb turkey Italian sausage
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and drained
1/2 sweet red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp walnut pesto
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large Vidalia onion
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large bunch spinach, about 6 cups
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch large lettuce leaves, such as romaine

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground turkey and turkey sausage, with your hands or a large spoon, until well combined.
  2. Combine sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, and shallot in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add to turkey mixture.
  3. Add pesto to turkey and mix al ingredients well with your hands to combine. Season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Form into 6 patties and refrigerate until ready to grill.
  5. Preheat grill to medium.
  6. Cut the onion into 1/2-inch slices. Drizzle with olive oil. Grill for approximately 6 minutes on each side.
  7. Grill burgers for approximately 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  8. While food cooks, add 1 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet. Add tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes. Add spinach, in batches, until wilted but still bright green. Add pesto and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. To serve, place several lettuce leaves on a plate. Top with one burger, onion slice, and spinach mixture. Repeat for all burgers. Serve immediately.


  1. This was seriously good, don't leave out the spinach, cherry tomato mixture the acidity went perfect with the burger. I couldn't find turkey Italian sausage so I just used regular pork Italian sausage. I'm definitely making this again!!

    1. Thanks, Lauren! Good sub with the sausage--any type will work. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe. Thanks for the great comments!