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Recipe of the Week: Blue cheese turkey burgers for when you're hamburger'd out

Addie Broyles
abroyles@statesman.com
Mix blue cheese with ground turkey to make these burgers from "The Teen Kitchen." [Contributed by Justin Walker]

If you're looking for new burger ideas, you're not alone. 

After a number of summer picnics and parties, I've had enough hamburgers to last until Christmas, but maybe it's ground beef burgers that I need a break from. This blue cheese turkey burger offers the perks of a burger but without the heaviness of the beef. The authors, sisters Emily and Lyla Allen, use mayonnaise to help keep the burger moist and they sear the patties in a cast iron skillet. That way, you can add a little water to the pan to keep the turkey burgers from drying out, a trick you can't do on a grill unless you're using a cast iron skillet on the grate.

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Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers

We spend our summers with our grandmother, whom we call “GrandMolly” (her name is Molly). She is a foodie like us, but a very different kind of foodie. For example, she has potato chip days. What are those, you wonder? Well, they are the days she allows herself to eat potato chips. She loves potato chips so much she says she has to set aside certain days for them so they remain special. This turkey burger recipe is one of her favorites, and together with her, we discussed including the blue cheese. Blue cheese is a taste we did not like ourselves when we were younger, but now we do (especially on cold, crisp lettuce). You could also serve these with a side salad or between two leaves of lettuce.

— Emily Allen and Lyla Allen

1 pound ground turkey

3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or enough cooking spray to coat your pan

4 hamburger buns

4 leaves green-leaf or iceberg lettuce

1 white onion, sliced

Ketchup for serving

4 tomato slices

Place the turkey, blue cheese, mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix with your hands until blended. Do not pack down. Shape the mixture into four patties.

Add the oil to a cold frying pan. Turn the heat to medium. Wait half a minute or so before adding the burgers. Cook the burgers, flipping them when they are browned on the bottom. This will take approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Cook for 7 to 8 more minutes on the other side. If the pan seems dry, add a little cold water. You can do this more than once.

Don't skimp on the cooking because turkey burgers need to be cooked all the way through. (You do not want them medium-rare.) Your burgers should reach an internal temperature of 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. If you don’t have a meat thermometer and you aren’t sure if the burgers are done, just make a little slit in one and peek inside. It should look cooked through, with the color and texture inside similar to the outside. You can always put it back in the pan to cook longer.

Transfer the patties to buns and top each one with the lettuce, sliced onion, ketchup and tomatoes.

— From "The Teen Kitchen: Recipes We Love to Cook: A Cookbook" by Emily Allen and Lyla Allen (Ten Speed Press, $19.99)