Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lighten Up Already: Guilt-Free Bacon Cheeseburgers (They're Turkey!)

So Randall and I were sitting around watching the Food Network one night (yep... we live it up alright!), and lo and behold: Rachel Ray busted out a 30-Minute Meal that had both of us salivating. She made these ridiculous double cheeseburgers topped with bacon and a roasted tomato chutney... but that were considerably more healthy than the heart-attack-in-a-wrapper you'd get at the corner fast food joint. Her secret: she used all turkey (ground turkey breast patties, turkey bacon), and substituted an English muffin for a normal bun.

Now I've made turkey burgers a million times before - they're one of my favorites. The difference this time around was that Randall, not usually a fan of ground turkey, was really keen to the idea after seeing Rachel's episode. The iron was hot, so I struck. I bought turkey burger ingredients the very next day.

I didn't actually go back and research or follow Rachel's recipe; her show simply provided the inspiration for the ones I made, pictured above. I loaded up the ground turkey breast with heaps of herbs and spices; they were juicy and flavorful and every bit as satisfying as a normal beef burger - maybe even more so! All I know is that if I can get a turkey burger past my beef-loving DH - the recipe is a keeper.

So, if grilling is in your plans over this nice long holiday weekend coming up, give these a whirl. Your taste buds - and your waistline - will thank you!

Guilt-Free Turkey Bacon Cheeseburgers
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 1/2 of a medium red onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-cup bread crumbs (optional)
  • 8 slices turkey bacon, precooked
  • 4 slices low-fat or fat-free cheddar cheese slices (good ones exist these days!)
  • 4 English muffins, toasted
  • Burger toppings and condiments of your choosing: tomatoes, sliced onion, avocado, lettuce, pickles, mustard, etc.
In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, egg, onion, and all the herbs and spices. Mix thoroughly. If the mixture is too loose to form patties, add the breadcrumbs as a binder. Form 4 patties, and grill over medium heat until cooked entirely through, approximately 6-7 minutes per side. Unlike beef burgers... there is no "medium rare" when it comes to poultry burgers - cook them all the way through folks! During the last stages of grilling, place two bacon strips on top of each patty; cover the bacon with a slice of cheese and let melt. Use the English muffins as the buns, and top according to your individual tastes.


  1. that look absolutely delicious! i am definitely going to give it a try!

  2. Amazing to think that turkey can be so gosh-darned tasty. This'll be perfect for this Labor Day weekend. And for me, I think I'll pair a nice Sauvignon Blanc with this.....delicious blog! Your pal the ex-Puppy Trucker.

  3. Sweet photo! Looks so good I may have to make one!

  4. I'll eat anything with bacon on it. Someday I'll eat a bacon burger at Smash Burger with Rick Schaden.