Mini Turkish Turkey Burgers

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Mini Turkish Turkey Burgers
Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes

Yes, you traveled through Istanbul last summer and not once did anyone feed you such a thing. I know. But these kebab-inspired one-bite burgers are entirely delicious, if not wholly authentic. Plus, we couldn't resist making something out of turkey — great to keep in mind for Thanksgiving leftovers. A tip on dried mint: When in need, I use the contents of a Celestial Seasonings peppermint tea bag.

For a delicious and healthy dinner organized around the Turkish principle of meze — that beloved "a little of this, a little of that" style of dining that is also referred to as grazing, tapas, or "too lazy to make a main course" — combine these tasty burgers with borek (a feta pastry), shepherd's salad, or hummus. And don't forget the Middle Eastern dessert.

What you'll need

  • Burgers
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or 2 tablespoons lemon juice plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • Minty Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and pressed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Helpful Tip:

You can get pomegranate molasses at Middle Eastern markets or online at the Spice House.


Yields 24 miniburgers

How to make it

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of yogurt sauce, the pomegranate molasses (or lemon juice and sugar), cumin, salt, garlic, and mint. Add the turkey and bread crumbs, and combine gently until the mixture looks uniform (I use my hands for this). Using a heaping tablespoon for each, form the turkey into 24 small, flat burgers, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

  2. Heat the oil in a very large nonstick skillet (if you've got a smaller pan, plan to do this in batches) over medium heat, then fry the burgers until they're nicely browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes a side. Serve them with the rest of the yogurt sauce for dunking or in pita pockets with the sauce drizzled over.

  3. Meanwhile, stir the yogurt sauce ingredients together in a small bowl (this is the perfect task for a child while you're busy wrangling the raw turkey).

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