Yes We Tandoori Turkey Burgers

Written By Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole On July 8, 2013

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July is burger month in most every backyard across the land. But where’s the beef? Health and style-conscious divas are grinding up fresh ahi, shrimp, chicken and turkey breast to get their burger on.

In theory, ground turkey breast should make a decent burger, but its fragile texture is woe to conform to patty status. Even with the addition of egg and bread crumbs, the result is more mom’s meatloaf than burger. 

Chia to the rescue. The tiny seed swells to 12 times its original size, forming a flavorless texture-enhancing gel which elevates the turkey burger.  For flavor, we’re adding turmeric and cumin spiced tandoori. Serve ’em up on buns, naan, or red leaf lettuce cups topped with sliced apple, red onion and a basic raita.

Yes We Tandoori Turkey Burgers

Makes 4 burgers

1 pound ground turkey breast

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt, preferably whole milk

2 tablespoons chia seeds

Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and slightly crushed

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Lettuce cups, whole-grain pitas or buns, for serving

Sliced green apple, slivered red onion, for garnish

Combine turkey, yogurt, chia seeds, salt, pepper, fennel seeds, turmeric, garlic powder, coriander and cumin in a mixing bowl. Using your hands, gently mixed until well combined. Form into 4 patties.  Refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour before grilling to allows flavors to develop.

Thoroughly oil grate and heat grill to medium-high. Grill burgers 4 to 5 minutes each side, or until juices run clear.

Serve with garnishes and raita.



1 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 small sweet onion, grated

Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

1 tablespoon minced fresh mint or cilantro

Combine yogurt, onion, salt and pepper, lemon juice and minced herbs. Chill for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Diva confession: A word or two on chia seeds: eat them. They’re crunchy, yummy, loaded with fiber, omega 3s and are good to go in their natural state (no grinding). Sprinkle on yogurt, cereal, salads. 

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