Santa Barbara Southwest Turkey Burgers

Sizzling Summer BBQ Amateur Entrée Winning Recipe


For burgers:

2 lbs. of ground turkey (not just the breast meat)
6 green onions, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbs. olive oil
¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt
⅛ tsp. ground black pepper
⅛ tsp. cumin
2 eggs
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup BBQ sauce
½ cup panko
6 slices of pepper jack cheese
2 large Anaheim chilis, grilled, skinned, seeded, and cut into 6 pieces
Vegetable oil or Pam for the grill

For guacamole:

4 ripe avocados
5 green onions, chopped without the tops
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
Large pinch of cumin
1 tsp. green Tabasco sauce
1 Tbs. lime juice

For sandwich:

6 large egg buns with sesame seeds
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced
Dijon mustard
Kosher pickle spears


Sauté green onions and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper until soft, 4-5 minutes over medium heat. In a bowl, crumble the turkey, and add the salt, pepper, and cumin. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the Worcestershire sauce and BBQ sauce, and add to the turkey.

Add the onions and garlic and any remaining liquid in the pan. This helps keep the burgers from getting dry. Add the panko, and combine gently by hand until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Separate into 6 patties, and let them rest.

Grill the whole peppers until the skins are blackened. Immediately put them in a glass bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside until the skins are ready to peel off easily. Peel, core, and seed.

In the meantime, scoop the avocado out of the skins. Mash the avocados, leaving some of it chunky. Add the onions, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, and Tabasco sauce. Mix well. Add the lime juice and blend thoroughly. Cover and set aside.

Because turkey meat isn’t as firm as beef or other meats, I sometimes use a cast iron grill pan on the BBQ, which keeps the meat from falling through the grates. If you don’t, you’ll have to be very careful turning the burgers.

Heat grill to high, brush with oil or spray with Pam, and put on the patties. Lower heat to medium-high. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Don’t move them until they are ready to turn. Turn gently with a spatula and your hand to make sure they don’t fall apart. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes, and check for doneness. (I usually put an extra patty that I sacrifice to the grill to make sure the rest are cooked properly.) Lower the heat to medium-low, add the cheese, and allow to melt.

Brush a small amount of olive oil or mayonnaise on each bun half, and lightly toast the buns. Put a scoop of guacamole on the bottom half of the bun and a slice of the tomato. Place the burger on top. Place a slice of chili on top of the burger. Spread the mustard on the top half, and cover the burger. Serve with pickle spears and enjoy.

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