I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I’d soooo much rather be spending August vacationing on a beach somewhere.
If I could transport anywhere right now, it would be to a secluded beach on a Greek island, glass of crisp, dry white wine in my hand, awaiting a dinner of locally caught fresh fish.
But alas, we can’t always get what we want can we?
Maybe not, but we don’t have to socially distance from the flavors of summer, and we can bring some vacation vibes right into our kitchen. I highly recommend.
So while I was wallowing in my Grecian daydreams, I decided to harness some of the flavors I was craving and make Greek inspired burgers. I used turkey instead of beef to incorporate a leaner protein (plus it just makes the whole thing feel a little lighter). The burgers are jam packed with Mediterranean flavors including fresh parsley and dill, earthy oregano, red pepper for a kick, and the not-so-secret star, fresh crumbled feta, stuffed right into the patties.
And it gets even better.
These juicy burgers need a creamy, cool condiment to balance them out, and a homemade Tzatziki sauce is the perfect thing. Tangy Greek yogurt, lots of fresh herbs, and bright, juicy lemon help make this the ideal accompaniment to spread all over the burgers, and even use as a dipping sauce.
The dinner menu doesn’t end here though, and this post is a special one with TWO separate recipes at the bottom. Keeping with the Greek theme, I decided to swap out french fries with a side of lemon & herb roasted potatoes. Crisped to perfection, soft on the inside, and drenched in the bright flavors of lemon, herbs, garlic and more of that glorious olive oil… it doesn’t get any better.
Greek Inspired Turkey Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
One thing I love about burgers in general is how easy they are to make at home. These turkey burgers are no exception.
The first step is to sauté some onions and garlic until they are soft and smelling fabulous. Cool ‘em down, and then add ‘em to a bowl with your turkey, some salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes (or you can leave those out if you don’t want a spicy kick), and dried oregano. Bread crumbs and an egg will help give the burgers a great texture, and make sure all the ingredients bind together. Then, chopped fresh parsley and dill, plus the crumbled feta help bring the Greek flavors to life.
Then it’s time to make patties. I like to get down and dirty when making burgers and go in with my (thoroughly washed!!) hands. I find that it helps me get everything incorporated quickly and easily… but you can definitely get the job done with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Once your patties are made, the next step is to get those awesome grill marks and some nice color on ‘em. I have a Chefman electric grill that I use in my kitchen and I absolutely love it – plus it’s only $30 on Amazon (you can shop it here). But you can also use a grill pan on your stovetop, or even just a regular skillet. You’ll still get the color and a little bit of char.
After about 5 minutes on each side, the burgers get finished off in the oven for another 15 minutes at 375F.
To build them up to perfection, I like to toast my buns for a few minutes on the same grill pan I used, then slather both buns with the Tzatziki sauce. Then, I pile on the burger, some mixed greens, sliced tomato, red onion and cucumber. So simple, so fresh, and so delicious.
Lemon Herb Roasted Potatoes
I am probably the world’s biggest fan of potatoes, and I could eat them every day, in any form. But this recipe is definitely up at the top of the list. The texture and flavors are so good, and they work so well with this meal.
PRO TIP: The trick to get super crispy roasted potatoes in the oven is to soak them before cooking, and then rinse them in super cold water. This process helps remove a lot of the starch on the surface of the potatoes. If you skip this step, you’ll still get yummy potatoes, but they will come out a lot softer, without the crunchy exterior. While the potatoes are soaking, you can preheat your oven to 400F, with your sheet pan inside. Preheating your sheet pan will help distribute heat, which will allow your potatoes to crisp up better.
Once the potatoes are soaked, the next key step is to dry them really well and get rid of as much excess moisture as possible… again, all in the name of achieving perfect crispyness.
Then the potatoes get coated in some olive oil, dried herbs including garlic, basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme, and a heap of tangy lemon zest. After that, they go right on to the hot sheet pan and into the oven for about 45 minutes.
ANOTHER PRO TIP: The other trick for making sure your potatoes are roasted to perfection is to flip them halfway through their cooking time. Moving things around a bit helps all the potatoes cook evenly and get equally exposed to the heat, so you don’t wind up with some mushy potatoes on the bottom and charred ones on top.
The Greek inspired turkey burgers or the lemon herb potatoes are amazing on their own, or as part of whatever menu you’re creating. But I do have to say, they go together wonderfully, and that Tzatziki sauce is PERFECT for dipping the potatoes in. So freaking yummy.
Let me know if you give these Greek inspired turkey burgers a try! I love to hear from you in the comments, or tag me on instagram @eat.think.live and let me see your creation!
Greek Inspired Turkey Burgers + Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
For the Turkey Burgers
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 Jumbo yellow onion (or a whole small one) diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 Tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
- 1/4 Tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta
- Generous pinch of salt & pepper
For the Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 small cucumber diced (seeds and all!)
- 1 Tbsp fresh dill chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 Tsp garlic powder
- 1 lemon juiced (and the zest of half the lemon)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4-6 Burger buns of your choice
- Toppings of your choice, such as lettuce or mixed greens, sliced tomato, sliced red onions and sliced cucumber
To Make the Turkey Burgers
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Then remove from heat and allow them to cool to the point that you can handle them.
- Once the onions and garlic have cooled, add them to a mixing bowl along with all the other ingredients for the turkey burgers.
- Use a spatula or your hands to work the mixture until it’s totally combined.
- Use your hands to form the mixture into burger patties. You should be able to get 4-6 patties depending on the size. Last time I made these, I made 5 decent sized burgers.
- Warm up your skillet or grill to medium high heat. Spray with cooking spray, or drizzle a little cooking oil and then lay your burgers down.
- Cook for about 5 minutes until grill marks form. Then flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the grill and place your burgers on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Finish cooking the burgers in the oven for about 15 minutes. (The burgers are ready when the internal temperature is at least 165F.)
To Make the Tzatziki Sauce
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a mixing bowl (including lemon juice and the zest of half of the lemon) and stir to combine.
- Taste and adjust salt & pepper if necessary.
- Let cool in the fridge until ready to serve.
To Assemble the Burgers
- Spread Tzatziki sauce on buns, top with burger patties and toppings of choice.
Lemon & Herb Roasted Potatoes
- 1 pound mini Yukon gold potatoes
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (plus a little extra for drizzling)
- 1/2 Tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 Tsp dried basil
- 1/2 Tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 Tsp dried thyme
- 1 Tsp garlic powder
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1/2 Tsp black pepper
- 2 Tsp lemon zest (about half a lemon’s worth)
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon’s worth)
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and place in the oven while it heats up.
- Slice all the potatoes in half and place in a large bowl of cold water. Let them sit in the fridge for at least half an hour.
- Rinse the potatoes thoroughly, drain and lay on paper towls. Dry them thoroughly.
- Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl, drizzle with the 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add all the remaining ingredients except the lemon juice and toss the potatoes until they are fully coated with everything.
- Once the oven is preheated, remove the baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and pour the potatoes out on to the pan, spreading them out as much as possible.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and use a spatula or tongs to flip over and stir around the potatoes.
- Return the pan to the oven and finish cooking for another 20 minutes or so until the potatoes look crispy and browned in some parts.
- Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the lemon juice all over.
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