CEiMB: Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Have you ever had a period of time where you knew you were going to have more free time, made lots of lists of things you wished to accomplish during said free time, then completed absolutely none of those tasks? Well, I have. For me that time would be the past two weeks. I was so burnt out at the end of the last semester, and I was convinced that once I had two weeks to myself, I would get so much done. Instead, I’ve done absolutely nothing. All that organizing I was going to do? All that cooking I was going to do? All those blog posts I was going to write? All those magazines I was finally going to read? All is still unorganized, uncooked, unwritten, and unread along with the fifty other things that are undone. As such, this blog has been quiet for about a week now.

I skipped last week’s CEiMB not because it didn’t sound good, because I am actually quite a fan of carrot cake and Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting did sound delicious (great choice thanks to Leanne at Enjoying My Favorite Things), but because I knew I would be enjoying far too many sweets last week as it was. This past weekend was my birthday, and as is our family tradition, my stepdad made me a cake. For each birthday, the birthday person gets to choose what kind of (boxed) cake they want. I always choose vanilla/vanilla, but this year I wanted something a little different: this year I requested a rainbow cake. I have to say, Randy did a fabulous job. The inside of the cake was pink, orange, green, purple, and blue, and the icing was white with matching colored sprinkles. It was beautiful and such a surprise to those who didn’t know what it was going to look like inside! I was planning to take a picture, but let’s just say my cats had other ideas and destroyed the last piece before it could get photographed. How does any of this pertain to The Not So Skinny Kitchen? Well, my birthday gift from Ryan will greatly change this blog in the near future as I am now the proud owner of my own domain and web hosting services. Hopefully within the next month or so I will have a beautiful new site to unveil!

We are, as you are reading this (but not as I’m writing it thanks to the handy “publish later” feature), in Illinois visiting my family. Since Ryan is mapping our trip based around places he has seen on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives“, I will most certainly come back ready to return to eating healthier, home-cooked meals, but maybe I’ll post some photos of our more impressive eats. In the meantime, however, I will probably not be able to read or comment on all the other CEiMBers posts this week. I do look forward to seeing how everyone liked the burgers and what kind of variations turned up once we get back!

Now for this week’s CEiMB recipe, Stuffed Turkey Burgers, chosen by Peggy at Pantry Revisited. I remember when I was younger my mom used to make stuffed burgers. I can’t remember anything other than cheese being in the middle, but I could be wrong. What I do remember is thinking it was like magic having the cheese inside the burger. How did she do that??

As an adult I have been wary of the stuffed burger. Don’t get me wrong, they sound delicious and still slightly mysterious, but it seems like it would be hard work. For some reason I have always envisioned all the stuffing exploding out of the burger or the burger itself crumbling into pieces.

So while I was excited to try these stuffed burgers, I was also leary of them. I anticipated failure. I was also hesitant about the roasted red pepper and mozzarella combination. I’m more of a cheddar and bacon girl myself. (Yes, that and a “triple D” inspired road trip could be a big part of why I am on Weight Watchers.) Since I had some fresh basil on-hand, I decided to add that to the burgers. I mean, really, why not? It sounded like it would go well with the cheese and peppers.

I am happy to report that all that worrying was for not. It took a little finagling to get the patties joined together (that is a lot of filling for those patties!), but none of my fears about the burgers crumbling apart or exploding innards came to fruition. Everything stayed nicely packed inside the burger and the burgers came off the grill in tact.

This was one of the best burgers I have had in a while! The meat was really tender and juicy, and the burger had awesome flavor. The smokiness of the roasted peppers paired well with the mozzarella, but I really think the basil made the flavors pop. I think this dish could have bordered on being a little bland, but the basil really added that extra something.

I am now a stuffed burger convert. I love that the burgers cook quickly without drying out or getting overdone. Since Ryan and I disagree on how well done a burger should be, this is a nice compromise. I get the well-doneness that I prefer and he gets the flavorful center. It seems that the thin outer patties cook more evenly and quickly than a thick, full-meat burger does. This recipe as well as many other variations of stuffed burgers will most certainly appear on our menu regularly. If you aren’t sure what to make this weekend, make these! They really are that good.

Stuffed Turkey Burgers

1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey
½ cup roasted red peppers, chopped
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper

Divide turkey into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8 patties total. Sprinkle 4 of the patties with 2 tablespoons red peppers and cheese and 1/2 tablespoon basil, and top with remaining patties, working the turkey around the edges to seal burgers closed. Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 218
4 servings


August 13, 2009. recipes.


  1. applec replied:

    Your “to do” list is like mine. But when I do have the time to “to do”, nothing seems appealing and I find other diversions. Oh well..there is always tomorrow, right?! :)
    Burger looks great – super job.
    Did I forget to wish you a Happy B-Day? Hope it was a great one and the up coming year just as good.

  2. Lindsay @ bananaandchocolate replied:

    Those burgers sound really good! I love that you are taking a “triple D” inspired road trip! That sounds like so much fun!

  3. peggy replied:

    I’m so glad these turned out well for you! We loved them. They were so easy to put together. Thanks so much for cooking with me this week!! :)

  4. pamela replied:

    Sounds like you had a nice birthday and congrats on your new domain name! Looking forward to seeing your new site! Glad you liked these burgers. I’m looking forward to trying them again!

  5. Rachel replied:

    Happy late birthday, Liz!

  6. Sara replied:

    first of all, I have so little free time and so much that I want to do. so i make a list of everything and then when i actually have the time I look at the list, then put it down and sit on the couch for hours. Why is that??

    second, I love that Ryan is actually mapping out a trip based on “triple D”. I love it!

    lastly, the burgers look great! glad you guys both liked them.

    Have a great trip and happy birthday :)

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