Half of the adults in this house are generally anti-turkey burger. And 100% of the toddlers in this house don’t care what’s inside that hamburger bun, as long as there is a pile of cherry tomatoes next to it.
But if I mention turkey outside of sandwiches or Thanksgiving, I get a sigh. (And if you have ever had even a quasi semi-significant other, you’re probably quite familiar with “The Sigh.”)
My husband and I both come from red meat upbringings. In my house, if red meat wasn’t on the menu, fried chicken was. My husband? Total burger snob. His family actually raises grass-fed cattle so a turkey burger? It’s not a “real” burger.
When it comes to picky eaters, I’ve found that asking questions is key. My husband is a recovering picky eater. When you really dig down and press him, his biggest complaints about turkey burgers are that they’re flavorless and dry.
And he’s totally right.
Turkey is leaner than beef. Less fat means a less flavorful, less juicy burger. So when I make turkey burgers, I have to go above and beyond to make a Rockstar Burger. Or be plagued with The Sigh all through dinner.
Hawaiian Turkey Burgers are one of the very few turkey burgers I’ve made that get my husband’s approval. They’re modeled after one of my childhood favorite meals, Hawaiian Chicken. Standing alone, the burger itself would surely get a thumbs down. But when you take a bite, you get an incredibly juicy bite of grilled pineapple, turkey burger, steak sauce, red onion, and cilantro.
It’s not only enough to make him forget that he’s not eating a “real” burger, but it’s enough for him to call it one of his favorites.
And that’s high, high praise coming from a burger snob.
Hawaiian Turkey Burgers
Grilled pineapple, red onion, and cilantro give a tropical twist to turkey burgers.
- 20 oz package of lean ground turkey
- 3 Tbsp Heinz steak sauce, plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, divided
- Handful cilantro, chopped and divided
- 4 burger buns
- 4 pineapple rings
- Heat grill to medium high.
- Break the ground turkey into pieces into a large bowl.
- Add steak sauce, half of the red onion, half of the cilantro, salt, pepper, and a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
- Lightly mix with your hands and then form 4 burgers.
- Place burgers and pineapple rings on the grill, cooking ~5 minutes on each side, until the burgers reach desired doneness and the pineapple has grill marks.
- Serve the burgers on buns with additional steak sauce, grilled pineapple rings, chopped red onion, and cilantro.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 30 minutes