Turkey & Zucchini Burgers

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers

I love burgers, but have never been a fan of turkey burgers.  It seemed as though no matter how I’d doctor them up they’d still be dry and boring.  That is until I tried the Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onions & Cumin from the cookbook Jersusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. 

If you’ve never heard of Ottolenghi and Tamimi or read any of their cookbooks you’re in for a real treat.  Their recipes are fresh, and full of flavor.  Between them they have 5 cookbooks: Ottolenghi, Jerusalem, Plenty, Plenty More, and their newest cookbook that just came out October 3rd is Sweet.  I’m thrilled to tell you I have them all, and love each one.

I’m a cookbook nerd. While some of you may browse through fashion, car, kids magazines, or whatever suits your fancy, I sit down and browse, cover to cover, cookbooks.

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers

Last week while revisiting Jerusalem, my fingers stopped walking when I landed on these Turkey and Zucchini Burgers.  I’ve made potato and zucchini pancakes and recalled how moist they were.  After reading all the green veggies, herbs, and spices in the ingredient list, I knew I had to try these.

In fact, these burgers were so incredibly flavorful I didn’t even feel the desire to slap them on a bun.  Instead, I savored them with the Sumac Sauce recommended with these burgers.

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers

What is Sumac? The sumac bush, native to the Middle East, produces deep red berries, which are dried and ground into coarse powder. While it’s less common, the berries may also be sold whole. Ground sumac is a versatile spice with a tangy lemony flavor, although more balanced and less tart than lemon juice. This dry red powder isn’t a true spice — it gets harvested from the fruit of the sumac, or sumach flower, a member of the cashew family.

The sumac sauce in this recipe is blended with a combination of sour cream, yogurt, herbs, spices, lemon and olive oil, creating a unique sauce bursting with flavor!

These burgers are sauteed in a pan to crisp and brown the exterior first. Then, briefly placed in an oven to seal in the juices to enhance their flavor.  Packed with shredded zucchini, fresh veggies herbs and spices, these Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onions and Cumin are not to be missed.

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers

Trust me when I tell you I’ve avoided turkey burgers like the plague. However, this variation is a burger your entire family will enjoy.  Create large, or medium size burgers, or if serving a crowd, roll into meatballs to be dipped in the sumac sauce.

I’ve even been snacking on those that I still have leftover.  They’re that good.

I hope you’ll give these Turkey & Zucchini Burgers with Green Onions & Cumin a try…………………………..

Turkey & Zucchini Burgers

Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onions and Cumin

For a burger that's juicy and bursting with flavor, these Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onions and Cumin can't be beat!


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (2 cups grated)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • *high-heat oil for browning
Sumac Sauce
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. sumac
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees
  2. Sumac sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, blend well. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Burgers: In a large bowl combine all ingredients, except oil. Mix well using your hands, to insure all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Form meat mixture into patties. Create approximately 10 burgers or using a burger press if prefer perfect shaped larger patties.
  5. *Coat the bottom of a large, heavy skillet, lightly (I used cast iron) with a high-heat oil (canola, grapeseed, or avocado oil) and heat, until a pinch of meat sizzles when dropped into the pan. Place patties in skillet to cook, 2 minutes per side, leaving room in between to brown rather than steam, remove once golden brown.  Don't crowd burgers.  If needed work in batches adding more oil if necessary.
  6. Line a sheet pan with foil, then top with parchment. Set burgers in the pan and bake for approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Burgers should be slightly firm (center) to the touch.
  7. Plate. Serve burgers with sauce on the side.
Notes: I found Sumac at International Markets, Whole Foods, and Penzeys in town, as well as online. Be sure to check the ingredient list.  Some ground sumac has salt in it while others only ground sumac, which I prefer.  You can add your own salt to your taste.
Adapted from Jerusalem

Hungry for more? Savor these!

Beet & Quinoa Burger

Mountainous Grilled Chicken Burger

Not Another Burger

Best Sloppy Joe’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I love sumac! These turkey patties look very juicy and delicious.

    • They were. It was quite the surprise to me, especially since I’m not a fan of turkey burgers. They’re really quite tasty especially when paired with the sumac sauce.

  2. Turkey burgers can be a bit dry, can’t they? These look terrific, though. Really neat recipe– thanks.

  3. I love these burgers. They are a favorite at our house too! They definitely take ground turkey to a whole new level!

  4. I love reading cookbooks cover to cover, too! True foodies! I have a feeling I’d love these burgers—plus this might be the only way Bill will ever eat zucchini 🙂

    • Well don’t even tell him there’s zucchini in them because you can’t see it once it’s been cooked. I venture to say he’d love these Liz. Give it a try with the sumac sauce and let me know what he says.

Leave a Comment »