Who says Thanksgiving can only happen once a year? Certainly not me! When I find myself craving the flavors of Thanksgiving, I make this turkey-day inspired fennel and apple turkey burger recipe. It provides the sensation of the holiday without all the work, pressure, and hours of tending to a huge bird.
From all of our experience at the Thanksgiving table, we’ve learned that turkey marries well with sweet and tart ingredients. This recipe replaces traditional cranberry sauce with finely diced fennel and granny smith apples. They not only offer sweetness and tartness but add an undeniably fun-to-eat crunch to your burger.
To further enhance the fennel flavor, I also add fennel (or anise) seeds to the mix. I hate telling people to add more stuff to their cluttered spice drawers, but this one is definitely one worth having in your repertoire. If you can find freshly ground turkey (as opposed to frozen), all the better for bringing the fresh flavors of Thanksgiving to your kitchen any night of the week. These turkey burger patties are solid on their own, but you can also enjoy them with your choice of cheese, sandwiched between your favorite burger buns. Keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, if that happens to be a buttery biscuit . . . well, just consider it another opportunity to be thankful this year.
- Garlic, minced – 2 cloves
- Fennel stalks, diced – from 1 bulb
- Red onion, diced – 1
- Granny smith apple, peeled & diced – 1
- Ground turkey – 1 lb.
- Apple cider vinegar – 2 tsp.
- Fennel seeds – 2 tsp.
- Panko – ½ cup
- Canola / grapeseed oil – 1 tbs.
- Cheese of choice (opt) – 4 slices
- Buns of choice – 4
- Garlic / Fennel stalks / Red onion / Apple – Chop as directed
- Make patties – Combine first 8 ingredients with 1 tsp. salt & some pepper. Mix thoroughly and form into 4 to 5 1” thick patties
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Place a cooling rack into a baking sheet and keep that next to your stove. Heat grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. To heated oil, add as many patties as can fit into the pan. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Move seared patties onto a cooling rack
- When all patties have been seared, bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until patties reach 165 degrees. Add sliced cheese in the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking. Buns can also be toasted during this time
- For those on low-carb diets, I love eating these patties just over a bed of dressed greens sans buns
- Double or triple the batch and freeze remaining patties. They can be warmed up in the oven at 350 degrees in about 20 minutes time