Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Lunch Week 23: Turkey and Spinach Burgers

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Turkey and Spinach Burgers
I recently purchased some ground turkey meat but was avoiding meatloaf again. Don't get my wrong, I enjoy a good meatloaf but it didn't feel like the right kind of meal to make in this hot and humid weather. So when I spotted a turkey and spinach slider recipe in the recent Bon Appetit magazine, I was convinced. This supposedly kid friendly recipe was simple but packed in nutrients with spinach and scallions.

First, I chopped up some baby spinach. I used a box of 16oz. That's a lot of spinach but it didn't overwhelm the patties. Then I chopped up scallions, about 10. Again, I used more than what the recipe said. Lastly, I added the ground turkey about 1.7lbs and seasoning. I mixed it together with my hands and formed the 1/2 inch patties. I made about 20 patties altogether. Then I fried them up in my oiled cast iron pan for about 5 minutes on each side on medium high heat. I replaced the oil as I went.
While the patties cooked, I chopped up some pickled, brined, and marinated sides like hot cherry peppers, blue cheese stuffed olives, and artichoke hearts. These sides will add additional flavor to the patties when eaten together.

Overall, I thought the patties came out okay. They seemed a bit rubbery from the turkey but they stayed very moist from the spinach. Although I didn't season the patties enough themselves, the hot cherry peppers really added a nice amount of heat and sour tang. I'm mostly happy with this recipe and I can see how kids may like it, especially in burger form with mini slider buns and accompaniments.

Recipe below is courtesy of Bon Appetit.

Turkey-Spinach Sliders
To keep the burgers juicy, don't pack the meat too tightly.
PHOTOGRAPH BY Hirsheimer & Hamilton
JULY 2013

1/2 bunch flat-leaf spinach, thick stems removed, leaves chopped (about 4 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 slider buns or small dinner rolls, split, lightly toasted (for serving)
Mayonnaise, sliced red onion, and pickle slices (for serving)

Combine spinach, scallions, garlic, turkey, and cumin in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Using a fork, mix gently just to combine. Form turkey mixture into twelve 1/2-inch-thick patties.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, cook patties until golden brown and cooked through (resist the temptation to press down on patties with your spatula while cooking), about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Serve turkey-spinach patties on buns with mayonnaise, onion, and pickles.

DO AHEAD: Patties can be formed 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before cooking.


  1. I can completely see this recipe working. I love turkey and spinach, but? As a Mom of five there is not a kid on this earth that is going to eat something that ugly and obvious. Kid friendly it is not Bon Appetit.

    I wonder if some parmesan cheese or artichokes might make it tastier?

    Thanks for a good recipe tho'. :)

    {Over from Feisty Foodie}

    1. Hi SkippyMom! Thanks for reading. I do admit that their sliders aren't very pretty but I did add double the amount of spinach. Also, the original recipe says to serve these with slider buns and maybe a slice of cheese on top. I would think that would make it look more appetizing to kids.


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