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Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Burgers

Mozzarella Stuffed Turkey Burgers
Number of Servings: 4 Total Preparation Time: 1 hour
Actual Cooking Time: 1 hour Source: EatingWell
Food Groups: Dairy, Vegetables, Grains, Protein
Meal Type: Dinner Entrée
Nutrition Content: Good Source of Calcium
Special Features: Kids Love It, Kids Can Help Make It , Make Ahead

Recipe by Bruce Aidells, photo by Ken Burris.
These tasty turkey burgers, served on toasted focaccia and dressed with marinara sauce, are reminiscent of a sausage pizza. Shredded mozzarella combined with fresh basil melts beautifully inside these gems.


Marinara Sauce
2 teaspoons extra-virgin Olive oil
1 small Onion, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
2 cups chopped plum Tomatoes, with juices
6 oil-packed sun-dried Tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Basil

1 pound 93%-lean ground Turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped Scallions
2 teaspoons minced Garlic
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated Lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Basil
2 teaspoons extra-virgin Olive oil
4 4-inch-square slices Foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted


1. To prepare marinara: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.
2. To prepare burgers: Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4 inches wide and 3/8 inch thick.
3. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.
4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (see Grilling Variation). Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 °F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
5. Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted focaccia, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese.
6. Grilling Variation: To grill the turkey burgers, preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 °F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

Nutrient Information
Calories: 265
Total Fat: 10 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat:
Monounsaturated Fat:
Sodium: 693 mg
Carbohydrates: 14 g
Protein: 28 g
Fiber: 2 g
Vitamin A:
Vitamin C:
Calcium: 150 mg

Cook's Notes:

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the marinara sauce (Step 1) for up to 5 days.

Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.