Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Southwest Ranch Turkey Burgers

Both of my sisters have their own "original" takes on turkey burgers.  My sister Trish makes them Southwest-style.  She got the recipe from Rachael Ray.  Well...not literally, get what I'm saying.   I request them every time I visit her in Atlanta.  My sister Julz makes turkey burgers with a packet of ranch dressing or onion soup mix in them.  It's amazing how much flavor you get from one little packet of spices.  This recipe is my attempt at melding the two ideas together into one glorious burger.  The results were pretty darn good. 

NOTE:  If you are watching your points, be sure and check your package of turkey.  Not all ground turkey is created equal.  Make sure it is lean.  Turkey, just like beef, is often mixed with a little bit of fat or dark meat to add flavor.  I look for 93% lean ground turkey breast.  

ANOTHER NOTE:  Check the package to make sure you have 16 ounces of meat.  For some reason, it is pretty common for ground turkey to be packaged in sizes larger than a standard pound.  If you happen to get one of the larger sized packages, divide the meat into 5 burgers instead of 4.  You want your burgers to be 4 ounces each. 

Enough talk.  Now to the burgers!!
Southwest Ranch Turkey Burgers
Servings:  8
Serving Size:  1 burger (without bun or toppings)
Points per serving:  4

  • 2 pounds lean ground turkey breast (93% lean)
  • 2 packets of ranch dressing mix
  • 2/3 cup of frozen chopped onion and peppers, pulled out of the freezer to thaw when you pull out the turkey meat  (I bought a bag of these at Price Chopper.  If you can't find them or don't want to use this, then finely dice 1/2 of a bell pepper and 1/2 of an onion.)
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (I used ancho chili powder, which packs a bigger punch, because that's how I roll!)
  • Various and assorted burger toppings, and 8 hamburger buns (I chose Sara Lee buns that are lighter, whole wheat, and 1 point each.)  Toppings and buns are not included in the total point count.
  1. Mix all ingredients (except for toppings and buns, duh!) together in a bowl.  Be careful not to overwork the meat.  Just mix it until combined.  Go ahead and get your hands in there and squish it up. 
  2. Divide the meat into eight 4-ounce patties.  You don't need to weigh them.  Just pat the meat flat while it's still in the bowl and roughly score it into 8 equal sections.  That way you will know that each portion of meat you pull out of the bowl is roughly 4 ounces.  
  3. Warning:  The turkey meat is very sticky.  Once you've formed the patties, lay them out in one layer.  That may mean that you need to get out a second plate.  I tried stacking two layers of burgers on one plate, and they all stuck together.   Not fun at all!   
  4. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place on medium high heat. 
  5. I usually cook four burgers at a time, but you can decide how many you want to cook in each batch.  Don't overcrowd the pan, or they will end up steaming instead of browning.
  6. Cook the burgers on one side for about 5 minutes, or until you see burger is about halfway cooked through.  Flip burgers to second side and cook until done.  For me this was about 3 more minutes. 
  7. Remove burgers to a waiting platter and cook the rest. 
  8. Top, serve, and enjoy.


  1. What do you serve along with the turkey burgers?

  2. You can serve whatever floats your boat. When I made these, I used frozen steak fries, sprinkled with a little bit of cajun seasoning. I got the store brand and it was 10 fries for 2 points. Not bad. But normally I would just make a green salad to go along with it. That's my go-to side dish.