Turkey Zucchini Burgers

posted in: Cook, First Foods 1

2014-11-03 Turkey Zucchini Burgers | firsttimefoods.com

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem cookbook, but I’m still loving everything I make from it. He’s got a new book, called Plenty More, which I haven’t yet checked out but hoping to do so soon. If you have opinions on it, let me know in the comments!

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This recipe tastes amazing, due to all the different flavors, herbs, and lemon juice incorporated throughout. Ottolenghi alternates between calling them burgers and meatballs. They are the size of meatballs, yet not rounded, but either way, they. are. good. I always make them in-between the size of a burger and a meatball, and serve them with Israeli couscous and grilled or roasted veggies. And don’t skimp on the sour cream/sumac sauce. It really makes the burgers shine. Sumac can be hard to find, but I finally tracked it down at Whole Foods. If you can’t find it, you can just up the lemon juice and lemon zest, as sumac has a lemony flavor.

They do take a bit of time to make, what with all the chopping of herbs, grating of the zucchini, and shaping of the patties. However, if you have a food processor with the right attachments, the prep won’t take quite so long.

We just got ourselves a brand-spankin’ new, shiny Cuisinart 14-cup food processor (we went with the highest rated one by America’s Test Kitchen) for Christmas, and I can’t wait to try it out on this recipe. We of course got a sweet deal on it. I’ve been stalking it on Amazon, using a site called Camelcamelcamel, which tracks the historic prices of items on Amazon. When I saw that the Cusinart was near its lowest history price (of $135) on Cyber Monday, I decided to go for it and hit ‘order’. I also used Ebates to get $12 of cash back on the purchase, since they were running a special Cyber Monday double-the-cash-back deal. If you don’t yet use Ebates, sign up and add the browser extension, which alerts you when the site you’re on offers cash back on your purchases. It’s an easy way to ‘make’ money when you make purchases online (anywhere from 1-10+% cash back). Those are just some of the ways we frugal-ies get (what we think are) awesome deals. Hope you find them useful!

Turkey Zucchini Burgers


Don’t skimp on the sour cream/sumac sauce. It really makes the burgers shine.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • about 6 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, for searing

Sour Cream & Sumac Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. First, make the sour cream sauce: place all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well, and chill in the fridge.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425*F. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs except the canola oil. Mix with your hands, and then shape into about 18 burgers, each weighing about 1 1/2 oz.
  3. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan to make a 1/16 inch layer on the pan bottom. Heat over medium heat until hot, then, working in batches, sear the meatballs on all sides. Cook each batch for about 4 minutes total, adding oil as needed, until golden brown.
  4. Carefully transfer the seared meatballs to a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and place in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until just cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the sauce spooned over or on the side.

Source: Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ten Speed Press.

  1. Katharine
    | Reply

    First time making a First Times Foods recipe, and it was delicious! My husband approved, too! I especially liked the sumac sauce – it reminded me of Persian dishes I’ve had. I will definitely be making this again!

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