Turkey Burger with Smoky Aioli, Caramelized Onions and Avocado

turkey burger

It seems every restaurant I go to these days has one version of Aioli or another on the menu. The definition of Aioli has obviously loosened up quite a bit as of late, since classic aioli is made without eggs.  Most of the modern day “aioli”  I come across in restaurants is basically fancy mayonnaise.  (Case in point is the recipe below.)   That doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious.  The River House in Brielle serves an Anchovy Aioli with their fried calamari that is absolutely heavenly.  (I have to learn how to make that, even my kids liked it.)

Today’s recipe is super easy and just takes the boring turkey burger to a new level.  You take your basic ground poultry, add some fancy mayonnaise and a lot of yummy toppings and you get one heck of a Turkey Burger.  The original recipe comes from Bon appetit magazine.  I only made a few changes.  The original called for cheddar cheese on top.  I felt with the Mediterranean spices that goat cheese would be more pleasing to my palate. I also swapped out the roasted red peppers and grilled onions for avocado and caramelized red onion.

aioliSo first, the “Aioli”

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

Toast and grind in a spice mill or in mortar with pestle.

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

2 Tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 garlic clove, pressed

Whisk mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, smoked paprika, garlic, and ground spices in small bowl. Season aioli to taste with salt & pepper. Can be made one day ahead.


1 lb. ground dark meat turkey

Place turkey in medium bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons aioli; mix gently.  Using damp hands, divide turkey mixture into 4 equal portions, then form each into scant 3/4 inch thick patties, about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.  Using thumb, make small indentation in center of each burger.  Can be made up to 4 hours ahead. cover and chill.

Prepare barbecue (medium high heat).  Sprinkle burgers with salt and pepper.  Brush onion slices and bell pepper pieces with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions and bell peppers until soft and charred, about 4 minutes per side.

Grill turkey burgers 5 minutes. Turn over; grill until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes.  top each burger with 1 cheese slice and grill until meat is cooked through and cheese melts, about 1 minute longer.  Place 1 turkey burger on each of 4 bun bottoms. Arrange grilled red pepper pieces, then grilled red onion slices over.  Top each with a dollop of aioli and some arugula.  Cover with bun tops and serve.

As I said earlier, I substituted Avocado for red peppers and sauteed the onions instead of grilling.  You can add and subtract whatever you like as far as toppings go.  If you have an outstanding Turkey Burger recipe I’d love to hear from you.  I am always looking for great recipes to try and publish on jersey bites, so don’t be shy.  Emaill me at Jerseybites (at)gmail.com or leave a comment with a link.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and the rest of our very short summer here in Jersey.