These Harissa Turkey Burgers are easy to make and super tasty – serve them with Cumin Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges and a simple Middle-Eastern inspired salad for a healthy, but totally delicious alternative to the usual beef burger and chips, and all in under 30 minutes!
A few weeks ago I was contacted by British Turkey and asked to come up with an innovative dish with the theme ‘Best of British’ – which is how I came up with my delicious Turkey Tikka Masala Meatballs, using turkey mince flavoured with garam masala to make the meatballs and creating a simple coconut milk based curry sauce to serve them in. It went down a storm in our house and I think it’s all set to become a firm family favourite.
I really loved working with turkey mince so much, that I wanted to make something else with it. One of the ideas I had considered when creating the dish for British Turkey was to make turkey burgers and I still really wanted to give these a try. I discovered with the Turkey Tikka Masala Meatballs, that turkey is a really great flavour carrier and I wanted to see what other flavours turkey would work well with.
One of my favourite flavours to work with, at the moment, is harissa – a spicy, fragrant paste from North Africa – and so the idea of making Harissa Turkey Burgers began to develop in my head. Before long it had been joined by the idea of serving them with Cumin Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges and a simple Middle-Eastern inspired salad, to create an easy peasy, healthy, Middle-Eastern take on burger and chips.
I tested out my ideas and was pleased to bits that it worked out brilliantly – I shouldn’t really have been surprised – it would have been hard to go wrong with such fab flavours.
I really like working with the turkey mince – it is such a joy to make meatballs and burgers with, and makes a lovely, healthy alternative to the usual beef burger. To make this meal even healthier, I swapped the usual white burger buns for brown – but if you are trying to cut down on carbs, you could miss these out altogether and enjoy a bunless burger – perhaps served on a lettuce leaf instead.
The Cumin Spiced Sweet Potato Wedges are an adaptation of my Homemade Sweet Potato and Smoked Paprika Chips. If you are not a fan of cumin, you could sprinkle over some smoked paprika, chilli flakes or cayenne pepper instead – or why not try a mixture?
I think a gutsy French or Spanish rosé would be a good wine choice here or, if you prefer red, a Grenache based Southern French red would also work well.
- 1 small red onion, diced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cucumber, diced
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- Drizzle of olive oil
- 100g feta, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 1kg sweet potatoes (roughly 2 medium ones)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted coconut oil)
- 500g turkey thigh mince
- 4 tablespoons harissa paste (careful with strength, mine was fairly mild)
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 4 wholemeal burger buns or ordinary bread rolls
- 4 large lettuce leaves (optional)
- Start by preparing your salad. Placed the diced red onion in a large bowl or serving platter, squeeze over the lime juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix together – this will help soften the flavour of the onions.
- Add the cucumber and tomatoes and mix together again. Leave the salad on the side to allow the flavours to develop, then just before you serve everything up, crumble over the feta and scatter the coriander on top.
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Cut the sweet potatoes into rough chip shapes / wedges and do leave the skin on for extra goodness!
- Place the sweet potato wedges in a bowl and add the cumin, salt and oil. Mix together using your hands or a spoon. Place the chips on a non-stick baking tray, well-spaced out so they are not touching each other.
- Put the baking trays in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, remove the trays from the oven and carefully turn over the chips using tongs or a fish slice.
- Put the trays back in the oven for a further 10 minutes or until cooked.
- While the chips are cooking, get started on the burgers. Preheat your grill on a medium/high heat and leave your grill rack in the grill to heat up too (this should prevent the burgers from sticking).
- Place the turkey mince, harissa and garlic in a bowl and combine thoroughly using your hands, then shape into 4 patties and place carefully on your preheated grill rack.
- Grill for 8 minutes on the first side and 7 minutes on the second side or until the thickest part of the burger is cooked all the way through (slice one in half to check, if you are not sure).
- When your burgers are cooked place them in the wholemeal buns, together with a lettuce leaf and serve with the chips and salad – don’t forget to add the feta and coriander to the salad before serving!
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