Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Spectacular Side Dish Turkey Sliders" for the Thanksgiving Dinner Burger Challenge

When my good friend Kim from Stirring the Pot announced her Thanksgiving Dinner Burger Challenge, I knew immediately I had to join in and I knew my burgers had to include my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal, stuffing! I like my Mom's version which uses turkey sausage, bread, celery, onions and sage. I wanted to incorporate the sausage ingredients and flavors into the turkey burger itself, and since I was using turkey breast, I wanted to make sure it was plenty moist by cooking down the stuffing mixture and adding some grated apple.

Also adding to the moisture is a drool-worthy Lemon-Sage Mayo, I mixed together using sage from my herb garden. To get even more spectacular sides into the mix, I added homemade cranberry sauce, leftover Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Poppy Seeds, and served these sliders (mini burgers are always more fun) on potato rolls for a nod to mashed potatoes. And so there you have them, my Spectacular Side Dish Turkey Sliders. Juicy, messy and full of flavor.

Spectacular Side Dish Turkey Sliders
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 12 sliders)

Turkey Stuffing Slider Patties:
1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 leaves fresh sage, minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
dash of red chili pepper flakes
1/2 cup whole wheat panko or bread crumbs
1 lb ground turkey breast
1/2 tart apple, grated (I used a Honeycrisp)
1 Tbsp olive oil

In a medium pan, heat pan over medium-high heat. Add butter and when melted add onion, celery, and garlic and saute until vegetables start to soften and turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, fennel, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Mix well and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs and stir well, cooking until breadcrumbs start to lightly brown, about another 5 minutes. Remove mixture from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, place ground turkey and grated apple. Add cooled vegetable mixture to bowl and mix together gently but thoroughly without over-mixing. (Hands work best). Form into 12 small slider patties and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat lightly with olive oil. Cook sliders about 3-4 minutes per side until the sides are lightly browned and the burgers cooked through.

To assemble the sliders:
Prepare potato roll slider buns by slicing in half and toasting in a lightly oiled pan until browned and toasted. Spread bottom buns with Lemon-Sage Mayo (recipe below), and top with a small scoop of shredded lettuce or warmed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Poppy Seeds (recipe here). Place a Turkey Stuffing Slider Patty on top of shredded sprouts, and garnish with a dollop of fresh cranberry sauce and the top bun. Serve warm with lots of napkins and enjoy!

Lemon-Sage Mayo
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Makes 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 tsp whole grain mustard
5 sage leaves, minced
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp lemon juice
salt & black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.

Notes/Results: Yes, there is a lot going on in these sliders but it actually all works together--like eating a plate of the best side dishes of Thanksgiving. The burgers turned out to be very moist--I just don't make turkey breast burgers anymore without grating an apple or some zucchini into them, and I liked the texture that the little pieces of cooked onion and celery added. (BTW--if you think the burgers look pink in spots, that is from the apple--I left the skin on when I grated them and the burgers are fully cooked!) These are 2-napkin burgers--I am unable to make a tiny, flat slider, but messy can be fun. ;-) The Lemon-Sage Mayo is really good if you are a sage fan and would work well on a turkey sandwich too. For the cranberry sauce, I just did a basic version--sugar, water, cranberries, fresh orange juice and orange zest, simmered and cooked down on the stove. The Brussels sprouts were a bit of an afterthought but I really liked them, slightly warm on the burger. The potato buns were store bought and tasted great toasted. I was very happy with how these turned out from top to bottom and would make them again.

If you have a Thanksgiving Dinner Burger Challenge inspiration, check out Kim's blog post here for all of the details and you must go take a look at her decadent Sausage-Stuffing Inspired Burgers topped with Baked Creamed Pearl Onions. Yum! Kim will be rounding up the burgers on her blog on December 1st.


  1. I love these burgers Deb! They definitely let the thanksgiving flavors shine. Although let's be real, any burger covered in cranberry sauce sounds like perfection to me.

  2. I like how these foods isn't a formal dinner style...yummy!

  3. I love turkey slider, and what a great idea to add stuffing to it. Your mom's stuffing sounds just like my mom's! These look wonderful!

  4. Totally making these! Yummmmmm!

  5. this looks perfect! I always find turkey burgers bland and dry, so I think I will try that grated apple trick soon.

  6. Deb- Thanks so much for playing along with me! Stuffing is probably my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner too (well, until it's time for dessert anyway.)

    I love the sound of the lemon-sage mayo and I really love that you added the Brussels sprouts on the burger. That is a very original and fun way to add green to your burger. Everything about it looks delicious!

    P.S. I think the grated apple really does a lot to keep the ground turkey breast moist.

  7. These are so much fun, Deb! I plan to do lots of fun things with my leftover turkey (and there will be a lot of it) and I really love your idea for these guys!

  8. Joanne--I knew you would be happy with the cranberry sauce. ;-)

    Kat--thanks! It was fun to do.

    Lyndsey--Thanks! I think I could be happy with just a bowl of my Mom's stuffing on Thanksgiving. ;-)

    Debi--thanks! Hope you enjoy them!

    Nico--the apple or zucchini is a great trick--it really helps lock in the juices. ;-)

    Kim--my pleasure--such a fun idea. Fun that we both did stuffing in our burgers too. Yes, apple is the best trick isn't it?!

    Erin--thanks! It was a fun experiment and luckily I really enjoyed it. ;-)

  9. These sound great! I've still got my thinking cap on for this burger challenge over at Kim's! Good job!

  10. I look forward to my Mom's stuffing all year long! It is the high-point of the meal. Aside from the turkey, of course! Love this burger! So many flavors going on - it's the kind of burger you really want to take your time eating so you can fully enjoy.

  11. Roz--I am sure you will come up with something brilliant! ;-)

    Reeni--thanks! Moms' stuffings are always the best aren't they?! ;-)

  12. These are such terrific little sliders with excellent Thanksgiving flavors! Love this idea!

  13. They are so cute! Excellent T-day burgers.

  14. Natasha--thank you! They did have fun turkey-day flavors. ;-)

    Natashya--thanks--I was pleased with how they turned out. ;-)

  15. Spectacular is right - they look amazing!

    You have triumphed with this challenge.


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