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Turkey Burgers with Fried Zucchini

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So I am just going to go ahead and assume that you are all as obsessed with zucchini right now as I am. I’m going pretty crazy over it, and it’s another one of those veggies that I wish were growing in my imaginary garden. I’ve always had incredible luck with zucchini. I’m not sure why this is. Anywho, I knew I had to highlight this veggie the best way I knew how, and of course that included some frying. My mom and dad have been frying zucchini for as long as I can remember, so I thought I would recreate their recipe and throw it on top of a turkey burger. The result was magic … pure magic.



I’m hit or miss when it comes to turkey burgers, and I think that’s because I’ve had one to many dry and disgusting ones. I have come to the point where I absolutely refuse to order them at restaurants. They never, ever live up to my expectations. Making them in my kitchen, however, is a completely different story. I have learned that they do not have to be dry and disgusting, but can be moist and delicious!

I think the key to cooking up the perfect turkey burger, is to use a MEAT THERMOMETER. I can’t tell you have many times my life has relied on my handy dandy meat thermometer. It is by far my favorite kitchen tool, and I highly recommend investing in one. It will change your life.



Flavor is yet another major issue I have with most turkey burgers. They are usually bland. Now I’m not saying you have to load it up with a gazillion ingredients (although, this would be totally ok if you did), but a substantial amount of salt, pepper and other spices and herbs will do just fine.

So why did I go turkey in this recipe instead of say…beef, lamb, or bison?



Well, although you can totally flavor up a turkey burger to make it delicious, it will never have that strong taste you would have in a beef, lamb or bison burger. These meats are usually pretty intense in their flavor. A turkey (or chicken) burger tends to be a little less flavorful. Since zucchini tends to be on the lighter side, I wanted to use a protein that would not take away from the star of the dish: which is 100% the zucchini!

Yes, you can totally serve this in a lettuce wrap. It will be just as delicious. ;) I’m just kind of a carby (word?)/bread hog. It’s a vice I’m willing to live with for the sake of not being completely miserable all the time and the sanity of those who have to be around me.



Yay, it’s Wednesday! We are halfway there! Although, I have to tell you guys, I am completely over this rain and humidity we’ve been having in Colorado. As a result, I will most definitely be hibernating for the rest of the week. Before I go crawl under a blanket, let’s talk about some beer!

Beer Love:Beer: Goose Island’s Halia
Brewed By: Goose Island
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Alcohol Content: 7.5%
Description: I’ve been kind of gung-ho over Goose Island’s saisons lately. I have to say, they brew a pretty good saison, and I definitely believe I needed one for this food pairing. Now, saisons are hit or miss with me. Sometimes they are just way too unflavorful. Other times, they can be out of this world. Goose Island’s Halia is out of this world. It is aged in wine barrels with peaches. PEACHES! It is tart, sweet and just a tad oaky … which is a characteristic you totally want when you hear it has been aged. It compliments these turkey burgers very well because it is so flavorful, yet not totally out of control. Oh, and it’s extremely refreshing on a hot summer’s day! I do not, however, recommend that you drink the entire 765 ml bottle by yourself. Sharing is caring!



I hope everyone is having a great week! Here is the scrumptious recipe!


Turkey Burgers with Fried Zucchini



Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled or cut into cubes
  • 14 ounces canned chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • canola olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 large zucchini sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
  • canola olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought olive tapenade
  • 4 hamburger or sandwich rolls lightly toasted


  • Start by preparing your salad. To a medium bowl, toss together the feta cheese, chickpeas, basil, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with EVOO, and toss together to combine. Set aside or refrigerate for later use.
  • Next prepare your zucchini. In one bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. In another bowl, whisk together the bread crumbs, flour, parmesan cheese and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Taking one zucchini round at a time, dip them in the egg mixture and then into the floured mixture, making sure that the floured mixture adheres to the rounds. Place the rounds in the hot oil, making sure to not overcrowd the pan. You may need to do this in two batches. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are brown and crispy. Remove from heat and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
  • Now prepare your turkey burgers. In a large bowl, add the ground turkey, panko bread crumbs, egg, garlic powder, onion powder and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix with your hands or a heavy wooden spoon until the ingredients come together. Form the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties. Set aside.
  • Heat just enough oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes on each side, or until they are cooked completely through. Remove the burgers from heat and set aside.
  • Assemble your burgers by layering a small amount of olive tapenade on each bottom of the burger rolls. Place your burger on top and then top with fried zucchini and marinated salad.
  • Eat immediately and enjoy!



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I’m the voice, author, creator, and photographer behind Cooking and Beer. We started things about 10 years ago and Cooking and Beer has morphed and grown into what it is today: providing hundreds of recipes to thousands of people.

8 Responses

  1. Dude what’s up with the dumb rain, I’m sitting here in a sweatshirt! Turkey burgers are my favorite and I LOVE this fried zucchini on top! I just saw my first little zucchini in my garden yesterday, it was about 4 inches long, I better keep an eye on it or it will be 2 feet long!

    1. Ugh, I am OVER it! Luckily, it seems like it’s starting to clear up today. Is it bad that I refuse to run today until it’s nice out?! eek … awww I may have to come stalk your garden! That thing will definitely grow out of control if you don’t keep a close eye! Thanks pretty lady.

  2. Everything about this burger is perrrrrfect. I adore zucchini and I actually love turkey burgers too (even though they get a bad rep because so many are just too dry). Great idea about the meat thermometer!

  3. My meat thermometer is one of my kitchen must haves too! I love that I never have to worry if I undercooked the meat, and made us all sick. These turkey burgers look delicious! Fried zucchini’s on top? Genius!

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Hello! I'm Justine.

I’m a blogger and web developer from the beautiful state of Oklahoma, where my loving husband, two adorable kids, and two mischievous dogs keep me on my toes 24/7. My idea of heaven includes endless summer days, getting lost in a good book, and whipping up some delicious homemade bread.


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