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Jucy Lucy Turkey Burgers

Christopher Testani

Yield: Yields about 1 cup avocado spread

Servings: Serve 4

This burger—two patties surrounding  molten cheese core—was inspired by the specialty at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The creamy, tangy avocado spread is terrific on all kinds of burgers and can be made ahead (thanks to the lime juice and vinegar, it won’t readily discolor).

This recipe is excerpted from Keepers. Read our review.


For the avocado spread

  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 2 heaping Tbs. sour cream
  • 2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • Small handful of cilantro, chopped

For the burgers

  • 1-1/2 lb. ground turkey, dark meat or a combination of dark and white
  • 1/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Four 1/4-inch-thick chunks sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger bun-style potato rolls, split

Optional toppings

  • Lettuce, such as Boston
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Pickles


Make the avocado spread

  • In a food processor, combine the avocado, sour cream, vinegar, lime juice, salt, and a large pinch of pepper. Pulse a few times to break up the avocado, then gradually add the oil with the motor running and process until smooth. (It should have the consistency of mayonnaise.) Transfer to a bowl, then stir in the cilantro and check the seasonings. The spread will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.

Make the burgers

  • In a large bowl, combine the turkey, yogurt, lemon zest, mustard, and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. Gently mix together with a fork or your hands.
  • Divide the meat into 8 even-size balls. Gently press each one into a patty about 1/4 inch thick. Put 1 chunk of cheese in the center of each of 4 patties, then cover with the remaining 4 patties. Seal the cheese inside by gently pressing the patties together all the way around the edges. Season the patties with salt and pepper.
  • In a grill pan or large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the burgers and cook until browned on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip them over and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes more. (If a bit of cheese oozes out, don’t worry; the crusty bits left in the pan are the best part, so just peel them off and eat them.) Transfer the burgers to the buns and serve with toppings.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • HBcook | 05/12/2020

    I made this as a recipe for 2 with 8 ounces of ground turkey, which was plenty. All in all, low on flavor. Avocado spread was too thin and pretty flavorless as were the burgers. They definitely needed more cheese. Not a bust just not a repeat.

  • Krispie | 10/11/2018

    We really enjoyed this recipe - it was something different from the typical burger. That being said, I used half the lemon zest called for (because I find a little lemon, like rosemary, goes a long way) ad it was still too much - lemon was the overriding taste to the burger. Next time I would up all the other seasonings and use about a quarter of the lemon zest. I also added garlic, like the other reviewer, and really liked that flavor.

  • MairiC | 10/08/2014

    Great flavour....especially for ground turkey. I added some minced garlic, no other changes. I did goof with the execution....the burgers were really thick, so I thought I would brown them and finish them in the oven, but all the cheese oozed out...still had the cheese flavour, but didn't stay in the centre. Next time will stick to the grill pan. The avocado sauce was also great, once it had time for the flavours to mellow.

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