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Recipe Swap

Recipe Swap: Juicy turkey burgers go Greek with spinach, oregano, garlic and feta

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Most people are skeptical of turkey burgers, and with good reason.

It’s easy to make a turkey burger that’s as dry as sawdust and as appetizing as cardboard.

Much harder is to make a turkey burger that’s juicy and mouth-watering the way the best burgers are.

But TV host and cookbook author Sara Moulton has succeeded in making a juicy, flavorful turkey burger with the help of such Greek and Mediterranean flavors as garlic, oregano, feta and spinach. The real key to these burgers is that the spinach and feta go inside the burger, helping to keep it moist.

Note that Moulton calls for ground turkey, not specifically ground turkey breast. Meat labeled simply ground turkey tends to be a combination of white and dark meat — and the presence of some dark meat with its slightly higher fat content also helps to keep the meat moist.

The spinach is sautéed with onion first before being mixed with the feta, oregano, turkey, salt and pepper.

Also key to the flavor is a sauce that Moulton makes with mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon and chopped pepperoncini — the latter giving the mixture a serious boost of flavor.

Moulton calls for these to be grilled, but I cooked them indoors in a cast-iron skillet with good results. The key with either cooking method is to not overcook the meat. You don’t want to eat pink turkey meat, but you don’t want to cook it a second longer than needed, either.

Send requests or recipes to Recipe Swap, c/o Michael Hastings, Food Editor, Winston-Salem Journal, 418 N. Marshall St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101; or email to Please include name, address and a daytime telephone number. Previously published recipes are available at


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