Make this Thai ground turkey lettuce wrap recipe for dinner or a weekend BBQ. Loaded with veggies and authentic Thai flavors, these patties are lean and delicious.
Better than your average burger: spiced-up ground turkey makes a more sophisticated patty. Even better, they are bunless, for a fresh, healthy and still super satisfying meal.
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You won't miss the beef with a turkey lettuce wrap!
I love a good burger. I live, probably too close for my waistline, to about 3 Shake Shacks in New York City (you bet they made it onto my New York Eats guide!), and when I visit my family in Utah, I get my fill of classic dairy freeze and burger joint meals!
These favorites, all based on a classic beef burger, are a grilling staple. But, I'm here to say, with these ground turkey lettuce wraps, you won't miss the beef.
How to cook ground turkey so it's juicy
Turkey burgers can be grilled or pan-seared, and done right, they are perfect for weekend barbecues as a lighter alternative to beef.
Ground turkey can often turn into a dry, flavorless mess if you simply add salt and pepper and grill it like a beef patty. I take a note from my famous slow cooker Turkey Meatloaf and use those preparation tips to make my Thai turkey burgers moist and juicy.
FIRST: Add loads of veggies to your ground turkey:
Adding vegetables, like grated carrot or zucchini, and onion to ground turkey adds extra moisture the lean protein lacks. Fat in beef adds to the juicy results in classic burgers, but with a lean protein we have to add this.
SECOND: Pack in the flavor.
Turkey loves powerfully flavorful ingredients like garlic and ginger. They get a chance to shine mixed into a fairly flavorless protein. I also added fish sauce and jalapeño to make these authentically Thai.
Lettuce wrap recipes are my way of cutting down on the carbs a bit, so, in all honesty I can feel good about saving it for chocolate chip cookies! I pack all sorts of flavors into these healthy dinner wraps, and these Thai turkey burgers are no exception.
Tara's recommended tools for this recipe:
Make Thai Turkey Burgers
Thai flavors are layered, often intense, and intriguing. Like I mentioned above, I added vegetables to my turkey burger to keep it juicy. Some of those additions add to the authentic Thai flavors.
The jalapeño, ginger and garlic both add moisture and traditional flavor. You also don't want to skip the fish sauce. A little goes a long way. It's the umami flavor in these burgers, acting in a similar way to salt to bring out the flavors of other ingredients too.
To create that delicious Thai finish, I drizzle the lettuce wraps with sweet chili sauce, a squeeze of lime, cilantro leaves and of course some crunchy peanuts.
If you like a Thai Lettuce Wrap you'll love these Tara Teaspoon recipes:
- Authentic Cashew Chicken made at home
- North Carolina Pulled Pork with Mop Sauce
- Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry
- Creamy Authentic Black Beans
Thai Turkey Lettuce Wrap Recipe
- 1 pkg Ground white-meat turkey (20 oz)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 carrot grated
- 2 tsp fresh ginger finely grated
- 1 small jalapeño seeded and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro plus more for serving
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 large egg white
- ⅓ cup plain bread crumbs
- Canola oil
- Butter lettuce leaves
- Sweet chili sauce
- Chopped peanuts
- Lime wedges
- Add turkey, onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot, ginger, jalapeño, cilantro, fish sauce, egg white and bread crumbs to a bowl; mix with hands until completely combined. With oiled hands use ½ cup of the mixture to form each patty (each about ½ inch thick).
- Heat grill to medium high. Brush patties with oil and grill, covered, turning once to cook through, 2 to 3 min on each side.
- Serve in lettuce leaves with extra cilantro and grated carrots, chili sauce, peanuts and a squeeze of lime.
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Recipe by Tara Teaspoon and Hilary Merzbacher, Photographs William Brinson, Food Stylist , Prop Stylist Sarah Cave. Original pub LHJ ⅞ '13