A nice big fat, juicy turkey and mushroom burger. It’s how to satisfy a burger craving. And no, it’s not an all-meat burger, but it’s the mushrooms that make it so incredibly flavorful and moist…
Mushroom Burger Magic
In the vegan food world, it’s not at all uncommon to see mushrooms used as a meat substitute. Mushrooms make a good substitute for meat because they appeal to our taste for protein thanks to high levels of umami-related compounds. Umami is an odd-sounding word describing an indescribable deliciousness; savory, rich, yum. Umami also creates both appetite appeal and satiety, the feeling of being gratiﬁed to the fullest extent. By the way, if you are into clean eating for weight management purposes, harnessing the satiety power of umami-rich foods is a good idea 😉
Most commonly in the plant-based food world, a thick and meaty portobello would stand in for beef. The portobello would be nestled between a bun and then served as a burger. And yes, die hard meat eaters consider this a humdrum swap out. But since I am not vegan, I wasn’t going for a plant-based nothing-but mushroom burger with my recipe. Instead, I wanted a less-meat burger made with ground turkey rather than beef that would also be juicier, tastier and more interesting than the usual ho-hum turkey burgers I have become accustomed to eating. That’s where finely chopped shitake mushrooms step in…
If you have our Clean Cuisine book then you may be familiar with the Portobello-Beef Burger recipe on page 360. The recipe for the Turkey Mushroom Burger below is an adaptation of the recipe in the book; I simply swapped ground turkey for the beef and shitake mushrooms for the portobellos. I really wish now I would have used the shitake mushrooms in the original recipe. In addition to the health benefits of shitake mushrooms far exceeding those of portobellos, I really think the shitake mushrooms give the burger a richer and considerably more savory flavor. All mushrooms have umami, but the darker the mushroom the more umami they will have. Shitake mushrooms definitely have more umami than portobellos and so even though the burger recipe below uses turkey rather than beef, it still has a more savory flavor when compared to the original recipe.
The secret to making a killer turkey mushroom burger with shitake mushrooms (or any mushroom for that matter!) is to use a food processor and pulse the mushrooms into ittty-bitty pieces. You then want to saute the mushrooms in a little oil to soften them and then mix the mushrooms with the ground turkey or meat. You definitely do not want to mix raw mushrooms with raw meat though.
When it is cooked and ready to serve, I like to use toasted crustless sprouted Ezekiel bread instead of a big fat bun. It is such a flavorful burger that I don’t feel the need to add a whole lot other than a slice of tomato, lettuce and ketchup. If I have time I make my own date-sweetened ketchup recipe but if not, Sir Kensington’s is a clean ketchup alternative.
- ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup chopped shitake mushrooms, stems removed
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound pasture-raised ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons brown rice or spelt flour
- ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Put the olives and parsley in a mini food processor and pulse several times until finely chopped. Set aside.
- Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic to the food processor and pulse until very finely chopped (be careful not to over-process.)
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat; add the mushroom-onion mixture and saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms and onions are soft and the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the olive parsley mixture to the skillet and mix well to blend. Cook for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally.
- To the onion-mushroom mixture, add the ground turkey, flour, salt and pepper. Use clean hands to mix the ingredients together. Form into five 4-inch patties.
- Lightly oil the bottom of the skillet and heat over medium-high heat; add the burgers and cook, turning once, about 8-minutes total, until cooked through. Serve warm.
LOOKING FOR MORE CLEAN EATING RECIPES?
If you liked the turkey mushroom burger be sure to check out Clean Cuisine Dinners! The digital cookbook offers a full month of clean eating dinner recipes including weekly menu planner, shopping lists and more!