Turkey-Zucchini Burgers with Cumin and Green Onion

This is my ideal summer dish. e. Thanks to that zucchini, these burgers are moist and very difficult to dry out, even when re-heating, whiIt’s healthy, packed with flavor, and makes use of the bounty of zucchini that appears in gardens and stores each Junch isn’t something that can be said about most turkey burgers.

Turkey-Zucchini Burgers

And the spices! The spices. The cumin here is at the forefront, and turns out to be a beautiful spice to go with turkey -- who knew? There’s some cayenne for a little punch of heat, and a cooling, tangy yogurt sauce flecked with sumac to go alongside it.

Spices used in this recipe

Cumin Ground
Salt, Kosher
Cayenne Pepper
Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder
Sumac, Ground
Salt, Kosher
Peppercorns, Tellicherry, Grinder



  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 large zucchini, coarsely grated (scant 2 cups in total)
  • 3 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs. chopped mint
  • 2 Tbs. chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a Microplane
  • 1 tsp. Vanns Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Vanns Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Black Tellicherry Peppercorns, freshly ground
  • ½ tsp. Vanns Cayenne
  • 6 Tbs. vegetable oil, or as needed for searing

Sumac Yogurt Sauce:


  1. Start by making the sauce, as the longer it sits in the fridge, the better the flavors will blend. Stir ingredients together in a bowl until well combined and refrigerate. Taste for salt before serving.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine all the burger ingredients, except for the vegetable oil, in a large bowl. Divide into 8 burgers and place on a large plate. The burgers will feel quite wet -- that’s a good thing! They’ll retain a lot of that moisture even after cooking to make really juicy burgers.
  3. Put enough vegetable oil in the bottom of a large frying pan to form a layer about 1/16-inch thick. Heat over medium heat until hot but not smoking, then sear the burgers on both sides, for about 3 minutes per side, until browned.
  4. Transfer burgers to oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 165°F on a meat thermometer.
  5. Serve burgers warm or at room temperature, with the sauce drizzled over them or on the side. I like to tuck mine in a toasted whole wheat pita pocket with some crispy lettuce and a hearty dollop of sauce for a satisfying sandwich.

Serves 4 as a main course, with 2 small burgers per person. Adapted from Jerusalem.

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