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Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 50 mins

Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burgers

These tasty turkey burgers, served on toasted focaccia and dressed with marinara sauce, are reminiscent of a sausage pizza. Shredded mozzarella combined with fresh basil melts beautifully inside these gems.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups plum tomatoes, chopped, with juices
  • 6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons basil, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 4-inch-square slices foccacia bread, (about 2 ounces each), toasted


Step 1
To prepare marinara: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in fresh tomatoes and any juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in basil and remove from the heat. Transfer to a food processor and pulse to form a coarse-textured sauce. Return to the pan and set aside.
Step 2
To prepare burgers: Place turkey, scallions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 8 thin patties about 4-inches wide and 3/8 inch thick.
Step 3
Combine 1/4 cup cheese and basil and place an equal amount in the center of 4 patties. Cover with the remaining patties and crimp the edges closed.
Step 4
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (see grilling variation). Add burgers and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.
Step 5
Warm the marinara on the stove. To assemble the burgers, spread 3 tablespoons of marinara on each toasted focaccia, top with a burger, about 3 more tablespoons of marinara and 1 tablespoon of the remaining cheese.


Grilling Variation: To grill the turkey burgers: Preheat a grill to medium-high. Oil the grill rack. Grill the patties, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 8 to 10 minutes total.

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