Pesto Turkey Burgers


If you’ve read some of my other posts during Whole 30, you know I’m a big fan of turkey burgers. They’re lean but hardy and can pack a lot of flavor if you’re intentional about it.

Last week Jon grabbed some Plainville Farms ground turkey meat on sale at Publix. He raved that this brand was top of the line and while I didn’t take him seriously at the time— I think i’m kind of a believer now! So here we are, one week later and I’m still so in love with this turkey meat and SO in love with this sandwhich. After a delicious round two this afternoon, I proudly present to you another turkey burger recipe for the archives. Meet the Pesto Turkey Burger.


P E S T O   T U R K E Y   B U R G E R S

Ingredients (Serves 3)

1 Pound ground turkey

1/2 Teaspoon garlic, minced

1/2 Teaspoon onion powder

1/2 Teaspoon black pepper

1/2 Teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons pesto

Mozzarella Cheese

Sliced tomato

Olive Oil


  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Knead garlic and seasonings into ground turkey meat. Pan fry or grill until the burger reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  3. Place sliced onion on a foil pan. Lightly season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and a drop of olive oil. Cook until tomato begins to blister (3 – 5 minutes).
  4. Place burger buns open faced into the oven (or directly on the grill) until bread is lightly toasted.
  5. Assemble the burger: Spread 1/2 tablespoon of pesto directly onto the burger, or and/or directly onto the burger bun. Top with roasted tomato and mozzarella cheese.

Notes: Jon and I differ when it comes to the presence of tomatoes on food in general. For me, the texture of a straight up tomato is no good. For that reason, I made sure mine were roasted. Also, I’m a sucker for melted cheese whereas Jon choose to have his cheese fresh from the blade to the bun!

Pesto Turkey Burger

Whole 30: Days 22 – 24

Hello, Whole 30

Meal Summary


Day 22

Breakfast: Boiled Egg, Lara Bar, Raisins

Lunch: Leftover Brisket, Green Beans, Apple

Snack: Homemade Banana Chips

Dinner: Salad  (Chicken, Pederson Farms Bacon, Boiled Egg, Apple, Heirloom Tomatoes, Red Onion, Homemade Balsamic Dressing)


Day 23

Breakfast: Boiled Egg, Lara Bar

Lunch: Leftover Roasted Apple Chicken, Potatoes & Carrots

Snack: Banana Chips, Raisins

Dinner: Turkey Burger, Greens




Day 24

Breakfast: Rx Bar

Lunch: Egg Drop & Sweet Potato Soup

Snack: Veggies from Whole Foods

Dinner: Grilled Steak & Onions, Plantain Chips, Steamed Zucchini and Yuca




First of all, I’ve never been a huge fan of cold veggies but Whole Foods might have me re-thinking my stance! These chilled, olive oil tossed veggies we SO simple and delicious. As we all know, the open food area is priced by weight— so maybe don’t go overboard– but the next time you’re there, I definitely recommend making a box!



Moving on, although I haven’t come up with any particularly exciting menu items, I’d be remiss to not share a few kitchen kaizens  that have been a godsend.  The following are part craving hack, part money saver, and super easy!


Problem A: Your turkey burger game is a little off

Solution A: Heed the following…

  • Brands of Choice: Butterball, Bubba Burger, Jenni-O (ground turkey only– their other patties have wayyyy to many additives!)
  • Preparation of Choice: Pan fry turkey burger with a little bit of  olive oil to retain  moisture. Unlike like regular beef burgers you’ll need to make this is 100% cooked (I’ll usually start it on high, let it thaw, season during each flip, and place a lid on it and turn it down to medium low). Also, if you’re not in the mood to watch the pan, place your patties in the oven at 400 degrees and you’ll be good to go in about 35 mins. This has been a major time saver for me during the week if tennis or the gym get me to a late start.
  • Seasoning of Choice: Lemon-pepper and Sage- this is perfect for a comfort food kind of day. Roast some potatoes, prepare a veg of your choice (I’d recommend broccoli, carrots, green beans, or asparagus) and you’ve got a balanced meal.  OR…
    Salt and Pepper- So basic and so good. This is kind of turkey burger can be added to any salad in a heartbeat. Today, I also kept my salad basic by simply dressing my kale in fresh squeezed lemon, olive oil and a little S&P.

Problem B: You’re tired of spending $6 on a small Tessamae salad dressing that you feel you could make yourself (although no disrespect to our friends at Tessamae .

Solution B: Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of mustard, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic.
  • Pour this into a jar and refrigerate. This amount will definitely last you a few servings!


Problem C: You’re over sweet potatoes and steamed veggies for sides.

Solution C: Mayo-Free Coleslaw

  • 1/2 bag of coleslaw greens, 3/4 cups apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut amino, 1 teaspoon ginger, couple sprigs of chopped cilantro, a teaspoon of green onion, salt and pepper.
  • Leave this bad boy in the fridge for at least an hour. Eat with BBQ, Mexican, or just a snack.


Problem D: You miss having stuff to munch on that isn’t crazy high in calories (talking to you, almonds) and you also don’t feel like spending $4 on Bare chips (although they’re great).

Solution D: Homemade Banana Chips!

  • Slice at least 2 bananas into  1/8 inch rounds (or thinner if you can) and place onto a sheet pan covered with wax paper.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of water and squeeze one lemon into a small shallow bowl. Dunk your finger into the lemon water and line the face of each banana slice.
  • Sprinkle salt or cinnamon (I did half and half but you could probably do both) on each of your slices. Place this into the oven on 250 for about 2 hrs.


Texture wise, I didn’t achieve a ton of uniformity (some were crispy, others were chewy) but I found them all to be pretty tasty regardless. At first I thought the chewy ones were strange but Jon and Tam thought they perfect!