Gruyere Dijon Turkey Burgers

By Ann Fulton

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop.
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Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

 

If you shopped at Lancaster’s renowned Central Market in years past, you likely know the Turkey Lady.

Sue Glouner was the original “turkey lady,” who owned and operated the stand by the same name. These favor-packed burgers were her contribution to Fresh From Central Market, a 2009 cookbook celebrating the favorite fare of many of the longtime standholders.

The turkey burgers have been a regular on our family dinner table for years, and while I have lightly adapted the recipe, all credit for the stellar combination of ingredients goes to Sue.

Sue retired several years ago (she was a loyal follower of the Fountain Avenue Kitchen and often talked recipes with me – if you are reading, Sue, you are missed!). Happily though, the stand continues to thrive under new ownership.

In the recipe that follows, lean ground turkey is enhanced by nutty Gruyere cheese and tangy Dijon mustard for a tender, juicy patty that can be enjoyed with or without a bun.

Conveniently, the turkey burgers may be grilled or cooked on the stovetop. The burgers brown nicely, too – and I appreciate the visual appeal of the golden brown crust as much as its flavor!

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

Because these easy burgers do truly stand on their own in the flavor department, I’d say I serve them bunless about 50% of the time, with a salad or vegetable of choice on the side. We love the speedy Dijonnaise as a delicious upgrade, into which I’ve been known to dip roasted veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. 

The last time I made the burgers, I served them with this apple and Roquefort green salad on the side. My husband and sons had opted for the bun, but when I pulled them out of the toaster, they all decided to eat the bun as a roll. They really like these turkey burgers and said they didn’t want to mute the flavor.

Now that’s an endorsement! (Full disclosure: The time before, they all took the bun.)

So, try them both ways, and decide for yourself! 

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

Tip: To more effectively incorporate the ingredients without overworking the meat, I combine the dry ingredients first. Then I mix in the ground turkey and Dijon. 

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

Damp hands will prevent the meat mixture from sticking to your hands. I often forget to wet them, and then when things get sticky, I rinse them and shake off the excess without drying – and remember how much that helps!

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

The turkey burgers may be prepared earlier in the day and then covered and refrigerated until ready to cook.

For a smaller yield, I’ve made four burgers with one pound of ground meat. In that case, taking ⅔ of the weight of the remaining ingredients is a fast and efficient way to adjust the recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can eyeball the precise adjustments.

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

These burgers are reliable year-round fare because you don’t need a grill – although you may use one. If not using a non-stick skillet, I find it helpful to lightly spray or brush the turkey burgers with oil, as the Gruyere can stick. The cheese also turns golden brown and delicious, so you want it to stay on the burger! 

What would make a turkey burger dry?

  • Lean turkey breast meat doesn’t have much fat to help the meat retain moisture when cooked. This is where various additions come into play. In this case, the Gruyere cheese and Dijon mustard add just enough fat and moisture, respectively. They also lend exceptional flavor. Win-win!
  • As with chicken and even baked goods, overcooking will cause a turkey burger to dry out. A quick-read thermometer will be your best friend. Turkey breast is fully cooked at 165℉, but I like to remove the burgers from the heat at 160℉, as carryover cooking will complete the process and ensure juicy, perfectly cooked burgers.

Prep if using the grill: Once preheated, clean the grates by firmly brushing them with a wire brush. Then, just before placing the burgers on the grill, generously spray a wadded paper towel with nonstick cooking spray. Using grill tongs, run the oiled paper towel over the grates to generously coat them and prevent sticking.

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

I love that these burgers taste equally great without a bun, making them a quick and easy weeknight protein that comes together with ingredients that are easy to have on hand. Simply pair with veggies of choice or a favorite salad.

Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop. Though pictured with a bun, they are equally delicious sans bun.

Redefine turkey burgers as you know them with this quick cooking meal the whole family will love. Feel free to top with your condiment of choice. My personal favorite is the easy Dijonnaise, which provides complementary flavor and a hint of sauciness. 

I’d love to know if you try this recipe. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @fountainavenuekitchen on Instagram and Facebook. Your feedback is always appreciated.

Gruyere Dijon Turkey Burgers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 burgers
Dijon mustard and Gruyere cheese take ground turkey to new heights in these juicy, flavor-packed burgers that cook quickly on the grill or stovetop.
Ingredients
  • 1½ pounds ground turkey breast
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) finely grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup (23g) dried breadcrumbs (I’ve used seasoned and plain; use GF as needed)
  • ¼ cup (60g) Dijon mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Optional for serving: Dijonnaise (see notes), and/or other typical turkey burger accompaniments like buns, lettuce, tomato, mayo, etc.
Instructions

In a mixing bowl, gently combine all the ingredients. Tip: To evenly distribute the ingredients without overworking the mixture, I like to combine the dry ingredients first, and then mix in the turkey and Dijon.

Form into 6 patties of equal size. Prep ahead option: At this point, the burgers may be lightly covered and refrigerated for several hours.

To cook on the stovetop: Brush a nonstick skillet or cast iron pan with oil (or spray it) and heat over medium-high heat. (See Cooking Tips, below.) When hot, cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked to temperature as described one step up.

To grill the burgers/grill prep: Preheat the grill to medium-high. Once preheated, clean the grates by firmly brushing them with a wire brush. Then, just before placing the burgers on the grill, generously spray a wadded paper towel with nonstick cooking spray. Using grill tongs, run the oiled paper towel over the grates to generously coat them and prevent sticking.

Grill the burgers for approximately 5 minutes on each side (with the lid closed) or until the burgers are just cooked through. 

Tip for the juiciest, most tender burgers: I use a quick read thermometer and aim for an internal temp of 160℉, as the carryover cooking will take the burgers to the recommended 165℉.

Serve as is or on toasted buns with condiments of choice.

Storage: Leftover burgers will maintain freshness in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and are delicious gently reheated. The burgers (both uncooked and cooked) freeze well too.

Notes

Cooking tip #1: The cheese in these burgers helps create the golden crust, but it can also stick. If your pan isn’t non-stick, I recommend spraying both sides of the burgers with olive or avocado oil cooking spray for an extra measure of stick prevention.

Cooking tip #2: If the exterior of the burgers is sufficiently golden brown before the interior is cooked through, adjust the heat to medium or medium-low to finish cooking, adding an extra minute or two as needed.

For a flavor variation, replace the ¼ cup Dijon mustard with ¼ cup barbecue sauce.

A quick Dijonnaise makes a tasty condiment to serve alongside. To make, combine ¼ cup (56g) mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon (15g) Dijon or yellow mustard. An optional pinch of salt, pepper, and smoked paprika adds a hint of extra flavor. The combination makes a great dressing for potato salad too.

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Comments

  1. Janice

    We made these tonight for the first time and they were delicious! A great, juicy burger that was perfect with lettuce and tomato. We will definitely be making them again!

    Reply