turkey zucchini burgers with sumac yogurt

zucchini turkey burgers with sumac yogurt

These turkey zucchini burgers with sumac yogurt are delicious and healthy! This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi. I’ve made slight variations to the original recipe by increasing the quantity of fresh mint and cilantro for a brighter herbal kick. I also doubled the recipe since that is how Kenny and I make it at home. We prepare a large batch of these healthy burgers, reheating them for several courses of lunch and dinner.

These turkey burgers have big flavor, thanks to additions like green onion, cumin, and fresh herbs. They also help us meet our vegetable quota by including shredded zucchini right in the patty! Which is a great way to get your kids to eat more vegetables, if you’re into that sort of thing.

This is one of those great recipes that ticks all the boxes for me. It’s easy to make in bulk (especially if you use an ice cream scooper to form the patties), it has lean protein and vegetables, and it makes great leftovers. Every time I cook these turkey burgers, I wonder why I don’t make them more often. They’re delicious and they pair well with your favorite flatbread and Shirazi salad.

I hope you try this recipe soon and be sure to get your copy of Jerusalem for tons of great middle eastern recipes!

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turkey zucchini burgers with sumac yogurt

turkey zucchini burgers with sumac yogurt

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  • Author: Sepideh Esmaili Campos
  • Yield: 30 slider sized patties 1x


This recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Turkey & courgette burgers.



Turkey burgers

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 6 stalks green onions, thinly sliced 
  • ⅔ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped 
  • ⅔ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground turkey 
  • 34 tablespoons canola oil 


  • 1 cup low fat greek yogurt 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 garlic clove, grated 
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sumac 
  • Fresh cracked black pepper 


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  2. Cut the root and end off of the zucchini. 
  3. Grate the zucchini using the large holes of a box grater. 
  4. Place the grated zucchini in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the green onions, mint, cilantro, garlic, eggs, salt, cumin, cayenne, and ground black pepper to the bowl with the zucchini. Use a large fork to quickly mix everything together and break up the eggs. 
  6. Crumble the ground turkey over the mixture, use clean hands to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. 
  7. Heat a large frying pan or griddle over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until drops of water sizzle when splashed on the surface. 
  8. Pour 3 tablespoons of canola oil in the frying pan or griddle.
  9. Use clean hands or a large ice cream scooper to portion out the burger patties into the desired size. (Note: I use a #24 size ice cream scooper to yield slider sized burgers, use a #14 or lower to from larger patties). 
  10. Place the patties in the hot oil in a single layer. Sear the burgers until golden brown on each side, 3-4 minutes per side. 
  11. Transfer the seared patties to the foil lined baking sheet. 
  12. Once you’ve seared all the patties, place the baking sheet in the oven and cook until the internal temperature registers 160 Fahrenheit degrees on an instant read thermometer. The time will depend on the size of the patties you’ve made but check the burgers after 7 minutes and every 3-5 minutes after that. 

While the burgers are baking, prepare the sauce:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl. Taste, add more salt and olive oil if necessary. Cover the sauce and refrigerate while the burgers finish cooking in the oven. 

Serve the burgers and sauce with your favorite flatbread and fresh herbs or with a Shirazi salad. Enjoy! 

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