Tag Archives: Turkey Mince Recipes

Homemade Turkey Burgers

These Homemade Turkey Burgers aren’t like the dried out, breaded discs you might be used to. Let’s face it, that’s what comes to mind when you think of turkey burgers, isn’t it? The frozen Bernard Matthews guys kids were fed in the 90s. I’m not sure what kids are fed these days, but I imagine there’s a bit less of that sort of thing around – or maybe not given Farmfoods is alive and well. I digress.

These turkey burgers are different. They’re just like beef burgers, only they’re leaner, and of course they taste like turkey rather than beef. To me, they’re a little bit more sophisticated, and I’m convinced turkey mince has a more umami flavour than beef mince, which can often taste quite fatty and salty. Turkey mince also takes on other flavours a lot better than beef mince. You can buy turkey breast mince, or turkey thigh mince, and I would suggest using the thigh mince, or perhaps mixing a packet of each together. Turkey is very lean, so you should get a juicier burger if you use at least half thigh mince. And it’s still going to be better for you than fatty beef mince (not that I shy away from beef mince – in fact, you can catch my homemade beef burger recipe here).

Oh, and you can skip the chopped onion too. It’s just going to make the burgers break up. It’s much tastier to add some onions sautéed in balsamic vinegar on top of the cooked burger.

If you’ve ever made homemade burgers (unless you’ve used any of our recipes!) you’ll probably be used to including breadcrumbs and an egg to ‘bind’ them, right? It’s a common misconception that both of those are essential for stopping your burgers sticking together, but really they’re just padding – a way to make the burgers look bigger or help the meat go a bit further. There’s no need for any of that. Which, incidentally, means that this recipe can be dairy and gluten-free (provided the mustard and ketchup you use are as well, or course). You know how we feel about the ‘free from’ movement, but accept that there are people who genuinely have coeliac disease or a dairy allergy, and they should be allowed to have some delicious food too.

You can stick them in a white, spongey bun, or slice them up for a wrap or pitta, or you can skip the bread altogether. I quite like them with ginger and spring onion noodles, cous cous, or even a salad (but let’s face it, who really wants salad when they can have carbs instead?).

Homemade Turkey Burgers

Homemade Turkey Burgers


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger
  • 3 roasted peppers (from a jar)
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 packet turkey thigh mince
  • oil, for frying


  1. Grate the garlic and ginger together and put in a bowl. Pat the jarred peppers dry with a paper towel and finely chop them, then add to the bowl.
  2. Finely chop the spring onions and add to the bowl along with the spices and sauces.
  3. Now, grab the mince and stick that in the bowl too.
  4. I'm afraid you're going to have to get your hands dirty here. Mix it all together and that's your burger mixture.
  5. Grab a large frying pan and add the oil to it. While it's heating, form the mince mixture into burger patties.
  6. Now fry them on both sides, turning frequently until cooked through. If you're worried about how cooked they're going to be in the middle you can always stick them on a tray in the oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Now, serve up and enjoy!
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If you like the sound of these, why not try our Turkey Bolognese, Turkey Meatballs, Chilli Con Turkey or Turkey Tacos?

Smirnoff Series: Bloody Mary Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

We’re back with a delicious Bloody Mary spaghetti with turkey meatballs recipe!

It’s an exciting time at Brookers of Blunty’s HQ.  We’ve both been working really extraordinarily hard this week, with Charles’ B&B being packed to the rafters and the utility room to get ready, and with me working lots of hours bussing other chefs’ food to many many customers and working on an assessment for a potential new paraplanning job in my time off.  It’s been pretty mad.  However, we’re picking up our puppy tomorrow morning so there’s light at the end of the tunnel!  Lots of tidying and puppy-proofing on the cards today.

I digress: back to why we’re having an exciting week!  Taste PR has been in touch with us to offer us samples of Diageo products which we can use to create recipes.  Of course, Charles jumped at the chance, as we’re always looking for new ideas for the blog, and to keep us inventive in the kitchen.  A couple of days later, we received a bottle of Smirnoff® vodka from the lovely people at Taste PR (although Charles did have to carry it all the way down the drive in the rain as it had been left with a neighbour) so we’ve been putting our heads together to come up with lots of simple recipes which use vodka in ways you wouldn’t expect. Charles got the ball rolling with a creamy beef stroganoff so expect that recipe coming your way soon, and we have big plans for some vodka based ice creams and ice lollies, so watch this space.

Let’s get into the recipe!  I’ve been really into turkey mince for awhile, so although Charles had made us delicious beef meatball subs a few nights before, he agreed to let me cook spaghetti and meatballs on Monday night, and I gave them a Smirnoff® twist with a Bloody Mary inspired sauce, instead of the usually marinara.  We’re talking celery (well, celery salt), tomato, Worcestershire sauce, vodka and Tobasco.  And it really does work with spaghetti.

In case you’re worried about putting alcohol in your meals, you should be aware that it’s completely up to you how little or how large a measure you sling into your Bloody Mary Sauce.  The addition of the vodka works twofold: firstly, by adding a couple of capfuls to the onions, when it still has plenty of time to cook out the alcohol, and later at the last minute to complete that Bloody Mary flavour, and that’s the step you can shrink, grow or leave out altogether.  The first step though is pretty important as the initial addition of the vodka isn’t for flavour, or for an alcoholic hit, but will emulsify your sauce to give you a beautifully silky consistency to the tomato sauce which really takes it up a notch, plus it helps the sauce to cling to the spaghetti.


Bloody Mary Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

Bloody Mary Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs


    For the meatballs:
  • a pack of turkey thigh mince
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • squirt tomato ketchup
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 capfuls Smirnoff® vodka
  • 1 large carton or jar passata
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch sugar
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • dash Tobasco
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • a shot or two more of Smirnoff® vodka
  • spaghetti, or wholemeal spaghetti, to serve


  1. I like to start by chopping all the vegetables so that I only need to use one chopping board. If you then do your meat on the same board and stick it in the dishwasher or give it a very good hand wash you'll stay nice and hygienic. So slice up the onion and grate the garlic and onion.
  2. Start by making the meatballs. Chuck the mince in a large bowl then add the other seasonings and flavourings, including the sauces and grated garlic and ginger.
  3. Mix it all up really well with nice clean hands (I'm sorry, it's just the best way).
  4. Then roll it into small meatballs, trying to press each meatball together tightly as you go, as we're not adding any binding agents like eggs (they just taste better that way).
  5. Now, you can either set them aside and get your sauce going, or you can fry them off and then set them aside and use the meaty pan to fry your onions in. It's a successful strategy but I wanted to give my sauce plenty of time to get the flavours balanced so I used two separate pans (and ran out of room in the hob when I added the spaghetti and veg!).
  6. Anyway, to cook the meatballs, fry them off in a large frying pan until brown on each side in two batches so you don't overcrowd the pan. And try not to flip them around too much, as that will make them more likely to split and break apart. Don't worry about cooking them all the way through as they'll be finished off in the oven later.
  7. Set them aside on a tray lined with tin foil for the time being and preheat the oven to 180c.
  8. Now, on to the sauce.
  9. Add a touch more olive oil to the pan and make sure it's over a gentle medium heat. Add in the onions and let them cook until turning soft and translucent. If they're turning brown, turn the heat down.
  10. Add the garlic, ginger and tomato puree and cook those all out for a few minutes to help to mellow the flavours.
  11. Add the balsamic and let that reduce completely, and then repeat with the two capfuls of vodka.
  12. Now, you can add the passata.
  13. To make the chicken stock, I like to crumble the stock cube into the used passata container and pour in a little boiled water, stirring to dissolve. This is a two birds, one stone sort of situation as I always like to swill some water around in the empty carton to get all of the passata residue out and into the pan, but you could of course use a Knorr stock pot instead which will melt straight into the sauce.
  14. Add the herbs and spices, Worcestershire sauce and plenty of black pepper, and simmer on a low to medium heat for at least 20 minutes, stirring every now and then, turning the heat down if it's boiling too hard.
  15. With 15 minutes to go, get the spaghetti cooking in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, and stick the meatballs in the oven for the last 10 minutes.
  16. At the last minute, add some of the pasta water (thanks Nigella) to the sauce to loosen it and further improve its consistency, then add as much Tobasco and vodka as you dare.
  17. Add the meatballs to the sauce along with any cooking juice in the bottom of the tray, heat through and then serve with the spaghetti and some parmesan cheese.
  18. Buon appetito!
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Let us know what you think!  We’d also love to hear about any recipes you’ve come up with using vodka.

If you enjoyed the turkey meatballs, why not try some more of our turkey mince recipes, such as our Turkey Bolognese or Chilli Con Turkey?

Turkey Bolognese

So you want to eat healthily but you also want to eat well? Hmm…..I give you turkey bolognese. No, it’s not dry, and no, it’s not bland. Trust me. Even my Mum likes it and she won’t eat anything that looks or feels even vaguely healthy. We’re not talking superfoods here, but we are talking lean protein, plenty of vegetables and some punchy herbs and spices for good measure. What’s more, it hides any sweetness wholewheat spaghetti comes with so it actually tastes really quite luxurious even if you bring the calories and carbs down to the minimum.
Turkey Bolgnese RecipeTo make a large batch of this light but meaty sauce, you will need:

1 onion

3 cloves garlic

3cm fresh ginger

3 carrots

1 red pepper

Olive oil

3 tsp tomato purée

100ml red wine

1 packet turkey thigh mince

1 packet turkey breast mince

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cans plum tomatoes

1 jar passata

1 Knorr beef stock pot

1 punnet chestnut mushrooms (closed up or button will work as will)

1/2 tsp mild chilli powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Splash Worcestershire Sauce

Splash balsamic vinegar

A few leaves of fresh basil and parsley (if you have them!)

Salt and black pepper

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe 1. Finely chop the onion, carrots and pepper (although I prefer to keep the pepper pieces sort of bite-sized) and grate the garlic and ginger.  Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over a medium heat.  Chuck in the onions, garlic and ginger and cook until soft and transparent.  Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat – the garlic will burn!  Next, add the carrots and pepper and continue to cook out, stirring every now and again.  The idea is to soften the veg so that it becomes part of the sauce, not to brown it.  Add the tomato puree, stir it in and keep cooking it all out.  When it’s starting to turn dry, Add the red wine and let this simmer, steaming off the alcohol and any harsh taste.
Recipes using Turkey Mince2. Grab your largest frying pan, add a little oil and turn the heat up to the max.  Brown off the turkey mince, a few handfuls at a time to prevent overcrowding and lowering of the temperature, letting it turn golden brown before turning.  This stuff will kick off quite a bit of water and fat, so keep some kitchen roll handy to mop up any liquid if it looks like the mince is starting to boil rather than brown.  When it’s nicely brown on both sides, add to the saucepan, dry off the pan, then brown the next batch.  It may seem a little odd to use a combination of turkey breast and thigh meat, but I think it gives the perfect amount of fat balance to keep things moist without over greasing the pudding.
Pasta Sauce Recipes  3.  Stir the mince into the vegetables, add the tinned tomatoes and some of the passata – you may need more or less of this depending on the overall balance of mince and veg to sauce, bearing in mind that it will reduce during cooking.Spaghetti Bolognese Recipes  4. Add the beef stock pot and stir in – this can take some time and effort to distribute evenly but it really helps to round out the flavour.  Add the Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar, then the dried spices and herbs, lemon juice and sugar and stir.  Put a lid on and leave alone to simmer (check the temperature) for around half an hour.  Recipes using Chestnut Mushrooms

5. Cut the grotty stalk ends off the mushrooms then slice them, bearing in mind that they will cook down a bit in the sauce. Add to the sauce, stir in, and cook out for another half hour or so, stirring every now and then.  You’ll notice that the sauce has already started to deepen in colour. Oh and if your saucepan isn’t big enough to take everthing, you can just as happily split the sauce into two saucepans, just remember to split any extra ingredients between both.
How do you make Spaghetti Bolognese?

6. Put the lids on and cook out for at least another half an hour to 40 minutes before serving, but ideally as long as possible.  Taste, adjust the seasoning and then add the fresh herbs before stirring through a final time.  Serve with some perfectly cooked pasta (not necessarily spaghetti!), green veg or salad and maybe even some garlic bread.  Grate a little fresh parmesan over the top if you have some -a little goes a long way if you’re counting calories.  This batch fed me for two suppers, and my parents for one, with a large freezer bag going in the freezer, so I’d day it would feed 6 people easily.

Best Ever Spag Bol Recipe

Buon Appetito!
Low Fat Spag Bol