Foil Pack Turkey Burgers

My daughter gave me the idea to try to make burgers in a foil pack in the oven. I’m always looking for easier ways to make burgers when it’s too cold to grill outside. Something without making a giant mess or making the smoke detector go off. Broiling in the oven has that tendency and cleaning the grill rack afterward takes too much elbow grease to qualify as a weeknight chore. The grill pan on the stove top makes a mess in it’s own way with grease splatters everywhere no matter how you try to catch them. It’s no wonder people just eat fast food when it’s so much easier.

This recipe turned out much better than I thought it would. I was skeptical that it would actually work. I made it with ground turkey to keep the calories lower, but I think it would work with a high quality lean ground beef just the same.

After cooking, toss the foil, clean up done. Such a win.

I was kind of winging it with the ingredients after having read a few other online blogs about how to make a juicy turkey burger. Some of the comments were helpful and some crazy! One person suggested stuffing with a pat of butter. That ought to work, but sort of defeats the purpose of eating turkey in the first place, so might as well go all in if you’re going that way.

I used Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Oats, blended in my vitamix until flour consistency for a binder. A grain supposedly helps retain moisture during cooking and then release it back while resting.

Our burgers actually turned out a little on the soft side, so I don’t recommend putting too many liquid ingredients in the mix. The foil keeps all the juiciness in, so you don’t need as much as you would for a grill.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb. Ground Turkey
  • 1 T. Minced Onion
  • 1 T. Steak Seasoning (or your other fav burger spices)
  • 1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ C. Oat flour (or substitute any grain/flour of your choice)
  • Avocado or other non-stick cooking spray
  • 4 Slices Cheddar Cheese

Optional for Serving: Buns, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayo

Steps:

Preheat oven to 375.

Prepare 4 rectangles of foil that will easily fold around a burger patty and spray with non-stick spray. It’s important to do this first, since your hands will be messy after shaping the burger patties.

Mix together all of the ingredients up through flour until well combined, but try not to overmix. If the mix is too wet, add another tablespoon or two of flour, if too dry, add a splash of non-dairy or regular milk.

Divide the mix into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a patty shape of the same thickness. Place on the prepared foil and wash hands.

Fold up the foil from the sides to the middle and keep the edges high enough so juices will not leak out during cooking.

Bake for 15 minutes. Check for internal temperature of 165 degrees. If patties are cooked completely, open the foil and add a slice of cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts.

Serve with burger fixins or a salad.

Nutrition Facts: (not including bun and other optional toppings)

  • Calories: 315
  • Protein: 30
  • Fat: 20
  • Carbs: 3.2

Cheeseburger and French Fry Casserole with Big Mac Salad

This recipe was born because I had some leftover Naked Baked Potatoes and some ground turkey and was trying to think of something the kids would enjoy for dinner. The two youngest have recently started liking Big Macs from McDonalds, but obviously it’s not healthy to have one very often. If I had to do it over again, I would use twice as much ground turkey and half as much canned tomatoes so the burger mixture was a little more dry and ketchupy flavored. The kids really enjoyed it anyway.

Ingredients:

Casserole:

  • 1-2 lbs. Ground Turkey
  • 4-6 Slices American or Cheddar Cheese
  • ½ White Onion Minced
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • ½ C. Ketchup
  • 2 T. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 t. Garlic Salt
  • ½ t. Pepper
  • 1 t. Dry Mustard
  • 1 ½ Cooked Potatoes Sliced in Stick Shapes

Salad:

  • ½ Iceburg Lettuce Chopped
  • 1 Small Tomato Chopped
  • ¼ Diced Red Onion
  • 2 Small Dill Pickles Chopped (or 2 T. Pickle Relish)
  • ¼ C. Mayonnaise
  • ¼ C. Ketchup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Steps:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Saute the minced onion in a little oil or butter on medium heat until translucent but not brown. Add ground turkey and use a wooden spoon to stir and break up the larger pieces until brown. (If you use a lean ground turkey there is no need to drain it, if you used ground beef you may need to drain off excess fat at this stage).

Add the remaining casserole ingredients except the cheese and potatoes and stir until heated through.

Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add ½ the meat mixture to the bottom of the dish. Top with cheese slices until covered in a single layer. Add remaining ½ of meat mixture to the dish. Place the chopped potatoes on top of the casserole.

Bake 35-45 minutes or until the center is at least 165 degrees and potatoes are slightly crisp. You can broil for the last 2 minutes for extra crispy potatoes if desired.

While the casserole bakes, chop the veggies and pickles into small pieces for the salad and mix together with the mayo/ketchup and salt and pepper. I also added a very small dash of Worcestershire sauce to thin the dressing a bit.

I added a bit of prepared mustard to serve.

Chop the onions really small so they’re more like fast food onions
Add these after the meat is browned
Kind of like a Big Mac with Fries except WAY fewer calories even with potatoes, mayo and ketchup in it

Nutrition Facts: (⅙ of all ingredients made with 1 lb. Turkey and 4 slices Cheddar Cheese)

  • Calories: 312
  • Protein: 20
  • Fat: 22
  • Carbs: 25

Instant Pot Ground Turkey Chili

This is another easy class night dinner that can simmer away for several hours while you’re busy. It’s a versatile recipe that you can swap out pretty much any of the ingredients depending on what you have in your fridge and pantry. Mine turned out a little watery, so next time I’ll use only half a can of water and it was pretty bland. If I’d had a white or yellow onion or fresh garlic around, I definitely would have thrown some in. And though I intentionally make it not spicy for the kids and add in hot sauce later to my own bowl, this one could have used some chili flakes or just a pinch of cayenne for better flavor. If you don’t have an instant pot, brown the turkey in a skillet and use a crock pot instead. Or if you are going to be home the whole time, you can also use a dutch oven.

Ingredients I Added:

  • 1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Water
  • 1 Can Black Beans (Drained and Rinsed Well)
  • 1 Orange Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Onion Flakes
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin

Other Ingredient Ideas:

  • Jalapenos
  • Green Chiles
  • White or Yellow Onions
  • Minced Garlic
  • Pinto Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Flavored Tomatoes
  • Red or Green Bell Peppers
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Hot Sauce
  • Chili Flakes
  • Cayenne Pepper

Steps:

Raid your pantry and fridge for all the chili ingredients you can find.

Turn the instant pot on the “Brown” setting, spray with non-stick spray and brown the ground turkey. If you use beef or anything with fat, you will add calories and need to drain after browning, but it’s not necessary with lean turkey.

Chop any veggies you’ll be adding while the meat browns. Add any veggies like onions, garlic or peppers and continue browning for a few more minutes. Add all the spices you like and stir.

Add the canned items, including some water (I used a whole can after adding the tomatoes, but would only use half next time). Stir. Close the instant pot lid, but do not pressurize. Turn the setting to crock pot low and add enough time until you return from class or being busy. I needed about 3 hours, but set mine to 3.5 just in case. Serve with any chili toppings you like. We did taco night ingredients.

Nutrition Facts: (1 Serving of this recipe split 4 ways without any toppings added)

  • Calories: 332
  • Protein: 30
  • Fat: 16
  • Carbs: 32