Turkey & zucchini burgers with spring onion & cumin from Jerusalem (page 200) by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

  • spring onions
  • ground cayenne pepper
  • coriander leaves
  • sour cream
  • ground cumin
  • mint
  • sumac
  • minced turkey
  • Greek yoghurt
  • courgettes
  • sunflower oil

Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.

Notes about this recipe

  • mharriman on September 07, 2022

    I made these as written but formed bigger patties- 12 instead of 18 and they seared on the stove and then baked in the oven without coming apart. I enjoyed the flavor more than my husband did. He said he’d like to have them again but didn't like them well enough to clamor after them. Served with root vegetables as suggested, in my case a mix of sweet potatoes, parsnips, and red onions.

  • snoozermoose on September 03, 2022

    I love these so much! So easy, flavorful, and tender. I didn't squeeze my zucchini but did weigh it to make sure I had the right amount, and the meatballs held together well. I made my own sumac yogurt sauce instead of the sour cream/yogurt sauce, and it worked well.

  • Agaillard on August 02, 2022

    Yep - I made the mistake of not reading the comments before doing it and yes, the zucchini must be squeezed and squeezed, because otherwise this is way to wet and very crumbly. Nevertheless, it was tasty and I loved the sauce! I did skip the oven step and shouldn't have, because that would have helped with the texture. We ate them as meatballs, like many of you do it seems, but if I manage to make them hold correctly I might try them with a bun, salad, coriander and maybe feta or goat cheese.

  • EmilyR on June 18, 2022

    We made these on the grill and it worked out nicely. It does seem surprising there isn't any breadcrumbs or panko to hold it together, but somehow it's the Ottolenghi magic and it works. I didn't even squeeze the water out of the zucchini. In lieu of Greek yogurt, I used skyr. Next time I'd add some preserved lemon or feta to the mix.

  • Rradishes on May 27, 2022

    Made as written, even though I was tempted to just cook them on the pan and skip the oven step. The baking does get rid of the extra liquid so I'm glad I followed the recipe. Next time will try with ground coriander instead of cumin. Overall very tasty though.

  • pattyatbryce on February 16, 2022

    Definitely drain/squeeze the zucchini or they will be very wet. Seasoning was terrific and the sauce is delicious but similar to other Ottolenghi sauces.

  • ginger2212 on January 23, 2022

    I make this dish OFTEN! It is so good - we double though because the lb. is just not enough! I have started riffing more - with my favorite addition being ground coriander. The yogurt/sour cream sauce is an absolute must. I've tried just baking them, but there is something special about the way Ottolenghi prepares them - getting the nice brown crisp!

  • s.shadan on August 24, 2021

    The only recipe in which I and my family like turkey. It is delicious.

  • jenburkholder on July 10, 2021

    I will be the dissenting voice here. We made this as is - no substitutions - and I just didn't really care for them, flavor or texture. I adore many sorts of meatballs and the various flavors used in the dish, so not sure why this one just didn't work for me.

  • stockholm28 on April 21, 2021

    Based on the number of reviews on EYB for this recipe, I’m about the last person to make these. I really enjoyed these and it was a good way to use some aging zucchini. I found the mixture very wet (wore plastic gloves while mixing), but it held together. I liked that the zucchini kept the burgers really moist; I’m usually not a fan of turkey burgers but this could be the trick for other burger recipes where I want to sub turkey.

  • metacritic on December 12, 2020

    This is terrific as has been noted repeatedly below. I have no fondness for turkey but adore this recipe. The sauce, including sour cream (which I typically avoid just as I normally would ground turkey!), are essential to completing this marvelous dish. It served four of us - two being quite young children - but I think this is really suited to a 2 person meal or requires several side to fill the stomachs of 4. I could eat these weekly quite happily.

  • rmardel on November 09, 2020

    Like everyone else here I found these to be delicious, tender and flavorful. The mixture is loose, but holds together well during cooking. I kept putting this recipe off, even though I was intrigued, just because I do not tend to like ground turkey dishes. But I was happily surprised. These will be in regular rotation.

  • ashallen on October 18, 2020

    These are delicious! Nice tender texture, too. My husband was initially skeptical but became a fan after first bite. Thanks to everyone's notes, I carefully weighed my zucchini and hand-squeezed the shreds to remove some moisture. I also pan-cooked the burgers over medium-low heat and skipped the oven step. I accidentally left out the garlic, but they were still very flavorful. The sauce was also very tasty and creamy, but I found it obscured some of the herb/spice flavors in the burgers for me (which I really liked tasting), so I used it as a dressing for chopped fresh tomato instead which I served on the the side - worked well.

  • jhallen on September 26, 2020

    These are just awesome. For me, they were perfect made as written and the sauce is the best. So happy to have some leftover.

  • luluf on September 25, 2020

    So simple but so delicious - a family favourite.

  • bernalgirl on September 23, 2020

    These burgers or meatballs are so tender and flavorful! And the yogurt sauce is outstanding, I served along with sumac-marinated onions. The recipe was a bit wet, and I added 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, so nexttime I’ll squeeze out the zucchini. Grilled them instead of pan-frying and baking.

  • lorloff on June 24, 2020

    These were absolutely delicious. We made the turkey into burgers as opposed to meatballs and they needed more time browning in the pan, but they browned perfectly and then we cooked them in the over to finish them until on an instant thermometer they reached an internal temperature of 165 (Bittman’s recommendation for the cooked temp for ground poultry). Since I am allergic to milk products I needed to find another sauce. I made the sauce from Milk Street’s herb turkey burgers with used cilantro, mint and scallions that are also included in this recipe and it was a real winner. Served these as turkey burgers with multigrain buns and all the fixings and it was fantastic. Highly recommended will make again. Once again Ottolenghi is a genius!

  • KarinaFrancis on November 05, 2019

    These were delicious, full of flavour and juicy (not at all what I expected from a turkey burger). After reading earlier comments about the mix being wet we added about 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Using a cookie scoop we got 15 burgers out of the mix. Looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow

  • apattin on October 30, 2019

    Excellent. The sauce was abundant and I used it in a lot of other stuff.

  • purrviciouz on September 20, 2019

    I used chicken instead of turkey. I also mixed the meat and formed the meatballs the night before cooking them and they were not as wet when cooking which was nice. These went well with a kale and herb salad with bulgar, all dressed with the sumac yogurt, and made fantastic leftovers for lunch.

  • Rinshin on August 15, 2019

    Made into 12 patties. This is a good recipe using ground turkey. Somewhat similar to tsukune yakitori style except the flavor differences. I like to reduce the amount of ground cumin by half and increase mint and cilantro if I make this again. I only lightly squeezed the shredded zucchini to remove maybe 1 to 1 1/2 T liquid and although the mixture was still loose, I had no problem handling it. For some reason the sauce came out looking thicker than book photo and added a little water to thin out a bit. Photo added.

  • bwhip on August 14, 2019

    Amazing, so good! Made them as (5) burgers rather than meatballs, and served them on potato buns with the dipping sauce. Fantastic flavor, so juicy and delicious. We just loved these and will make them again.

  • katy1729 on August 11, 2019

    Great! Made with turkey thigh mince (750g, adjusted quantities in proportion, but used only one egg). Grated courgette, left in colander and then pressed to get rid of some of the water content. As others said, the burger mixture was quite wet, but it worked out fine. Made 24 burgers, so lots of leftovers after a meal for three. Used a fat-free Greek style yogurt for the sauce, instead of the Greek yogurt and sour cream combination. It was fine and everyone enjoyed it! Served with cavolero nero, chorizo & preserved lemon, and the couscous, cherry tomato & herb salad.

  • ksg518 on July 17, 2019

    I know this recipe doesn't need another note but it is as wonderful as everyone says. The sauce is perfect. The original mixture was very loose, but as others have said, once you fry them for a few minutes they firm up nicely. We served them with sautéed corn for a great summer dinner.

  • hbakke on May 29, 2019

    These were good. Probably should have made them a bit crispier since the burger texture is kind of mushy.

  • mamacrumbcake on December 09, 2018

    Delicious! As everyone mentioned, the mixture is loose but it was no problem forming the burgers. After cooking for two minutes on one side, they were beautifully browned and could be flipped without breaking. The sauce is a very nice complement. These would make a great sandwich stuffed into a pita with some sauce, cucumber, onion, and tomato. FYI: I grate the zucchini and use it as is. Never had a problem with the burgers being watery,

  • j_h on June 19, 2018

    Made with chicken mince - could increase the cayenne next time. Squeezed the zucchini and would do so again. Served with roasted pumpkin and roasted broccoli - the sauce was outstanding with the broccoli.

  • anya_sf on May 14, 2017

    I made 3 enormous burgers, and omitted the cayenne since my son doesn't like spicy food. I shaped the patties ahead of time and refrigerated for a few hours. (I did not drain or squeeze the zucchini, but did use small zucchini without many seeds.) The burgers were loose textured, but I was able to get them into the pan OK. Once they cooked on one side, they were easy to flip over. I finished cooking them in the oven, per recipe instructions, just baking a bit longer since my burgers were extra large. I made half the sauce and there was a lot left over. We loved them! My husband said they tasted like lambburgers, probably due to the spices. We had them on buns with the sauce, lettuce, and tomato. Next time I might make them as meatballs in tomato sauce.

  • raybun on March 28, 2017

    We loved these, they were moist but not too wet as others have mentioned. I made six large burgers with the quantities specified and halved the sumac yogurt sauce and there was plenty for the adults (4).

  • babyfork on January 19, 2017

    Agree that meat & veg mixture is loose but I pan-fried first taking care to move them gently and finished in the oven. Worked out okay. The sumac sauce really completes the dish. My daughter wasn't sold until she tried the meatball with the sauce and then she ate them up. Served with some simply roasted butternut squash cubes dusted with Spicery's "Dusk" spice mixture (orange peel, black pepper, cardamom, Saigon cinnamon & galangal).

  • Cheri on November 21, 2015

    Very tasty! My mixture, as written, was also really wet. I had salted and rinsed, squeezed the zucchini, and still too wet. I did add a bit of breadcrumbs, which worked very well to hold the mix together. I made patties, pan fried to brown a bit and then finished in the oven. The sauce is a great compliment, and as previous reviewers have noted, makes plenty. Served with a big green salad and some naan bread to mop up the sauce.

  • WFPLCleanEating on November 13, 2015

    Delicious! Not so interested in the sauce. The burgers are better without it. (Rachel S-K)

  • adelina on October 12, 2015

    I really loved this and here are my slight modifications: Added allspice Added more green onion Used more dry mint since had ran out of fresh Used more garlic. Used 2 courgettes Pan fried with a mixture of grapeseed oil and butter. I made roasted scalloped potatoes as a side and served it along the yogurt sauce and pita pockets.

  • Rutabaga on August 25, 2015

    I found these "burgers" to be delicately flavored and tender. They are a good mix-ahead meal; simply store the meat mixture and yogurt sauce in the fridge until ready to cook. While I multiplied the burger recipe by 1.5, I made the sauce recipe as written, and sure enough, there was still more than enough sauce. I did salt and drain the zucchini, but since the ones I used were very small, they didn't leach much water. The meat was very soft, but the burgers still held together well when cooked. I also just cooked them on the stovetop; finishing them in the oven just seems like extra work.

  • dinnermints on August 04, 2015

    Delish! I didn't squeeze out the zucchini at all, and that wasn't a problem - but then I didn't bother trying to shape patties; I just dropped them in the hot pans with a spoon and that worked out fine. I might try wringing the zucchini out some next time. I used ground white turkey meat as that's all the butcher had that day, so maybe the extra moisture was needed. Also, would definitely make the burger mix the night before for weeknight meals. This time I made 1.5 recipes (still used one egg), divided it into 9 servings, froze four of them, and am making two meals of the first 5 servings (four servings). Served over couscous, and the sauce is fantastic.

  • lilham on April 25, 2015

    I squeezed out as much liquid as I could from the courgette (without adding salt as my baby was having some too). I then let the mixture sat in the fridge overnight before shaping. The mixture was not too loose and easy to work with. I used turkey breast mince and found then a bit dry but Mr lilham thought they were perfect. The recipe made a lot of the sauce. I will halve the amount of sauce next time. edit: I had the leftover sauce with toasted pita bread, lovely.

  • westminstr on May 27, 2014

    Made these again and this time I divided the mixture into 8 burgers and cooked them entirely on the stove (no oven). This was easier and produced better results, I will be repeating this method.

  • Melanie on September 09, 2013

    Joining the chorus of success on this recipe. Made with chicken mince instead of turkey but tasted very good.

  • chawkins on August 21, 2013

    Excellent burgers. I salted the zucchini and let it sit for about half an hour, then squeezed out all the liquid. the resulting mixture was not loose and I got eight 4-inch patties. Since today is the hottest day of the month and the patties held together well, I just pan fried them. Will be making these a few more times this summer as I have an abundance of zucchinis from the garden.

  • westminstr on July 19, 2013

    Great burgers. My burger mix was very wet -- next time wring out the zucchini first. For ease of weeknight cooking, I decided to bake my burgers in the oven at 400. I checked at the 20 minute mark and they were not quite done and very pale, so I blasted them at 550 for another 5-10 minutes. This worked but if I had a little more time/fewer little ones underfoot I would fry the burgers. Both kids loved these burgers. For the sauce, I used 1 cup of greek yogurt and no sour cream, kept the other seasonings the same. Yummy sauce. We used some of it with the burgers, some to dress a kohlrabi salad, and still had some leftover.

  • sharifah on July 14, 2013

    I made this recipe without reading all the notes written on it, and fortunately I did squeeze the liquid out of the courgettes first, and thinking that Ottolenghi should've said this in his instructions. I changed the sauce as my OH is lactose intolerant, so I mixed soya yogurt and lactose free cream cheese - works well, very delicious. Excellent way of using turkey mince, very moist burgers. Will be making this again definitely

  • TrishaCP on June 29, 2013

    Oh so good. As others have mentioned, this mix is very wet but works out ok in the end. (I did squeeze the water from the zucchini and I am really glad that I did because it was still very wet.) I wanted to bake these rather than frying them, and found I needed about 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven, but this will vary depending upon the size (I had about 15 meatballs). I made my sauce all yogurt, subbing in equal measure for the sour cream.

  • westminstr on June 27, 2013

    We also liked these burgers. Meat mixture very loose -- don't forget to wring out the zucchini before cooking. I baked them for ease/convenience, but I think frying as directed would be better if time permits. Loved the sauce, which I made entirely with greek yogurt (no sour cream).

  • annapanna on June 16, 2013

    These were very good. The mixture was a bit too watery ar first because I forgot to drain the zucchini, so I added a spoon of bread crumbs. I fried and baked as directed and the times were just right. The sauce was delicious,it would be great as a veggie dip too. I will definitely make these again.

  • k.a.g on May 30, 2013

    Brilliant recipe. Cooked as instructed, the burgers were beautifully moist and full of vibrant flavours. I have to agree though that the sauce almost stole the show - I served the burgers with fresh wholemeal pita bread and I got totally stuck on the bread/sauce combo! I'll definitely be making the full recipe again, but I'm already thinking about whether I have enough sour cream left to make another batch of the sauce tonight... I agree that with a decent sized salad and bread this is a meal for no more than 4, definitely not 6.

  • TippyCanoe on April 23, 2013

    Excellent. I am not a big fan of turkey burgers in general, but leave it to Ottolenghi and Tamimi to make them not only palatable but wonderful. We loved the sumac sauce (although I skipped the sour cream and just used yogurt). The cooking time worked perfectly for me and the burgers were moist and flavorful. These would be great for a party. Could make them in advance and warm them in the oven just before serving. I agree with Delys77 that as a main dish, this serves three (we three polished them off).

  • Jane on January 28, 2013

    The mixture is rather loose - as Delys77 suggests it would be a good idea to wring excess moisture from the grated courgettes/zucchini before adding to the mixture. I baked them rather than frying them first and it didn't seem to matter that they were so loose, they came out the oven in excellent shape. I liked them but for me the sauce really made the dish. I can see making the creamy sumac sauce to go with lots of things, actually I'd eat it on its own! I served it with couscous with tomato and onion on p.129.

  • Delys77 on January 14, 2013

    Pg. 200 Delicious! The recipe would serve 4, but likely with a lot of sides. If you are making fewer dishes aim for it to serve closer to 3. The sauce is super tangy and delicious, and would work well with all sorts of poultry and veggies (dip). The turkey patties come together perfectly as instructed and yield a lovely little bite that is moist from the zucchini (remember to squeeze the zucchini out a bit) and has a touch of heat from the cayenne. You want to be able to taste the subtle flavour of the turkey, which you can, but you could consider upping the herbs a little.

  • RosieB on October 13, 2012

    These were delicious. I served them with the mushroom and barley ragu from the original Ottolenghi cookbook and flat bread.

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