Cherry, Fontina and Bacon Turkey Burgers

Burgers are my lifeline in the summer. They’re easy to throw together, the creative combinations are endless and I get to pass some of the cooking duties off Kevin.

While I’m a sucker for an all-beef, classic cheeseburger with only American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup, I’m equally into the non-beef varieties – chicken, turkey, veggie, salmon, shrimp – you name it, I love it.

Typically I’ll grind my own meat in the food processor, both for economical reasons and so I know EXACTLY what I’m willingly depositing into my stomach, but life has been kind of hectic lately, so for this particular recipe, I swung by the store after camp yesterday, and picked up a pound of pre-ground turkey breast, something that made me cringe, but ultimately put my stress radar at ease.

Cherry, Fontina and Bacon Turkey Burgers

Oh, and by camp, I don’t mean I’m coming fresh off the bus as a camper, I’m actually attempting something this summer I’ve never done before. Teaching. More specifically, teaching cooking classes to a gaggle full of children at this school.

Back when I first went full-time with blogging in January, I was a little nervous that the offers would stop coming in, that people would stop reading, like they had some sort of radar that I had jumped off the deep end, quit my job and would be left penniless if this blogging thing didn’t work out. Yes, I have my husband, and yes, we could probably squeeze by on his job if we had to, but I’m kind of a shopaholic; I love shoes and purses and clothes and jewelry. I also love fancy dinners, happy hours with the girls, and vacations to exotic places. So as long as we don’t have any children for me to take care of, I kind of need to have a job. Plus, I’d also feel sort of worthless just living off my husband when I don’t have any kiddos running around, rarely do laundry and do the bare minimum when it comes to cleaning.

Cherry, Fontina and Bacon Turkey Burgers

So, I was all stressed that the blog wouldn’t be thriving like it had been, and summers are crazy expensive for us, so when my girlfriend who is the assistant director of the summer program casually mentioned me teaching a few classes this summer for a little extra cash, I was totally on board. Never in a million years did I expect them to want me to teach practically all the cooking classes, I mean, what do I know about teaching? Besides my four-year stint as a tumbling teaching in high school, I have literally no experience. Butttt I do know how to cook, and I thought I could teach people how to cook, after all, I taught my friend Farrah in the seventh grade how to make killer biscuits and gravy, something she still uses to this day, so I figured, why not??

So far, I love it. It’s excruciating work, my feet throb at the end of the day, I go in in the morning looking put together and come out looking like a tornado, covered in flour, butter and who knows what else. My hair ends the day by jetting out in a million different directions, BUT the kids are ADORABLE, the days go by lightening fast, and I find myself enjoying it more than I ever even thought I could.

The only problem?? The blog offers did not stop coming in, in fact they’ve picked up more than I ever could have imagined, which is fantastic, and I’m so incredibly grateful, but it leaves me kind of scrambling every week. I’m still trying to balance it all, so for the next three weeks, I hope you bear with me until camp is over and my life is a little less chaotic. I might have three posts a week until then, I might not, it just depends.

Cherry, Fontina and Bacon Turkey Burgers

Anyways. Burgers. Grilling. Summer.

Store-bought ground turkey is mixed together with chopped onion, grated garlic, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder and a little bit of worcestershire sauce. They’re handed over to the grill master (husband in our household), cooked up along with a few pretzel buns (ALWAYS toast your buns, if you aren’t using turkey for healthy reasons, butter your buns, then toast them).

Seasonal dark cherries and pitted, roughly chopped and left to soak in a touch of balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

A copious amount of shredded fontina cheese is piled onto the turkey patties just as they’re about to finish cooking and then duo is nestled onto the grilled pretzel bun along with some peppery arugula tossed in a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. The cheesy turkey burgers get topped with a few pieces of crispy bacon (I always use center-cut) and then piled high with the marinated cherries.

If you’re feeling rebellious, and I always am when it comes to food, slather a little bit of light mayo on the bottom and top buns right after grilling, maybe even a little bit of salt and pepper as well.

The perfect seasonal, mostly healthy, non-beef burger.

Cherry, Fontina and Bacon Turkey Burgers


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Cherry, Fontina and Bacon Turkey Burgers
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Seasonal cherries, gooey fontina cheese and center cut bacon top these ground turkey breast burgers for a lighter, summer meal.
Serves: 4 burgers
  • Patties
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup roughly chopped cherries
  • 1 cup arugula
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fontina cheese
  • 8 slices center-cut bacon, cooked
  • 4 pretzel buns
  • 4 teaspoons light mayo (optional)
  1. In a bowl, mix turkey breast, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, worcestershire, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Do not over mix. Form into four patties.
  2. Turn a grill on medium-high. Grill patties until charred and cooked through, about five minutes per side.
  3. While the patties are grilled toss the cherries with balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the arugula with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. When the patties are almost done cooking, top with cheese. Throw buns on the grill until slightly charred and toasted.
  6. If using mayo, spread one teaspoon on bottom of bun. Top with a handful of arugula followed by the turkey patty. Top with bacon and then spoon the marinated cherries on top.

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