Turkey Burger & Fig Salad

A friend asked us recently, "how many times do you test a recipe before it makes it on the blog?" I don't have an exact number, but we've had a lot of turkey burgers...

As we've been testing, though, we realized this is one of the cheapest and quickest meals we make. That means it conquers two of the biggest barriers to cooking at home: time and cost.

Not enough time

Sometimes we're busy, overwhelmed, or just need a break from thinking about food. That's fine. That's life.

But the time we dedicate to prepping meals, getting groceries, and taking a break to eat, is extremely important. In fact, just slowing down and de-stressing can help us eat healthier. Sometimes work and life take time out of cooking for ourselves, but that should be an exception, rather than the rule. 

Having good resources can help. They remove that overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start.  One of our favorite references was recently released in a updated version: Mark Bittman's, How to Cook Everything Fast.

Too Expensive

People often balk at the cost of good foods. Of course, we all wish we had an endless supply of free delicious food to eat, but that's not the case. The trick is to figure out how to eat on a budget, without compromising our health.

Opting for a pricier product, especially when there are so many cheap options available, feels a bit insane. The truth is, cheaper foods often carry 'externalized' costs, such as taxes we've paid for farm subsidies, or extra money we spend on our healthcare for preventable diseases.

And yes, purchasing quality food is a bit elitist. It's a privilege to have the access and means to afford good food. But, it's also one of human's basic needs and directly related to our health. Who doesn't want to live as healthy as possible?

Let's get real

We've all heard this idea: "cooking at home is generally healthier." But sometimes we just need to make a quick meal, and don't want to spend a ton doing so. That's where this recipe comes in.

Even if you get the highest quality options for all the ingredients in this recipe - organic, local veggies, and turkey from a good producer - this recipe shouldn't break the bank. Plus, it makes 4 servings, and only takes about 20 minutes to put on the table.

Turkey Burgers with Fig Salad

Serves 4

This is one of our favorite things to make when we get home late from shooting a job, or working out. 


Turkey Burgers

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp caramelized onions, chopped* (optional: recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of sea salt

Fig Salad

  • 5-8 fresh figs
  • 6 cups leafy greens. (We've used arugula, spinach, romaine - whatever you have should work)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of sea salt


  • 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • Pinch of sea salt


Turkey Burgers

  • Preheat a cast-iron pan on low.
  • Place ground turkey in a bowl.
  • Add in caramelized onions, parsley, egg, and a pinch of salt. Mix well with a fork.
  • Form into four patties.
  • Turn heat to medium, and add 1 tsp of oil/lard/fat. Let heat for 1-2 minutes, until oil is "shimmering".
  • Add turkey burgers, and cook for 4 minutes.
  • Flip burgers, and cook for 3-4 minutes covered with lid slightly ajar. Internal temperature should reach 165ºF.
  • Remove from heat, and let the burgers rest, covered loosely with foil, for 5-10 minutes. (Instead of foil, sometimes I just prop the pan lid up over the burgers).


  • Place a skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add in the sunflower seeds and oil. Stir until well coated, and add a pinch of salt.
  • Cook seeds for 7-10 minutes, stirring often. The seeds are done when they just start to turn brown. Remove and set aside for topping.
  • Quarter the figs, and reserve as a topping.
  • Divide leafy greens between four plates.
  • Add in the celery, cucumber, and avocado, then top with figs and sunflower seeds.


  • Combine oil, lemon juice, mustard, and salt in a jar.
  • Shake, shake, shake.
  • Drizzle over everything.

Caramelized Onions


  • 1 lb. onions (about 3 medium onions)
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil


  • Slice the onions.
  • Place pan on medium heat without oil.
  • Add onions and cover. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so.
  • Turn heat down to low, and remove cover. Add in the oil.
  • Continue cooking for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

* Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

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