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Hatch chile turkey burgers are great for celebrating both hatch chile season and grilling season. Dress them up with your favorite toppings.
When I lived in Texas, the aroma of roasted hatch chile peppers defined grocery stores in August.
It seems like a challenge between stores to see who can come up with the most original use for hatch chiles (ice cream being featured a few times), but I prefer the more traditional uses.
We make burgers a lot, so I knew the next thing on my list was going to be these hatch chile turkey burgers.
What are hatch chiles?
Hatch chiles are a large, long pepper that is somewhat similar to the Anaheim pepper.
Both of these are known as New Mexico chile cultivars. They were first grown by the Pueblo and Hispano communities and later these heritage chiles were used to develop the modern New Mexico chiles we know today.
Hatch chiles are grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico and have grown immensely in popularity, resulting in them being shipped all over the world and worked into a variety of packaged products.
August is the prime time for buying fresh (or fresh roasted) hatch peppers. We like to buy a bunch to freeze and enjoy all winter.
Hatch chiles can be mild or spicy, and are often designated as such when you buy them. If there’s no spice level indicated, they’re probably mild!
How to mix turkey burgers
To make these burgers, combine the ingredients in a large bowl. I like to use my hands to really get things blended together, but you can use a spatula or spoon if you prefer.
The mixture should form together easily and not fall apart. I find that the leaner the turkey, the less likely it is to fall apart.
If your mixture is too wet, add breadcrumbs, ¼ cup at a time, to help soak up the excess liquid.
Using fresh roasted hatch chiles will help reduce the amount of liquid, but if using canned, drain the chiles as much as you can before adding to the turkey.
How to shape turkey burgers
If you want evenly sized patties, you can use a scale to divide your meat into portions. I simply eyeball it and go from there.
Shape the meat into a ball in your palms, then gently flatten out all around. I try to make my burgers match the size of the buns as much as possible, which means making the burgers slightly bigger in diameter than the bun size, as they will shrink in cooking.
I make a small, shallow indentation in the center of each burger to help it cook evenly. Set onto a flat plate or tray while you prepare to cook.
If you like, you can shape the patties ahead of time, but be sure to cover them with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and chill in the fridge.
Can I make these burgers in the oven?
If you don’t want to turn on the grill or cook the burgers on the stove, you can use the oven instead.
Place the burgers on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. You can also use a broiler pan with a rack.
Bake the burgers at 375°F for 10 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°F.
Can I freeze turkey burgers?
Burgers are great for freezing and cooking at a later time.
Shape the patties and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, then pop into the freezer until completely frozen. This will take at least 2 hours.
Once frozen, remove from the tray and wrap each patty individually, then tuck into a ziptop bag or other freezer-safe container.
Burgers can be cooked directly from frozen, no need to thaw!
What else can I make with hatch chiles?
Hatch chiles are truly versatile, so you can use them in nearly any recipe!
Roasted hatch chiles can also be chopped and frozen in small portions, like ice cube trays, to use all year long.
Enjoy these hatch chile turkey burgers while the season lasts! They’d be great with spicy jalapeño blackberry margaritas.
Hatch Chile Turkey Burgers
- 20 ounces ground turkey
- ½ cup diced roasted Hatch chiles, or 1 4-ounce can, drained
- ¼ cup finely diced onion
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground chile pepper, optional, for extra heat
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 to 4 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs, if needed
- In a large bowl, combine turkey, Hatch chiles, onion, cumin, chile pepper if using, salt, and ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly.
- If mixture seems too wet, add breadcrumbs, a little at a time, until you can form a patty that does not fall apart.
- Divide mixture into four and shape into patties. Set aside on a plate.
- When ready to cook, prepare a grill for direct medium heat and grill 6-10 minutes on each side, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°F.
- If using cheese, add in the last minute or two of cooking to melt. Serve with your favorite toppings.
- Burgers can be baked in the oven at 375°F for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway though.