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Jerk Turkey Burgers with Candied Bacon
These Jerk Turkey Burgers is complete with spicy jerk BBQ sauce, dairy-free garlic sauce and crispy candied bacon for a totally crowd-pleasing burger for weeknights or entertaining.
There’s something so satisfying about grilling up smoky, juicy burgers in the summer. Whether you’re outside on the grill or inside with a griddle pan, everyone loves the smell of burger night.
Of course, I’m not one to stick to the same-old classic burger. I love to take my hamburgers over the top with flavor, toppings and texture without weighing you down. This recipe for jerk turkey burgers is just that:
Lean, light turkey meat flavored with intense Jamaican jerk seasonings
Crispy candied bacon for crunch and extra smokiness on top
Spicy, herby jerk BBQ sauce to infuse the burgers with more flavor
Creamy vegan garlic sauce for extra moisture and allium flavor
Toasted buns and your favorite toppings to round things out
Hungry yet? Let’s dig into the meat of this recipe.
How to Make Jerk Turkey Burgers
This recipe has a few different components. I recommend making things in the following order:
Candied bacon in the oven
BBQ jerk sauce on the stove
Seasoning and shaping the jerk turkey burgers
Finally, whip up the dairy-free garlic sauce
Making Candied Bacon
First things first, do not leave out the candied bacon. The smoky, sweet flavors are the perfect complement to the heat in the jerk sauce and burgers.
Plus, candied bacon is a two-ingredient recipe. Simply brush the slices with maple syrup and stick them in the oven while you work on seasoning the meat. The candied bacon is done when it’s caramelized all over. As it cools, it will crisp up nicely.
Making BBQ Jerk Sauce
This jerk sauce starts with homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce. Then you’ll add the traditional Jamaican jerk flavor with some key spices. Yes, the list is a bit long. But if yo have a stocked spice cabinet, you probably have everything you need on hand right now.
By the way, you can go ahead and make a double or triple batch of this sauce. Save it in an airtight container rin the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up three months.
You can use it to make all kinds of delicious jerk dishes, like:
If you have leftover turkey burgers, you can store them for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge. For even longer storage, you can season and shape the burgers ahead of time. Then pop them into the freezer for up to four months.
When you’re ready to serve, them let the burgers thaw in the fridge overnight. Then cook them as described in the recipe and serve with toppings.
Pile your juicy turkey burgers with your favorite toppings, including:
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add the bacon, brushing the tops with maple syrup and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes or so, or until bacon is completely caramelized and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.
BBQ JERK SAUCE:
Make the BBQ Jerk sauce by adding all ingredients into a small bowl and mixing it all together until well combined. Set aside.
Add all of the burger ingredients (except for the buns + butter) to a large bowl, massaging everything together with your hands until well combined.
Form the turkey mixture into medium-sized patties with your hands, gently pressing down until semi-flat and perfectly round (about 1/2-inches thick), ensuring that everything sticks together well. Repeat until all patties are formed, about 4.
Heat a medium-sized (about 11-inch) non-stick grilled pan over medium-high heat and add vegan butter until melted. Add formed patties, about 1 inch apart and cook on each side until golden brown with grill marks, about 4-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer grilled pan with burger patties into preheated oven and bake until patties are cooked through and juices run clear, about 10-15 minutes. Spoon BBQ Jerk sauce atop each patty and let bake for another 5 minutes until sauce becomes "cooked on".
DAIRY-FREE GARLIC SAUCE:
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix together until well incorporated and smooth.
To assemble, prepare your burger buns, top with turkey patties, sliced onions, bacon strips, and the DF garlic sauce. Serve with your favorite side----fries, sweet potato fries, salad, or whatever.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. And if you're all about making your own burgers for months in advance, then you can freeze them for 3-4 months. Defrost adding them to the refrigerator overnight and then reheating them in the oven until heated through.
MAKE AHEAD: You can make your patties and plastic wrap them individually before placing them in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate them for up to 5 days.
BACON: You can always substitute pork bacon with turkey bacon for a healthier choice.
TOPPINGS: You can always add your favorite toppings such as greens, tomatoes, pineapple, etc.
GRILL: If you have a physical grill, you can always grill your patties instead of oven baking them on a grill pan.