Moroccan Turkey Burgers with roasted aubergine, cauliflower, with avocado and dill pesto

Turkey mince is good for us – high in protein, low in fat, and packed with nutrients – but as a red meat substitute it can taste a bit bland. These Moroccan turkey burgers pack a lot of flavour and combine well with a range of vegetables. I overcooked mine – it’s best not to caramelise them quite that much – but you get the idea. Despite the long list of ingredients this was a very quick week night supper that got oohs and aahs from the people round the dinner table. The aubergine makes a great burger bun substitute, and the pesto adds flavour and good fats to the recipe.


  • For the burgers:
  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1 tablespoon of harissa paste (chermoula would do just as well)
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini paste
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (if you have some)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced or crushed
  • crushed black pepper
  • generous pinch of salt
  • For the accompaniments
  • 1 aubergine cut into 4 rounds (save the rest for another recipe)
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • For the pesto
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 slice of lime or lemon including rind
  • 1 bunch of dill (or any other herb that’s lurking in the fridge)
  • 1 tbsp tahini paste (or you could substitute walnuts or pine nuts)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed oil
  • pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 190’C
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the burgers together until well combined and leave to sit for ten minutes.
  3. Cut the aubergine across the middle into four discs 1.5cm thick and place on a roasting tin. Score the surface, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper .
  4. Next, break the cauliflower into medium sized florets, toss with the remaining olive oil, nigella seeds and smoked paprika, add these randomly to the roasting tin and place in the oven for around 40 minutes.
  5. Place your frying pan over a medium heat then shape the turkey mixture into four burger-shaped patties about 2cm thick.
  6. Press them down onto the hot (but not sizzling) pan and cook each side for around 5 minutes, turning twice in the process. Ten minutes in total, ensuring they are cooked all the way through.
  7. While your burgers are cooking, give your roasting vegetables a bit of a shake in the oven to allow the cauliflower to cook evenly, there’s no need to disturb the aubergine.
  8. Next, place the avocado flesh, dill, yoghurt, citrus and tahini in your Nutribullet with a pinch of sea salt and process until fairly smooth.
  9. When the aubergine and cauliflower are ready remove them from the oven, place an aubergine slice on each plate with a turkey burger on top, add the roasted cauliflower on the side, and a generous dollop of the avocado pesto.
  10. To add extra visual appeal serve with a side salad of watercress and pea shoots, cherry tomatoes and pomegranate seeds.

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