This burger—two patties surrounding a molten cheese core—was inspired by the specialty at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a local institution Caroline's in-laws introduced her to. Seduced after the first surprising bite, she borrowed the idea and used it at home with turkey burgers, adding yogurt for flavor and moistness. (A combination of equal parts lamb and beef works well, too.)

Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey, dark meat or a combination of dark and white
  • 1/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Four 1/4-inch-thick chunks sharp cheddar cheese, about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger bun-style potato rolls, split
Toppings of your choice:
  • Avocado Spread (see separate recipe) or sliced avocado
  • Lettuce, such as Boston
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Pickles


In a large bowl, combine the turkey, yogurt, lemon zest, mustard and thyme, then season with salt and pepper. Gently mix together with a fork or your hands.

Divide the meat into 8 even-size balls. Gently press each one into a patty about 1/4-inch thick. Put 1 chunk of cheese in the center of each of the 4 patties, then cover with the remaining 4 patties. Seal the cheese inside by gently pressing the patties together all the way around the edges. Season the patties with salt and pepper.

In a grill pan or large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the burgers and cook until browned on the first side, about 3 minutes. Flip them over and cook until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes more. (If a bit of cheese oozes out, don't worry; the crusty bits left in the pan are the best part, so just peel them off and eat them.) Transfer the burgers to the buns and serve with toppings.

From Keepers: Two Home Cooks Share Their Tried-and-True Weeknight Recipes and the Secrets to Happiness in the Kitchen (Rodale) by Kathy Brennan and Caroline Campion.

More Turkey Recipes


Next Story