Thursday, May 3, 2012

Grilled Vegetable Burgers with Balsamic Glaze

Who doesn't love getting together with friends around the grill in the summer? Whether you grill burgers and hot dogs, veggies, fish, or fruit, summer tastes a little better when we're at a backyard barbecue. These burgers combine a classic meatloaf blend with ground turkey for a heart-healthy twist on the classic. By adding finely chopped grilled vegetables the flavor profile becomes more nuanced (aka "tastier") while boosting the vitamin and fiber content of each burger.

Confession time, peeps. This Cake needs to lose some of the buttercream around the edges. These grilled vegetable burgers allow me to feed my summertime soul while being kinder to my waistline than the original. It's also a fantastic way to use up leftover grilled vegetables from the night before. I like using red peppers, eggplant, and zucchini but you can use whatever variety of grilled vegetables you like best.

This recipe calls for "meatloaf mix." This is ground beef, ground veal, and ground pork. My local supermarket sells them combined. When I'm at the butcher I ask for the three cuts to be ground together. If you have neither a butcher who can grind the meat nor a supermarket that sells it packaged together simply purchase equal quantities of ground beef, veal and pork. If you're only cooking for one or two people you can make this with just ground beef or just ground turkey, but be aware it won't have quite the same complexity of flavor as with all four together.

Grilled Vegetable Burgers ~ serves 6
Half pound lean ground turkey
half pound meatloaf mix
1 cup grilled red pepper, finely diced
1 cup grilled eggplant, finely diced
1/2 cup grilled zucchini, finely diced
salt & pepper to taste

3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Combine the above ingredients in a large bowl. Form into 5oz patties (should yield 6 patties). Each five oz patty will contain less than 3 total ounces of meat - half of which is lean turkey - the rest is your diced vegetables.

Grill 4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165º F. With the ground turkey mixed in you definitely don't want to serve these rare.

While burgers are cooking whisk together the glaze. During the last couple of minutes of cooking spread half a tablespoon of glaze on each burger.

I like my burgers served with some thinly sliced onion and a salad but you can also serve them with whole grain rolls and topped with some caramelized onions or avocado.



  1. Love the idea of adding grilled veggies to burgers!

  2. these are looking so good..and so healthy!

  3. This sounds absolutely delicious! Not sure if the butcher here has meatloaf mix since that's not a common dish here but otherwise I'll just make it myself.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh YUM! I love the addition of the eggplant:-) We love grilled veggies in anything:-) YUM-O, Hugs, Terra

  5. Veggies are my lifeline :) and helping the wasteline.

  6. These look so great, what a wonderful idea. I also need to "lose some of the buttercream around the edges" so I'm putting this one on my list of to-try recipes. And the balsamic makes everything better!

  7. Looks fantastic and completely delicious. I haven't done it with burgers yet but my typical meatloaf is extra lean ground beef and LOTS of mixed in vegetables because sadly, buttercream is always extremely attracted to my edges... :)

  8. I love the idea of this burger! Can't wait to grill out this summer =)

  9. Great way to sneak in extra veggies!

  10. Sounds like type of Italian Burger. My partner will love this. :) Makes it so much healthier because of using more vegetables instead of tons of bun.

  11. I've never heard of "meatloaf mix" before, but these look delicious, and I love the idea of combining grilled veggies in to the ground meat. Happy grilling!

  12. >>This Cake needs to lose some of the buttercream around the edges.

    lol! I love you. Totally agree though, entering my mid-30s is not so much fun on my waistline. Once my CSA starts, I'm aiming to cut all processed foods for the summer. I'm going to need a lot of luck and discipline. :)


  13. This a great idea!!! I will use shredded carrots and shredded zucchinis with red onions.


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