4 portions. Maximum cost: £7.05, 

Skill level: Easy, 

Total cooking time: 35 minutes, 

  • Prep time: 20 minutes, 
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes, 

Equipment used: 1 tea towel, 1 large mixing bowl, 1 frying pan (ideally one that can go in the oven or an additional baking tray if not). Food processor optional

Original recipe: Ottolenghi’s Turkey & courgette burgers


Ottolenghi's Turkey & Courgette Burgers

A big thanks to Jo for introducing me to the wonder combination that is turkey and chipotle!

Prior to making this, I didn’t have any experience cooking with turkey mince; I knew it was low fat and cheap to buy (when you can find it, usually limited to the larger supermarkets) but I assumed it would be a little flavourless and have a tendency to dry out.  I liked the idea therefore of mixing mince with courgette and spring onion, imagining the end result to be a little like the inside of a Chinese dumpling. 

The first time I made this I followed the recipe to the letter, however on subsequent trials have made a number of amends and now incorporate the following changes regularly:

  • If you use the egg to bind the burgers as recommended, make sure to squeeze the excess liquid out of the courgette first by wrapping it in a clean tea towel and twisting this over the sink until the majority of the liquid has been removed. If you choose not to use egg you can get away with leaving the courgettes juicy.
  • Don’t add the cumin as recommended – it’s nicer without.
  • Add a teaspoon of chipotle chilli flakes for smoky flavour (I’m a fan of the ones from Sainsbury’s) or mix chipotle paste with mayo to dollop on top. (The original recipe has a sumac sauce if preferred)

The online recipe doesn’t actually list a methodology – there is of course a handy link to buy the book, so I’ve assumed it says something like “throw everything into a bowl, mix and form to make patties”, so that’s what I did.

I served mine with salad, herby couscous and sliced avocado (you can get your required 5 a day on one plate this way), but this could work equally well as meatballs in tomato sauce or even stuffed in a bun with some cheese.


To prep:

  • Thinly slice your 1 small bunch of spring onions and add to a large mixing bowl.
  • Grate 1 courgette. If using egg to bind the patties, make sure to squeeze out any excess water from the grated courgette – the easiest way to do this is to wrap tightly in a clean tea towel and give it a good squeeze. Add this to the spring onions. 
  • To the same bowl, add the following; 3 finely diced garlic cloves, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper, chopped coriander, chopped mint (at least 2 tbsp worth) and the egg if using.
  • Roughly chop the turkey mince and add to the same bowl
  • Add a 1 teaspoon of smoked chilli flakes
  • Use your hands to mix together

To cook:

Take a small handful of the mixture and form into a patty – you should have enough for 8 burgers. (If you want to test the seasoning before making the burgers, take a little out, roll into a ball and fry it off first). 

Add some olive oil to a frying pan – ideally one that can go directly into the oven – and fry the burgers on both sides until they get a good colour, about 4 minutes each side. Add the pan to the oven (or transfer to an oven-proof dish if needed) and cook for a further 8 minutes

When fully cooked through, place on a wooden board to rest for up to 2 mins.



All prices from Sainsbury’s, Feb 2017.

  • 500g minced turkey (£3.15) 
  • 1 large courgette, coarsely grated (20p)
  • 1 small bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced (55p)
  • 1 medium free-range egg (optional, 25p)
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint (70p for a small bunch)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander (70p for a small bunch)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (50p for a large bulb)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp course ground black pepper
  • Chipotle chilli flakes (£1)


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