La Bella Turkey Burger With Pesto Sauce

Creamy pesto sauce and fresh herbs make this burger amazing!


  • Ingredients list
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage (usually found in links)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp fresh garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dry oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 C fresh basil, finely chopped (divided – use 1 Tbsp for meat mixture)
  • 1 Tbsp dry thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • 1 inch sliced red bell pepper (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 C spinach leaves (remove stems)
  • 4 sourdough baker’s rolls
  • Pesto Sauce Ingredients list
  • fresh basil, finely chopped (remaining cup)
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of black pepper


  1. Mix first 8 ingredients together thoroughly, then add salt, pepper and olive oil.
  2. Form 8 thin patties with the meat mixture.
  3. Cut mozzarella into 1/4 inch pieces.
  4. On top of one patty, scatter 4-5 mozzarella pieces throughout the center of the meat leaving a little space between each cube. Be careful not to put cheese too close to the edges or it will leak out during grilling. Place another patty on top and seal edges together until cheese is completely buried.
  5. Cut off the top of the red bell pepper and remove seeds and core. Then slice into 1/4 inch rings and brush lightly with olive oil.
  6. For the pesto sauce, in a dry frying pan, quickly toast the pine nuts, which should take less than 3 minutes.
  7. In a food processor, pulse basil leaves, toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper while simultaneously adding olive oil through the feed tube.
  8. Once good purée is achieved, add the mayo and pulse 2-3 more times, scraping sides to make sure it’s thoroughly mixed. Don’t leave the processor on or the mixture will be too fine. You want some texture in order to taste each ingredient.
  9. Cook burgers meat over low to medium heat. Be sure to coat grill with non-stick spray. Cook about 8-10 minutes on each side. Try not to flip the burger too often as it tends to crumble. If the mozzarella starts to ooze out, don't worry; that's a sign that your burger is almost done.
  10. Place red pepper rings on the upper or outer edges of grill. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side.
  11. Brush olive oil on the insides of both halves of the sourdough buns and also place on the upper or outer edges of grill. Remove when lightly toasted.
  12. Spread pesto sauce on top & bottom bun. Place spinach leaves on bottom bun and place meat on top of spinach leaves.
  13. Garnish top of meat with grilled red bell pepper, fold the halves together and you have La Bella Burger.

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