Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers with Pepper Jack & Guacamole

Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers are mega juicy, mega cheesy, & mega flavorful, with bursts of spicy chiles & creamy guacamole in every single bite. & aside from that, there’s still so much more to love about these stuffed turkey burgers. They are completely easy & weeknight-friendly. This turkey burger recipe takes no more than 10 minutes to prep (which you could do ahead of time as part of your meal prep or party prep!) & the burgers grill up in just 10 minutes more. 25-minutes, 1 bowl, minimal ingredients, & SO MUCH CHEESE. YES, please!

Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burger place on a burger bun with lettuce & guacamole. Burger is sitting on a light wood board, with a jar of salsa behind it.

This post is sponsored by Tillamook, whose cheeses & ice creams give me allll of the heart eyes. 😍😍😍 As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own! πŸ’œStuffed southwest turkey burgers arranged on a round wooden board. One burger is topped with mashed avocado. On the board with the burgers is a jar of salsa with a spoon in it, a striped blue linen, and some fresh cilantro.

If you’re the kind of person who thinks turkey burgers are impossibly boring, I’m happy to inform you that your turkey burger world is about to be flipped upside down.

Stuffed Southwest turkey burgers are the ultimate turkey burgers. Seriously.

I mean, how could we ever go wrong with these beauts? Thick & juicy turkey burgers (char-grilled to perfection, obvi 😎), filled with the zesty & spicy Southwest-inspired flavor of ground cumin & green chiles, & topped with a big fat schmear of guac & sala & whatever else your burger-loving heart desires. 

…& as though that’s not enough to convince you, we’re STUFFING THE WHOLE SHEBANG WITH CHEESE.Zoomed in image of stuffed Southwest Turkey Burger place on a burger bun with lettuce & guacamole. Burger is sitting on a light wood board.

Tillamook cheese, to be particular. (Because when it comes to cheese, we owe it to ourselves to be very particular, you know?)

Here’s the deal: I LOOOVE Tillamook. Plain & simple. They’re a farmer-owned cooperative out of Oregon, & after working with them several times throughout the past year, their cheeses have earned their spot as a mainstay in my fridge. Tillamook is all about meltiness & cheesy flavor, & when it comes to a staple cheese like Monterey Jack or Cheddar, what more could you really want?

& the very best part? Tillamook is finally here in MN πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ™ŒπŸ». (Find Tillamook near you HERE!)

Their arrival is worth celebrating 1000x over. So that’s exactly what we’re doing! Tillamook’s Melty Fest tour is stopping in the Twin Cities this month (learn more about the events at the bottom of this post!), & we’re celebrating with Minnesota-style…with a celebration of the Juicy Lucy, obviously! 3 grilled stuffed turkey burger patties on a small white plate. The burgers have nice grill marks and are oozing with melted pepper jack cheese. Surrounding the plate are a jar of salsa, a brick of Tillamook pepper jack cheese, fresh cilantro, and a blue striped linen.

You may recall my slightly controversial stance on Juicy Lucy-style burgers, but after having the opportunity to taste Juicy Lucys from top chefs in the Twin Cities by the likes of Justin Sutherland (Handsome Hog), Carrie McCabe-Johnston (Nightingale), & Karyn Tomlinson (Corner Table), I couldn’t help but feel inspired to create another epic stuffed burger recipe. 

I chose to use Tillamook’s pepper jack cheese since it melts beeeautifully (crucial!). Every bite is filled with good peppery flavor & a pop of heat – but not so much so that it’s too spicy (…even if you are a “Minnesota-spicy” type of person!).

Rather than using a big piece of cheese – Juicy Lucy-style – I make these stuffed turkey burgers by dicing the cheese into small pieces, which then get mixed throughout the turkey burger patties. The small pieces of cheese melt as the burgers grill, creating pools of melted cheesy goodness throughout the burger.

Hey, if there’s anything better than a pool of melted cheese, it’s tons of pools of melty cheese! πŸ˜‰Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burger place on a burger bun with lettuce & guacamole. Burger is sitting on a light wood board, with a jar of salsa behind it. Burger is cut in half, showing the inside of the burger patty which has melted pepper jack cheese oozing out of it.

(…& I mean, are we turkey burger people yet, or what?!)

How to make turkey burgers with pepper jack and guacamole:

One of my favorite things about these pepper jack turkey burgers is that they take just 10 minutes to prep! (Told ya they are totally weeknight dinner material, didn’t I!?!) You can whip them up any night of the week, or even meal prep the turkey burger patties in advance. Either way, they come together in 3 really simple steps:

  • Form the stuffed burgers patties. Mix together the ground turkey with diced pepper jack cheese, green chiles, ground cumin, and a little bit of garlic powder. I like to get my hands in there & really feel the mixture come together since it’s important to be careful to not overmix (…more on that in a sec!)
  • Grill. With the patties formed, it’s time to grill your green chile turkey burgers. I have some grilled turkey burger tips & tricks below, but you’ll want to preheat your grill to medium heat (about 550 degrees F). If you don’t have a grill, you can always use a grill pan or cast-iron skillet on your stove. Grilling the burgers will take about 10 minutes, start to finish! 
  • Make the smashed avocado. These are guacamole turkey burgers after all! Simply mash avocado with lemon and lime juice, & salt. You can add in other spices & herbs (ground cumin, crushed red pepper, fresh cilantro, etc.), but I like to keep this smashed avo really simple. You can do this right as the burgers grill up – multi-tasking queen! πŸ˜‰
  • & lastly…serve! Your gourmet turkey burgers are ready for a toasted bun, avocado mash, salsa, lettuce, and any other toppings or condiments your fancy AF heart desires. YUM!!!
Stuffed southwest turkey burgers arranged on a round wooden board. One burger is topped with mashed avocado. Two of the burgers are topped with salsa. On the board with the burgers is a jar of salsa with a spoon in it, a striped blue linen, and some fresh cilantro.

(…seriously, can you believe that took less than 25 minutes, start to finish??)

I hope you give this Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burger recipe a try very soon – I know you’ll love them! If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. One of my favorite things is seeing your pwwb creations! 😊 Grab the recipe & learn more about Tillamook’s Melty Fest events below. If you want extra turkey burger tips & tricks, I offer some thoughts at the bottom of this post about how to grill turkey burgers, how long to cook turkey burgers, & tips for moist turkey burgers.   

Tillamook Melty Fest 2019Chris & I with Chef Justin Sutherland at the Handsome Hog!

Tillamook is finally(!) here in MN! πŸ™ŒπŸ» To celebrate, Tillamook’s Melty Fest Tour is stopping in the Twin Cities this month with fun events & tons of cheesy goodness.

It all culminates at Bauhaus with A Celebration of the Juicy Lucy this Monday, August 12 from 5-9 pm. Tons of local chefs created their own Juicy Lucys & they’ll all be available for tasting! Chris & I had the opportunity to preview some of the burgers & some other treats at Handsome Hog this week, & everything is seriously to.die.for. (Seriously: Bacon & Cheese Croquettes. Tillamook Mac & Cheese. Freakin’ Pimento Cheese Juicy Lucys! 😍😍😍)Bacon & Cheese Croquettes sitting on a plate, topped with microgreens.

If you can’t make it to the event at Bauhaus on Monday, be sure to head over to check out the Tillamook menu takeover at Handsome Hog. You can try Chef Justin Sutherland’s Tillamook Juicy Lucy from August 12-18th!Mini cheeseburger on a plate with mini blue flag that says "Tillamook" coming out of it.

more pwwb x tillamook recipes: 

Still craving more? I don’t blame you! I’ve had the opportunity to work with Tillamook several times in the past year or so, & their cheeses are seriously top-notch. Find out where you can buy them near you HERE, & be sure to check out these other super delish, super cheesy Tillamook recipes soon!

Don’t forget to follow along with me on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

Thank you so much for reading & supporting plays well with butter & the companies I partner with to keep bringing you great original content. I only feature brands & products I truly love & use on the reg in my own home. All opinions are always my own!

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Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers with Pepper Jack & Guacamole


  • Author: jess
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x

Description

Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers are mega juicy, mega cheesy, & mega flavorful, with bursts of spicy chiles & creamy guacamole in every single bite.


Scale

Ingredients

for the Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers:

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground turkey or chicken (see Recipe Notes)
  • 6 ounces Tillamook Pepper Jack cheese, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles (mild or hot as preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for brushing the grill
  • for serving, as desired: toasted burger buns, avocado mash (below), salsa, lettuce, etc.

for the avocado mash: 

  • 2 medium avocados, halved & pitted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • optional: 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grillor a grill pan to medium heat, about 500 degrees F. 
  2. Form the stuffed Southwest turkey burger patties:Add the ground turkey to a large bowl with the diced pepper jack cheese, diced green chiles, cumin, & garlic powder. Season with salt & ground black pepper, adding cayenne pepper as desired. Using your hands, combine the mixture until the pepper jack & chiles are evenly dispersed. Be careful not to overmix. Using a burger press or mold, form into 4 equally sized burger patties (see Recipe Notes).
  3. Grill the stuffed burgers: Just before throwing the burgers on the grill, use grill tongs to swipe a piece of paper towel that’s been drizzled with vegetable oil over the grates to prevent sticking. Grill the burgers over direct heat for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the burger registers 165 degrees F. The burgers should have beautiful grill marks & tons of melty cheese oozing out!
  4. Prep the avocado mash:Meanwhile, as the burgers grill, prep the avocado mash. Add the avocado to a medium bowl with the lemon juice, lime juice, and salt, seasoning with cilantro, garlic powder &/or cayenne pepper as desired. Mash to your desired consistency. Set aside. 
  5. Serve as desired, on toasted buns with the avocado mash, salsa, lettuce, & condiments. Enjoy! 

Notes

  • Choosing the right meat for your turkey burgers: Now’s not the time to use ground turkey breast or chicken breast meat, which is so lean that it will absolutely dry out by the time its cooked through on the grill. I always look for 93% lean ground turkey or chicken, or if the butcher counter sells ground β€œbreast” vs β€œthighs, I opt for thighs. 
  • Burger press or ring moldAs someone who isn’t into keeping tons of kitchen gadgets on hand, use of a burger press or mold is key for taking your homemade burger game to the next level. The press/mold will help you be able to pack each patty very compactly, making for a much more enjoyable texture in your burgers. This one is $10 and has awesome reviews!
  • Meal prep tip! These burgers are super meal prep friendly & take just 10 minutes to prep. To meal prep: form the burger patties according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions. Store, layered with parchment, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. At dinnertime, all you have to do is toss them on the grill & prep your avocado mash – easy! 
  • Category: mains, burgers, sandwiches
  • Method: grill
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: stuffed southwest turkey burgers, stuffed turkey burgers, turkey burgers, turkey burger recipe

Print

Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers with Pepper Jack & Guacamole


Description

Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers are mega juicy, mega cheesy, & mega flavorful, with bursts of spicy chiles & creamy guacamole in every single bite.


Scale

Ingredients

for the Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers:

  • 1 pound 90% lean ground turkey or chicken (see Recipe Notes)
  • 6 ounces Tillamook Pepper Jack cheese, diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles (mild or hot as preferred)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for brushing the grill
  • for serving, as desired: toasted burger buns, avocado mash (below), salsa, lettuce, etc.

for the avocado mash: 

  • 2 medium avocados, halved & pitted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • optional: 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium heat, about 500 degrees F. 
  2. Form the stuffed Southwest turkey burger patties: Add the ground turkey to a large bowl with the diced pepper jack cheese, diced green chiles, cumin, & garlic powder. Season with salt & ground black pepper, adding cayenne pepper as desired. Using your hands, combine the mixture until the pepper jack & chiles are evenly dispersed. Be careful not to overmix. Using a burger press or mold, form into 4 equally sized burger patties (see Recipe Notes).
  3. Grill the stuffed burgers: Just before throwing the burgers on the grill, use grill tongs to swipe a piece of paper towel that’s been drizzled with vegetable oil over the grates to prevent sticking. Grill the burgers over direct heat for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the burger registers 165 degrees F. The burgers should have beautiful grill marks & tons of melty cheese oozing out!
  4. Prep the avocado mash: Meanwhile, as the burgers grill, prep the avocado mash. Add the avocado to a medium bowl with the lemon juice, lime juice, and salt, seasoning with cilantro, garlic powder &/or cayenne pepper as desired. Mash to your desired consistency. Set aside. 
  5. Serve as desired, on toasted buns with the avocado mash, salsa, lettuce, & condiments. Enjoy! 

Notes

  • Choosing the right meat for your turkey burgers: Now’s not the time to use ground turkey breast or chicken breast meat, which is so lean that it will absolutely dry out by the time its cooked through on the grill. I always look for 93% lean ground turkey or chicken, or if the butcher counter sells ground “breast” vs “thighs, I opt for thighs. 
  • Burger press or ring moldAs someone who isn’t into keeping tons of kitchen gadgets on hand, use of a burger press or mold is key for taking your homemade burger game to the next level. The press/mold will help you be able to pack each patty very compactly, making for a much more enjoyable texture in your burgers. This one is $10 and has awesome reviews!
  • Meal prep tip! These burgers are super meal prep friendly & take just 10 minutes to prep. To meal prep: form the burger patties according to Step 2 of Recipe Directions. Store, layered with parchment, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. At dinnertime, all you have to do is toss them on the grill & prep your avocado mash – easy! 
  • Category: mains, burgers, sandwiches
  • Method: grill
  • Cuisine: American

don’t forget to pin this Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burger recipe for later!!! Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burgers recipe graphic with text overlay for Pinterest.

TURKEY BURGER TIPS & TRICKS:

How to grill turkey burgers:

Shaped & uncooked stuffed southwest turkey burger patty sitting on a sheet pan, lined with wax paper.

Grilling turkey burgers can be a little bit tricky since the meat is lean & has a tendency to stick or dry out. There’s absolutely no reason to be intimidated by, though!

Here are a few tips & tricks that’ll keep your grilled burgers pretty & juicy:

  • Grill temp: Heat your grill with direct medium heat, about 550 degrees F. Let the grill preheat for a good 5-10 minutes to ensure the grates are hot-hot-hot before you throw the turkey burger patties on the grill!
  • How to prevent sticking: Because turkey is leaner than beef or pork, it’s really helpful to oil the grates prior to grilling to help prevent sticking. Simply drizzle a little bit of vegetable oil (or another high smoke point oil) on paper towel. Using grilling tongs, carefully & quickly run the paper towel over the grates. 
  • How to prevent dried out burgers: There’s truly no need to cook your turkey burgers to death! Stuffed southwest turkey burgers are about 1/3-inch thick, so 10 minutes, flipping halfway through (5 minutes per side) should do the trick…but always double-check with a thermometer! The burgers will be ready once a thermometer inserted in the center of your turkey burger temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  • Stovetop burgers: If you don’t have a grill, you can also whip these burgers up on your stovetop, using a grill pan or a cast-iron skillet. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan – it’s what’ll help create that gorgeous crispy crust on your turkey burgers. 
3 stuffed turkey burgers on a plate after being grilled. The burgers have nice grill marks. There is a bowl of guacamole, a jar of salsa, a bunch of cilantro & a blue striped napkin surrounding the burgers.

(If all this grilling talk is feeling a little foreign, I’d suggest starting with my Grilling 101 post. It includes everything you need to know to start grilling and go from newbie to grillmaster in no time flat. I’ll teach you all about must-have grilling equipment, how to light your grill, how to clean your grill, & to understand grilling temperatures. Promise…you will be total a pro, girl!)

How long to cook turkey burgers: 

the goal is always moist turkey burgers, so we want them cooked just right. it will take about 8-10 minutes to grill (flipping halfway through).

because these stuffed turkey burgers end up being around 1/3 pound, I err towards the 10-minute end of the spectrum, and I always confirm the burgers are done with a thermometer.

your southwest turkey burgers will be ready once a thermometer inserted in the center of your turkey burgers registers 165 degrees F. 

Tips for moist turkey burgers: 3 grilled stuffed turkey burger patties on a small white plate. The burgers have nice grill marks and are oozing with melted pepper jack cheese. Surrounding the plate are a jar of salsa, a brick of Tillamook pepper jack cheese, fresh cilantro, and a blue striped linen.

If you want the juiciest turkey burgers, simply follow these three easy tips! 

  1. Choose the right meat. This is not the time to use ground turkey breast or chicken breast meat, which is so lean that it will absolutely dry out by the time it’s cooked through.  Look for 93% lean ground turkey or chicken, or if the butcher counter only sells ground “breast” vs “thighs”, always opt for thighs. Your burgers will still be leaner than red meat, but the extra fat content will prevent them from drying out entirely. 
  2. Do not overwork the meat. Add all the burger ingredients to a bowl & use your hands to mix just until everything is pretty evenly dispersed. There’s no need to overdo it – that’ll just cause the meat to toughen up on you. 
  3. Do not overcook! These stuffed turkey burgers should only take 4-5 minutes per side to register 165 degrees F in the center. Use a thermometer to double-check so that you don’t cook them too long. Even though the cheese in the patties makes these stuffed turkey burgers pretty forgiving, they will dry out if they overcook!

Stuffed Southwest Turkey Burger place on a burger bun with lettuce & guacamole. Burger is sitting on a light wood board, with a jar of salsa behind it.

About jess

i help modern gals turn everyday moments into celebrations with recipes that are just as easy as they are elegant.

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