Pesto Parmesan Turkey Burger & Meal Planning Monday!

If you think that turkey burgers are dry and have no flavor, I am here to prove you wrong. I know I’ve mentioned that I steer more towards turkey/fish/chicken over beef, so I am no stranger to a turkey burger. I love adding in different ingredients and textures to make the burger more flavorful and moist. This one fit in perfectly to my meal plan last week because I knew I’d have left over pesto from my pesto pasta salad. The freshly grated parmesan really adds a delicious flavor and even my husband who loves a good beef burger said this was one of his favorites!

From a nutritional stand point, ground turkey can be just as high in fat as ground sirloin depending on if it’s made with more dark meat than white meat. There are now several options when choosing your ground turkey- extra lean (99/1), lean (97/3), 90/10, 85/15. The numbers refer to the percent of lean meat to the percent of fat. The higher the second number, the more fat it has. I always choose the “lean” because it has more flavor than the “extra lean” and isn’t as dry. Just make sure you’re reading your labels well!

I made these when my mother-in-law was here and she loved them too. They would be great eaten plain if you are following a low-carb diet or rolled into meat balls instead of burger patties.

On to Meal Planning Monday! Don’t be a stranger folks- I love to hear what you’re having even if it’s just a few days. I love planning and just so you know I rarely stick to my plan 100% (maybe 75%) but I always have enough options which makes my life easier. I usually end up with more leftovers and/or throw in one easy night and end up carrying over one of the ideas to the next week. I also love referring to my plan at some point during the day to see what we’re having which takes the brainwork out of menu planning during the week. 

This week I feel like light meals- salads, sandwiches and not much that involves turning on the oven. Like most of the US, we’ve been experiencing a heat wave so we’re keeping it simple. I do plan on trying some new salad dressings and homemade bread without a bread machine. If you are looking for something to make, try the pesto parmesan turkey burgers. Most importantly, have fun in the kitchen!

Menu for the Week of July 24th

Out to dinner (since we ate at home all weekend)

Cold Dinner: Chicken Salad, Hummus, Mixed Greens, Pita (basically clean the fridge)

Chicken Taco Salad (kids can eat with tortillas)

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Sandwiches, Fruit Salad

Shrimp Caesar Salad, Chicken Nuggets for kids (trying a new recipe), Homemade bread


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  1. Gretchen Hokenson says

    Thanks for doing this ongoing post. It is helping me to stay accountable to develop a weekly menu plan. Anyway, I was very uninspired for the menu this week. Thankfully, Greg’s trial is done so I am cooking for the whole family again.

    Sunday–Must go (what we affectionately call left overs in this house)
    Monday–I think the boys and I are going to try to make homemade pasta tomorrow. So we will have pasta with meat sauce and brocolli.
    Tuesday–Sausage, green beans, fries
    Wednesday– bean and cheese tacos or nachos and fruit
    Thursday–Must go
    Friday–Double dinner for the Smiths. I am trying a recipe called Bella Chicken (tomato braised chicken and veggies) I will make just braised veggies for Britt served with pasta (GF for the Smiths) and some sort of green salad.
    Saturday–Axis venison tenderloin, veggies, and try Dana’s cauliflower mash.

  2. says

    We are in New Mexico… But are making my vegan tomato soup. I can’t get enough of it. And I am going to try some new recipes from my fun new cookbooks!! I am devouring those books!

  3. says

    Whenever I make burgers at home, I always use ground turkey or ground chicken breast. I am definitely going to try this recipe out. They look and sound very tasty! I really need to be better about making weekly meal plans so that we aren’t running to the store every other day.

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      Tempie- You should join me on Sunday/Mondays for Meal Planning! I would honestly be at the store every other day too if I didn’t plan. Hope you like the burgers as much as we did! :)

  4. says

    I had my first turkey burger not too long ago and I was amazed at how delicious they are. What have I been missing?! Needless to say I am very ready to make them again and I think I’ll use this recipe. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Emily says

    I did my first week of meal planning (using all new recipes) this week, and this was dinner tonight! Past turkey burgers I’ve made have come out a bit dry and a bit bland, but these were very moist and tasty. My boyfriend really loved them too. He admitted he was a bit skeptical of “pesto turkey burgers” but he had seconds and already has his leftovers packed for lunch tomorrow :) This recipe will be made again!

    • Melanie Flinn, MS, RD says

      I am so glad you guys liked it Emily! Thanks so much for sharing that with me. I always love to hear how things turn out. :) Melanie

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