Shawarma Turkey Burgers

We are big shawarma eaters in my house. It makes a great dinner especially for kids because I set out all the toppings and everyone can build their own shawarma plate. It's naturally Whole30/Paleo without the laffa and honestly, when I have a good shawarma plate I don't even miss the bread. The way I usually  make shawarma though, is a hassle. I marinate the turkey or boneless chicken thighs for hours, then grill it, then slice it thin, then saute it. It's a lot of work. So I came up with a quick version in burger form. All the spices and herbs of shawarma in a perfect turkey burger. My 9 year old declared this to be one of the best dinners I had ever made and enjoyed every bite. The kids had their burgers in a roll, and we had ours sandwiched between two pieces of fried eggplant (heaven!) with all the toppings: sumac onions, tehina, sliced tomato, pickles, lettuce, amba, and schug- all the makings of a great shawarma. Don't have all the spices I used? Use your favorite Shawarma seasoning mix instead (Pereg makes a great one). Buy some tehina instead of making it and your night got even easier. A perfect quick dinner for a busy night. Enjoy!

1 kilo (approx 2 pounds) ground dark meat turkey
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
a pinch of cinnamon
(alternatively, instead of the above spices you can use approximately 2 Tablespoons of your favorite shawarma seasoning)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil for frying
For serving:
Tehina, home made or store bought
Amba and schug
Fried onions
Raw onions tossed with 1 tsp of ground sumac
Fried Eggplant
Fresh sliced tomato

Place the turkey in a bowl and add all the seasonings, garlic, and herbs on top. Mix the turkey until all the seasonings have been incorporated taking care not to over mix or your burgers will be tough. Form into patties and let them rest for about 15 minutes. Preheat a frying pan and coat the bottom with a few tablespoons of oil. Fry patties over medium heat, approximately 5 minutes per side (depending on the size of your burgers) or until internal temperature of 160 degrees (I use an instant read meat thermometer). Serve on a roll topped with all your favorite toppings.


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