September 21 2013

Italian Turkey Loaf Burger

By Guest

Turkey LoafThis recipe comes from the creative culinary minds of Matt Whitmore and Keris Marsden authors of the recently released The Paleo Primer. Recall what I said earlier this week about Primal living having no need or patience for deprivation. Case in point, this indulgent but perfectly Primal dish. Now go try this recipe and pick up a copy of The Paleo Primer for many more recipes just like it, and you’ll be well on your way toward a successful 21-Day Challenge. Enter Keris and Matt…

Primal eating involves ditching the breads and wraps which can be tough if these have been your staple breakfast or lunch for years, but fear not! When you think about it’s actually the added flavors like garlic or herbs or the filling that really make a sandwich tasty. So this recipe captures the Mediterranean flavors of a baked Italian ciabatta except it’s packed with healthy protein and filled with healthy fats, so it will keep you going for hours!

Serves: Makes 6 burgers

Prep time: 8 mins

Cooking time: 25-30 mins

Turkey Loaf Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs turkey mince
  • 4 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
  • Small handful of olives (chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt


  • Avocado sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes sliced in half


Pre-heat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

To prepare your burgers place all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well with clean hands. Once thoroughly combined shape into six burger patties and place in an oven proof dish or grill pan in the oven.

Cook for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

Allow to cool slightly and then slice and fill with layers of avocado, tomatoes and lettuce and a drizzle of olive oil.

Turkey Loaf

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22 thoughts on “Italian Turkey Loaf Burger”

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  1. Good idea! I like ground turkey when it’s seasoned right, that looks delicious.

  2. Gonna try this today and serve it with a side of sweet potato fries.

  3. Been avoiding ground turkey for years. Way back when, it usually had nasty hard bits from those thin bony things in turkey legs. Now it just seems a poor substitute for ground ruminant or pig. Not enough fat. Maybe I’m just being picky. The recipe looks good.

  4. We’ve been getting wonderful ground duck from our local farmer (and yes, it includes duck bacon in the mix). But I’m going to try this with a turkey-lamb blend, and grape leaves will be involved. Stay tuned! Film at 11.

  5. Is “turkey mince” just a British way of saying “ground turkey”?

  6. One more question for me… I’m pretty good following Mark’s advice during the week. But the weekend rolls around, football is on and the one beer I have turns into enough to drive through Taco Bell at 2a. Rinse and repeat each weekend. Thoughts on how to break this cycle? Peer pressure is definitely an issue here.

    1. Whip up a batch of these (or a similar dish) in advance, so you can tuck into something paleo-approved instead of having to go out for processed crap.
      Pressure your peers into giving them a try.
      If you don’t manage to stick to the one beer, drink a glass of water before grabbing the next beer.

      Does eating non-paleo food have direct, noticable adverse effects on you? “eating this causes so-and-so and I feel awful for days” is more easily accepted than less tangible health goals or “wacky” alternate eating styles,
      especially if that implies there is something wrong with their own health or eating habits.

      If not, maybe set yourself a fitness goal that will impress your friends (be able to walk this trail, climb that mountain, do x pushups/pullups, do handstand pushups, whatever) and say eating clean is important for your training program, and eating taco bell makes you feel like crap/undoes last week efforts.

    2. I am exactly the same. I eat primal during the week and quite often completely let go at the weekend. I feel the benefits during the week steady energy levels, better digestion and feel better overall generally. I am definately a work in progress. Because I eat too many carbs at the weekend it can take me until Wednesday until I feel the benefits of low carb even though I am pretty strict eating primal Mon – Fri. I am definitely a work in progress. One of my problems is I do not have a weight issue so there is nothing to measure my progress against. I have just bought a new paleo cookbook to try and inspire me into trying new things at the weekend. Hopefully this will help.

    3. If I’m not on a structured challenge of some sort, like a Whole30 or a 21DSD, etc, I seriously have to meditate–hard–on how bad I feel any time I think about eating something that isn’t good for me… Which is several times a day, since I live with 3 people who don’t eat the way I do. I can get very jealous and bitter about “everyone else” who gets to eat “anything” and stay thin and feeling good, so I totally understand it takes effort when you’re surrounded by people throwing back tortilla chips, cookies, dairy-based dips, and sugary things, all the while taunting you that you can cheat on the diet they’ve assumed you must be on “just once.”

      Make food in advance that you can eat and let them get their tacos without you. Reminding yourself what’s in those tacos should help you stay your course, and help you remember that YOUR food is the treat, and the drive-thru is NOT. If the “this makes me feel sick for days” line doesn’t work on your buddies, since you’ve been eating that way for a long time without a fuss, embellish the story with some gross particulars. Explosive diarrhea goes a long way in making a point.

  7. What a fantastic idea! Can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

  8. I actually have the book and it’s great. The parsnip “Kettle chips” are addictive!!
    I think the European source will have some influence on the recipes. I recently made the plum cake where it calls for 8-10 plums. I should have know they meant the more popular Italian plums (the ones made into prunes here). They are much smaller than the peach-sized plums you can buy in the US. The cake was way, waaayy too moist. Still good, though.

  9. Love this recipe. On one of the primal sites, the maker of burgers suggested making a finger size hole in the middle of the raw burger, keeps it flatter as it cooks. The meat pulls in towards the center instead of puffing up.