Turkey Fajita Burgers with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

Happy Monday!

I’m on a grilling kick. And by “grilling kick”, I mean I grilled turkey burgers and salsa on Saturday and now am wondering why I’ve had this nice grill out on my patio for the past two years and this is only the second time I’ve ever used it. It’s kind of like that ice cream maker that I COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT…and then once I actually got it, it sat and collected dust for months before I left it at my parent’s house and moved West. I like the idea of grilling…and every time (okay, all two times) I’ve grilled, it’s been delicious but I then I go back inside and promptly forget about it for the next six months. Oops.

My boyfriend? Now he’s a grilling freak. And really good at it, too! I don’t know why I couldn’t just bake a batch of cookies and wait on him, but wouldn’t you know the weekend he goes out of town I get a major craving for some nice.charred.meat.

Before we talk meat, let’s talk salsa. Have you ever made grilled salsa before? I’m in love.

This grilled salsa is super easy (yes, YOU can totally do this!!) and tastes just like my favorite salsa verde from Trader Joe’s. Speaking of Trader Joe’s, mine had these cute little bags of tomatillos last week.

I bought them for the cuteness factor (you know you’re in the right profession when you describe green tomatoes as “cute”), naturally, and then decided to throw them on the grill with some jalapenos to make delicious grilled salsa.

If you don’t have access to a grill, you could totally make this in the oven by roasting your tomatillos and peppers! I love the flavor they get from the grill though—it reminds me of sundresses, pool parties and pink toenails.

I mean, who doesn’t think of pink toenails when looking at these?

(Okay, I really am weird. Please excuse me)

I loved the burgers, too. I’ve always preferred turkey burgers over beef and these are stuffed with bell peppers and spices. I topped my burger with pepperjack cheese and avocado and it was fabulous.

You guys really need to get on this.

Of course, you could make the burgers and the salsa independently of each other—try these enchiladas with this grilled salsa…fab!

Turkey Fajita Burgers with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa

makes about 4-5 burgers and makes about 2 cups salsa verde

Print this recipe!


for burgers—

1/2 red bell pepper, small diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, small diced

1/2 orange bell pepper, small diced

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp Tabasco sauce

for salsa verde—

1 lb tomatillos, husks off

2 whole jalapeno peppers

juice of 1 lime

2 tsp Tabasco green pepper sauce

1 bunch cilantro


Make the salsa first so you can chill it prior to use. I recommend making the salsa a day ahead of time!

Heat grill to medium/high. Once hot, place whole tomatillos and jalapenos on the grates, close the top and grill for about 10 minutes, watching and flipping occasionally with tongs. You want everything to have charred marks and get really soft and mushy. Depending on your grill, this could take anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.

Remove peppers and tomatillos from grill and place in either a food processor or high-speed blender (make sure to remove the jalapeno stems first) with the lime juice, cilantro and Tabasco. Process until smooth.

Chill salsa thoroughly before serving. You may want to add a small pinch of sea salt at the end, but I thought it tasted perfect without it!

For burgers, mix together the diced bell peppers, ground turkey, beaten egg, Tabasco and spices in a large bowl. Form into 4-6 patties (depending on how large you like your burgers). Grill burgers for about 10 minutes until done, or cook on the stove in a grill-pan for about 6 minutes per side, until juices run clear. Serve on buns with salsa verde.


1 hr active time

You can also make this salsa in the oven by roasting the jalapenos and tomatillos. To do this, roast at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes the proceed with recipe instructions.

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  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    May 14, 2012 at 3:05 am

    I love grilling in the summer! This turkey burger sounds amazing. Plus topped with salsa and avocado? Yes, please!

  • Blog is the New Black
    May 14, 2012 at 3:30 am

    WOW- great recipe to kick off grillin’ season. and yes, my ice cream maker is also collecting dust….

  • Trey @ Dudes Cook Too
    May 14, 2012 at 3:55 am

    Will definitely be making these… TONIGHT!

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    May 14, 2012 at 4:33 am

    Never have I ever…lit a grill on my own!
    Guys totally take charge on that one.

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    May 14, 2012 at 4:43 am

    ohhhhhh I was shopping for bbq’s this weekend but we couldn’t decide what we wanted … and they’re EXPENSIVE holy crap!

    • Liz
      May 14, 2012 at 9:06 am

      No, no, they don’t have to be. I don’t know where you live, but in New England, charcoal grills rule, and they also happen to be quite inexpensive. (By far, they give the best grilled flavor, too.) A great “starter grill” is a 22.5″ Weber kettle grill. You can get this for $80-$90. Our current one has sat out on our deck, uncovered, through four northern New England winters, and it’s still in great shape. It’s very user-friendly.

      Wait a minute, Jenna…. with a name like Weber, how can you NOT grill? Are you secretly heiress to the Weber grill fortune?

  • Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free
    May 14, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Yum! These are definitely going on the menu for this week. My husband takes reign over the grill and smoker in our house – which means I just get to pester him about making smoked salmon and burgers πŸ™‚

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    May 14, 2012 at 5:04 am

    Tis the season for grilling EVERYTHING!! πŸ™‚ Aren’t burgers and salsa a match made in heaven? I also made some this weekend (although my salsa was of the red variety rather than green) and I’m a little sad I don’t have any leftovers. Now I need to hunt down some cute tomatillos so I can try your recipe!

  • Joelle (on a pink typewriter)
    May 14, 2012 at 5:17 am

    These look SUPER yummy. Are those Trader Joe’s buns, too?

  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots
    May 14, 2012 at 5:45 am

    I’ve actually never tried a tomatillo before. It looks amazing! πŸ˜€

  • Cait's Plate
    May 14, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Grilling is hands down the best, easiest way to cook! I’m glad you’ve discovered the joys of how great it is πŸ™‚

  • Urban Wife
    May 14, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Guilty: I love the idea of grilling, too but not so much the actual process. I leave that to my hubs. This homemade tomatillo salsa looks delish – I must try it out!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
    May 14, 2012 at 6:42 am

    Loving all the flavors here! And just in time for grilling season! πŸ™‚

  • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray
    May 14, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Ahhh, I love the recipe for these burgers! I was looking for a good turkey burger recipe last week, and this would have been PERFECT. Guess I’ll just have to make some more, huh? πŸ™‚

  • Luv What You Do
    May 14, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I am so impressed with your grilling skills. My boyfriend is the grill master and when I almost worked up the courage to turn on our grill last summer, he got a new one. I stick with the veggie prep and the cookie baking for now.

    Salsa looks amazing!

  • Heather
    May 14, 2012 at 6:52 am

    i’m kind of in love with the idea of a fajita burger…how have i never thought of that before?! sounds delicious πŸ˜‰

  • katie @KatieDid
    May 14, 2012 at 6:54 am

    The only grill I have is a small george forman, but grilling is one of my favorite summer activities (well to eat grilled food that someone else has grilled πŸ˜‰ )

  • amy walters, aDESIGNdock
    May 14, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Oh these burgers look A-MAZING! What a mouth-watering way to start the week Jenna. Thanks so much. Cheers πŸ˜‰

  • Jenn
    May 14, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Its refreshing to see burgers with buns and not just a lettuce leaf! Love the make your own salsa.

  • Julia {The Roasted Root}
    May 14, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Homemade salsa always brings a smile to my face. Your grilled tomatillos and peppers look wonderful and I bet they made such a delicious salsa. As for the burger, this is definitely something I want to sink my teeth into! So satisfying. Hope you guys had a fun weekend πŸ˜‰

  • JulieD
    May 14, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Jenna, these look awesome!! You can think I can grill the tomatillos on my grill pan or in the oven? I love the idea of turkey burgers, was just telling T&D recently that I have yet to make them at home! Soon, I must!

    • jenna
      May 14, 2012 at 7:14 am

      hi julie! πŸ™‚ You can roast your tomatillos and peppers in the oven to make the salsa and use the grill pan to make the burgers!

  • Margarita
    May 14, 2012 at 7:44 am

    i love salsa and am kind of addicted to it… but i never would have thought of grilling my veggies first before tossing them into a salsa. i love grilled food but only enjoy it at other people’s houses coz I don’t have one.

  • Sando
    May 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

    I think I just drooled on my keyboard. Ha! Looks sooo yummy!! Definitely going to have to try this one πŸ™‚

  • Kelley {mountain mama cooks}
    May 14, 2012 at 7:59 am

    It’s the time of year when we dust of our grill and use a few nights a week. I hate to turn on an oven on hot summer nights. And that salsa? Burger, facial, spoon. All would be good ways to use it.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well
    May 14, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Turkey burgers plus avocado plus pepperjack is the best combo in my opinion!! Love this grill-inspiring recipe!!

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    May 14, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Oh that salsa…I could go to town on that, majorly! Love a good green salsa. Love the vibrant pics!

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing
    May 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Grilled food in the summer is THE BEST! I don’t have a BBQ so whenever I visit my parents it’s the first meal I request. I’m going to have to get them in on this grilled salsa now!

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    May 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I’ve never bought tomatillo’s before but I love ’em when I go out. This sounds like the perfect salsa for grilling on a warm spring/summer night. Yum!

  • Liz
    May 14, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I live in New Hampshire, and we grill (charcoal only, please) all year ’round. We make a point to shovel the snow off the deck so we can grill, even when the temperature is below zero!

  • Deanna B.
    May 14, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I love me a beef burger, but lately I’ve had a pretty fierce turkey burger craving. I need to make this.

  • Joanna
    May 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

    My favorite combo, tomatillos and turkey burgers. YUM! I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you. πŸ™‚

  • Maria
    May 14, 2012 at 11:13 am

    Love the salsa!

  • Liz @ Southern Charm
    May 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I love grilling in the summer! This recipe is so fun and light. I just have to give it a try πŸ™‚

  • jenna
    May 14, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    this looks so delicous!

  • Moni Meals
    May 14, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Yum! I love this pic too, money shot! So BOOM. πŸ˜‰

    I too, am all about grillin lately. I like all the peppers you use, I love PEPPERS! Great salsa recipe too.

    Hope to make these!

  • Maura @ My Healthy 'Ohana
    May 14, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I love turkey burgers on the grill, and your tomatilla salsa recipe sounds amazing!

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    May 15, 2012 at 3:25 am

    I am completely sold on this salsa. We grilled so much last year and have only used it twice this year despite the warm weather. I love it since my husband takes over the duties outsides. This salsa will be up this weekend. I love green salsa and now I want to see what the grill will do to it.

  • Charise
    May 15, 2012 at 8:45 am

    These sound great! I am all about coming up with creative burgers. We really are on a grilling kick around here. This is our first full summer season in our house instead of the condo with no outdoor space, and a grill was one of the first things we bought after moving in last August. My husband likes to make sure my meal plans include at least two nights of grillable recipes each week during nice weather, and we’ve beeen doing that for the last couple months!

  • Yum Yucky
    May 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve been wanting a turkey burger for 3 weeks now. This post is delicious-torture!!!

  • Kate
    May 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Why did I think salsa verde was so hard to make? This sounds delicious.

  • Whitney
    May 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I am smacking on my Turkey Fajita Burgers with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa right now and I’m in love!!! Such a great combination of delicious ingredients and flavors.

  • toorak personal trainer
    May 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    delicious recipe. and healthy too. Thanks

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  • JenE
    June 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Home run again, Jenna. I didn’t do the salsa tonight, as I was short on time. But the burgers, + muenster cheese were a huge hit. I think I might crumble the leftovers for “tacos”…..

  • JenE
    July 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    2nd time I’ve made these; this time I had the aforethought to make the salsa ahead.. Fantastic before, even better now. I mixed some of the salsa w/ mayo as a spread on the bun (I suspect this would be delicious on all things good w/ mayo – fries?!!) and man-o-man-o-schevitz. Jenna you know how to put some flavors together. Thanks for helping me figure it out too!

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  • Lindsey
    July 27, 2012 at 8:17 am

    I made these last night. Soooo good! Thanks for another great recipe!

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  • Belinda
    July 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

    This is my favorite turkey burger recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  • Aqiyl Aniys
    February 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

    I am feeling the Tomatillo Salsa! Thanks