Food & Drink | November 24, 2021 6:15 am

This Thanksgiving Burger Is a Holiday Miracle Even You Can Make

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer executive chef Stephen Parker serves up his recipe for a decadent turkey burger with cranberries and stuffing

Thanksgiving would be a little brighter with a turkey burger from Black Tap
Thanksgiving would be a little brighter with a turkey burger.
Black Tap Craft Burgers

Although turkey makes its way onto the table during Christmas and Easter celebrations, Thanksgiving is unquestionably the bird’s time to shine. Approximately nine out of 10 Americans report eating it each year on the third Thursday of November.

The exact method by which they prepare the popular poultry — roasting, deep-frying, smoking — is another matter.

Stephen Parker, the executive corporate chef of international eats chain Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, suggests converting ground turkey into burger form and then topping it with applewood smoked bacon and an orange-cranberry aioli as a Thanksgiving-themed treat. (As you’ll see from the ingredients, it also makes for a rather ambitious leftovers project.)

Parker, who previously released a pizza burger in New York City as a hearty homage to Gotham’s plethora of slice shops, also selected brie and corn-and-sage stuffing as toppings for the burger and its potato bun, which is currently on sale at Black Tap through at least November 28.

The Thanksgiving Burger Is a Holiday Miracle You, Yes You, Can Make
Don’t bother saving room for leftovers.
Black Tap Craft Burgers

“When creating a burger like this, I think about things I made on Thanksgiving and have had on that special day,” Parker tells InsideHook. “I like to bring a couple of things that I know are common to a lot of people and then try to tie in some items that are personal to me and my childhood so it is relatable but at the same time a little different.”

That’s why Parker’s burger, while bursting with Thanksgiving flavor, doesn’t come dripping in cranberry sauce or gravy.

“Everyone makes a Thanksgiving burger and usually it has everything from the table on it. It’s way too much to fit in your mouth,” he says. “This burger gives you the feeling of Thanksgiving, but it can be eaten. It’s not dripping. It’s not messy. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s all there. It’s a really good combination of flavors, but we’re not going overly crazy putting everything that’s involved in the Thanksgiving table on our burger. We’re being very thoughtful about the flavors and the things we’re putting on there.”

At least somewhat crafted with the idea of making something cohesive out of mismatched Thanksgiving leftover containers holding cranberry sauce, stuffing and the like, the burger was also designed to avoid the somewhat common turkey pitfall of being too dry.

“A lot of people have turned away from turkey because they aren’t using the right proportion and enough dark meat,” Parker says. “If you’re doing an all-breast meat turkey burger, it’s going to be dry and crumbly. You can either change the proportion of dark to white meat or add seasonings into the mix to make it juicy and flavorful if you want to stick with something that’s 100% white meat. You have to get creative with it. The more you’re innovative with things, even if it’s a turkey burger, the more you keep them with the times and interesting. I think the turkey burger definitely has a place on the table in the burger world.”

Will it have one on your Thanksgiving table?

The Thanksgiving Burger Is a Holiday Miracle You, Yes You, Can Make
Turkey just looks better in burger form.
Black Tap Craft Burgers

Black Tap’s Thanksgiving Turkey Burger


Ingredients for the burger

  • 2-pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup spicy mustard
  • 4 Martin’s potato roll
  • 8 oz creamy brie (1oz slices)
  • ¼ cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups garlic croutons
  • 4-5 leaves sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or use pan spray
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups mayo, Kraft preferred
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup of water or chicken stock
  • 8 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked

Prep for the burger

  1. In a mixing bowl add turkey, mustard, soy and brown sugar.
  2. Mix all ingredients with your hands. make sure not over mix the turkey.
  3. Separate into 4 equal patties.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to allow burgers to form.

Prep for the aioli

  1. In a saucepan, bring orange juice to a boil and add cranberries.
  2. Lower heat to medium and allow to cook until cranberries are soft and the juice is reduced by half.
  3. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  4. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until mixture becomes a sauce.
  5. Transfer cranberry-orange mixture to a mixing bowl and add mayo and mix using a whisk, until completely combined.
  6. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Prep for the stuffing

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat.
  2. Add sage, corn and cook for 5 minutes until butter is completely melted.
  3. Add water or stock and bring to a boil.
  4. In a mixing bowl or baking pan, add croutons and butter-corn-sage mixture. Mix with a kitchen spoon.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Uncover and fluff stuffing using a fork.

Instructions for cooking the burger

  1. Heat the canola oil in a nonstick griddle or large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. (Alternately, spray the griddle or pan with pan spray.)
  2. When you can feel the heat while holding your hand just above the griddle or pan, cook the patties for 7 minutes on each side. 

Instructions for building the burger

  1. While the patty is on the grill, skillet or pan, place stuffing in the toaster and warm until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Place Martin’s potato buns in toaster once stuffing is warmed and toast lightly.
  3. Spread cranberry and orange aioli on top of the buns.
  4. Place hot stuffing on the top portion of the bun.
  5. Place two pieces of brie on top of the cooking patty.
  6. Place foil or a cover on the pan or grill, allowing the brie to melt.
  7. Place two pieces of bacon on each burger and place topped patty on the bottom bun.