BBQ Pulled-Turkey Burgers

We're sharing the juicy secrets of this mouth-watering burger.

This bun-wich, made with turkey thighs, is foolproof; dark meat is nearly impossible to overcook.

Level: Easy


For the Turkey
  • 2 bone-in turkey thighs (about 2 1/2 lb total)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 c. apple butter (no sugar added)
  • 3/4 c. crushed tomatoes (unsalted)
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha
  • 1/2 c. brewed coffee
  • 4 whole-grain buns, for serving
For the Pickled Cabbage
  • 5 c. sliced red cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar


  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Season turkey thighs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and add thighs. Sear until brown, 5 to 7 min on each side.
  2. Transfer thighs to a plate; pour off excess fat from pot and return to stove. Add onion and garlic; turn heat to medium high and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 min. If inside of pot darkens, add 1 or 2 Tbsp water to prevent burning.
  3. Add chili powder and stir to absorb. Add apple butter, crushed tomatoes, mustard, sriracha, and coffee. Stir to combine, scraping up brown bits. Return turkey thighs to Dutch oven along with any juices and bring to a simmer. Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until meat is falling off the bone, about 1 hr 30 min.
  4. Take pot out of oven, uncover, and let cool for 1 hr.
  5. Make the pickled cabbage: Place cabbage in bowl. Sprinkle with salt and vinegar. Toss to coat, and let sit at least 10 min.
  6. Remove and discard skin and bones from cooled turkey. Shred meat and combine with sauce in pot. Heat turkey mixture before serving, and toast buns. Spread cabbage on bottom half, then pile on turkey. Top with upper bun half and serve.

534 cal, 16 g fat (4 g saturated), 46 g protein, 55 g carb, 22 g sugar, 7 g fiber, 952 g sodium per serving.

This recipe originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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