Apple-Dried Cherry Turkey Burger

Pairs well with:

Chenin Blanc

This wine is bursting with crisp, refreshing fruit flavors like apple, pear, and melon, making you want to swing your legs off a dock at sunset.

The Apple-Dried Cherry Turkey Burger contains the main ingredients for which Michigan is well known. Michigan boasts a bountiful harvest of apples and cherries. Growing conditions in the northern area of the Lower Peninsula are perfect for cherris and apples. Sunny warm days, cool nights, gentle breezes and plenty of rain. Michigan fruit is sweet and delicious. Many festivals held across the state celebrate the harvest and flavors of Michigan. Close to a million people visit Traverse City each year for the July Cherry Festival, where Michigan cherries can be tasted fresh, dried, cooked or baked.

You cannot be an official Michigander if you fail to follow the fall tradition of visiting one of the state’s numerous cider mills. Fresh made cider, carmel apples, apple fritters, jellies, pies and bushels of pick-your-own apples draw us back to this popular activity year after year.

The Apple-Dried Cherry Turkey Burger is a great American burger because it encompasses the American tradition of grilling and backyard barbeques,, flavors that have long stood as symbols for America, and the new tradition of incporporating healthy eating into our long standing traditions.


1/3 cup whole cranberries
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely minced
2 pounds ground turkey
1 medium Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored & shredded
1/4 cup Michigan dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
1/16 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
6 slices Farmer’s cheese
12 leaves fresh spinach
6 whole wheat hamburger buns, split


In a small bowl mix together cranberries and mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate.

Ignite one side/burner of gas grill, set to medium-high temperature. Using a heavy 10-inch skillet, heat extra-virgin olive oil over heat until oil sizzles when a droplet of water in dropped into oil. Add shallots, stirring occasionally until shallots are golden brown and carmelized, about 3-5 minutes. Temperature may have to be turned to medium if shallots are browning too quickly. Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Shred apple on coarse side of shredder into medium bowl. Place shredded apple on paper towel and pat dry. Set aside.

Coarsely chop cherries using a sharp kinfe.

In a large bowl mix together turkey, apple, shallots, cherries, dill, salt and pepper. Form mixture into 6 equal patties.

Preheat grill on medium-high temperature. Place patties on oiled grill rack. Cook each side of patty for a total of approximately 5 to 7 minutes, turning once. Burgers are done when a meat thermometer inserted into center of meat registers an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Spread mayo mixture on the cut sides of both the bottom and top halves of bun. Place burger on to the mayo mixture on bun bottom and immediately place a slice of cheese on burger. Top cheese with two spinach leaves and add bun top.