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Buffalo Ranch Turkey Burgers

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I kid you not, I have been trying to get a good picture of these burgers for a year now. There’s something about taking a picture of a burger without a bun that makes it non-photogenic. In the gluten free world, burgers without buns are just a reality, photogenic or not. I managed to get few good photos of these Pizza Burgers, but they had fancy toppings to make them look good. Dousing a burger in hot sauce isn’t exactly food styling. I’ve finally given up on the idea of getting a good photo of these burgers. I could wait until I somehow managed the perfect photo, but I’d rather just post the recipe already!

Buffalo-Ranch-Burgers-Stacked

By now I’m sure you know that I love grilling in the summer. I make turkey burgers often. They are a quick and tasty homemade meal, what’s not to love? Burgers are a blank slate for so many flavors. Think the creativity of the Red Robin menu + homemade, real ingredients. Steve loves these Sweet Thai Chili Burgers, but these Buffalo Ranch Burgers are my favorite. I often split a pound of lean ground turkey in half and make us each a few burgers of our flavor choice.

I promise you that this one “secret ingredient” will make your turkey burgers moist and juicy. Lean turkey + caramelized onions creates nearly an identical burgers to much fattier ground beef. Really, it’s hardly a secret and hardly difficult to add caramelized onions to your turkey burgers. It does take a bit of time, but most of that is inactive; just occasional stirring. I just caramelize the onions on the stove top while I prepare the rest of the burger ingredients.

Buffalo-Ranch-Turkey-Burger-Square

For the ranch flavor in these burgers I use dried ranch seasoning mix. If you’re using the store bought ranch mix in the packets you’ll want to make sure that you find a gluten free variety. The Hidden Valley ranch packets will all list if they are gluten free on the package. Just look under the ingredient label. If it’s gluten free it will say “gluten free” right there! Lately, I’ve been using homemade ranch seasoning mix with great success. This recipe from Gimme Some Oven has given me good results. In my last batch, I left out the onion flakes and dried chives (I didn’t have either in my pantry) and still had great results!

I use Frank’s Red Hot Sauce for the buffalo flavor. The sauce gets added while the burgers are cooking, and then I give it a drizzle before serving. If you drench the burgers in hot sauce it will be difficult to taste the ranch flavor. With that warning in mind, add as much hot sauce as you’d like!

Buffalo-Ranch-Burgers-Grill

Cheese is optional. I’ve had these burgers with and without cheese, and find them to be delicious and satisfying either way. Sometimes I simply don’t want to mess with trying to perfectly top the burgers with cheese, but there’s also something about melted cheese that takes any hamburger to a new level!

Buffalo-Ranch-Burgers-Tall

Buffalo Ranch Turkey Burgers

Ingredients (makes 4 -6 hamburgers)
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 small/medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 – 2 Tbs milk (water also works)
  • 1/4 c Frank’s Red Hot, divided (feel free use more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Hamburger buns (optional)
Directions
  1. Add the olive oil to a small skillet and turn heat to medium. When the oil is warm, add the onion to the skillet and stir to coat with oil (If you happen to have used a large-ish onion and the oil doesn’t seem to be coating everything, just drizzle in a bit more oil). Continue cooking the onion, stirring frequently, until it softens and turns light brown in color. This takes any where from 10 – 20 minutes, depending on how much onion is in the pan, different stovetops, etc. When the onion is cooked, move it to a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the ground turkey, ranch dressing mix, and milk to the mixing bowl and combine all the ingredients together.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 to 6 even sections, and form each section into a patty (I prefer 6 smaller patties, but make whatever size you’d like).
  4. Put each of the hamburger patties onto a grill, over medium/high, direct heat. Grill for about 12 – 15 minutes.  About halfway through the cooking time flip the burgers and drizzle each with about 2 tsp of the hot sauce (it’s okay to approximate here, you can even just shake it on from the bottle). Continue to let the burgers cook for the remainder of the cooking time, or until the internal temperature of each hamburger reaches 165° F.
  5. If adding cheese, when the burgers have cooked through, sprinkle about 1 Tbs of cheddar cheese onto the top of each patty and leave them on the grill for another minute or two, to let the cheese melt.
  6. To serve, top each hamburger with approximately another 2 tsp of the hot sauce. Place on a hamburger bun if desired. If serving GF and regular hamburgers, be sure to make ALL GF burgers before making any burgers using wheat buns, to avoid cross contamination.
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Grilled Pesto Ranch Chicken

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It’s September, school is back in session, and a lot of people are celebrating fall with pumpkin flavored baked goods. As a northerner transplanted to the south, there is nothing about fall going on right now in my mind. It’s still gardening season and temperatures are still in the 90s here. This is summer. The last thing I want to do when it’s time to cook is turn on the oven when it’s already so hot! The grill is now my most used appliance.

I’ve been grilling 3-5 days a week all summer and tried bunches of marinades, sauces, and grilling techniques. I stumbled upon this Pesto Ranch marinade just about a week ago.

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It was 3:45pm on a Saturday, and I hadn’t given dinner a thought. I pulled out some random ingredients from the cupboards and started brainstorming. Pesto is good. Ranch is good. Okay, Pesto Ranch!

The marinade took approximately 1 min to put together. Add in another 3 or 4 minutes to cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. I mixed it all in a bowl, let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, and then grilled it on skewers with some large chunks of onion. It was probably the simplest meal I’ve made in weeks AND the absolute tastiest.

Grilled Pesto Ranch Chicken

The chicken smelled so good fresh off the grill that about half of my pictures ended up blurry because I was rushing them in order to get to the eating! I managed to get a few good shots and then we chowed down. There were no leftovers.

Grilled Pesto Ranch Chicken

So, you need to try this! If you happen to live somewhere that is actually experiencing fall weather be sure to make this before you pack up your grill for the winter. If you live in the south . . . well, you have plenty of time left for grilling. Let me know what you think! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Un-skewered and ready to eat!

Un-skewered and ready to eat!

Grilled Pesto Ranch Chicken

 

Ingredients
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 Tbs pesto
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4c plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp ranch seasoning (the powered kind that comes in packets. Hidden Valley’s ranch seasoning is labeled GF)
  • 1 onion, chopped in large chunks (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the pesto, olive oil, yogurt, and ranch seasoning in a medium sized bowl.
  2. If you haven’t already, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, then stir it into the marinate so all the pieces of chicken are well coated.
  3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 min up to overnight (I marinated mine for 2 hours and it was quite flavorful).
  4. Take the chicken out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to grill it.
  5. Slide the chicken and the onions onto your skewers.
  6. Grill over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side. I visually check for doneness, and use a meat thermometer to double check. Chicken should be cooked to 165°F.

I served this with corn on the cob.

 

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