Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

We’ve had a major breakthrough in the house!  I have now gotten my son to eat….hamburgers!  Cue the trumpets.  I’ve been working for several months to broaden his food horizons.  Seems like he’s finally starting to grow out of that picky toddler phase.  Lately, he’s eaten mostly the same food we have for dinner – or some variation of it that doesn’t require me to cook a separate meal.  What a relief!  He doesn’t quite love burgers; more like he tolerates them.  For him it’s just the burger and the bun – no ketchup, mustard, or cheese. And he’s such a carbaholic that I still catch him trying to eat the bread out from around the meat.

It’s too bad that Tyler won’t eat other toppings along with a burger, because everything on this one makes for a tasty mouthful.  The meat is seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, and sesame, and topped with grilled spam, pineapple, and red onions.  All that is drizzled with a creamy hoisin.  So, while I wolfed down this towering sandwich, my son sat next to me eating…just the turkey burger.

original recipe

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers


1 ¼ lbs. ground turkey
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 ½ Tbs sesame oil
1” chunk of ginger, peeled and minced
2 green onions, light green and half the dark green, finely chopped
Black pepper
Half a cored pineapple, cut into thick rings
1 can Spam, cut into ¼” slices
Few slices of red onion
Four hamburger buns
3 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 Tbs mayonnaise


  1. Combine ground turkey, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger, and green onion in a bowl. Divide dough into four equal patties, making them wider than the hamburger bun and pressing the center a little thinner than the edges. Season the top of the patties with black pepper.
  2. Heat a grill to high. Cook burgers, pineapple, Spam, and red onion slices on the grill, flipping once. The burgers will take 4-5 minutes per side; the other items will take between 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. To assemble the burgers, slice the hamburger buns in half. Layer with lettuce, burger, 2 slices of spam, a pineapple ring, and a few onion rings.
  4. For the sauce, whisk the hoisin and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. Drizzle sauce over the burger and top with remaining half of the bun.

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