If you don’t know what Mar-a-Lago is, then you obviously don’t watch enough Celebrity Apprentice. (On a side note, are you noticing how many of our recipes here on Our Best Bites have references to television shows?  We’ve got the Tim Riggins Brownie, the Nestor Carbonel Mojito, the take-your-pick-of-16-hot-cabana-boys Mango Colada, and don’t forget the Biggest Loser Salad and the Teen Mom Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars.  No, we never watch tv.  In case you were wondering.)  Mar-a-Lago is a private club in Palm Beach, Florida owned by the Trumpster, and it’s positively stunning.  Not that I’ve ever been there, but check out the photos.

Apparently they have amazing food too, or at least good enough to host birthday soirees for people like Maya Angelou, which is when Oprah tasted this turkey burger and brainwashed the multitudes into thinking they needed to eat it immediately or die launched it to stardom with her Midas touch.

I saw the recipe and was instantly intrigued.  I’m always looking for new recipes for ground turkey and burgers can be tricky because you have to balance flavor and texture, and often times you get one but fall flat on the other.  This burger had a few surprise ingredients and I figured if Oprah needs it, then I definitely need it.  Because we all know Oprah knows best.

Check out how this recipe starts- with sauteed celery and apples.  The recipe calls for diced apples, but I wanted them to really blend in with the meat (ie: not be noticeable for the toddler sized mouths that would inspect them) so I grated them with a cheese grater.

You’ll keep them in that pan until they’re nice and soft.  If you’re grating the apples like me, then you’ll want to put your celery in the pan first and give it a couple of minutes of a head start.  Then add the apples, and also some green onions, and saute everything until it’s soft and tender.  The apples add an amazing, yet subtle sweetness to the mix, and it keeps the burgers unbelievably moist.

The recipe calls for turkey breast, but my grocery store was out of 100% breast meat so I used naughty turkey.  It has more fat, and therefore a little more flavor and moisture than plain turkey breast.  Either works just fine.  If you use 100% breast, your burgers will turn out very lightly colored, where mine are quite a bit darker from the dark meat.

In goes yummy stuff like parsley, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper,

and mango chutney, which adds a fantastic flavor.

If you’ve never used Major Grey Chutney, you can find it in the grocery store and it’s usually on the top shelf near the bbq sauces.  It’s consistency is like a jam, it’s very sweet and savory and has things like mango, curry, and all sorts of spices.  My Mom used it a lot in her cooking so I have a lot of recipes where I use it as well.  Buy it for this recipe (it can sometimes be a little pricey) and I’ll share with you my chicken salad recipe which uses it as the secret ingredient.  Okay, so not so secret anymore.  But trust me, it’s worth it.

Gently mix that meat up (using your hands is the best way to go!) and form it into patties.  The mixture is quite wet, so form them gently and them make sure to refrigerate for the time allotted; it helps to firm them up.

When you place them on the grill, do it very gently.  Turkey is much more fragile than beef and it’s easy to crumble the burgers right up.  Another key thing is to not flip the burgers too soon, or too often or they can also fall to pieces.  Let them cook completely on one side and then flip just once to finish cooking on the other side.  When you’re all done you’ll have beautiful burgers!

These didn’t disappoint; I loved them.  And my husband said they were dope.  And my kids ate them with ketchup.  Winner winner chicken turkey dinner.  It’s a beautiful combination of flavors from some ingredients you may not of thought to put together.  But that is why you are not a chef at the Mar-a-Lago, now isn’t it?  It’s okay, I’m not either!  I’m just happy they share 🙂

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Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers


Out of the kitchens of the world famous Mar-a-Lago club, these turkey burgers


2 tablespoons canola oil (I used butter)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and diced (I grated my apples)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
4 pounds ground turkey breast (I used 85/15 ground turkey)
2  tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons tabasco sauce
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey’s Chutney, pureed (I think pureeing is unnecessary)


Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender.  Let cool.  Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.  Add sauteed items and the remaining ingredients.  Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper.  Place on preheated, lightly oiled grill.  Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Serve on your favorite toasted bread, pita, or hamburger bun.


Try it with a side of Sweet Potato Fries, or some Grilled Corn on the Cob for a great (and healthy!) summer meal.


  • Note this recipe makes 8 half-pound burgers.  A half-pound burger is very large!  You can easily half the recipe and get 6 good sized burgers.  I cut the recipe down to work with one 20 oz package of turkey and it yielded 6 large sliders.
  • The recipe calls for a side of this Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney to spread on top of the burgers.  I skipped that step and just used straight Major Grey’s from the jar.  I make an easy spread using a 50/50 mix of Major Grey’s Chutney and Mayo.  Play around with it and you might like just plain chutney instead of mayo, or mostly mayo with a touch of chutney.  I like it 50/50.  I also topped it with a crisp lettuce leaf and a slice of juicy tomato.


  1. I too saw these on Oprah and had to make them. I thought they were great. I just didn’t like the lemon flavor so I omit the lemon. I would love the chicken recipe you were talking about so that I can use up some of the jar of chutney that I have. I also made the Maralago Key Lime pie. Which was so easy and so amazing. I have 3 go to Turkey Burger recipes that I make regularly and this is one of them.

  2. I remember these burgers from that Oprah episode and wondered if they really tasted as good as Oprah said. I have had them on my rather lengthy ‘recipes to make list’ ever since but since my bf usually makes the burgers when we have them I have not made these yet. I guess I need to kick him off the grill so that I can finally make these!

  3. These are going on my dinner list this week! I actually get grossed out by beef hamburgers but recently discovered that I don’t mind turkey burgers.

  4. Oh my goodness… This will be dinner tonight! We make turkey burgers a lot and it will be great to have some different flavors mixed in.

  5. I happened to be watching the show the day she announced that she loved this burger. So, I did what any Oprah-lover would do and made the burger. After all, Oprah does know best. They were so delicious. My whole family loved them. My husband said they were one of the best burgers ever. And that’s saying a lot. Totally different, but really good. Especially if you’re into turkey burgers. Because turkey burgers can be bad if you’re not careful, lol.

  6. These are one of my summer staples. I LOVE them. My kids LOVE them. My husband…..well, this is pretty much the one thing I make that he will not touch with a 10 ft. pole. But that’s fine, more for me! I actually half this recipe and still get 8 good sized burgers out of it. Oh, and that chutney?! That right there makes the burger.

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