Fast and easy for mom to make, fun for kids to eat! The start of school is rolling back around, and the age-old question persists: “What to put in your child’s lunch box?” A thought that has likely tortured the mothers of school-aged children since the dawn of time. We, of course, want our kids well-fed, but also, we’d like for them to eat at least somewhat nutritious as well. The problem? Most children don’t really care too much about healthy eating. What they do care about, is how it tastes. And, if your children are anything like mine, if it doesn’t taste good, they don’t eat it. Rather, they come home in horrid little moods, enveloped in their own tortured hangry state of mind. It’s the lunch box dilemma, and its hold on health-conscience mothers is ending right now.
For the longest time, my oldest daughter merrily took her sliced turkey sandwich to school and ate it, no problem. Lunches were easy-breezy. But, as the years went on, that turkey sandwich became less appealing, and I would open up her lunchbox at the end of the day to find the bread eaten and the sliced turkey left behind. My suggestions for other healthy lunch options did not appeal to her, and there went on an unhappy battle of the lunch box wills. One night I was whipping up my Green Chili Turkey Burgers for dinner, and to my surprise, my girls scarfed it down. In truth, I was a little shocked. I didn’t even know my oldest liked burgers, as she has always been a chicken nugget kind of kid.
This epiphany led to a lunch box idea. A kid’s lunch that would save my morning from whining and complaining, her stomach from growling throughout the day and provide a peaceful and manageable after-school environment for the whole family, and it was all thanks to this Mini Turkey Burger. These miniature turkey burgers are simple to make, consisting of only four ingredients (including the bread) and taking less than 10 minutes to prepare.
I make a batch at the start of the week, allow the burgers to cool and proceed to wrap them tightly in wax paper. Once the burgers are wrapped, I place them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze them. The night before, I simply pull a patty out of the freezer and place it in a lunch box container, along with two pieces of wheat bread, toasted or not toasted, whichever you (or your kiddo) prefers. It’s make-ahead, it’s healthy and kids love them. Actually, grown-ups kind of love them too. Time for a mini turkey burger bonus: You can use this very same patty recipe as a turkey burger slider, and it works beautifully. Enjoy.
- 1 pound 85/15 Ground Turkey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon TAK House Seasoning
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 12 pieces of store-bought sliced bread if desired
Have ready a pan lined with wax paper, and begin preparing the turkey patties. In a mixing bowl, combine turkey and TAK seasoning, and mix until well combined.
With damp hands, take about 2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons of ground turkey, and roll into a ball in between the palms of your hands. Press the turkey ball flat like a pancake, and gently mold the edges so that the patty is circular shape. Transfer to the wax paper, and continue making patties.
Once all of the turkey patties are formed, add oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and allow to come to temperature. Transfer patties to the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan. Flip the patty and cook for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes more. Toast the bread, if desired. Using a biscuit cutter with about a 3" diameter, cut rounds out of the bread, and sandwich the patties in between.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: If making the patties in advance, cook the patties as directed and allow them to cool. Once cooled, wrap tightly in a square of wax paper and place in a freezer-safe zip top bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Transfer to the freezer and freeze. The night before you intend to serve the patty, remove from the freezer and allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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