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Thanksgiving Burger Lets Families Enjoy the Holidays Any Day

By Tom Liddy | November 20, 2012 7:35am

NEW YORK CITY — Thanksgiving usually conjures up images of turkey, cranberry sauce and gravy. But just because it's tradition, you don't have to spend hours laboring over a giant bird for you and your family to enjoy the delicious fare of the holiday.

This dish takes a fresh look at the Thanksgiving meal and reimagines it in a kid-friendly way as a burger and fries, with a grown-up twist.

"Fries" made from vitamin-packed sweet potatoes tossed with garlic, scallions and cilantro are roasted in the oven until crisp. The pickle for the burger ditches the garlic and the dill in favor of rice wine vinegar, a hint of sweetness, spicy red chili and mint. Homemade cranberry sauce, jammed with phytonutrients, is amped up with hoisin, traditionally used in Chinese cooking. And the turkey burger is beefed up with fall spices such as cinnamon and coriander as well as cilantro and garlic.

Kids can help make the burger patties, season the fries and most importantly, dig in.

So enjoy Thanksgiving during the holidays or any time of year.


Ground Turkey (1 package makes four patties)



Fresh Cilantro (bunch)

Scallions (bunch)

Bag of Fresh Cranberries

Hoisin Sauce (small jar)

Sweet Potatoes (2-3)

Olive Oil

Sesame Oil



Rice Wine Vinegar

Red Chili Flakes

White Sugar

Hamburger Buns


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Peel and cut sweet potatoes into 2-inch-long pieces that are about a quarter of an inch thick. (Slice in half lengthwise. Lop off the ends and then slice lengthwise again several times. Then take each of those slices and divide into two or three pieces.)

3. Toss the potatoes with a tablespoon each of olive and sesame oil (or less) to coat and then add the chopped scallions (about 4), cilantro (a few sprigs) and 3 cloves of garlic minced as well as salt and pepper to taste.

4. Spread out on a baking sheet being careful not to crowd (use two sheets if necessary). Bake until crisp, about 30 to 45 minutes, flipping once or twice.

5. Meanwhile, make the pickles by peeling and chopping a cucumber into half-moons (about a quarter inch thick).

6. Toss cucumber with a tablespoon or two of the rice wine vinegar, a teaspoon of chili flakes, a teaspoon of sugar and a few sprigs of fresh mint chopped for color. Set aside.

7. While the cucumbers are marinating, make the cranberry BBQ sauce. Make the cranberry sauce following the instructions on the bag of cranberries and about halfway through cooking time (5 minutes) add two tablespoons of hoisin. Mix well and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature in a bowl.

8. Then prepare the turkey burgers. Put meat, 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, chopped cilantro, a teaspoon of coriander and a half teaspoon of cinnamon in a mixing bowl and combine with salt and pepper.

9. Heat a stainless steel (oven-proof) or cast iron pan on medium heat and then sear burgers for about five minutes on each side.

10. Finish in a 400 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees (that's the only way to know that the burgers are actually done).

11. Toast buns over low to medium heat in a skillet until brown.

12. Spoon the cranberry sauce and pickles on top of the burger and dig in.