Saturday, January 5, 2013

Turkey Chili Cheese Burger on Buttery Pretzel Bun


In my previous post about Chili I discussed my love of chili burgers from Tommy's World Famous in California. Well today, we are going to recreate burger genius

I decided to use turkey chili and turkey burger meat, believe me, you want be able to tell this is not beef. This burger is so juicy and flavorful, when you taste it you will agree.

You get four turkey burgers by using a 3/4 cup dry measuring cup, stuff it with burger meat and then place them onto a platter.

Using the palm of your hand flatten each burger to get a perfectly round burger. Sprinkle extra creole seasoning on top and refrigerate until ready to cook.

For those who say BUNS DON'T MATTER, they lie! It does not matter how good your burger meat is seasoned, rather or not you have the best cheese in the world. You could have ground Kobe Beef  and it would not matter if your burger bun is mediocre. 

If you want to create burger genius you must, I repeat, you must use an excellent bun. You wonder how do you get an excellent burger bun?

Well you have two options, option 1: purchase buns from a bakery made fresh daily. Option 2: make them yourself. 

Today I chose option 2. Let the bread baking begin! After allowing my kneaded bread to rest for 30 minutes. I roll the bread into a big ball and cut it into four pieces for four burger buns.

The bread is then rolled into four baseball size balls and allowed to rest an additional 5 minutes. After 5 minutes take the palm of your hand and flatten the balls into round disk.

Take the disk and place them in the room temperature soda water and baste for 2 minutes.

 After baking the bread at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, baste with butter.

These pretzel buns are excellent because they can hold up to all the chili goodness that we are about to put on them.

All I can say about this burger is, if you don't make this ASAP you are missing out on pure burger greatness!

Chili Cheese Burger

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Burgers


1 lb. ground turkey
2 c. turkey chili
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. creole seasoning divided
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 c. minced red onion
1/4 c. cold water
4 slices cheddar cheese
4 pretzel buns (recipe below)
extra virgin olive oil


In a medium bowl add ground turkey, all the seasonings (minus one teaspoon of creole seasonings), minced onion and cold water. Save the remaining teaspoon of creole seasoning to sprinkle on top of burgers before cooking.

Mix burger meat well but do not over mix. The cold water will help keep the burgers moist.

Using a 3/4 cup measuring cup fill with burger mixture and shake measured burger meat onto a large plate, with the palm of your hand flatten out burger mixture and you will have a perfectly round burger.

Season top of burger with remaining creole seasoning.

In a cast iron skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook burgers 7-8 minutes per side.

Top burgers with cheese, allow to melt slightly then assemble burgers.

Split pretzel rolls in half, lightly butter both sides of bun and in a warm skillet toast buns about 2-3 minutes.

Top toasted bun with chili, burger and more chili if you desire. Serve warm.

Pretzel Buns
adapted from King Arthur Flour

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4


2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 c. warm water
salt to top (optional)

soaking bath:

2 tbsp. baking soda
1 c. boiling water.


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a mixer with a dough attachment, mix all ingredients well then knead for 5 minutes. Place dough in a lightly floured freezer bag and allow dough to rest 30 minutes.

Mix baking soda with boiling water in a large flat bowl allow to cool while dough rest.

Remove dough from bag and on a lightly greased surface roll dough into a ball. Cut dough into four pieces, allow to rest 5 minutes.

Roll pieces of dough into a ball and allow to rest 5 more minutes.

Take the palm of your hand and flatten dough into a disk.

Add all 4 buns to the soaking bath and baste the buns for two minutes with soaking liquid.

Remove buns from soaking liquid and place on a greased baking sheet, slit an X on each bun with a sharp knife and allow to buns to rest for 10 minutes.

Bake pretzel buns at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, remove from oven and baste with as much butter as you like.


  1. Those buns - are gorgeous! I happen to have some dough rising right now :) I am loving all your bread posts, so much!

    1. Thanks Averie, I am really enjoying making bread. The process is so simple to enjoy something that taste so good.


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I must confess I love great food. I decided to create The Creole Contessa blog after cooking and eating a great meal with my family Big Goo the hubby of almost twenty years and my lil’ Contessa Summer aka “Baby Girl." I told Big Goo and Baby Girl, it is just not fair to not share these great recipes with the world; and the Creole Contessa blog was born.

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