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Champ's Maple BBQ Turkey Burgers

“I chose this recipe because it uses ingredients that Vermont is known for. Some of my favorite Vermont products are apples, maple syrup, and cheese,” says Colin. “Champ is the mascot of our local baseball team. He is active and fun and I bet he would love this burger! I bet he would also be happy that so many fruits and vegetables are hidden in the burger. I love to eat this with fresh apple slices or baked sweet potato French fries.” - Colin Hurliman, age 9, Vermont

Makes 8 servings


For the barbecue sauce:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (optional)

For the burgers:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 medium stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

To serve:

  • 8 whole-grain buns, cheddar cheese (1/2 ounce per burger), lettuce, and pickles


Make the barbecue sauce:

  1. Spray a sauté pan with cooking spray and place over moderate heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, ketchup, apple cider, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar (if using) and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Pour sauce through a sieve or strainer to remove any onion pieces and discard the onion.

Make the burgers:

  1. Spray a medium nonstick sauté pan with cooking spray and place over moderate heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the vegetables cool.
  2. Once the vegetables are cool, transfer to a large bowl. Add the ground turkey, apple, egg, and bread crumbs and stir until well combined. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts and form each one into a ball. Using the palm of your hand, gently flatten each ball into a patty.
  3. Heat a grill or sauté pan and cook the burgers, flipping once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time, top each burger with cheddar cheese and let the cheese melt.
  4. To serve, spread 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce on each bun. Add the burger, top with lettuce and pickles, and serve with sliced apples. Enjoy!

384 calories; 28g protein; 39g carbohydrates; 14g fat (7g saturated fat); 786mg sodium

More information about the Kids' State Dinner:

  • Check out the other winning 2013 Kids' State Dinner Recipes here.
  • Learn more about Kids' State Dinner here.