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straight on shot of a shawarma turkey burger, fully dressed with halloumi, slaw, cucumber, and radishes on a sourdough bun

Shawarma Turkey Burgers with Fried Halloumi + Tahini Yogurt Fennel Slaw

  • Author: Allison
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 servings 1x


Shawarma turkey burgers with tahini yogurt fennel cabbage slaw feature wholesome, simple shawarma-spiced turkey patties topped with fried halloumi and a simple cabbage fennel slaw dressed with lemon tahini yogurt sauce. An awesome summer burger that’s just a touch more special than the average turkey burger, but surprisingly easy to make. So skip those store-bought, pre-made patties and make these instead!



Shawarma Turkey Burgers

  • 1 pound (454 grams) lean or extra lean organic ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 large organic egg, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats, ground into a coarse flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint or cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shawarma spice (recipe follows, or use store-bought)

Cabbage Fennel Dill Slaw

  • 1 medium head of green cabbage, shredded (I use the grater attachment on my food processor)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped (use only the bulb, not the stems)
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice and zest of 1 large organic lemon (1/4 cup lemon juice)
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 13 teaspoons raw honey, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons water

For Serving

  • Fried halloumi (see note for instructions)
  • Quick pickled onions (see note)
  • Sliced radishes and cucumber
  • Microgreens
  • Your favourite burger buns, sliced in half (I recommend something good quality here; I like the organic sourdough buns from Whole Foods)
  • Any other condiments you like, such as dijon mustard


  1. Make the burgers: In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey or chicken, egg, oat flour, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, mint, onion, garlic, and shawarma spice. Form into 4 or 5 patties. Warm 1/2 a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 or 3 patties, being careful not to over-crowd them in the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the patties, until cooked through. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and cook the last two or three patties. Right before serving, return them to the skillet, top each with a couple slices of fried halloumi, and warm over low heat.
  2. Make the slaw: Combine the cabbage, fennel, dill, and green onions in a bowl. In a food processor (or simply in a bowl), combine the Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt, pepper, honey, and water. Process or whisk until smooth and pour over the vegetables. Toss so that everything gets coated with dressing.
  3. Assemble the burgers: Toast the buns, if desired. Add a turkey patty, sliced radishes and cucumber, slaw, and any other condiments (I like dijon mustard). Enjoy more slaw on the side; it makes quite a lot! Eat!


Shawarma Spice: Mix together 1 tbsp ground black pepper, 1 tbsp allspice, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1/2 tbsp cloves, 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tbsp nutmeg, 1/2 tbsp cardamom, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp oregano, and 1 tsp salt. Store leftover spice mix in an airtight jar.

Fried Halloumi: Slice a 250-gram block of halloumi cheese into 1/4-inch slices. Warm a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the halloumi, being careful not to over-crowd, and fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until browned. You’ll have extra fried halloumi; store in a container in the fridge and enjoy as a snack- it’s even delicious cold!

Quick Pickled Onions: Slice a red onion and place in a 16-oz heatproof glass jar. Combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon cane sugar, and 3/4 teaspoon sea salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour over the sliced onion and wait at least 30 minutes before enjoying. Quick pickled onions keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for at least a week.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: shawarma turkey burgers and slaw