A yogurt-based sauce dribbles down the side of a miniature turkey burger.

‘Punny’ name, great taste

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the “SpartanBurger Regional!”

Sure, it’s a “punny” name … but the taste is nothing short of heavenly. It is Spartanburg Regional’s entry into the 2018 Cribbs Kitchen Burger Cook-Off.

The fundraiser benefits Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas.

“It’s a great cause, and it’s one of several reasons we entered,” team captain Sarah Howell said. “We also wanted to show that burgers can be healthier than what everyone is used to eating, too.”

The SpartanBurger Regional team’s recipe includes lean turkey with several spices that create a Middle Eastern flavor. Howell said the recipe was influenced by shawarma, a Middle Eastern way of preparing several kinds of meat.

The burger will be competing against 14 other entries in an event scheduled from 2 – 8 p.m. at the corner of West Main Street and Daniel Morgan Avenue in Spartanburg (the location of Cribbs Kitchen).

The Spartanburg Regional team is comprised of Howell, Alan Jenkins and chefs Bill Zabala and Rob Ashmore.

Win or lose, Howell said she hopes everyone has a good time at the cook-off.

“It’s going to be lots of fun,” Howell said. “I hope everybody brings their appetites!”

Middle Eastern turkey burger

1 lb

ground turkey

1 1/2  tsp. 

ground cumin

1 1/2  tsp. 

ground coriander

1 tsp. 


1/2 tsp.


1/2 tsp. 


1/2 tsp. 

salt (or to taste)

1/2 tsp. 

black pepper (or to taste)

2 cloves

minced garlic

1/4 cup

minced red onion

1/4 cup

feta crumbles 

1 tbsp.

Canola oil

Yogurt Sauce


1 cup

Greek yogurt

2 cloves

minced garlic

1 1/2 tbsp.

lemon juice

To taste

Salt & pepper



Slice cucumber (preferably English cucumber)


Sliced tomatoes


Thin sliced red onion


Baby spinach




Grilled pita bread



For the yogurt sauce

Mix the Greek yogurt together with the lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Set to the side to allow the flavors to marry while you make the burgers.

For the burgers

Thoroughly mix the ground turkey, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, ginger, salt and pepper, garlic, red onion and feta together in a large bowl. Form into 4 patties about 1/2-inch thick. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the patties to the pan and cook approximately 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Do not serve undercooked turkey!

Serve the turkey burgers on grilled pita with yogurt sauce, cucumber, tomato, sliced red onion and spinach.