Thanksgiving Burger With Pulled Turkey, Candied Yams & Pumpkin Buns

Thanksgiving is the best. It's a holiday everyone actually really loves, and that enthusiasm is mostly thanks to the amazing food that's served every year. If you have a hankering for a traditional Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings but can't or don't want to invest the time and effort that goes into all the meal prep and cleanup, this recipe is literally going to rock your world! We're talking Thanksgiving burgers with pulled turkey, candied yams, and pumpkin buns – and don't worry, we didn't forget the cranberry sauce!

You'll Need (for 4):

For the pulled turkey:

  • 1 skinless turkey leg
  • 1¼ cups apple juice
  • 32 fl oz turkey or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp minced onion

For the pumpkin buns:

  • 10 oz pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 3⅓ cups flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • whisked egg, milk & water for the egg wash

For the candied yams:

  • 1 sweet potato or yam
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


  • mayonnaise
  • cranberry sauce
  • lettuce
  • cheese
  • black sesame seeds

Here's How:

1. First prepare the marinade for the turkey leg. Combine the tomato paste, soy sauce, salt, crushed red pepper, maple syrup, and minced onion and rub the marinade into the turkey leg. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Turkey Leg Rub

2. Heat some cooking oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sear the marinated turkey leg on all sides and add the turkey broth and apple juice. Cover the pot with a lid and let the meat simmer over low heat for about 2½ hours. Then remove the bone from the meat and let the gravy cook down a bit.

Roasted Turkey Leg

3. Now it's time to get started on the pumpkin buns. Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and put them in a sieve. Place the sieve in a pot filled with water over medium heat and steam the pumpkin for about 15 minutes.

Cubed Pumpkin

4. Add the cooked pumpkin to a bowl and mash it. Add the egg, sugar, yeast, and salt and mix everything until the yeast has completely dissolved. Add the flour and start kneading the dough. Add the vegetable oil at the end and continue to knead everything until a smooth dough forms. Cover the dough and let it rest until it's doubled in size.

Pumpkin Bread

5. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape them into buns. Place the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover them, and let them rise for another hour. Brush the egg wash over all the buns and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top of 4 of the buns (these will be the top buns). Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes in a preheated oven.

Pumpkin Buns

6. Now get started on the candied yams. Peel the sweet potato and cut it into thin slices. Lightly sauté the slices in butter over medium heat and sprinkle in the brown sugar to caramelize them on both sides. Add the cinnamon sticks and orange juice and cook until soft and tender. Cover the pan with a lid, let the sauce boil down, and season with salt.

Candied Yams

7. Now you can assemble the Thanksgiving burger. First mix some cranberry sauce into a bit of mayonnaise. Cut open the burger buns, spread the cranberry mayo on the bottom half, and top with lettuce and some of the pulled turkey. Add a spoonful of the gravy and 1-2 candied yams on top. Finish off your Thanksgiving burger with a slice of cheese, more cranberry sauce, and the top bun and serve with sweet potato fries.

Thanksgiving Burger With Pulled Turkey, Candied Yams, And Pumpkin Buns

This is the perfect representation of all your favorite Thanksgiving favorites, coming at you in the form of a truly mouthwatering burger. The combination of so many delicious flavors is just unbeatable, and this recipe is easy enough to pull off even if you're super busy or just don't want to spend all day in the kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving!

Get the recipe for the Jalapeño Turkey Burger featured in the bonus video.


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