Turkey & Spinach Burgers #FoodnFlix

It’s time for July Food n’ Flix!  In this club, bloggers watch the selected movie, make something inspired by the film and share it!  It’s early in the month, so you still have plenty of time to join in the fun!  This month’s movie is the 1980 film, Popeye, hosted by Elizabeth at The Lawyer’s Cookbook.

I used to watch the Popeye cartoons with my dad when I was little, but had no idea it had been made into a movie (before I was born!)

Overall, it was a very enjoyable movie.  I wasn’t impressed with the overarching storyline, but I think it’s difficult to translate a short cartoon into a feature length movie. 

What I did love was the characterization.  That characters were perfectly cast and the actors were able to preserve the slapstick comedy and personalities of the characters – it was just like watching the cartoon and I was super impressed that they were able to pull it off with live actors. 

I also adored the musical numbers.  I felt like that’s when the actors/directors were able to really let loose and enjoy the characters instead of focusing on the trite storyline.

With a movie like Popeye, some food inspiration is obvious: spinach (though it surprisingly didn’t show up until very late in the film), hamburgers, and olive oil/olives. 

At one point (during a musical number, while Bluto is being jilted by Olive Oyl), a tray of sliders topped with olives are passed around.  I knew, immediately, that I had found my inspiration!

While there were a few other foods seen in the background, I decided to combine the three big ones into one dish for my recipe. 

So I make Turkey Spinach Burgers topped with Olives as a nod to Popeye, Wimpy, and Olive Oyl – the classics!

I chose to use turkey instead of beef in my burgers, because I thought it would complement the spinach (and it did!)  I also added in a few roasted peppers I had in the refrigerator to add a little bite.  Hubs & I topped the burgers with pepper jack cheese and it made the perfect burger!

Even the kids ate their burgers without complaint (and without the cheese).  The leftovers were chopped up and made into a delicious hash the next day – yum!

Recipe Note:
-I had some leftover roasted poblano peppers from my squash blossom quesadillas.  If you don’t want to roast poblanos (often mis-labeled as pasilla peppers in the US), use mild diced green chilis instead.

Turkey & Spinach Burgers

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup onion, diced
2 tbsp roasted poblano pepper, diced (see note)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oz fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
Salt & pepper

20 oz lean ground turkey
1 egg
¼ cup bread crumbs
Salt & pepper

6 slices pepper jack cheese
Olives, optional

Heat the oil in a large rimmed skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and reduce to medium-low.  Cook until the onions are softened.

Stir in the roasted peppers, garlic, and spinach.  Cook until the garlic is fragrant and the spinach is wilted.  Season with salt & pepper.  Set aside and cool to room temperature.

Place the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, spinach mixture and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Mix together until thoroughly combined.  Shape into 6 patties.

Cook on an outdoor grill or skillet until well-done.  Add the cheese and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. 

Lightly toast the rolls on the grill, add the cheesy burgers and top with olives, if desired.

Want more?  Try these recipes!

Firecracker Ranch Burgers


Breakfast Burgers

CopyCat Mc10:35


  1. I really loved Popeye cartoons as a kid, too...but I've never watched this movie all the way through. Your burgers sound absolutely delicious, love the inspiration!

  2. I saw this movie when it first came out. My kids were just babes. I am looking forward to watching it again. Great food choice!!!

  3. I LOVE your recipe though my family was not that enthralled with the movie. I can't wait to try these burgers. Great recipe, Amy.

  4. Good route to go with. I have to say, as much as I disliked this movie, I love that burger idea. - Kimberly (Coffee and Casseroles)

  5. I would love this with green chilis. It is a really beautiful burger. You styled it really well.

  6. Now that is a great burger and wow on the melted pepper jack cheese!

  7. Such a great little slider--good inspiration and I love all that melty cheesy goodness too! ;-)


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