Mar-a-Lago Burgers Recipe

by Cindi Sutter, Founder of The Spirited Table® --- Recipes by Shauna Niequist -- Bread & Wine Adapted from O, The Oprah Magazine

Apparently when Oprah visited Donald Trump at his famous Palm Beach house, Mar-a-Lago, his chef served these amazing turkey burgers. She asked for the recipe because they were the best turkey burgers she’d ever had. And I completely agree with her. I love these burgers.

This ingredient list might put you off, both because it’s a little kooky and because it requires a pretty serious amount of chopping. Do not be deterred. Seriously. Settle in for a nice meditative chopping session, or enlist some pals and pass out the apples, the celery, the scallions—or feel free to use your food processor for chopping. 

This isn’t a recipe you want to start a half hour before friends come over for a barbecue. Make them the night before, and while you’re at it, make a double batch and freeze half. The burgers take a while to assemble, and then they do need to chill for a while. But once they’re assembled and chilling, you’re going to be so happy about your dinner. I promise. 

The secret ingredient in these burgers is mango chutney—I’m a huge mango chutney fan. One of my favorite pre dinner snacks is crackers with sharp white cheddar and mango chutney, and my favorite way to make chicken salad is by mixing diced cooked chicken with cream cheese, mango chutney, and a little curry powder. Trader Joe’s makes a good mango chutney, and most grocery stores carry it in the international/ethnic aisle in the Indian food section—sometimes it’s called Major Grey’s Chutney. When you find it, stock up—get one jar for this recipe, another for chicken salad, and one for serving with cheese and crackers. 

I like these burgers on whole wheat buns, with a slice of Vermont white cheddar and a little bit of special sauce (recipe below).


1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
Olive oil
4 lbs ground turkey breast
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
2 tsp Tabasco
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup mango chutney

Special Sauce
1/2 cup mango chutney
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
2 dashes Tabasco, or to taste


  1. Sauté the scallions, celery, and apples in olive oil until tender. Let cool.
  2. While the mixture is cooling, make the special sauce. Mix chutney, mayonnaise, ketchup, and Tabasco. Adjust for heat and then refrigerate until serving time.
  3. Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into 12 burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. 
  4. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill set to medium-high heat. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes. 

Cook's Note

Makes 12 burgers.