Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

Hawaiian Turkey Burger made with coconut amigos and pineapple juice for that island flavor!

*Note: I have recently learned that letting ground meat marinate in fresh pineapple juice too long completely breaks down the connective tissues, leaving you with mush. Make sure to only marinate these patties for the time listed if using fresh juice. Canned juice should not have the same effect.

These Hawaiian Turkey Burgers are my version of the teriyaki pineapple burgers we used to enjoy prior to understanding that “teriyaki” meant soy and sugar. Instead, I use a combination of pineapple juice and coconut aminos to flavor the patties, and top them with grilled pineapple and a mango salsa.

If you're not familiar with them, coconut aminos are a gluten/soy/grain free soy sauce substitute that is made from the sap of a palm tree and mixed with sea salt. Although they are made from “sugar,” they are fermented and the sugar from the sap is used up in the process. Because of this, they have a low glycemic index and are low in carbohydrates, which means that consuming them doesn't give your blood a big glucose spike. The flavor is unique and isn't quite a true match for soy sauce, but it does the trick when you don't have any other alternatives.

The verdict is still out as to whether coconut aminos are SCD legal or not. To make the coconut aminos, the sap is fermented, so much (if not all) of the sugar has been utilized in the fermenting process and is no longer present. It's unfortunate that people following a strict SCD protocol have no one to help keep the book updated with things that are prevalent now and weren't available back when the book was written in the 90's. I find it odd that the book/website hasn't even been updated with the importance of organic produce or grassfed meat! That being said, if you do follow SCD to a tee, keep in mind that the book doesn't veto or give the thumbs up to coconut aminos. You can add a little extra sea salt to the burgers if you decide you'd like to omit them.

Paleo/Primal people – have at them! Mark Sisson did a little blurb on them in his “Is It Primal” series and seems all is well in caveman land! We enjoy a lot of Asian food, so I personally use them all the time. Especially in all of my Thai Dishes.

Hawaiian Turkey Burgers



Cuisine: American

Category: Dinner

PREP TIME: 40 mins

COOK TIME: 9 mins TOTAL TIME: 49 mins


  • ⅓ cup pineapple juice
  • 2½ tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit for nightshade free)
  • 3 pounds ground turkey, dark meat
  • 1 pineapple


  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup baby tomatoes (sub papaya for nightshade free)
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Mix together the pineapple juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, salt and red pepper flakes. Add the ground turkey and knead the sauce in with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine all of the salsa ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until roughly chopped. Refrigerate to let the flavors meld while you wait for the meat to marinate.
  3. Peel, core, and slice the pineapple into rounds. You will only need 6 slices, so keep the rest in the fridge to snack on!
  4. Preheat a grill to medium heat. Form patties with your hands from the marinated turkey meat.
  5. Grill the patties for 4-5 minutes on each side, until they have an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.
  6. Remove the patties and tent loosely with foil while you grill the pineapple.
  7. Grill the pineapple rounds for 1 minute on each side.
  8. Serve the burgers over lettuce (or on my Grain-free Buns) topped with Mango Salsa and a piece of grilled pineapple.

Keywords: dairy free, egg free, gluten free, main dish, paleo, scd, soy free