Savor the flavor of the Florida Keys with this Key West Surf and Turf Burger. It's a ground beef patty grilled to perfection, topped with shrimp, and piled high with key lime salsa. Bring a little bit of paradise to your next BBQ with this quick and easy recipe.
Surf and Turf Burger with Shrimp and Salsa
Who doesn't love a good burger? And one that brings the feeling of the tropics to the table is even better. I don't know about you but there's just something about a tasty burger served hot off the grill topped with smoky shrimp that gets my tastebuds going.
When you think of surf and turf you probably think of steak and lobster or steak and scallops but, when you don't want something so fancy, reach for this unique surf and turf burger with shrimp combo. It gives you all the land and seafood flavor you love in your favorite form.
Not only that, this surf and turf recipe is totally scrumptious and super easy to put together too. This Key West Burger is taken up a notch with a touch of key lime juice which offers a wonderful tropical, zesty flavor that complements rather than overpowers the taste of the burger itself.
Now to make this a true surf and turf recipe, the Key West burger is topped with Key West's favorite seafood, Key West pinks. (aka shrimp to you landlubbers) which grill up perfectly on the burger.
What is Special about Key Lime?
Key Limes are smaller than the Persian limes usually sold in the stores and tend to be tarter and more aromatic. They are one of Key West chefs' favorite ingredients. Key limes are also versatile and can be added to just about any kind of dish from desserts like Key Lime Pie, to cocktails such as Key Lime Martinis, to dinners like Key West Style Striped Sea Bass and this awesome surf and turf burger.
Key lime salsa offers this smoky grilled burger a topping that is cool and refreshing and perfect for summer BBQs.
Why You'll Love This Burger with Shrimp on Top
- It's a two-fer! You get turf, in the form of a moist & deliciously grilled burger, as well as surf - two perfectly smoked shrimp.
- Quick and easy - ready in 30 minutes!
- Fresh tropical burger salsa! - adds a cool, refreshing topping to this meaty burger.
- Juicy moist burger - and who doesn't love a good burger!
Surf and Turf Ingredients
For the burger:
- Ground Beef Chuck - a full-flavored meat with just enough fat to keep the burger juicy.
- Key Lime Juice - adds zestiness. If you can't find key limes I recommend Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice. I found it is the closest to the real thing.
- Salt - enhances all the flavors
- Ground black pepper - gives a bit of zing to the mix
- Medium shrimp, shelled & deveined - you can use whatever size you can find but you want to fit at least two of them on each hamburger.
- Hamburger buns - fresh are best. Of course, you can always serve these surf and turf burgers without the bun, with a wrap or even lettuce leaves for a low carb option.
For the burger salsa topping:
- Red Onion
- Jalapeno Pepper
- Orange Zest
- Key Lime Juice
How to Make Grilled Surf and Turf Burgers
- Place the ground chuck into a medium-sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add key lime juice.
- Combine with your fingers until just mixed. You do not want to overmix or the burger will be tough with a firm compact texture.
- Form burgers. All you'll need are just a few pats then press in the shrimp.
- Grill on a preheated grill for 8-12 minutes depending on how well you like your burgers cooked. I like to grill the shrimp side down first.
- Beautifully grilled burgers with shrimp ready for their toasted bun.
How to Make Cilantro Lime Salsa with Avocado
- Place all chopped veggies, avocado and orange zest in a small bowl.
- Drizzle with key lime juice.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- Toss to coat then refrigerate for several hours in order to marry the flavors.
When ready to serve dinner, pile the salsa on top of each perfectly grilled burger and serve the remainder on the side.
Now dig in! I swear each bite will take you away to "cheeseburger" paradise (well to be technical hamburger paradise). These surf and turf burgers are mouthwateringly juicy, flavorful, and hard to put down. They really are the perfect burgers for summer. Enjoy!
Wine for Surf and Turf
The best surf and turf wine pairing is Pinot Noir. It goes well with red meat and will not overpower the seafood.
What to Serve with Surf and Turf
Want to make a complete surf and turf dinner? Here are some great appetizers, sides, and cocktails to serve with this grilled burger topped with shrimp and salsa:
- Key Lime Colada to complement the key lime in the burger and salsa.
- Pink Lemonade Cocktail is great with the pink shrimp on the burger.
- Smoked Fish Dip for a smoky seafood start to the grilled meal.
- Homemade Tortilla Chips for dipping in salsa served on the side.
- Grilled Broccoli with garlic topped with Parmesan.
- Honeydew Peach Salad for a light and fruity side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Surf and turf is a main dish with a combination of seafood (surf) and red meat (turf). Popular combinations are steak and lobster or shrimp.
No! Both shrimp and scallops pair nicely with steak.
Key West Surf and Turf Burger with Cilantro Lime Salsa
- ¾ cup tomatoes, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, minced
- ½ avocado, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon key lime juice
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt to taste
- 1 ¼ lb. ground chuck
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Nellie & Joe's key lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 medium shrimp, shelled & deveined
- 4 hamburger buns
- Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours to let the flavors blend.
- Mix ground beef, key lime juice, salt and pepper together.
- Form into 4 patties.
- Press 2 shrimp into the top of each burger.
- Preheat grill to medium-high.
- Grill burgers for 8-12 minutes, depending on preferred doneness, turning halfway through.
- During the last 5 minutes, place halved buns on grill until toasted. Watch carefully as they toast very quickly.
- Place a burger on each bun and top with key lime salsa. Serve remaining salsa on the side.
This post has been updated with new photos and step-by-step directions. It was first posted on July 2, 2017.