Grilled Turkey Burger

Healthy Living, Recipes


This burger is so packed with flavor you’ll never miss the beef. Stuffed with mushrooms and topped with Swiss cheese, this turkey meat loaf burger recipe will become a family favorite.

The food label can be confusing for many of us who are watching what we eat. From calories to grams to percentages and even the order of ingredients, there is so much information that it can be overwhelming. The food label is changing, however: the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on the new guidelines now, and it is anticipated that the new label format will make it easier for consumers to understand.

In the meantime, I brought this issue to light upon reading the recipe ingredients: the “Lean Ground Turkey Breast” jumped out at me. With so many choices at the supermarket, what does that labeling mean? Are all “ground turkey” packages the same? In this case, yes, because our recipe specifies using ground turkey breast.

If a ground poultry product specifies a muscle group or particular area of the bird, that is what has to be in the product-and only that. So when you buy ground turkey vs. ground turkey breast, you know that with the latter, you’re only getting breast meat. Breast meat is going to be a more of the muscle flesh of the bird and leaner than say, ground turkey that may have darker meat or skin ground into it as well.

The term lean, when used on a package of meat, has to also have the percentage identified on the package. There are varying degrees of percent lean and percent fat, so the more lean your meat is, the higher the first number would be and the lower the second number. Visually, it looks like this: % lean/% fat, or for example, 80/20. Since this recipe doesn’t specify a percentage, your best bet is to find a package that specifies only the breast is used, has a high lean and low fat ratio on the label or ask your butcher to grind lean turkey breast for you.

Theresa Jackson RD, CSOWM, CDN

Clinical Nutrition Manager, Kenmore Mercy Hospital


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cups white button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • 1 slice of white bread cut into cubes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey breast
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 10 reduced-fat Swiss cheese (1 oz each)
  • 10 light whole wheat Kaiser rolls (2 oz each)


In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until browned.

Add onion, garlic, tomato and bread cubes, and cook until onion is softened and mixture is combined well, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and chill, covered, for 20 minutes or until completely cooled.

In a small bowl, combine eggs, basil and parsley, and whisk until beaten well. In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg mixture, mushroom mixture, lemon juice, pepper and salt, and stir to combine well. Form 10 patties, transfer to a plate and chill, covered, for 30 minutes.

Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray and preheat the grill. Grill burgers for 6 minutes with grill lid open. Turn burgers, add a slice of cheese to each burger, and close grill lid. Grill for 6 minutes more, or until meat is no longer pink. Serve on rolls with sliced lettuce, tomato and red onion for garnish, if desired.

Yield: 10 servings

Heart Healthy Recipe
Diabetes Recipe

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 burger

Calories: 364

Sodium: 482mg

Fat: 7g

Carbohydrates: 35g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Fiber: 2g

Cholesterol: 99mg

Protein: 39g

* Nutritional information is based on ingredients listed and serving size; any additions or substitutions to ingredients may alter the recipe’s nutritional content

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No information provided in any recipe and/or other product or service is a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be interpreted as treatment recommendations. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN OR OTHER QUALIFIED HEALTH PROVIDER WITH ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING A MEDICAL CONDITION.