Turkey Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise and Kale Slaw

Turkey burger

You’re all in for a treat as you’re getting three recipes in one post here.  You heard me right, three recipes in one post!  I treat you well, don’t I?  Also, I want to let you know that all three of these recipes can be made ahead of time.  Now, that’s really treating you well.

Lets start the talk with turkey burgers.  To be honest with you, I have never been a big turkey burger fan because most of the ones I’ve tried have either been dry or lacking in the flavor department.  What’s the point of eating a meat burger if it tastes like cardboard? When we do eat a meat burger, we use buffalo meat because it has 70% to 90% less fat compared to beef and 50% less cholesterol.  It’s also higher in protein, iron and all the omega and amino acids, so you actually feel a bit better about eating meat.  Anyway, I decided to give turkey burgers a shot after this recipe from Real Simple magazine jumped out at me.

Turkey burger

This turkey burger is not dry at all and it’s full of flavor.  Now, I must admit that the cilantro-lime mayo and the kale slaw help to knock this burger out of the ballpark.  I have sort of become a cilantro-lime mayo addict lately, which is probably not a good thing.  I have been substituting Greek yogurt in place of the mayo on occasion just to make myself feel a bit better.

Eli is typically not a burger fan at all.  When its burger night at the Grandy house he tends to cringe and sulk, but not when it’s turkey burger night.  He actually loves these burgers and I really think it’s the cilantro-lime mayo that has made the difference.

We like to use these mini brioche buns below for our burgers. They are smaller than a regular burger bun so you don’t have all that extra bun hanging off the side, and they tend to fancy up the burger experience.  I toast them up a bit under the broiler or on the grill.

Mini brioche buns

Turkey burger

Turkey burgers with cilantro-lime mayonnaise and kale slaw

recipe from Real Simple
serves 4

  • 1 pound dark-meat turkey (93 percent lean or less)
  • 2-3 scallions, sliced – I used 3 scallions, one time I even used 4, rebel, I know!
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, leaves pulled off stem and chopped
  • salt and pepper

In a medium bowl, gently combine (with a fork, spatula or gently with your hands) the turkey, scallions, mustard and thyme.

Note:  When you mix your seasonings into the meat, it’s important to remember that the more you handle the meat, and the more you squish it around, the more dense your burger will be. You might also squeeze out some of the juices and end up with a drier burger.

Ingredients for turkey burger

Form the mixture into four patties and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Look there is a daddy burger and next to it is the little bitty Eli burger.

You can make this a make-ahead meal simply by assembling the patties in the morning, and covering and refrigerating them till dinner.

Tip:  use your thumb to create a dimple or well in the center of the patty, as this will ensure the burgers cook evenly without plumping up.  Start cooking the burgers indentation side up.

Formed turkey burgers - raw

You can either grill up the burgers 6 to 8 minutes per side or cook them up in a skillet.  If you’re going to cook them up in a skillet then heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the patties until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side.

Tip: Don’t press down on the patties when you grill them, or you will squeeze out and loose the flavorful juices.

Cilantro-lime mayonnaise

makes enough for 4 burgers

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise – regular mayo not miracle whip
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

This mayo has a bit of a kick to it and I have been using it on tons of sandwich recipes.

Anyway, I really think this mayo has helped Eli to become a turkey burger fan.

Ingredients for cilantro lime mayonnaise

In a small bowl or ramekin, whisk together the mayonnaise, minced cilantro, lime juice and garlic until combined.

Cilantro lime mayonnaise

Yep, that is all there is to it.  Refrigerate mayo until needed.  This mayo can even be made a day ahead of time.

Cilantro lime mayonnaise

Creamy kale slaw

recipe adapted from Real Simple

makes enough for 4 burgers

  • 3-4 lacinato kale leaves (depends on size), washed, de-stemmed & thinly sliced – the original recipe called for 2 romaine lettuce leaves, but I only had kale on hand so I used that instead and loved it.
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise – regular not miracle whip
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Ingredients for creamy kale slaw

In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the sliced kale and grated carrot and toss to coat.

Refrigerate slaw until needed.

Creamy kale slaw

Creamy kale slaw

Get out your toasted buns, dab some cilantro-lime mayo on the bottom, put your burger on next and then top it with the kale slaw.

We tend to pair our burgers with just a side vegetable or kale chips as the burgers are filling enough.

Turkey burger

Like turkey burgers?  Then you need to try our favorite turkey burger.  It’s the bomb!

If you’re not a fan of meat burgers, then try my chickpea burgers.

They are just as satisfying as any meat burger in my opinion!

With love Jackie

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20 thoughts on “Turkey Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise and Kale Slaw”

  1. Kale slaw! You are the kale queen! 🙂 Those burgers look so wonderfully summery. Hope you’re enjoying the fabulous weather. Things have been super-busy around here but once they settle down in the next few weeks, it would be nice to meet up for a hike, maybe in your neck of the woods! 🙂

    1. Hi Andrea! I know, I am a bit kale obsessed and just wait to you see my new post titled, “What I ate last week.” I think my kale salad is just about in every photo.

      I would love to hike one morning. I have a beautiful hike that I do in Madrone Canyon up and around King Mountain. It’s a bit busy here with the kids winding down at school but maybe we can fit one in before they get out for the summer. The best days for me are Fridays. I can also hike on the weekends once lax and baseball are over in June.

      Cheers Andrea!

  2. You know I LOVE both of those ideas!

    I also love the Kale slaw idea.. for all my heathy interests I had never even thought of such a thing. You know how much I love red cabbage slaw but Im definitely going to throw some kale in there next time.

    I also love turkey burgers and always have. However, Louis and I are actually having a ‘perfecting the veggie burger week this week.. we’ve had a few experiments but I really want to get it totally bang on before I share. Anyways we’ll be using elements of your chickpea burger in our next version, since I know much you love it.

    SO looking forward to Thursday. Louis and I also went to this great place for brunch on Sunday.. out in Napa but only like an hours drive and a fixed price buffet that is cheaper for kids, and totally kid friendly as a place. Plus has oysters and smoked salmon for the grown ups! Food for thought for the future maybe!?

    1. Hi Em! The kale slaw has mayo in it so it’s not as healthy as it sounds. I am sure you could substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo in both and have a winner. I can’t wait to see your veggie burger creation. I really want to make one with lentils next and there is this fabulous one that I get in the city at this organic cafe that uses beets. Unbelievable! I think a friend of mine actually has the recipe for that one.

      Your find in Napa sounds great. What is the name of the place?

  3. The uncooked patties already looked perfect. I love these grilled, of course. Brings out the flavor. Indeed, this post is a winner. I will have to try everything. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Knowing that turkey mince is always good in its fat content, I’ve tried cooking turkey mince several times but they all failed because my family hate the toughness of this meat. Got to try your recipe and I think they will like this burger 😀

    When I was back from my holidays, I was “shocked” to be using the newer version of blogger. I had resisted the new version previously and now I was sort of forced to accept this new version with no choices of going back. I guess the conversion might change a little configuration of our accounts… and I’m guessing this might be the reason that my blog is not showing on your feeds… hope everything will be ok if there is any future improvement.

    PS. The Barefoot Contessa is really good. Thanks for the recommendation. I made this cake without coffee so that my son can eat this cake without us worrying about the caffeine content in this cake. We want our sanity and sleep…LOL! You know.

    1. Hi Zoe! It always feels strange writing your name as I feel like I am writing to my daughter. We have never been turkey burger fans either till this recipe. I think with Turkey you need to add things to it and have some flavorful condiments on the side.

      I am so glad you are loving Barefoot. She is well loved here in the US and has had her own show for years. I love watching her as she is always so relaxed when cooking and she makes it look like the easiest thing in the world.
      BTW, you can always use decaf coffee in the cake. I know decaf has some caffeine in it, but not enough to bother your son I don’t think. I use strong coffee in the cake and it has not affected my kids, or at least I don’t think it has. Anyway, maybe when he is a wee bit older you can try it with the coffee.

      I still need to make and post another barefoot recipe. Maybe I will make the coconut cake for John’s birthday which is at the end of the month! That is his favorite cake!

  5. My kids have been asking for burgers lately. I have the ground beef lately but I am going to make your burgers with the mayo and kale ‘slaw’ this weekend. It all looks so delicious. What a find with those brioche buns….anything with the word brioche gets my attention.

  6. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog while googling for ideas on kale. I just made kale slaw for the first time after seeing it, and getting drawn in by the dark green and bright orange, so beautiful. I also made my first kale pesto with pine nuts and Laughing Cow light Swiss cheese. I’m thinking of adding a few little touches next time, as I’m feeling a little adventurous. Meanwhile, I love these recipes. I make turkey burgers all the time, as I save my red meat allotment for steak, and buffalo meat is not an option for my circumstances (though I am intrigued after reading your blog).
    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!

  7. My mom and I made these last weekend and they were delicious. We changed 1 thing by accident but they still came out great! I’m sharing the recipe on my blog on Thursday. We’ll definitely be making these for a long time!

    1. Hi Kelli! I’m so happy that you and your mom enjoyed these burgers and I can’t wait to see your post and what you added to them. 😉 xoxo, Jackie

  8. Omgoodness — this recipe was a lifesaver! I had so much kale and cilantro I needed to use up and my burger craving was starting to get out of control. I posted my experience with it on my blog and made sure to link back to the original. Thank you for such a delish dish!

    1. Hi Minnie! I’m SO happy that you loved these burgers. They’re our favorite! I can’t wait to stop by your blog and check out your post! 🙂 xoxo, Jackie

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