Make: The Most Amazing Turkey Burger You’ll Ever Eat

Bonus: You'll get a veggie serving, too!

Clearly, it’s cookout season. I realized one day last week that I’d eaten three pre-made, generic burger patties over the course of just a few days. Burgers are near and dear to my heart, and I’m all for red meat when the occasion calls, but the “buy in bulk” version with fillers is an easy pass. What if I could suggest an alternative that would give you all of the tastiness of a hamburger for a fraction of the saturated fat, calories, and, for lack of a more grammatically correct word, generic-ness?

Starting with ground turkey as the base (note: ground turkey breast is too lean for this recipe) got me on the right road, but adding some low-calorie, high-moisture zucchini stepped it up a level—in a sense, “growing” my burgers. With a guilt-free but creamy sauce as well as sliced tomato, fresh lettuce and whole wheat pita bread you won’t feel like you’re missing out in the least. This dinner is even toddler approved; I felt a little smug as I watched my two-year-old happily nosh zucchini goodness, blissfully unaware of the hidden veggies.

If you’re making it for just one or two people, the patties will freeze well raw or cooked. Just freeze between sheets of parchment or wax paper, wrapped very well in plastic. I ate the leftover burger broken up over some salad for lunch the next day and the flavors made it seem fresh even on day two!

Turkey Zucchini Burgers

Makes four burgers

For the burgers
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 packed cup grated zucchini, squeezed very dry*
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper

For the sauce
1/4 c. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp. water
Pinch salt

*This was about 1 medium zucchini. Grate it on the largest holes of a cheese grater and then transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Twist it off and squeeze the bejeezus out of it until you can’t get another drop of water—then measure.


1. Combine all burger ingredients in large bowl and divide mixture into four parts. Shape each part into a burger patty and transfer to a plate.

2. Heat grill pan or grill over medium heat. Spray with nonstick spray or brush with about 1 tbsp. olive oil. Lay burgers onto pan and let cook until golden brown. Flip and cook on second side until golden brown.

Per burger (with sauce): 238 calories, 12.4 fat grams (including 3.1 saturated), 82 milligrams cholesterol, 566 milligrams sodium, 7.9 grams carbs, 2.2 grams fiber, 3.1 grams sugar, 26 grams protein.


Becca Boyd is a wife and new mom who creates healthy and delicious recipes in her West Chester kitchen. She blogs about them on her website, Home Beccanomics.