by  Patrick James

Hi. I'm really trying to eat healthier, but one of my favorite meals has always been a good burger. I know eating lots of beef isn't that good for you, so I've switched to turkey. But do you have any suggestions for how I can make this chipotle burger recipe healthier? I'd really appreciate any tips you can give me! 

Here are the ingredients I normally use:

  • Ground turkey
  • Chipotle chiles (in adobo)
  • Chopped onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Chopped cilantro 
  • Mozarella cheese and a whole wheat bun


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by  Ida Bodin

Hi Patrick:

What a great idea to make a healthier meal. It seems like the greatest flavor in this burger is coming from the spices and chilis. So, to make it healthy, I would eliminate the Mozarella and try a non dairy substitute. There are a number of them at most stores these days. I like the "Daiya" brand. The other thing is the turkey. The bad news is that it really is not healthier than beef. If you want this to be a healthy meal, I would do a bean burger. There are lots of great recipes for these burgers. Here is one that I like. I would take all of your spices and chiles and herbs, and incorporate them into this mix. Let me know what you think!


  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 ½ cups cooked black beans, or 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • Chipotle seasonings

1. Stir together quinoa and 1 ½ cups water in small saucepan, and season with salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. (You should have 1½ cups cooked quinoa.)

2. Meanwhile, place onion and garlic, in medium nonstick skillet, and cook over medium heat with a bit of vegetable broth. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until onion has softened. Stir in ¾ cup black beans, garlic, seasonings, and 1½ cups water. Simmer 9 to 11 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

3. Transfer bean-onion mixture to food processor, add ¾ cup cooked quinoa, and process until smooth. Transfer to bowl, and stir in remaining ¾ cup quinoa and remaining ¾ cup black beans. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and cool.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F, and generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Shape bean mixture into 8 patties (½ cup each), and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes, or until patties are crisp on top. Flip patties with spatula, and bake 10 minutes more, or until both sides are crisp and brown. Serve on buns.

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by  Patrick James


Thank you so much for your response. I'm excited to try this recipe! I thought turkey was supposed to be a 'leaner' meat. Bummer! Thanks again. 

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