Spicy Turkey Bean Burgers

One of the reasons that I love to cook is that it allows me to control what I’m eating. When eating at a restaurant, it is difficult to be sure of the ingredients used when preparing dishes. By cooking at home, I can control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of fat, salt, and sugar that I am cooking with.

These burgers were inspired by a recipe for black bean turkey burgers with guacamole in one of my favorite healthy cookbooks – The Sugar Solution. My recipe has quite a few variations, and makes two burgers instead of four. I also prefer to use pink beans or pinto beans when making the burgers. They blend in with the turkey better and are easier to disguise, which is especially helpful for picky eaters!


  • 1/3 to 1/2 pound lean ground turkey (93% fat free)
  • 1/2 cup pink beans
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs (whole wheat works great)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 small avocado
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 2 tablespoons prepared salsa
  • 2 large lettuce leaves
  • 2 whole wheat rolls


Mash the beans in a small bowl. Combine the beans with the turkey, egg white, bread crumbs, chili powder, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until the ingredients are well combined. Divide the mixture into four equal portions and shape into flat patties.

Cover two of the patties with the pepper jack cheese. Then, top with the remaining two patties, sealing the sides so that the cheese is on the inside of the burger.

Cook the burgers on the grill or in a large skillet until the internal temperature is 165°F.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a small bowl. Add the lime juice and salsa. Season with salt, if desired. Combine all ingredients with a fork.

Split and toast the whole wheat rolls. Top one side of the rolls with the lettuce and burgers. Spread the avocado mixture over the other half of the roll before topping the burgers. Serve with multi-grain tortilla chips and salsa, if desired.

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