Healthy Spinach Turkey Burgers with Gouda

Turkey burger lunch

It’s funny, although I love healthy eating and am not a big sandwich fan, sometimes during the week, especially at lunch, I get a solid craving for a thick, juicy burger. I usually try to ignore it and satisfy myself with whatever nutritious lunch I packed that day, but over time the itch gets so unbearable that I usually end up breaking and splurge on a greasy burger laden with mushrooms and bacon and cheese and all sorts of other glorious things. Yes, I’m weak. But the first step is acceptance. 🙂 Well, this week I decided that all of that was going to be different. This week, I would still pack healthy lunches, but would also ease my burger craving before it even came to destroy me.

-Enter the turkey burger.- I found in my research that apparently most people are turned off of turkey burgers because they’re either too dry or not flavorful enough. So, of course, I was determined to make turkey burgers that were neither, but still were really healthy. And I was really excited about the prospect, because turkey is a super healthy food that I don’t get nearly enough of!

Not only are these burgers healthy because they’re made of lean turkey instead of beef, they get an extra nutritious boost from the probiotic Greek yogurt I used in place of an egg (of course, if you’re not stocking probiotic Greek yogurt in your fridge, regular Greek yogurt is great too!). I also snuck in some spinach, and instead of sandwiching this delicious burger between two slices of bread, I wrapped it in nutrient-rich romaine lettuce! Yep yep, this right here is a 100% guilt-free burger fix. And please note, the gouda is not a serving suggestion. It’s required for this recipe! You’ll thank me. 🙂

Happy Fiesta Friday everyone! Because of this gorgeous weather, I’m going to change into a breezy maxi dress and head on over to Angie’s. She’s out of the house this weekend, so you know things are going to get wild 😉

Healthy Spinach Turkey Burgers with Gouda

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 lb. ground turkey thigh (breast could work, but the thigh is juicier)
1/2 c. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tbl. apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. truffle oil
1/2 tsp. salt
6 sprigs of thyme, just the leaves
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
ground black pepper to taste
1 tbl. healthy cooking oil (I like to use coconut oil or duck fat)
6 slices Gouda cheese (buying a block to slice yourself is cheaper!)
6-12 leaves of Romaine lettuce

Add all ingredients except the cooking oil, Gouda, and lettuce to a large bowl. Gently, by hand, mix all of the ingredients until thoroughly blended.

Mixing the turkey burgers

Divide the turkey mixture into six equal sized balls, and gently flatten each ball into a patty.

Turkey burger patties

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, and add the tablespoon of cooking oil. When the oil has melted and is hot, add three burgers (or as many as your pan can fit with plenty of space in between) to the skillet. Cook until they’ve browned on one side and flip with a spatula.

Cooking burgers, side 1

Cook until brown on the other side. The burger should be a light brown with no pink anywhere. (This method of cooking yielded perfectly done burgers for me, but if you have a meat thermometer, you’ll know the burgers are done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.) When the burgers have finished cooking, remove the pan from heat.

Cooking burgers, side 2

Top each of the burgers with a slice of Gouda cheese, cover the skillet with a lid, and let the cheese melt.

Cooking burgers, topped with cheese

Remove the cheese topped burgers to a plate covered with paper towels, and add the next batch of turkey patties to the skillet. Repeat the cooking steps above until all of the patties have been cooked.

Cooked burgers

To serve, add a turkey burger to the top of a leaf or two of Romaine lettuce. I learned after a few days that I preferred to have two layers of Romaine on both the top and bottom of my burger because the inner most ones often softened as a result of being so close to the warm burger.

Turkey burger lunch 2

Mmmm… Enjoy!

Turkey burger lunch 3


35 thoughts on “Healthy Spinach Turkey Burgers with Gouda

  1. Oh my goodness Lina… this is a beautiful thing! There are times when we have to take care of those cravings… I’m always up for a lovely burger such as this…and I’m not afraid to say that I don’t care what I look like when I’m eating a nice juicy burger! There is no grace about me when a burger is involved!! I love this recipe. You can totally count me in!! 🙂

  2. I hope you were helping to keep everybody under control while I was gone, Lina! 🙂 I’m with you on that burger cravings. I get them every so often, and usually just let my diet out the window. With this recipe, I won’t have to. They look so flavorful and juicy, yet they’re healthy. That’s a win-win!

    • Thanks, Angie! We gotta make healthy food yummy or we’ll never do it!

      I might have encouraged a little craziness this weekend… Melissa’s sparkling cosmos made me do it! And then Jhuls brought ooey gooey treats and I might have gotten marshmallow everywhere…. But I was sure to clean up and you shouldn’t notice anything out of place 😉 We missed you but I hope you had a great trip!

    • Lori! Your support of and praise for my blog renders me absolutely speechless. Thank you so much for nominating me for this award; it will be my absolute pleasure to participate! You’re wonderful; thank you soooo much.

      • Ah, you are so welcome Lina! You have been such a joy to meet and an inspiration as you seek to cook wonderful things in the midst of having to avoid a whole lot of ingredients. Yay…so glad you will participate!

  3. Oh, I love your turkey burger wraps, Lina. In truth, I’ve only ever made turkey burgers once or twice because I can get them so easily at the deli near my work (and they are fabulous). However, I like your gluten-free idea with the lettuce wrap and the addition of Gouda sounds delicious!

  4. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #11 | The Novice Gardener

  5. I get the same burger cravings!! I used to think there was no way a turkey burger could satisfy it, but have since learned to make them really flavorful. Yours sounds great!

  6. You had me at Gouda! One of my favorite cheeses and it looks great topping that delicious turkey burger! I wouldn’t even miss a bun…the lettuce looks perfect 🙂

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