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Turkey burgers with baked sweet potato fries

September 13, 2018 | Heather Shannon
turkey burger, baked sweet potato fries

Enjoy a classic combination of a burger and fries, minus the guilt.

Lean ground turkey meat is superior to ground beef in several respects, says Katie Rankell, RD, CDE, director of the UCI Health Weight Management Program.

  • It’s lower in calories. “A 4-ounce serving of ground beef has 155 calories, compared to 127 calories in the same amount of ground turkey,” she says.
  • It’s lower in cholesterol. Rankell notes that swapping out ground beef in favor of turkey knocks 8 milligrams of cholesterol off the total.
  • It’s lower in fat. Lean ground beef has more than twice as much fat as lean ground turkey. Ground beef comes in at 5.7 grams of fat, while turkey has just two grams.

A side of baked sweet potato fries knocks off some fat without sacrificing flavor. More importantly, sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamins than classic white potatoes, including:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium

Turkey burgers with baked sweet potato fries

Download this recipe ›

For the tzatziki sauce

  • ½ small Persian cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed to a paste
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

For the burgers

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 1 pound ground turkey (93 percent lean or more)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, minced

For serving

  • 4 whole wheat burger buns
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced Persian cucumber

For the fries

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the tzatziki sauce, shred the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Place the shredded cucumber in a colander in the sink, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let drain for a few minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, 1 clove of garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peel and slice sweet potatoes into sticks ¼ to ½ inch wide and 3 inches long. Toss with olive oil, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Toss, then cook another 10 minutes.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the spinach leaves and stir until wilted and tender, about three minutes. Transfer the spinach to a colander and allow to drain until cool enough to handle. Squeeze to remove any remaining liquid from the leaves. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and chop.

In a bowl, combine the turkey, spinach, feta, 2 cloves of garlic, red onion and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Season with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. With hands, mix gently to combine, handling the turkey lightly so it stays tender. Shape the mixture into four patties and place on a plate.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the skillet. Once heated, place the patties on the skillet and cook for 10 minutes, turning once. The patties should be browned and no longer pink in the center.

Place the buns on plates and stack them with turkey burger. Top with 2 tablespoons tzatziki, cucumber slices and sun-dried tomatoes. Serve with hot sweet potato fries.

Nutrition (1 burger, ½ sweet potato)

  • Calories 462
  • Protein 31 grams
  • Fat 22 grams
  • Carbs 33 grams
  • Fiber 8 grams

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