5 Guilt-Free Burgers from Around the Globe

Throw on an apron and heat up the grill—these internationally-inspired recipes are healthy and so flipping good!

Turkey Chorizo Burger


This Spanish-style fare is both filling and flavorful.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 18 minutes


2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound lean ground turkey

1 green bell pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 ounces Manchego cheese

4 whole-wheat Portuguese sandwich rolls, cut in half and toasted


In a medium bowl, combine garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt. Mix thoroughly, then add the ground turkey and combine. Divide into four equal portions and form each into a burger patty. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours before grilling.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan over high. Place the red and green peppers directly on the grill and cook, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes, until completely charred. Remove from grill and allow to cool, then gently rub off the charred skin with a fork. Remove the stems, cores, and seeds and slice into 1-inch strips. Add to a medium bowl, toss with olive oil, and set aside.

Reduce grill or grill pan heat to medium. Cook the burgers for 5 minutes per side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each reads 165°F. Top each burger evenly with Manchego cheese and let melt.

Top the bottom half of each roll with a cheese-covered patty, and divide the pepper mixture evenly among them. Crown with roll tops and serve immediately.

Nutrition score per serving:

Calories: 461

Fat: 22g

Saturated fat: 10g

Protein: 37g

Carbohydrates: 29g

Sodium: 803mg

Fiber: 6g

Calcium: 363mg

Iron: 3mg

Recipe courtesy of Matthew Vohr

Bulgur-Vegetable Burgers with Tahini Slaw


This meal provides a serving each of whole grains, vegetables, and protein.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


2 cups shredded cabbage (red, green, or a mix)

2 tablespoons nonfat yogurt

2 tablespoons tahini

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup bulgur

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup canned white beans, well-drained

2 tablespoon finely chopped roasted cashews

1/2 cup shredded carrots

4 scallions, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon olive pil

4 whole-wheat hamburger buns


Mix cabbage, yogurt, tahini, and cayenne in a small bowl; set aside. Combine bulgur and boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover and let soak for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mash white beans into a paste with a wooden spoon. Stir in cashews, carrots, spinach, scallions, salt, pepper, paprika, and egg; add bread crumbs and bulgur and mix well. Form into 4-inch patties.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties for 4 minutes, then flip and cook for 3 minutes more or until heated through and golden brown. Place each one on a bun and serve with slaw. Serve burgers on rolls with toppings and condiments as desired.

Nutrition score per serving:

Calories: 406

Fat: 12g

Saturated fat: 2g

Protein: 16g

Carbohydrates: 51g

Sodium: 681mg

Fiber: 12g

Calcium: 136mg

Iron: 4mg

Healthy Blue Cheese Burgers


This cheeseburger recipe relies on high quality ground sirloin and blue cheese to keep the low cal comfort food full of flavor.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, divded

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divded

1 pound ground sirloin

Cooking spray

1 ounce Danish blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise

Pinch of sugar

4 thick slices ripe tomato

4 thin slices red onion

4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split


Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a medium bowl, season with Worcestershire, 1 teaspoon mustard, salt, and half the pepper. Add sirloin; mix gently to combine. Divide into four 4 1∕2-inch burger patties.

Heat a grill pan over medium. Spray lightly with cooking spray and grill burgers 3 minutes per side or until just cooked through.

While burgers are cooking, mash blue cheese with the back of a fork in a small dish. Stir in buttermilk, mayonnaise, remaining 1∕2 teaspoon mustard, sugar, and remaining pepper.

Arrange burgers on bun bottoms; top with sliced tomato and red onion. Slather bun tops with the blue cheese sauce, place atop burgers, and serve immediately.

Nutrition score per serving:

Calories: 369

Fat: 13g

Saturated fat: 5g

Protein: 32g

Carbohydrates: 31g

Sodium: 669mg

Fiber: 3g

Calcium: 91mg

Iron: 5mg

David Kirsch's Guiltless Barbecue Burgers


Red meat doesn't have to come packed with fat and calories. Try this lighter version of a good old-fashioned hamburger

Serves: 2

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes


4 oz lean ground buffalo meat

4 oz lean ground turkey breast

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons low-sugar, low-sodium barbecue sauce

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Non-fat vegetable cooking spray


Mix all of the ingredients except the cooking spray in a large bowl.

Form the mixture into two patties.

Spray a barbecue grill or nonstick skillet with cooking spray, and heat to medium-high heat.

Place the patties on grill or skillet, and cook about 8 minutes per side (for medium), until cooked through.

Nutrition score per serving:

Calories: 185

Fat: 3g

Saturated fat: 1g

Protein: 33g

Carbohydrates: 8g

Fiber: .5g

Sugar: 4g

Curry Turkey Burgers


This burger recipe is packed with flavor so you won't need to load it up with calorie-rich condiments like cheese, mayo, or ketchup.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes


1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 to 2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen® Red Curry Paste

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 pound ground turkey

4 hamburger or crusty rolls

lettuce, tomato, and chutney (optional)


Mix bell pepper, green onions, cilantro, red curry paste, garlic, ginger, and sea salt in medium bowl until well blended. Add ground turkey; mix well. Shape into 4 patties.

Grill over medium heat 4 to 6 minutes per side or until burgers are cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165°F).

Serve burgers on rolls with toppings and condiments as desired.

Nutrition score per serving:

Calories: 339

Fat: 11g

Saturated fat: 3g

Protein: 29g

Carbohydrates: 31g

Cholesterol: 91mg

Sodium: 668mg

Fiber: 2g

Calcium: 135mg

Iron: 2mg

Recipe courtesy of Thai Kitchen.

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