Summer means grilling. Burgers and hot dogs are the foods of the warm weather season. While Labor Day weekend often signifies the end of summer for many, it doesn’t have to be the end of burgers, which can be prepared easily on the stove with either a grill pan or cast iron pan for a quick weeknight meal.
Burgers are usually viewed as an indulgence, but when prepared with all white meat turkey and served on a whole wheat English muffin to keep the amount of carbohydrates in check, they can be a nutritious dinner that packs a hearty and healthy combination of lean protein and whole grains. We like to power our turkey burgers up with applesauce to keep the meat from drying out, and then top them with a slice of white cheddar or Swiss/gruyere cheese (even with the its fat content, cheese is still an excellent source of calcium).
Finished off with Dijon maple mustard for a lower-calorie spread and some leafy lettuce (we used a few leaves of arugula here), it’s hearty enough to be a meal by itself with a salad, some steamed broccoli or a side of fresh fruit.
Turkey and Applesauce Burgers
Makes 4 burgers
- 1-lb white meat ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup chunky, unsweetened applesauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 slices white cheddar or Swiss/gruyere
- Lettuce (arugula, red leaf, green leaf, or bib lettuce all work well here)
- 4 whole wheat English muffins, toasted
Dijon Maple Mustard
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (feel free to use regular yellow mustard instead if desired)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
In small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard and maple syrup. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine turkey meat, balsamic vinegar, applesauce, salt, and pepper. Mix with your hands until all the ingredients are well-integrated. Form into four patties, approximately an inch-thick.
Heat the olive oil in a large grill pan or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Once the olive oil is hot, place the burgers in the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until completely cooked through.
Top burgers with the cheese and transfer to a baking sheet or keep in the same pan if yours is oven safe. Finish under your oven’s broiler to melt the cheese, keeping a close watch on them so they don’t burn (Note: It should only take about a minute).
Place burgers on whole wheat English muffins, topping with the Dijon maple mustard and lettuce.
Nutrition Information (per serving):
Total Fat: 7.2 grams (Saturated Fat: 1.1 grams)
Total Carbohydrates: 32.3 grams
Dietary Fiber: 4.2 grams
Sugar: 10.5 grams
Protein: 36.9 grams