Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers
As an adult with reasonable influence over most events throughout my day, I feel responsible to feed myself with some measure of prudence and respect. The most recent savior of my culinary dignity: Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers.
Now, I’m not saying that the occasional dinner trifecta of wine, cheese, and pita chips doesn’t have its place or moment of necessity, but for health reasons, I’ve recently had to start paying closer attention to my diet, specifically the amount of protein I eat on a daily basis. While I might be perfectly content to munch a PB&J in between errands or scoop fresh avocado right from its peel and call it lunch, I’ve learned that making a meal of these quick bites hasn’t been nourishing my body as completely I need.
As dreamy as it sounds to fix myself a hearty seasonal omelet every day for lunch or to be constantly pulling perfectly-seared salmon fillets from our grill, I have neither the time nor the means, and judging by the number of requests I receive for fast, healthy weeknight recipes, wholesome lunches, and budget-friendly, make-ahead meals, I suspect I’m not alone.
Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers are everything I could hope for in a fast, healthy, and wholly satisfying meal. A blend of lean ground turkey, shredded sweet potatoes, and smoky chipotle spices, they’re ready in less than 30 minutes, packed with protein, offer a serving of veggies, and can be easily made ahead and reheated. Do they have super powers too? I wouldn’t be surprised.
Though I love ground turkey as a healthy alternative to ground beef, I’m often hesitant to order turkey burgers, as they can be unapologetically dry. Not so with Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers! The shredded sweet potato does double duty by both binding the burger patties and keeping the turkey juicy and moist. It also adds a subtle sweetness to the turkey burgers that is a scrumptious pairing beside the smoky flavor of the ground chipotle chili powder.
I made the first round of these Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers for Ben and myself for dinner and loved them so much, I immediately made a double batch and individually froze the uncooked patties. Now, any time I’m in need of a fast, balanced, protein-packed meal, I just tap into my freezer supply by either thawing a patty overnight in the refrigerator (when I’m organized enough to plan ahead) or gently warming it in the microwave (when I’m not).
Though the sweet potato turkey patties are fine unadorned, I insist you top them with sharp, melty cheddar, and if time allows, sliced avocado, salsa, and sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt) are mighty tasty too. For serving, a bun is the classic approach (and Ben’s preference), but I most often enjoy my Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burger beside simply dressed greens with a little extra salsa…and extra cheese.
Finally, for those following a paleo diet, this sweet potato turkey burger base recipe is entirely paleo-friendly, and it is gluten free as well. I told you: super powers!
Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers
For the Burgers:
- 1 pound ground turkey — I used 99% lean
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground chipotle chili pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups grated scrubbed — skin-on sweet potato (about 7 1/2 ounces or 2 very small or 1 large)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Extra virgin olive oil — for cooking the burgers
- 100% whole wheat hamburger buns — toasted
- Grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Prepared salsa
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
Place the ground turkey, garlic, chipotle chili powder, oregano, salt, and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Lightly mix with your fingers, just until combined. Fold in the grated sweet potato and cilantro. Form the mixture into patties that are about 1/2-inch thick (4 to 6 patties total).
Meanwhile, generously drizzle a cast iron pan or other large, non-stick skillet with olive oil and heat over medium. Once hot, place the patties on the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on the first side, flip then cook 1 additional minute. With a cover for the skillet ready in one hand, pour a little water into the skillet, then cover it quickly, being careful as the oil will sputter. Let the burgers cook steam until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, top with grated cheddar cheese, then recover and allow the cheese to melt.
Serve the burgers on toasted whole wheat buns, topped with sliced avocado, salsa, and sour cream as desired. Enjoy immediately.
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