When You Need a Burger Make it Healthy: Mediterranean Burger Recipe

September 13, 2019

Recipe for healthy burgers on the grill

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian at Providence Health

Download a printable version here

Everyone needs a good burger now and then. That won’t end with the summer. I do love this recipe and its spin on the Mediterranean diet (though I prefer “lifestyle” over “diet”).  The Mediterranean way is based on eating simple, whole foods, and research has indicated that there are a lot of amazing benefits enjoyed by those who follow it.  In fact, the Mediterranean has been ranked as the best overall diet (ok, I’ll give in) in a ranking by US News and World Report when they evaluated in a plethora of diets. This one seems to be one that keeps coming to the top.

Trying to eat the Mediterranean way? Here are some places to start:

  • Eat lots of fish, but not fried
  • Use olive oil    
  • Use dairy only sparingly – (save the mac and cheese for special occasions)
  • Eat whole foods—the bulk of your diet should come from fresh local fruits, veggies, legumes and nuts
  • Avoid processed foods -- try hard to get these out of your cupboards and refrigerators
  • You can start with this burger recipe!  It’s a nice way to have something on the grill, but something that is still healthy for you! This is another one of our tailgate friendly items, too! It is that time of year…

SkinnyTaste Naked Persian Turkey Burgers

Recipe Source: The Skinny Taste Cookbook by Gina Homolka with Heather K. Jones, RD

Burger Ingredients

•    3/4 cup grated zucchini
•    1 1/4 lbs lean ground turkey
•    1/3 cup chopped red onion
•    2 garlic cloves minced
•    1/4 cup wheat breadcrumbs
•    1/4 cup fresh parsley
•    1 tbs fresh mint
•    1tsp ground cumin
•    1/2 tsp ground coriander
•    1/4 tsp allspice
•    1/4 tsp chili powder
•    1/4 tsp salt
•    pepper
•    5 cups romaine lettuce
•    5 tbs feta cheese

Salad Ingredients

•    2 1/2 cups English cucumber chopped
•    1 1/2 cherry tomatoes quartered
•    1/3 cup chopped red onion
•    2 tbs mint
•    2 1/2 tbs lemon juice
•    1 tbs olive oil
•    salt and pepper


Salad: Combine all ingredients, mix them well, then let them sit for 1 hour.

Burgers: Squeeze any liquid out of the zucchini, then add it to all the other burger ingredients EXCEPT the lettuce and feta. Form the mixture into form into 5 patties 1 inch thick. Cook the patties on the grill or in a skillet until cooked through.  Then serve each one on top lettuce with 3/4 cup of the salad. At the end, sprinkle feta on top.

Nutrition Information: 277 calories, 15 gm fat, 92 mg cholesterol, 13 gm carbohydrate, 25 gm protein, 313 mg sodium 

Join Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian, for her monthly award-winning Providence Cooks! cooking classes in Columbia, SC. The class tackles various dietary hurdles by creating, with her team of chefs, a multi-course gourmet meal that promotes health and fits within dietary restrictions. All guests enjoy the healthy sit-down meal with live Q&A from Kay, the chefs, and other special health expert guests. It's a must-try for people interested in healthy eating without losing the flavor and joy of eating. 

Call 800.424.DOCS (3627) to learn about the next Providence Cooks!

Providence Cooks! logo