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Published on May 26, 2020

chicken burger

Recipes: Three Ideas for Healthier Burgers

Grilling season celebration is limited only by the grill enthusiast's imagination. These three recipes will give you even more fuel for creative cooking this spring and summer.

Each recipe can be made on the grill or in the kitchen. Just a few extra steps can have any of them ready to pack along for a picnic.

These ideas come from the Ideal Living team at Avera Medical Group Integrative Medicine.

Stuffed Chicken Burgers


  • 8 ounces ground chicken
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup mushrooms, diced
  • ½ cup zucchini, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Topping options: Try these with raw red onion or cucumber slices.


  1. Preheat grill or broiler. Chop mushrooms, onions and shred zucchini in a small bowl. Add the garlic. Mix well.
  2. Add ground chicken to bowl and mix until consistent.
  3. Form into patties, each about 4-6 ounces. You can wrap them up in plastic and foil and pack them in a cooler if you're grilling them at a park or picnic.
  4. Broil or grill 3-5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • ¼ cups scallions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons Stevia
  • 1 cup chopped onion (use leeks if you need lower carbs)
  • ¼ teaspoon of sesame oil (or other light oil, like grapeseed)

Note: You can try these with a teriyaki fun mix. It includes a half-cup of white balsamic vinegar, a half-teaspoon of vanilla and a half-teaspoon Stevia. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes and then add it to the mixture.


  1. Preheat an oven to about 250 degrees F or prepare a grill for medium-high heat.
  2. Combine turkey, scallions, garlic, ginger and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Divide mixture into four 4-ounce patties.
  4. Coat the bottom of your skillet or grill pan with healthy oil.
  5. Cook the burgers 4 minutes each side until cooked through on medium high heat.
  6. Remove burgers from pan, plate on an oven-safe pan or sleep and put in warm oven.
  7. Pour soy sauce, rice vinegar and teriyaki fun mix (if using) into the pan in which burgers were cooked. Stir and scrape up any turkey bits in the pan.
  8. Add sweetener and onion (or scallions) and simmer 5-7 minutes until onions/scallions are soft.
  9. Stir in sesame oil. Ladle sauce over each burger and enjoy!
  10. You can make the sauce in advance at home and pack it along, then warm it on the grill in a disposable tinfoil pan.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers


  • 2 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon roasted garlic flakes (or fresh garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard


  1. Slice the stems off the mushroom caps. You can save them for the dressing or discard. Slice about a half-inch of the mushroom top, as if you were slicing a bun. You’ll want to have four cap pieces, much like two buns split into four pieces.
  2. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, basil, oregano and pepper in a small bowl and mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with raised edges with foil. Add a little oil and place mushrooms on pan.
  4. Using a spoon, pour the vinegar mixture over each cap; let rest for 10 minutes. Bake for 10 minutes, check for doneness. If you prefer a less rigid mushroom texture, flip and cook another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Plate the bottom of the mushroom cap on a plate, top with condiments of choice (tomato, mustard, etc.) and then place top of mushroom over the ingredients.
  6. You can easily make these on a grill in the park. Just prepare the sauce in a bowl with a lid and pack it along with the toppings and other ingredients. Use tinfoil for the grill — you can place the caps on it and add the quick marinade. Then transfer the foil  to the fire and grill 2-3 minutes each side. Cook a little longer to have them softer.
  7. Enjoy!

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