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Chipotle Turkey Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Chipotle Turkey Burgers are so full of flavor, you definitely won’t miss the beef. With chipotles in adobo sauce, lime zest and juice, cilantro, and green onions, they are spicy, meaty, and so satisfying.

Chipotle turgey burgers with lime crema

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Juliana and I have been friends for a long time. Although our friendship keeps us plenty busy in the present—what with the authoring and bloggering and all—like most old friends, we love to reminisce about the past.

Not surprisingly, a lot of our memories have to do with food—like the long “urban hikes” we used to take that always led directly to our favorite dim sum joint, the time we tried to cook nopales with soy sauce, or the gut-busting Thanksgiving feast we enjoyed, inexplicably, in the middle of a July heat wave.

But possibly our fondest food-related recollections are of the cold winter nights we spent testing recipes for my first cookbook, Campfire Cuisine, on a tiny portable barbecue on the rooftop of Juliana’s San Francisco apartment.

Lacking backyards, we had no choice but to bundle up and scramble out onto the roof, toting ingredients, charcoal, matches, and a bucket of water to prevent burning down the neighborhood. We shivered and giggled as we grilled meat, veggies, and even desserts under the one or two stars visible through the urban light pollution.

Grilling is a lot easier now that we both have a little more outdoor space, so when BlogHer asked us to contribute a piece to this Light & Fresh Summer Grilling Series, we couldn’t wait to get together for a workday barbecue in my sunny backyard. Of course, nostalgia got the best of us and we couldn’t resist pulling out a recipe from Campfire Cuisine—the beloved Chipotle Turkey Burger Recipe.

This scrumptious turkey burger recipe includes many of our favorite flavor-boosting ingredients—chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, cilantro, scallions, lime zest, and lime juice. In fact, it’s so full of flavor that we’re pretty certain you won’t miss the beef.

We’ve lightened up the original recipe even further by omitting the cheese, and freshened it with a Cilantro-Lime Crema that bursts with flavor. Put it all on a whole-wheat bun and garnish it with crisp fresh lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and creamy avocado, and you’ve got yourself a sinfully delicious—yet virtuously light—burger.

As convenient and easy as it was to grill these delectable burgers like normal people in my pastoral backyard, in the end we both agreed we might want to have our next barbecue up on a cold city rooftop. You know, for old time’s sake.

A turkey burger topped with avocado and tomatoes on a blue plate.

Chipotle Turkey Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Crema

Robin Donovan
This easy turkey burger recipe is super light, but incredibly flavorful. It will satisfy all your burger cravings without busting your seams.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish Recipes
Cuisine American
Calories 442 kcal


For the Cilantro-Lime Crema:

  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro

For the burgers:

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 2 seeded minced chipotle chilies from a can of chipotles en adobo, plus 2 tablespoons of the sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

To serve:

  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns
  • 1 large ripe tomato, sliced into thick rounds
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, sliced into wedges
  • 4 lettuce leaves


  • To make the Cilantro-Lime Crema, place the sour cream into a small mixing bowl. Grate the lime zest directly into the bowl, then halve the lime and squeeze the juice into the sour cream. Add the salt and stir to mix. Add the minced cilantro and stir until well combined. Set aside until ready to serve. The crema can be made up to a day ahead, if desired, and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the burger ingredients and mix until well-combined. Shape the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties, about 1-inch thick.
  • Grill the burgers on the preheated grill for about 5 minutes, until browned on the bottom. Flip the burgers and continue grilling until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes more.
  • While the burgers are cooking on the second side, toast the buns on the grill.
  • Spread the top half of each bun with a dollop of the Cilantro-Lime Crema. Place a cooked burger on the bottom half of each bun and top it with a slice or two of tomato, 3 slices of avocado, and a lettuce leaf. Place the top half of the buns on top and serve immediately.


Serving: 1Calories: 442kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 34gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 754mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9g
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By on June 15th, 2012
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About Robin Donovan

Robin Donovan is the creative force behind All Ways Delicious. She's a writer, recipe developer, photographer, and cookbook author with more than 40 books to her name, including the bestselling Ramen for Beginners, Ramen Obsession, and Campfire Cuisine. Her work has been featured in major publications, both print and digital, including MSN, Cooking Light, Fitness, Buzzfeed, and Eating Well. More about Robin

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