Turkey Burgers with Cilantro Greek Yogurt + Kale Coleslaw

turkey burger with kale slaw and cilantro greek yogurt

After months of hibernation, complete with hearty stews, roasts, and sweet holiday treats, who wants to start thinking about dieting? Definitely not me, which is why I don’t do them. However, I always have a pound or two that could use some shedding come summertime, which is why I like to do simple swaps like Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, ground turkey instead of 80/20 beef, and fresh fruit in place of pies. I don’t consider this dieting because I don’t feel like I’m giving anything up. I’m certainly not depriving myself of anything, besides some excess saturated fat and a few calories. I find that these swaps come naturally with warmer weather, anyway, and that they can really add up to some big changes. 

Speaking of warmer weather, I’ve been craving burgers recently, but weird ones, like the protein burger from In-N-Out. For those of you who don’t know, the protein-style burger is just a burger without the bun, wrapped in lettuce. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “No bun? That’s not really a burger craving.” Exactly. So, I dug a little deeper and realized I was really just craving grilled, smokey meat and fresh, crisp greens (hence the lettuce wrap). Imagine my relief when I stumbled upon Marin Mama Cook’s recipe for turkey burgers with cilantro mayo and kale slaw. I already had a bunch of cilantro and kale from my CSA box that I needed to use up, so all I had to get was the ground turkey. Perfect.

I made a few changes based on what I had on hand, like green garlic and spring onions, and I also substituted Greek yogurt for the mayo in the kale coleslaw and cilantro garlic spread. The Man had his turkey burger with a whole wheat bun, and I had mine — you guessed it — protein style. It was delicious! Next time you get a burger craving, try this bad boy out. You won’t be disappointed (and your buns will thank you).

Turkey Burgers with Cilantro Greek Yogurt + Kale Coleslaw

(adapted from Marin Mama Cook’s Turkey Burger with Cilantro-Lime Mayonnaise and Kale Slaw)


Cilantro Greek Yogurt

  • 1/2 c greek yogurt
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T lime juice, about 1/2 a lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Kale Coleslaw

  • Handful of kale sliced into strips
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 T greek yogurt
  • Splash of white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Turkey Burgers

  •  1/2 lb ground turkey breast + 1/2 lb ground turkey thigh
  • 1 green garlic, chopped
  • 1 spring onion (green part only), chopped
  • 1 T dijon Mustard
  • 1 t thyme, dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • (I also added a teeny tiny bit of liquid smoke. I know, the horror. I’m telling ya’ll, I needed that smokey taste!)


Cilantro Greek Yogurt

  1. Mix together all the ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the burgers.

Kale Coleslaw

  1. Mix together all the ingredients. I like to use my hands so I can gently massage the kale to help soften it. It gets a bit messy, though. You’ve been warned.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to assemble the burgers.

Turkey Burgers

  1. Gently mix everything together with your hands, being careful not to over handle the mixture.
  2. Form patties. I made 4 patties total.
  3. Using a grill pan or grill, cook the burgers for about 8 minutes on each side. It may take more or less time, depending on the thickness of your patties. Just make sure the inside temperature reaches 165°F. You don’t want to eat undercooked poultry!
  4. Assemble your burgers by smearing some Cilantro Greek Yogurt on the bottom half of the bun and then topping the patty with Kale Coleslaw.




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