Lemon Poppyseed Turkey Burgers with Tangy Cabbage Slaw

Dsc01381 Nothing says "I love you" on Valentine’s Day like………a turkey burger?  O.K., that might be pushing it.  Other than the fact that this recipe is being posted on Cupid’s busiest day, it doesn’t have anything to do with the heart-shaped holiday, and it certainly has no place as part of a romantic dinner menu.  I figured that by now, with the exception of you super-procrastinators out there (good luck by the way), your dinner plans for this evening have already been made, whether you are painting the town pink and red or sharing a cozy little fondue pot for two at home. 

By the time you get around to reading this post, you will likely be looking for something low-key and low-fat to help counteract the creme brulee, champagne, and Chateaubriand from the night before.  This turkey burger fits the bill, accompanied by a simple, veggie-packed cabbage slaw that ensures you don’t reach for the chips as a side dish. If you really went overboard, skip the roll and eat the burger on top of the slaw, like a salad. 

No plans for this evening?  Invite some others who are also flying solo to come over for an impromptu burger night.  You guys get to have chips too.  See, being single has its perks after all!  Here are some tips for tasty turkey burgers:

  • The slaw can be prepared and the patties can be formed up to 8 hours in advance.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Cole slaw mix and grill seasoning are meant to serve as shortcuts for this recipe.  As an alternative for the cole slaw mix, you can shred a small head of napa cabbage to yield about 4 cups.  For the grill seasoning, you can use any seasoning mix that you have on hand, providing that it is not to spicy or strong.  If you use a salt-free seasoning, such as Mrs. Dash, then mix 1 teaspoon of kosher salt in with the ground turkey as well.
  • If you like spicy slaw, then add an additional tablespoon of Tabasco to the mix.
  • Instead of using ground turkey, try substituting ground chicken or lean ground beef.
  • English cucumbers are the longer, thinner cucumbers, which are wrapped in plastic instead of being waxed, so they do not need peeling.  The seeds are much smaller and less prominent, and the flavor is a bit sweeter than regular cucumbers.  You can substitute a regular cucumber if you cannot find the English variety.

Lemon Poppyseed Turkey Burgers with Tangy Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4


Cabbage SlawDsc01383

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

4 cups cole slaw mix

1/3 English cucumber, julienned

1 red bell pepper, julienned

3/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

Salt and pepper to taste


1 1/2 pounds ground turkey

1 tablespoon grill seasoning

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup chopped scallions

Honey Mustard

1/3 cup yellow or Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 kaiser rolls, split

Lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles for garnish (optional)

Make the slaw:  In a large bowl, stir together the honey, olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, and hot sauce.  Add the cole slaw mix, cucumber, bell pepper, scallions, and mint.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the burgers: In a medium bowl, mix the ground turkey with the grill seasoning, poppy seeds, lemon peel, and chopped scallions.  Form into 4 patties.  Heat a large non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Add the patties and cook until the juices run clear, about 6 minutes on each side.

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, honey, and lemon juice.  Set each burger on the bottom half of a roll.  If desired, top with lettuce, tomato slices, sliced onion, and pickles.  Spread the top halves of the rolls with the honey mustard and top the burgers.  Serve with the slaw.   

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