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Healthy Recipe: Smoky BBQ Turkey Burger Sliders by Aggie Goodman

Aggie Goodman's healthy BBQ Sliders. (Aggie Goodman) Aggie Goodman

Contributed by Food Blogger Aggie Goodman

You know what I love about sliders...other than they are just cute because they are "mini"? They force me to stay within the "legal limits" of portion control.

Sliders may be smaller than your everyday super-sized burger, but that doesn't mean they have to be small in flavor.

Take these Smoky Barbecue Turkey Burger Sliders, for instance. These babies are full of flavor. And the added taste doesn't necessarily mean added fat and calories either.  

They clock in at just 236 calories per burger with 6 grams of fat.

Delicious AND healthy? Cheating the system sure feels good.

The biggest complaint I hear when it comes to turkey burgers is that they cook up dry or taste bland. I have learned that by adding a few ingredients, in this case sauteed celery, green onion and a few splashes of Tabasco Chipotle Sauce, it doesn't have to be that way.

The other trick is to add a little shredded low-fat cheese into the extra-lean ground turkey mixture. I used half a cup of shredded sharp cheddar to make 8 sliders - a little really does go a long way. That little bit of cheese adds some fat to the lean turkey, just enough to keep them moist and juicy.

Once they've hit the grill, baste them in a little kicked-up barbecue sauce to enhance the flavor even more.

I love serving them on small whole wheat potato rolls...they are soft, chewy and only 100 calories each and have five grams of fiber (bonus!).

No more dry, bland turkey burgers here. No way, no how.

Healthy Smoky BBQ Turkey Burger Sliders


2 tsp olive oil
1 large Vidalia (or sweet) onion, thinly sliced
Pinch salt and pepper

1/3 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
2 TB mango chutney

1-2 TB Chipotle Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1 lb extra-lean ground turkey
2 tsp olive oil
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 TB Chipotle Tabasco sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
good pinch salt and pepper
8 whole wheat potato rolls

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or pre-heat a gas grill to medium-high. For best results, use a non-stick grill which helps to avoid adding oil.

On the stove, heat 2 tsp olive oil in a non stick skillet. When oil is hot, place celery and green onion in pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. We are going to add these to our burger mixture later.

In the same nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil in . When oil is hot, place sliced onion in pan. Season with good pinch of salt and pepper and cook. Saute onions until browned and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While onions are caramelizing, prepare basting sauce and chipotle Sauce.

Combine low-fat yogurt and Chipotle Tabasco in a small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine barbecue sauce and mango chutney in small bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make patties: Combine ground turkey, Chipotle Tabasco, smoked paprika, low-fat cheese and cooked and cooled green onions and celery in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Gently combine and mix using hands or large spoon. Form into 8 even sized patties, do this by scoring meat mixtures in half, then quarters, then eighths.

We don't want to use extra oil on the grill, so use a non-stick version, to prevent patties from sticking.

Place patties on grill rack, cover and cook until bottoms are browned, about 4-5 minutes. Using spatula, flip patties and cook additional 4-5 minutes. After flipping, use brush to baste turkey burgers with mango BBQ sauce. After cooking for 4-5 minutes, flip and baste other side.

To assemble burgers: Spread chipotle sauce on both sides of open potato rolls. Place patty in bun and top with caramelized onions. Take a big bite and enjoy!

For those sauce lovers (like my hubby!), can be served with additional Mango BBQ sauce on side!

Serves 8: Calories 235.8, Total Fat 6.2 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g , Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g, Cholesterol 27.6 mg, Sodium 430.5 mg, Total Carbohydrate 26.6 g, Dietary Fiber 4.8 g, Sugars 10.6 g, Protein 21.7 g

Nutrition Note: If you are watching your salt, use a low sodium barbecue sauce and don't add extra salt to turkey patties.

Food blogger Aggie Goodman.
Food blogger Aggie Goodman. Personal Photo

Aggie Goodman is a food blogger, stay at home mom and domestic engineer, who spends a lot of time in the kitchen creating healthy meals (and occasional treats) for family and friends. Her food blog, Aggie's Kitchen, is two years old and, she hopes, an inspiration for people to get in their kitchens and cook.