What’s cuter than a bite-sized version of a food that is typically big? Maybe it’s the registered dietitian nutritionist in me, but I think “mini-sized food” is fun. There is no better example of this than a hamburger slider. The little bun, the pint-sized hamburger patty, it’s just too much! Well, yes, it can be, because even though it’s a smaller version, it can still pack on the calories. That seems so cruel to me. So to solve this dilemma, I have taken the beloved slider and packed it full of flavor while cutting back on those unnecessary calories.
My solution? Swap the ground beef with turkey to save fat and calories and switch to whole-wheat buns to add more fiber. A roasted red pepper aioli that gets worked into the meat and acts as a delicious condiment adds moisture, flavor and nutrients (thanks to those red peppers and yogurt!). Top it with spicy arugula and feta cheese and you’ve got yourself a slider that is sure to impress.
Food Safety Tip: Ground turkey must be cooked to 165°F to kill harmful pathogens. Don’t rely upon sight, smell or taste alone to determine if your food is safe to eat. A food thermometer is the best way to tell if food is done. Purchase one to take out the guesswork and ensure your food is cooked to a safe temperature!
Turkey Burger Sliders with Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
For the aioli:
- ½ cup roasted red peppers (note: if using jarred peppers, drain and pat dry)
- 1 large clove garlic
- Pinch of ground cayenne pepper (optional)
- Zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons low-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the burgers:
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups loosely packed arugula or baby mixed lettuce
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 8 each whole-wheat dinner rolls, toasted and sliced in half
- In a food processor, add the roasted red pepper and pulse a few times. Add garlic, cayenne pepper and lemon zest and pulse to combine. Blend in yogurt, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. With the motor running, slowly add olive oil, blend until smooth. Transfer aioli to a bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons and place in a separate mixing bowl. Cover and store remaining aioli in the refrigerator.
- Place ground turkey in the mixing bowl with the aioli. Mix gently with your hands. (Remember to wash your hands first!)
- Shape the ground turkey into 8 equal-sized patties, about 2-3 tablespoons each. Place patties on a plate and thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Set a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add half of the remaining olive oil. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add half of the burgers. Season with salt and pepper. Decrease heat to medium and cook about 5 minutes per side. Use a food thermometer to ensure internal temperature has reached 165°F. Remove burgers and place on a clean plate or sheet pan and keep them warm by covering in foil. Repeat process with remaining oil and burgers.
- To serve, place each burger on the bottom half of a roll and top with 1-2 teaspoons aioli, 1 teaspoon crumbled feta and ¼ cup lettuce, cover with the top half of the roll.
- This recipe makes about ¾ cup aioli. Extra aioli can be covered and refrigerated, but should be eaten within 2-3 days. It’s perfect as a dip for veggies, as dressing for salads or as a spread for sandwiches.