Chipotle Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Crema

6 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

As long-time friends, Juliana and I share a lot of our memories about food—like the “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—Chipotle Turkey Burgers.

This scrumptious burger is packed with so many of our favorite flavor-boosting ingredients—chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, cilantro, scallions, lime zest, and lime juice—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.

Chipotle Turkey Burgers with Cilantro-Lime Crema
These flavorful burgers will satisfy all your burger cravings without busting your seams.

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.

Serves 4.

Robin Donovan and Juliana Gallin are the authors of The Lazy Gourmet: Magnificent Meals Made Easy—a fun and practical guide to cooking strikingly sophisticated, yet surprisingly simple dishes. With more than 125 delightfully easy recipes, the book proves that anyone—even those short on time, patience, skill, or experience—can cook impressive meals with minimal effort. You can visit the authors’ blog at, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.

This post is part of the BlogHer Light & Fresh Summer Grilling series, which includes 100 percent editorial content presented by a participating sponsor. Our advertisers do not produce editorial content. This post is made possible by Michelob ULTRA Light Cider and BlogHer.

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