Sweet Potato and Black Bean Turkey Burgers with Sriracha-Lime Crema

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Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-CremaMy dad gave me a gym membership for my birthday.

Don’t worry, I wasn’t offended. I actually asked for this incredibly generous and practical present.

I know a gym membership may seem like a crazy request considering my distaste for sweating in public, but as many of you know, I was feeling a little panicked about turning 27. Just to recap, the days leading up to my birthday were scary ones, during which I convinced myself that my neck was wrinkling, my teeth were about to fall out, and my muscles were surely on the verge of atrophy. Cue panic attacks.

So, when my dad emailed asking if there was anything special that I wanted for my birthday, my immediate response was a gym membership, a masseuse, and a lifetime of oxygen facials. Needless to say, neither a masseuse nor facialist arrived at my door on March 22, but I did receive an email welcoming me to my local gym. Small victories.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-2After reading the very personal email from the gym’s general manager saying how he very much looked forward to helping me reach my fitness goals, I was pumped. I’ve always admired people who work out on the reg, and now I was going to be one of them! I happily envisioned myself getting up early and putting on adorable gym ensembles, gently perspiring in various exercise classes, and then walking home to enjoy a tropical green smoothie. I couldn’t wait to start sleeping better at night, develop a perfectly toned line down the middle of my stomach, and feel like a million bucks in a thong bikini. Thanks, Dad!

Looking back, I probably should have ridden that temporary motivational high straight to the gym, as it’s been almost 3 weeks since my birthday, and I’ve yet to commence my exercise regimen. Blergh.

To be fair, I couldn’t start working out on my actual birthday weekend (I was obviously extremely busy with birthday princess activities), and by Monday, both reality and anxiety had already set in. First of all, I need lots of beauty sleep, and getting up at the crack of dawn seemed irresponsible and mildly crazy. Second, I don’t actually own any cute workout clothes, and both pairs of my leggings have a sizeable hole in the crotch. Last but not least, we all know there’s not a chance in hell I would do anything less than turn beet red, drip sweat, and potentially cry/throw up in an exercise class. Based on these facts, how could I possibly go to the gym???

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-3I considered cancelling my membership, but the pushy gym people informed me that you can’t do that for a YEAR. After that conversation, I told myself, “This is good, Serena. Now you have no excuse. You have to exercise or Dad will have wasted his money. And remember how much you’ve always wanted to Zumba?”

This was a very productive conversation with myself, and fueled by guilt (and the potential for Zumba), I felt newly inspired. I would do this exercise business. Inappropriate legging holes be damned!

But then the emails started.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-4Dear God, the emails!

My inbox was bombarded with stress-inducing missives demanding that I come in for an introductory tour of the gym and and an information session. Then came the solicitations for private pilates classes, meditation, and personal training, followed by infinity reminders about the introductory tour. The scariest communiqué came from someone named Joey, who insisted that I sign up for a “fitness assessment.” Apparently, he’s eager to measure the fat on 37 parts of my body with a protractor, talk about my diet and exercise habits, and help me set fitness goals.


However, because I refuse to waste a good present, and I legitimately fear the effects of my sedentary lifestyle, I have made an appointment to be tortured by Joey next week. Since I’m guessing he will not be impressed with my athleticism, I’ll have to distract him with my exemplary eating habits. I plan to start by casually striking up a conversation about the wonders of Sweet Potato and Black Bean Turkey Burgers with Sriracha-Lime Crema…

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-5These babies are a game changer, friends. Plain turkey burgers tend to be on the boring and dry side, which is why I like to load my patties with all manner of fancy accoutrements. In this case, a combination of roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, cilantro, and a simple spice blend add mind-blowing flavor and texture to otherwise bland ground turkey meat. Topped with a refreshing crema that’s equal parts refreshing, tangy, and spicy, these burgers are pretty much heaven on a whole grain bun (or lettuce wrap).

Miraculously, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Turkey Burgers happen to be every bit as nutritious as they are delicious. Packed with lean protein, fiber, and antioxidants, eating one of these bad boys will keep you full and energized for hours, while simultaneously fighting disease and making your skin glow. (Sweet potatoes are magical, remember?) Baking them eliminates the need for any oil (and simplifies cleanup!), which means that they’re virtually fat-free. The crema is also gloriously fat-free, and there’s only 30 calories in two tablespoons of the stuff. Joy of joys.

This recipe yields 6 turkey burgers that re-heat beautifully, so I plan on crushing them regularly until my hang sesh with Joey. They make a surprisingly delicious breakfast with an egg on top, and they’re downright delightful over a lunchtime salad, so I’m pretty confident I’m not going to tire of these powerhouse burgers anytime soon.

I would appreciate if all of you made these turkey burgers out of solidarity, and also because they’re awesome. Dude Dieters, I’m looking at you.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Turkey Burgers with Sriracha-Lime Crema: (Serves 6)

2 cups sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 medium sweet potato)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup canned black beans (a little more than half a 15-ounce can), drained and rinsed
1¼ pounds ground turkey breast
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon salt
For the Sriracha-Lime Crema:
2/3 cup fat-free sour cream
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons Sriracha
Salt to taste
For Garnish: (optional)
6 whole grain burger buns
Butter lettuce or romaine
Sliced tomato
Slice red onion
1 avocado, thinly sliced or mashed

Preparing your Sweet Potato and Black Bean Turkey Burgers with Sriracha-Lime Crema:

-Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

-Place your cubed sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-1-Bake your sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they’re tender.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-2-Place the sweet potatoes and black beans in a food processor or blender and pulse until just combined. (It’s okay if there are still a couple whole beans or sweet potato chunks, friends. Texture is a good thing.)

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-4-Place the sweet potato and bean mixture in a large bowl with the ground turkey, garlic, cilantro, cumin, paprika, and salt.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-5-Use your hands to mix the ingredients until just combined. (As always, this is kind of gross, but fun.) Refrigerate the mixture for 20 minutes.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-6-With damp hands, mold the turkey mixture into 6 patties, about ¾-inch in thickness. (You can also make 4 extra-large patties if you’re into that. Just cook them for 3-5 minutes longer.) Place the patties on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-8-Transfer the burgers to the oven and bake for 23 minutes until cooked through.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-9-While the burgers are baking, prepare the Sriracha-lime crema. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice and Sriracha. Taste and season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-7-Now, prep your garnishes. I like to make them look pretty on a plate. You should probably do the same.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-11-Serve burgers warm with buns or lettuce wraps.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-step-12-Build your own badass burger.

Sweet-Potato-and-Black-Bean-Turkey-Burgers-with-Sriracha-Lime-Crema-7And don’t forget to get weird with the crema…


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  1. Sharpinside Web on July 8, 2020 at 5:46 am

    this recipe is looking amazing i am going to write it down on my blog https://turkeyburgerrecipe.online/

  2. barbara mihalko on July 8, 2020 at 5:44 am

    Love these burgers! I made this recipe three times in 30-days. So easy and . this last iteration I added chilies. Vert tasty. No bun needed. Instead of sour cream I used yogurt.

  3. PoFoke on September 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    will try this, but gotta say… all those image links being broke are annoying. they need fixin’

    • Serena Wolf on September 28, 2015 at 6:00 pm

      Apologies! Broken links are da worst. I only found one (which is fixed). Were you clicking on the actual images of the burgers themselves?–If so, I may need to do some work on the back end of the site.

      • PoFoke on September 28, 2015 at 7:05 pm

        my apologies may be in order… may have been my connection, they’re all loaded now.

        I did click on a cpl image links earlier and nothing came up but all fixed now.. thanks!

  4. CakePants on May 17, 2014 at 12:02 am

    At first I misread the title didn’t see the “turkey” part, and I was already stoked about a sweet potato and black bean burger, but then come to find that all that goodness is mixed *with* turkey? I’m sold! These look uber flavorful!

    • Serena_Wolf on May 17, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Thank you thank you! So glad you appreciate this money flavor combo. Please try them ASAP!

  5. Kelly on April 18, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I LOVED these – but I also love veggie burgers. For the boyfriend and other “dude dieters” it seems that these were a little too bean-ish. I think that a whole can of black beans might be a bit much for some dudes, so just keep that in mind if you are feeding some carnivores. Otherwise, the seasoning recommendations were absolutely on point – very delicious!!

    • Serena_Wolf on April 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Kelly, love that you loved these. Totally agree on the black bean front, may be a bit much for meat-craving dudes. But just to clarify, the recipe only calls for 1 cup of black beans (which is slightly more than half a can). I feel like that’s not as clear as it could be in the recipe, so thanks for pointing it out! I’m going to make a note in the post. xo

      • Kelly on April 18, 2014 at 3:12 pm

        Whoops!! My mistake!!

  6. Rachel on April 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    You are brilliant and these were perfect. Grilled them rather than baked and loved every single bite. Thanks!

    • Serena_Wolf on April 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      YES. Very jealous of the grill situation, and so glad these were a hit!

    • Rachael on June 24, 2014 at 2:16 pm

      Do these actually do okay on the grill? Any extra steps needed? Every time I make my own burgers they fall apart on the grill, so just wanted to make sure! 🙂

      • Rachel on June 24, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        I think I’ve made these four times now (yes, obsessed) and I’ve only ever used the grill. They definitely don’t fall apart, but you’ll want to be sure to have olive oil/non-stick spray on hand because they do adhere to the grates a bit otherwise! I also pack them pretty tightly when I’m forming the burgers, so that might help too.

        • Serena_Wolf on June 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm

          Rachael, I was going to say exactly what Rachel said (thank you, Rachel!). As long as the grill is clean and well-oiled they hold up really well.

          • Rachael on June 25, 2014 at 5:26 pm

            Thanks guys!! I’m grilling them tonight, so great to know about the oil! 🙂

  7. Dixya Bhattarai RD on April 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    im not much of turkey burger person because it tends to be dry..but seems like you have found a solution. i hope Joey will be impressed with this and give you special discount for another year..yay for discounts 😛

    • Serena Wolf on April 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Thank you, Dixya! Fingers crossed Joey loves me and the turkey burgers…

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