Cat Cora’s Turkey Burger with Creamy Basil-Parmesan Sauce and Jalapeño Poppers

Craving a fast food meal without all the calories? Chef Cat Cora, the new ambassador for WW (previously Weight Watchers) shows us how to make a flavorful and healthier version of the beloved burger that is perfect for dinner any night of the week.  Plus, Cat’s Jalapeño Poppers add a spicy kick to the meal!

Turkey Burger with Creamy Basil-Parmesan Sauce
Serves 2
4 SmartPoints® points


For the pickled red onions:
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
1 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
For the turkey burgers:
Nonstick cooking spray
12 ounces (98% or 99% fat free) ground turkey breast, cold
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped, optional
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic, optional
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the creamy basil-parmesan sauce:
1 1/4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 1/2 small scallions, chopped
1/2 tablespoon water, plus more if needed
1 3/4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

For serving:
2 brioche buns, grilled
4 tomato slices
2 butter lettuce leaves


1. Make the pickled red onions: In a medium heatproof bowl, place onions. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Remove from heat and carefully pour over onions. Let cool completely. Refrigerate, covered, at least 2 hours and up to 1 month.

2. Make the turkey burgers: Preheat a cast-iron-grill pan over high heat. Spray with nonstick spray.

3. In a medium bowl, combine turkey, thyme, if using, and garlic, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. Form into two 1-inch-thick patties.

4. Transfer burgers to grill and reduce heat to medium. Gently press burgers and cook, flipping once, until browned and no longer pink inside, 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per side.

5. Make the creamy basil-parmesan sauce: In the base of a food processor or blender, process spinach, yogurt, basil, scallions, and water until smooth, adding more water if too thick. Stir in parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

6. To serve: Place burgers on grilled brioche bun bottoms. Top with tomatoes, 2 tablespoons pickled red onions, lettuce, 2 to 3 tablespoons creamy basil-parmesan sauce, and grilled brioche bun tops.

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Jalapeño Poppers
Serves 2 to 4

5 tablespoons crumbled feta
4 tablespoons plain nonfat Greek yogurt, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
Pinch garlic powder
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Pinch kosher salt, plus more for garnish
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
4 medium jalapeños, halved lengthwise, stemmed, and seeded
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice, for garnish
1/2 teaspoon lime zest, for garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small cup, whip together feta, yogurt, oregano, and garlic powder until well combined.

3. In another small cup, stir together panko, salt, and pepper until combined.

4. In a small bowl, whisk egg.

5. Divide cheese mixture between jalapeños. Dredge jalapeños in egg mixture. Roll in panko, pressing lightly for panko to adhere.

6. Set coated jalapeños, cut side up, on a small baking sheet. Bake until filling is bubbling and panko is golden, about 30 minutes.

7. Remove from tray and let cool 10 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of yogurt, lime juice, lime zest, and salt, if desired.

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