Mushroom, Parmesan, and Wheat Germ Turkey Burgers


This recipe works best using lean ground turkey that is not 99-percent fat free.


  • 1 Teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1½ Cup chopped cremini mushrooms
  • ½ Teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¾ Pound lean ground turkey
  • ¼ Cup Kretschmer Original Toasted Wheat Germ
  • 3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ⅛ Teaspoon black pepper
  • Buns, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles, for serving


In medium skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and sauté until the mushrooms are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, wheat germ, mustard, cheese, black pepper, and cooked mushrooms. Form into 4 patties or 8 sliders. Grill on the barbecue or in a preheated grill pan until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and serve immediately with all the fixings: buns, sliced tomatoes, lettuce and pickles.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving245

Folate equivalent (total)35µg9%

Riboflavin (B2)0.4mg23.2%

Vegan Mushroom Bean Burger

Danielle Centoni is a Portland-based, James Beard Journalism Award-winning food writer and cookbook author whose idea of a perfect day always includes butter, sugar, flour, and an oven.

Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 366
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 665mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 154mg 12%
Iron 5mg 25%
Potassium 549mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

The plant-based cuisine movement has delivered endless beautiful and wholesome burger recipes, packed with nutrition and flavor. Our vegan gluten-free mushroom burger is just one of the infinite number of choices that vegan cooking has to offer. It is, however, one of the most delicious and easy to make.

Mushrooms are overlooked as a nutritional powerhouse, but they carry plenty of benefits at very few calories. A 100-gram serving of raw mushrooms has barely 24 calories but is a good source of B vitamins, selenium, and vitamin D—if the brand you buy is organic and the mushrooms have been exposed to ultraviolet light to increase levels, the percentage can be greater.  

Combine the meaty texture of mushrooms with fiber-filled pinto beans and seasonings, and you're in for a treat. These veggie burgers are easy to make: mash, form into patties, heat, and serve! Not at all crumbly, our burgers are juicy and hold their shape. Pan fry and place on your favorite bun, top with fresh veggies, add the classic burger fixings, and serve with crispy potato wedges and a salad. For strict vegan diets, be sure the fixings, sauces, and buns are also vegan. For gluten-free diets, replace the buns with gluten-free bread.

Recipe Summary

  • water to cover
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green chile pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, divided

Pour enough water into a pot that will cover lentils and wheat germ bring to a boil. Add lentils and wheat germ, reduce heat, and simmer until lentils are tender, adding more water if needed, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pot from heat and cool slightly mash lentil mixture until thick and lumpy.

Transfer mashed lentil mixture to a bowl. Mix onion, green bell pepper, mozzarella cheese, egg, green chile pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper into lentil mixture until thoroughly mixed shape into 8 patties.

Heat about 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Lower heat to medium-high and cook 4 patties in the hot oil until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining oil and patties.

Recipe Summary

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ cups quick rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ (Optional)
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 (10 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Beat eggs into a large bowl. Stir in cottage cheese, rolled oats, wheat germ, dry onion soup mix, and dried thyme. Form into 8 patties.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place patties in oil, and brown on both sides. Remove patties to a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Pour condensed soup into a small bowl. Stir in 1/2 can of water (or milk) to dilute, then pour over patties.

Beet Burger

Veggie burgers can start to taste the same after a while, so including a different ingredient is a nice change. Beets add a bit of sweetness to these veggie burgers while boosting the nutrition factor, and adding a slight purple hue. No need to cook the beets either simply cut into quarters and blend along with cooked rice, black beans, shallots, breadcrumbs, egg, parsley, and cumin.

The Power of Mushrooms

They may not have magical powers (well, not the kind we'd endorse), but mushrooms do have amazing versatility. Find out more about these "fun guys" (get it?) and how they can keep things interesting in the kitchen.

Mushrooms are commonly mistaken as a vegetable, but they're really a fungus. A whole mushroom is called a spore and consists of three sections: cap, stem and gills (the underside of the cap). Oyster, brown, portobello, shitake and white (a.k.a. button) are types you likely know, but there are thousands of other varieties available in different sizes, shapes and colors.

A cup of sliced mushrooms contains around 20 calories and provides a significant amount of nutrients in relation to their total calorie content -- top goodies include folate, thiamine, vitamin B-6, iron and zinc.

Mushrooms also contain a powerful antioxidant called L-ergothioneine, which has been linked to kidney and liver protection. Shitake, oyster and king oyster mushrooms have the highest amounts of this antioxidant crimini, portobello and button mushrooms have lesser amounts but are still considered good sources. L-ergothioneine is found in chicken liver and wheat germ, too.

A newly published study suggests that women who eat plenty of mushrooms may have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. The study looked at more than 2,000 Chinese woman and found that the more dried and fresh mushrooms the women consumed, the lower their risk was.

For those with an interest in the more exotic, some wild varieties might be the thing. Popular ones include enoki, cépe, chanterelle and puffball. Going to the forest and picking your own mushrooms may sound appealing, but there are many poisonous (and deadly!) mushrooms out there. Some of my former culinary students used to tell me the tale of the silver coin -- if the coin changes color when cooking wild mushrooms, then the mushrooms are poisonous. First, don’t cook your food with coins! Second, this is not true. If you’re a novice mushroom picker, always go with an expert, as this New York Times article explains.

Always make sure to brush or gently wash the dirt from the mushrooms before using. Since cooking over high heat for long periods of time destroys vitamins, quick sautéing or stir-frying helps maintain their nutritional value.

Mushrooms add a meaty flavor (called umami) to dishes and can replace part of the meat in recipes (just like in this Turkey-Mushroom Burger). This is helpful for those looking to create heart-healthy meals and lower the saturated fat and cholesterol in their diets. Mushrooms can also replace the meat in dishes, which is a great choice for vegetarians.

There are endless ways to incorporate mushrooms into your meals. Add raw mushrooms to salads or sautéed mushrooms to a bed of greens. Create a mushroom pasta dish, add to a quiche or top a pizza. Mushroom sauces are a light way to flavor your chicken or pork -- the possibilities are endless!

Shopping Tip: Choose fresh mushrooms that are firm and evenly colored. Avoid those that are broken, damaged or have soft spots. If all the gills are showing, the mushroom is no longer fresh. Store unwashed mushrooms in the refrigerator in a paper bag for 5 to 6 days.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small summer squash, shredded
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat, and cook the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, until tender. Mix in the carrots, squash, and zucchini. Continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and mix in oats, cheese, and egg. Stir in soy sauce, transfer the mixture to a bowl, and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat the grill for high heat.

Place the flour on a large plate. Form the vegetable mixture into eight 3 inch round patties. Drop each patty into the flour, lightly coating both sides.

Oil the grill grate, and grill patties 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and nicely browned.

Best sliders: Ruby Tuesday's Zucchini Cake Minis


Don't let size fool you. A serving of mini burgers at some chains can easily cost you more calories than a single normal-size sandwich. (Chili's Big Mouth Bites dinner served with ranch dressing and fries totals more than 2,100 calories!)

Ruby Tuesday's combination meals, which let you pair mini burgers with soup or salad, is the smartest choice we found. Our favorites are the delicious zucchini cake patties - made with roasted red peppers and feta cheese - with 580 calories, 22 grams of fat (3 grams saturated), and 1,714 milligrams of sodium.

Expert Tips For Healthy Meals On The Go

for nonfat Greek yogurt, which can serve as a great low-fat substitution. Nonfat Greek yogurt also has many health benefits, such as being high in calcium, protein, and containing probiotics.
Let&rsquos compare:
Sour cream - 2 tablespoons:
60 calories
5 grams of fat
3.5 grams saturated fat
< 1 gram of protein

Oikos Organic Greek Plain Yogurt - 2 tablespoons:
8 calories
0 grams of fat
0 grams saturated fat
> 1.5 grams of protein
Added vitamins and minerals

Suggestions for Greek yogurt:

-Substitute for sour cream to make a creamy dip for veggies. Use 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and your favorite fresh herbs and spices.

-Substitute for mayo in chicken and tuna salads. Dice 5 ounces grilled chicken and toss with 2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon Dijon and 1/4 diced apple.

-Use as a marinade: The enzymes found in yogurt serve as a natural meat tenderizer. Combine 1 cup of nonfat, plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped garlic, and your favorite herbs and spices. Toss it with skinless, boneless chicken breasts and let marinate for at least 3 hours (overnight is even better). Grill or bake until it's thoroughly cooked.

Don't miss WH's 125 Best Packaged Foods for more mouth-watering meals in a snap.

2. Purée your favorite fruits and vegetables. You can prepare food in large batches, and then freeze them for up to three months. Freezing them in ice cube trays will allow you to defrost the perfect amount needed.

-Apples: Dice 6 apples (with skin) and simmer with 1/4 cup water until soft. Use hand blender or food processor to purée to desired consistency. Spread over whole-wheat toast or add to cottage cheese for added sweetness and fiber. Use as a substitute for butter or oil when baking cookies. Substitute in equal amounts, and be sure to mix the batter thoroughly. You'll get a slightly moister, more "cakey" consistency, but it will still taste delicious, and be much healthier.

-Sweet Potatoes: Peel and cube. Boil in water and mash to desired consistency. Add a touch of vanilla extract or cinnamon and eat as creamy snack. Use the sweet potato purée as a base for a delicious sweet potato soup.

-Beans: Purée white, garbanzo, black, or kidney beans and add it to meatballs or turkey burgers for extra fiber and protein.

-Bananas: Peel and purée bananas. Portion into 1/2 cup servings and put into the freezer. Use as an "ice cream" treat when needed. Top with crushed peanuts for banana peanut-flavored ice cream!

3. Increase the volume of your meals without adding calories to help you feel full for longer. Sound tricky? Here are some easy ways to do this:

- Use the blender. Blending your food increases the air content and serving size of your meal. You'll feel like you're eating more and you'll feel satisfied more quickly.

Put your morning banana and cup of nonfat plain yogurt into the blender with 1 cup of crushed ice, and blend until smooth (or to your desired consistency). In a hurry? Pour it into a cup and take your breakfast to go.

-Add whipped or steamed milk to your coffee. It will increase the volume of the drink to help you feel fuller longer.

-Drink green tea while cooking. It will help you fill up and you'll benefit from the added antioxidants.

-Add veggies to everything! Vegetables are high in fiber and water content, so they fill you up fast without a lot of calories. Add extra lettuce and tomato to your sandwiches, an extra handful of spinach to your salads, broccoli to your pizza, and tomatoes and mushrooms to your morning omelets.

4. Go for chicken stock (use the low-sodium kind). Use it to make mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower instead of butter or cream. Steam veggies in chicken stock for added flavor instead of using butter or oil.

5. Use condiments. Herbs, spices, salsa&hellipyum! Condiments are an easy way to spice up ordinary meals. Try hot sauce, spicy brown mustard, low-sodium soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegars, and salsa.

-Try flavoring fish with spices and a small amount of mustard and lemon juice instead of butter and cream sauces.

-Instead of seasoning veggies, meat, fish, and poultry with salt, use herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil.

-Sick of the same old grilled chicken breast for dinner? Here are some new ways to make condiments work with this old favorite:

-After marinating chicken in garlic and lime juice, grill and top with your favorite salsa for a southwestern twist.

-Cut grilled chicken into strips, toss with hot sauce, and serve with celery and carrot sticks for a healthy take on chicken wings.

-Make a healthy stir-fry by mixing grilled chicken with your favorite vegetables, low-sodium soy sauce, garlic and ginger.

-Herbs and spices have also been shown to be antioxidant-rich, thus providing anti-cancer benefits. So they are not only calorie free, but good for you!

-Try mixing cottage cheese with white horseradish and cracked pepper. Use as a simple dip!

6. Indulge in your cravings by making your own healthier versions of your favorite restaurant items.

-Pizza: Eating a slice made with whole-grain crust, low-fat cheese, and tons of veggies is a great, healthy meal.

Try these "pizzettes" as another fast, delicious alternative: Top 2 fiber crackers with 1 tablespoon marinara sauce and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese. Microwave for 15 seconds.

-Burgers: A turkey burger on a whole-wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, and baked sweet potato fries is a healthy alternative to your usual high-fat burger and fries. To make the fries: Halve a sweet potato and cut into 1/8-inch strips. Place on baking pan sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon or sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

-Drive-thru meals: Even your favorite fast food breakfast can be "re-made." Top a whole-wheat English muffin with scrambled egg whites, reduced-fat cheddar, and turkey bacon.

-Egg sandwiches: Try making your favorite egg salad with 4 egg whites (one yolk), 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a dash of salt and pepper.

-French toast: For a healthy version of French toast, dip whole wheat bread into egg whites (slightly beaten) and cook on a nonstick pan. Serve with fresh berries or nonfat cottage cheese.

-Pasta bolognaise: It's a hearty meal but it can have a healthy spin if prepared with whole-wheat pasta and ground turkey instead of red meat. Add veggies to the tomato sauce for an extra boost.

-Chicken: Simply top grilled chicken with marinara sauce and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese melts.

-Breading: Use whole-wheat breadcrumbs mixed with wheat germ. After breading fish or chicken, bake instead of frying.

7. Prepare your meals in advance. Set aside some time to prep your foods as soon as you get home from the grocery store.

-Cut up celery, carrots, peppers, jicama, and any other veggies you love.

-Portion large containers of cottage cheese and yogurt into smaller, individual portions.

-Hard-boil your eggs and keep them in the fridge so they are ready to use in a recipe or eat as a snack.

-Grill and slice chicken breasts and package them into 3-ounce portions.

- Prepare easy low-calorie salads, such as cucumber salad or mushroom salad, and keep in the refrigerator:

Cucumber salad: Slice and peel 3 cucumbers and toss with 2 tablespoons chopped red onion and rice vinegar.

Sliced mushroom salad: Thinly slice mushrooms and top with freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt, cracked pepper, and a small amount of olive oil.

8. 1,2,3 Done! Having ready-to-eat meals and on-hand ingredients in your home can help make food prep easier than figuring out how to turn on the oven! If your kitchen's stocked with the right items, you'll be less likely to suffer from the "I don't know what to have for dinner" syndrome. Here are some staples to keep handy:

-Frozen vegetables (Cascadian Farm broccoli, peas, and green beans)

-Pre-cooked grilled frozen chicken breasts (Bell & Evans)

-Whole-wheat tacos. Use La Tortilla Factory flour tortillas (or another high-fiber variety) and fill with 3 ounces sliced grilled chicken, 1/4 cup black beans, lettuce, tomato, and a sprinkle of reduced-fat cheese.

-Frozen veggie burgers (Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burgers)

-Canned tuna or salmon (packed in water)

-Try 1 Hans' All-Natural chicken sausage (Italian mild), cut up and mixed with a can of Amy's Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque soup for a super-quick, filling, and comforting stew.

9. Drink water. Fluid deserves some attention, too. It's refreshing, keeps you hydrated, and can be calorie free. Plus, it helps fill you up. Here are some ways to make your agua more appealing:

- Add lemons, oranges, or berries to give water extra flavor without the added calories.

-Iced green tea. Boil 6 cups water and let 4 tea bags steep. Let the liquid cool to room temperature. Then chill it in the refrigerator for a calorie-free water alternative. Add mint leaves for extra flavor.

-Try cold seltzer with a splash of pomegranate juice to get those fluids in with a low-calorie and delicious alternative.

10. Snacks wisely. If you have a moment, take the time to prepare a healthy snack. Your snacks do not need to come from pre-measured 100-calorie packs. When you're cooking, remember that portioned leftovers often make for great snacks later on. Here are a few examples of what you can whip up from the food you put aside:

Recipe Summary

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced into 3/4 inch rounds
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 6 slices Monterey Jack cheese
  • 6 hamburger buns, split
  • 6 leaves lettuce
  • 6 slices tomato
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • ½ cup dill pickle slices
  • 1 (20 ounce) bottle ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

Place the eggplant slices on a plate, and cook in the microwave for about 5 minutes, or until the centers are cooked.

Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry eggplant slices until lightly toasted on each side, and place one slice of cheese onto each one. Cook until cheese has melted, and remove from the skillet.

Place eggplant on hamburger buns, and allow each person to top with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, and dress with ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard.

13 Healthier Burger Recipes

It&rsquos National Burger Month and you&rsquore probably wondering why SparkPeople is celebrating a food with such an unhealthy reputation. The reason is that SparkPeople sees beyond the calories, fat, and sodium to a tremendously fun and flexible vehicle for healthy eating. Each component&mdashthe patty, bun, spreads and toppings&mdashprovide opportunities for customizing to your tastes and nutritional needs. We&rsquove gathered our best tips and recipes to help you build a better burger, your own Spark burger.

Burgers typically consist of protein, grains, a binding agent, vegetables, and spices. Use 1 pound of protein, 1 cup of grains, 1 cup of vegetables, 2 tablespoons of binder and 1 teaspoon of spices.

Flaxseed meal (mixed with water)

  • Sandwich thin
  • Open face (Serve burger on top half the bun)
  • Whole wheat bun
  • Pita bread
  • Tortilla
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Tomato
  • Pickles
  • Onions
  • Chef Meg's Caramelized Onions
  • Roasted bell pepper
  • Sprouts
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Homemade Ketchup
  • Chef Meg's Tapenade
  • Chef Meg's Creamy Fat Free Herb Dressing
  • Chef Meg's Spicy Chili-Garlic Paste
  • Chef Meg's Chipotle Mustard Dipping Sauce
  • Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Create your Spark burger: what is your healthy burger recipe?

For more grilling recipes, check out our e-book: "SparkPeople's Ultimate Grilling Guide: 75 Hearty, Healthy Recipes You Can Really Sink Your Teeth Into"! Click here to learn more.