Super Healthy Turkey Burgers with Blood Orange Aioli

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Serves 4.

This turkey burger is not bland and boring! Cilantro, green chile, pinions, cotija, orange zest flavor the patty, and it gets dressed with a delightful orange aioli. Deliciously healthy!


Blood Orange and Roasted Garlic Aioli
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 cup neutral or olive oil*
3 cloves roasted garlic, mashed to a paste*
zest and juice (2 teaspoons) of 1 blood orange*
salt/pepper to taste

The Patties
1/2 onion
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup pinions (pine nuts)
2 Hatch or poblano chiles, roasted and diced*
1/4 cup crumbled cotija
zest of 1 orange
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup panko
1 pound 85% ground turkey*
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon mexican oregano leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
a few grinds pepper

To Serve
rolls or buns, sliced and grilled until golden brown
Blood Orange Aioli
leaf lettuce
slicing tomatoes


Blood Orange Aioli
Add the eggs and dijon mustard to the processor bowl. Process until smooth and creamy.

Using the chute on the processor (yes, this is a requirement,) pour the oil in a thin, steady stream while the processor is in the locked “on” position. This process allows the eggs to emulsify the oil.

Add the orange juice and zest, and garlic paste. Pulse to combine.

Remove the lid. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, processing to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

The Patties
To the clean processor bowl, add the 1/2 onion. Process until very finely minced. Spoon the onion into a strainer, and press with a rubber spatula to remove liquid. Add back to a dry processor bowl.

Add the cilantro leaves, and process until the onion and cilantro are both very finely minced and well-combined.

Add the pinions. Pulse a couple of times so that pinions are just slightly chopped.

Scoop this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Using your hands, very thoroughly combine. Don’t wreck the texture by combining all of the ingredients in the food processor!

Divide ground turkey mixture into 4 large patties. Cook thoroughly on medium heat, and all the way through (undercooked ground turkey isn’t tasty and could be dangerous). Times will vary according to the cook top and size and thickness of patties.

To Serve
Generously spread each bun half with the blood orange aioli. Top with lettuce, tomato, and a patty.


* See Notes

Cuisine: Mexican/Southwest | Recipe Type: Main Dish

If your egg is still cold, it may not emulsify. You can set the egg in a bowl of hot water to speed the process.

I use extra virgin olive oil, but some people prefer a more neutral flavor. Try pure olive oil, safflower, canola, etc. if you prefer.

Aioli is a mayonnaise seasoned with garlic. I prefer to roast a bulb of garlic, and use those cloves, as the taste is mellower. You can substitute raw. See How To Roast Garlic on Either way, use a mortar and pestle to make a paste.

Substitute any orange for the blood orange if not available.

I specified 85% lean ground turkey. You can trim calories by using leaner ground turkey. I feel like the burgers need a little fat. Your choice.

Due to variables like your choice of rolls or buns, amount of aioli, etc. I thought it better to not include macro nutrients for this recipe.