Naked Turkey Burger


Okay, so today is day twelve of the Whole 30 (I'm sure you're just as sick of me talking about it as I am), and while I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am also really missing certain foods. 

Pizza. Cookies. French fries. 

But fortunately when I get those cravings for a cheesy slice of pizza or a big juicy hamburger, I can make something that's almost as good, like this naked turkey burger with a side of baked sweet potato chips. 

Naked Turkey Burger - b-1
Naked Turkey Burger - b-1

Of course a classic beef burger patty would have been even more indulgent and satisfying, but we keep turkey on hand, so this is what we made. While turkey is healthier and leaner, since you loose the fat you also loose a bit of the flavor. To make up for that, I season the turkey pretty generously with some salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and red pepper flakes. 

Naked Turkey Burger - b-4
Naked Turkey Burger - b-4

Now if this were the summer, I would be outside cooking these on the grill. But around here it's been about 30 degrees so I am staying inside, thanyouverymuch. Instead I just cook these in a cast iron skillet. 


While the hamburgers are cooking, I slice up a sweet potato and crisp them up in the oven. This is about as close as I am going to get to french fries or potato chips for the next couple weeks, so I savor every single bite of them. I just wish I could dip them in some ketchup. 


To put everything together, I stack up a burger patty, tomato, and a heaping dollop of guacamole. Basically enough guacamole to make me not miss cheese. Which means I put a lot of guac on this baby. 

Then I wrap up the whole thing up in some iceberg lettuce. I mean, iceberg lettuce will never be a sweet sesame seed bun, but at least it's some sort of vehicle to keep my burger and all the toppings together. 

Even without the yummy carb-loaded bun and salty french fries, this is a very satisfying meal. And as much as I complain about not being able to eat all these wonderful foods, I will say that I feel the benefits of this "clean" eating. I haven't felt bloated, gross, or tired after any meal. And overall I just feel more energized and better, like my body is actually working like it should. So now I just need to remind myself of that every time I think of cake. Or cookies. Or cheese. 

Oh boy.



  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 1/2 cup gucamole or 1 avocado
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, halved


  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey and spices. Form into 4 equal sized patties.
  2. Place a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil. Place the patties on the skillet equally spaced apart.
  3. Sear patties on either side, about 2 minutes each. Then reduce heat to medium and cover the pan to let the patties cook through for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove patties from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, separate outer layers of the iceberg lettuce into 4 big leaves.
  5. Place burger patty on top of one half of lettuce, stack tomato on top of the burger patty, and top with guacamole. Fold lettuce over and enjoy!