Burgers made with spinach, lemon zest, and garlic

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Burgers made with spinach, lemon zest, and garlic

One of the versions of turkey burgers I’ve offered in the past is a decadent version made with blue cheese (usually from Point Reyes Station here in West Marin). Search for the blue cheese burger on this site if you haven’t yet tried them and add about 1/3 cup of minced fresh cilantro.

Trying to get more veggies into our diets is always a goal, so I was happy to find a way to incorporate spinach into a summer staple. These can be made with ground turkey or lean grass-fed beef. By the time you add the spinach and other ingredients, a half cup measuring cup makes four burgers per pound of ground meat.

Servings: 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey or beef or a mixture of both
  • 10 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Fire up the grill. 
  2. Saute the spinach in a little olive oil until it wilts. 
  3. In a large bowl, mix the turkey or beef, spinach, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper. 
  4. Make healthier quarter pounders using the half cup measuring cup to get an equal amount per burger then flatten them on waxed paper. There’s something about seeing wide veins of green in these burgers that is very satisfying. 
  5. Grill them until done making sure you get those cool grill marks. Serve them, of course, on whole grains buns with whatever else you usually put on burgers.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • (does not include bun)
  • Calories: 183
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 90 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 2 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Sodium: 338 mg
  • Protein: 21 g