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Thousand Island Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Provolone Cheese

Of the all the condiments that health-conscious clean eaters want to avoid, Thousand Island dressing just might top the list. It contains generous amounts of salt and sugar, not to mention that another popular ingredient, sweet pickle relish, is generally soaked in high-fructose corn syrup. That's the bad news. The good news is that you probably already have most of the ingredients for this updated version in your kitchen right now.

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Cook Time
30 min
30 min



  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp sea salt, divided
  • ¾ tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • High-heat cooking oil (such as grape seed or safflower), as needed
  • 1 lb extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 tsp mild chile powder (such as
  • ancho chile powder)
  • 1/2 tsp unsalted garlic and herb seasoning
  • 4 ¾-oz slices reduced-sodium
  • Provolone cheese
  • 1 cup loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Thousand island dressing

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp finely diced low-sodium kosher dill pickles
  • 1 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp minced white onion
  • 1½ tsp olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp Sucanat
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder


  1. In a medium, heavy skillet on medium, heat olive oil. (Tip: A cast iron skillet works well for this use; avoid using nonstick if possible.)
  2. Add onion and stir to coat. Season with 1/8 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Reduce heat if onion starts to brown too quickly or sticks to the pan. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high and lightly brush grate with cooking oil. In a large bowl, combine turkey, remaining 1/4 tsp salt, remaining 1/2 tsp pepper, chile powder and garlic-herb seasoning. Form into 4 ½-inch-thick patties; indent each patty in center with your fingers. Grill, flipping patties halfway through, until no longer pink in center and internal temperature reaches 165°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 to 12 minutes. Just before patties are done, top each patty with 1 cheese slice and allow to just melt.
  4. Burgers can also be prepared in the oven under the broiler on a greased, foil-lined baking sheet. Broil on high for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway, until cooked through. Remove from oven, top with cheese slices and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes.)
  5. Meanwhile, prepare Thousand Island dressing: In a medium bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and stir until Sucanat has dissolved, about 1 minute. Divide spinach, caramelized onions, patties and dressing among buns.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 0
  • Carbohydrate Content 0 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 0 g
  • Fiber Content 0 g
  • Protein Content 0 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Sodium Content 0 mg
  • Sugar Content 0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g