Turkey Sliders with Sweet Potato Fries

Growing up, my family was very "meat and potatoes" oriented. Maybe that's part of the reason that I love potatoes in a way that borders on obsession...

That said, unless we were eating chicken, red meat was usually the meat of choice at home. Tacos, meatloaves, and of course, burgers were all made using ground beef. I'm sure I must have heard of the concept of ground turkey at some point, but turkey as anything other than what you ate on Thanksgiving Day seemed like something that would only interest health nuts.  Then one day, my friend Gina made me a turkey burger--and it was so delicious, I have not made a burger with ground beef since.

This particular recipe is for turkey sliders, but the ingredients would be identical if you chose to make larger burger patties. And while I will get to the sweet potato fries later on in the post, these sliders are really the heart of this meal. Great as an appetizer or a meal that appeals to kids, I guarantee that you will want to make these again and again--and you will NOT miss the ground beef!

You will need the following for the turkey sliders:

-1 pound of ground turkey
-1 whole egg
-1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
-1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1 teaspoon onion powder
-1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
-Salt and pepper to taste
-3 slices of cheddar cheese, each cut into four squares
-12 Hawaiian rolls, sliced
-Suggested toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion
-Suggested condiments: mayo or ranch dressing mixed with hot sauce or ketchup/mustard

First, cut your cheese squares into quarters and slice your Hawaiian rolls (if you prefer slider buns, those work too--I just love the sweetness of the Hawaiian rolls). Set aside, and preheat your griddle to 350 degrees (or prepare your grill/pan--whatever you are using to cook them!) and spray with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Next, crack the egg into a large bowl and beat lightly. Add in the ground turkey, spices, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well by hand. Note that you do NOT need to add in bread crumbs; the mixture will stick together well enough without them, so why add the extra calories?

When the griddle is ready, make 12 small patties out of the turkey mixture and place on the griddle. Leave them be for about 4 minutes, or until the bottom halves of the turkey patties begin to turn white (and brown on the bottom). Flip the burgers and cook for another two minutes. Place cheese slices on the patties and cook for an additional two minutes. The cheese should be melted.

Place your turkey burger patties onto the Hawaiian rolls, cover with veggies and condiments of your choosing, and they are ready to eat! Healthy turkey sliders--prepped and ready to eat in under 20 minutes!

Of course, you can't eat a burger without fries. And, since you're already doing so well on the health front, it would probably be best to pair your turkey burgers with a healthy side. Luckily, sweet potato fries are a healthy AND tasty option. I found a great set of instructions on this site, because my previous attempts at sweet potato fries came out too soggy. You will need the following:

-2 large sweet potatoes
-1/4 cup of olive oil
-1 teaspoon paprika
-salt to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Peel your sweet potatoes and cut off the tips to prevent burning them. Cut your peeled sweet potatoes into 1/2" to 3/4" wedges and place in a large bowl. Next, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and paprika over the top of the wedges. Toss to coat evenly.

Spread the seasoned potato wedges onto a cooking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Be sure that none of the potato wedges are touching each other, because this can lead to a soggier texture when they are finished. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the fries, then return to the oven for another 8-10 minutes. That's it! The paprika from the fries will compliment the kick from the crushed red pepper flakes in the turkey burgers, making them an ideal combination. Enjoy!

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