Southwest Turkey Burgers with Mango-Chili Guac

Southwest Turkey Burger with Mango-Chili Guac

Oh man is this a good combo!  It originated about a week ago, when I was making guacamole on our aforementioned family ski trip.  As I worked through the early prep – chopping garlic and onion, Paul handed me a Fresno chili to include.  Hmm, delicious, but perhaps a little to much heat for a range of tastes… Adding the pepper was a good idea though, flavorful and pretty, and the antidote to its heat awaited in a Champagne Mango resting on the counter nearby.  As I mentioned earlier this week, these smaller, sweeter, creamy yellow mangoes are now in season and it’s pretty much impossible to get enough of them.  The chili-mango combo was just right, with hot and sweet permeating, but not overpowering, each bite.  Yet, the addition of the mango did not detract from the overall guac-ness of the creation – avocado and cilantro still shone through.  It worked out so well that I knew right away I would share it here.

That said, I wanted to include this guac in a meal, not just as an app.  It’s great with chips, don’t get me wrong, but it can be so much more…

Which brought me to it’s new application as a topping for Southwest-inspired turkey burgers.  The cooling effects of the avocado and mango provide a great balance to the cumin and chili powder in the burger, plus the textures work really well together.  I hope you’ll enjoy, and of course please feel free to make the guacamole on it’s own, to really showcase the exceptional mangoes!

Time: 1 Hour

Hands-On Time: 45 Minutes

Makes 4 Burgers & 4 Servings of Guacamole.  If it’s just two of you, cut turkey burger in half but do make all the guacamole – it saves well!

Kitchen Equipment:

– For the Guac: Small Mixing Bowl, Larger Mixing Bowl, Sharp Knife, Cutting Board, Small Spoon, Stirring Spoon

– For the Burgers: Mixing Bowl, Sharp Knife, Cutting Board, Measuring Spoons, Frying Pan or Grill Pan, Lid for Pan, Griddle or Second Frying Pan

Ingredients & Steps for the Guacamole:


– 1 Ripe Avocado

– 1 Ripe Champagne Mango

– 1 Chili Pepper, chosen according to your heat preference!  The Fresno Chili, pictured below, is medium spicy.

– 1/2 Bunch Cilantro

– 1 Garlic Clove

– 1/4 Red Onion

– Juice from One Lime

– 1/2 Tsp Salt (or more to taste)

The makings of Mango-Chili Guacamole


– Peel, crush and mince the garlic and place in a small bowl

– Finely Chop the 1/4 Onion and set in the same small bowl

– Add the salt and lime juice to the garlic and onion and set aside.  Note: while guacamole appears to be nothing more than a mash up of all its ingredients, this step really makes a difference as the lime juice and salt temper the onion and garlic a bit.  You’ll still notice them, minus their harsh bite.

– Cut the mango away from the pit (a oval-ish disk that runs parallel to the sides) by slicing the fruit from pole to pole, just off center.  Remove the skin from the two halves and finely dice the mango flesh.  Place in a larger mixing bowl.

– Cut the chili in two halves and remove the seeds.  Slice into matchsticks, then slice crosswise for a fine dice.  Add to the mangoes.

– Coarsely chop the cilantro and add.

– Cut the avocado in half and either: cut a grid into the flesh while it’s still in the peel, then scoop out and add to the bowl, or, scoop out with a spoon in small pieces and add to the bowl.  Do not mash the avocado any further, as it will break down a bit more during stirring.  Save the avocado pit!

– Add the lime/salt/onion/garlic mixture, then stir all ingredients until just incorporated.  Add the pit to the mix (to keep it from turning brown), cover & refrigerate.

Mango-Chili Guacamole

Ingredients & Steps for the Southwest Turkey Burger:


– 1 Lb Ground Turkey

– 1 Yellow Onion, Finely Diced

– 1 Tsp Butter

– 1 Tsp Ground Cumin

– 1/2 Tsp Ground Chili Powder

– 1 Ounce (about 1/2 a cup) French Baguette (or other airy low to no sugar bread, or, breadcrumbs you may have on hand!)

– 1/4 Cup 1-2% Milk

– 4 Tsp Olive Oil, Separated, plus more for toasting buns

– 4 Hamburger Buns – The Brioche buns shown here were delicious and lighter than they look – they are hollowed out!


– Melt the butter over medium heat in the frying pan and add the diced onions.  Saute 5-7 minutes, until turning golden brown.  Remove from heat.

– In a blender, whir the baguette into breadcrumbs.  Starting on a slow speed and increasing to max speed for about five seconds worked well.  I repeated this process twice  to get even-sized crumbs.

– Place the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and add the 1/4 cup milk.  Let soak for five minutes.

– Then, add the cumin, chili and onions and stir to evenly incorporate.

– Add the ground turkey and mix with your hands to evenly distribute the seasonings throughout the meat.  Add salt and pepper to preference.

– Form four patties and set them on a plate.  You may cook them right away or cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours to use later.

– When it’s time to cook, heat the olive oil in the frying pan over medium heat.  Think 1 tsp per burger – if you can cook all four patties at once, great.  Working in batches is fine too.

– Start with medium heat to brown the patties.  Cook for two minutes per side, then two minutes per side again.  Then, lower heat to low and cover the pan.  Let cook for about seven minutes and uncover.  Test the center for doneness – if it’s still pink, recover and check in another 2-3 minutes.

– Meanwhile, slice the hamburger buns in half so that the bottom half is much smaller.  Hollow out the top half so it will fit over the burger and toppings without smooshing the guac out all over the sides.  (And if you’re inclined to spread some butter and salt over the filling you’ve just removed, for a snack while the patties cook, I would say that you’re speaking my language.)

– Brush the inside of the bottom slice and the edge of the top slice with olive oil.  Place on the griddle or second frying pan, oil side down, and brown over low heat.

– When the patties are done, assemble on the bun and top with the Mango-Chili Guacamole.

Happy Days!

Southwest Turkey Burger with Mango-Chili Guac

9 thoughts on “Southwest Turkey Burgers with Mango-Chili Guac

  1. This was SO close to being a truly sublime burger but sadly, the mango guacamole was bitter, and I’m not really sure why – too much lime? Did the lime juice react with the red onion? Perhaps a teaspoon of sugar would have been the ticket, to counterbalance the acidity? I’m really not sure but the guac was effectively inedible…but I can tell that it would’ve been wonderful had it not been for the bitterness. The burgers themselves were a hit, and your trick of scooping out the top of the buns was helpful in terms of accommodating the guacamole topping. I really want to try this again because it has great potential. If you have any ideas about bitterness, I’d be grateful! Thanks. (Tonight I’m trying your bolognese!)


    1. PS: I did not use chili peppers because I was serving my 3-year-old and I knew she wouldn’t try more than a bite if it was in any way spicy.


      1. Hi Jenn – thanks very much for trying the recipes and I’m glad the burger worked out. I’m so sorry to hear about the bitter guac. What immediately comes to mind is the ripeness of the mango – I think they can be less forgiving than other fruit if they are not ripe enough. (I don’t think it was the lime juice reacting to the red onion – I’ve always combined them to temper the onion but it shouldn’t cause bitterness.) Was it possibly the case that the mangoes were underripe?


      2. Thanks for your reply, Allison. My partner also suspected that the mango was slightly underripe, so perhaps that was the error of my ways with this recipe. I had bought the mango on the day I tried it – I just could not wait to make this guac! I will definitely try the recipe again and next time I’ll wait a day or two before digging in to the mango. I think it will blow my mind once the guac’s in good order. Again, awesome recipe. (I’m a little obsessed with guacamole, which is really the only way I enjoy eating avocado, which I SO want to love for its health properties!) Thanks again!


    1. Kecia – thanks so much for including me on your list, I am so excited and honored to be featured! I have been traveling a bit and seeing this when I finally had a moment to catch up really made me smile. Your site is great. Thanks again!!


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