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Chipotles packed in adobo are one of my absolute favourite things. They’re smokey, spicy, tangy, saucy and loaded with umami. They are not, however, paleo compliant. At least, the majority aren’t. While the chipotle pepper itself (a jalapeño that is smoke-dried) abides by the rules of paleo and whole30 programs, the adobo sauce it is typically packaged in is not. The deal breaker is the small amount of sugar they use to make the rich, tomato-based sauce (adobo). And, depending on which company you purchase, there may be other atrocities thrown in! Oh, the horror!

Despite the above, I do sometimes use chipotles packed in adobo for various recipes. Today, I just couldn’t resist. Sorry, not sorry. They also make an appearance in My Gaucamole Recipefor example. I have also been known to sneak a few into my Crockpot Beef Barbacoa every now and again. I personally don’t take too much issue with the occasional, albeit very small amount, of sugar. Operative word being occasional. Especially if that occasion falls on a cheat day! The moral of the story is: everything in moderation; including moderation.

Chipotle Turkey Burgers Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole 30 Easy Burger Best Recipe Summer

A Whole 30 Chipotle Turkey Burger Does Exist!

But what if you are doing a round of Whole30 or are simply making a conscious effort to avoid sugar altogether? Can you still enjoy these Chipotle Turkey Burgers? The answer is, YES! Though it does come with a bit of a catch. You’ll have to locate a package of dried chipotle peppers. As in, jalapeños that have been smoke-dried and not packaged in a can of murky, tomatoey goodness. The upside is that more and more stores are carrying selections of Mexican products, including a variety of dried chilies. If you’re in the GTA you can check out the nearest Coppa’s or head to one of the Mexican grocers in Kensington Market. All you’ll need to do is rehydrate the dried pepper in a pot of boiling water for at least 15-20 minutes. It’s very easy and, in my opinion, worth going the extra mile.

The thing I love most about these burgers is just how simple and easy they are. I’ve purposely kept things to a bare minimum here because it’s summer and I have a feeling you want to spend more time enjoying the weather than being cooped-up in the kitchen. I don’t blame you! Turkey is also a great vessel for the Mexican-inspired flavours. It packs a bit more punch than chicken and is much juicier.

Come to think of it, you may still want to read my (NOT-SO) DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO MAKING WHOLE30 BURGERS FROM SCRATCH before making these. I go over a few tips on how to make sure your burgers don’t fall apart at the seams when grilling. While your there, be sure to pin my Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Burgers for next time!

Chipotle Turkey Burgers Paleo Primal Gourmet Whole 30 Easy Burger Best Recipe Summer

INGREDIENTS: (makes 3, 1/3lb patties)

1 lb ground turkey

1 tbsp fresh cilantro – finely chopped

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce – minced

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

1 tsp avocado oil – to drizzle over burgers

for toppings:

My Favourite Guacamole – click here for recipe

Whole30 compliant salsa


  1. Add all of the ingredients except the avocado oil to a mixing bowl – mix well. Tip: Use your hands – it’s easier.
  2. Divide the mixture into 3 equal parts (for 1/3lbs burgers). Form into patties using the baseball and glove technique outlined here’ and drizzle both sides of each patty with a bit of avocado oil.
  3. Preheat a grill to high heat. Place the burgers over direct heat and immediately lower the temperature of the grill to ‘low’. Close the lid and grill approximately 6 minutes per side or until fully cooked.
  4. Transfer burgers to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. Cut the iceberg lettuce into buns. Arrange each burger individually by topping with guacamole and salsa. Or, serve everything as a buffet so that guests can build their own burgers.

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  1. Another awesome burger Ronny! Chipotles in adobo are a favorite of mine too. Love your lettuce buns. They always look perfect! I’ll definitely be trying these!

  2. I made this recipe today and it was so delicious! I will definitely be making them again. Thanks for the recipe.