Tangy coleslaw a perfect side dish for spicy Southwest burgers

Spicy tomato salsa gives these light, juicy chicken burgers a hint of the Southwest. Cool coleslaw is a perfect side dish for burgers. Making fresh coleslaw that is tangy and crunchy is a breeze using shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix available in the produce department of the supermarket.

Look for ground chicken made from chicken breast meat only. If it says ground chicken, it may contain skin, fat and dark meat.

Coleslaw tastes even better the second day. Double the recipe and you will have a ready-made salad for another day.

Helpful hints:

  • Shredded cabbage and carrots can be found in the produce department of the supermarket if you can't find coleslaw mix.
  • Any type of sweet onion can be used.
  • If pressed for time, buy coleslaw from the Deli.
  • Be sure to drain the salsa to keep the hamburgers from being too wet to retain their shape.


  • Make slaw.
  • Prepare chicken burgers.

Shopping list:

To buy: 1/2 pound ground white meat chicken, 1 small jar no-sugar-added tomato salsa, 1 small package whole wheat or whole grain hamburger rolls, 1 medium tomato, 1 bag ready-to-eat coleslaw mix, 1 small head lettuce and 1 can olive oil spray.

Staples: mayonnaise, white distilled vinegar, red onion, sugar, salt and black peppercorns.

Southwestern Chicken Burgers

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

3/4 pound ground white meat chicken

1/4 cup no-sugar-added tomato salsa, drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil spray

2 whole wheat or whole grain hamburger rolls

1 medium tomato, sliced

2 lettuce leaves

Mix chicken, salsa, salt and black pepper to taste together in a small bowl. Shape into burgers about 4 inches round and 1/4 to1/2 inch thick. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil spray and saute burgers 5 minutes on each side. A meat thermometer should read 170 degrees.

Meanwhile, spray hamburger rolls with olive oil spray and toast. Place cooked chicken burgers on bottom half of each roll. Place 1 tomato slice on top. Garnish the plate with extra slices of tomato. Cover the tomato with lettuce leaf. Close with top of roll and serve.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 357 calories (22 percent from fat), 8.6 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 2.8 g monounsaturated), 126 mg cholesterol, 42.7 g protein, 24.7 g carbohydrates, 4.7 g fiber, 320 mg sodium.

Quick Coleslaw

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup thin sliced red onion

2 cups washed, ready-to-eat coleslaw mix

Mix mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar together in a medium-size bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add onion and coleslaw mix. Toss well making sure all of the vegetables are coated with the sauce. Add more salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside while chicken burgers cook.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 157 calories (60 percent from fat), 10.6 g fat (1.7 g saturated, 2.4 g monounsaturated), 6 mg cholesterol, 1.9 g protein, 14.3 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g fiber, 141 mg sodium.

About the Author