Meat & Grain Burgers

No grill? No problem! These drool-worthy Meat & Grain Burgers from The Runner’s World Cookbook are roasted in the oven and pack 26 grams of protein for less than 400 calories

under 20 mins
lunch dinner

Ingredients for servings


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 pound fresh spinach leaves

  • 1 pound beef chuck (can also use ground sirloin, boneless chicken or turkey thighs, pork or lamb shoulder with excess fat removed)

  • 1 small onion finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped

  • 1 Pinch finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin or chili powder

  • 0.25 teaspoon salt

  • 0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 cups cooked bulgur

  • 6 whole wheat burger buns (approx. 120 calories per bun)


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a rimmed baking sheet or large roasting pan with the oil.

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Wilt the spinach in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain and immediately plunge into the ice water. Drain, squeeze tightly to dry thoroughly, and coarsely chop. Put the spinach in a bowl. If you’re using ground meat, add it to the spinach and skip the next step.

  • If you’re using whole pieces of meat, cut them into large chunks and put them in a food processor. Pulse several times to process until ground but not pureed, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides, if necessary. Transfer to the bowl with the spinach.

  • Add the onion, garlic, cayenne, and cumin or chili powder. Sprinkle with 0.25 teaspoon salt and pepper, and stir. Add the egg and grains and mix until thoroughly combined using a rubber spatula or your hands. Shape into 6 burgers and put on the baking sheet or in the roasting pan. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until firm and browned all over. (Carefully turn them once or twice for even cooking.) Since the burgers are pretty sturdy, they can also be cooked on a preheated grill over medium heat for 3 or 4 minutes per side.

  • Place the burgers in the buns and top with salsa or any of your favorite burger toppings.

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