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Michelle Obama-Approved Recipe: Porcupine Sliders

Add these sliders to your next tailgating menu! (Photo courtesy of Jennie-O)

Outdoor grilling season is pretty much over (did anyone else need a jacket this morning?) but burger season can continue all year long! Today, we're enjoying a guilt-free slider recipe packed with fall flavors that won best of show in First Lady Michelle Obama's inaugural Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge. Students and faculty from South Education Center Alternative in Richfield, Minnesota, and Chef Todd Bolton of Parasole Restaurant Holdings teamed up to create these delicious and kid-friendly sandwiches. Diners can now take a bite of these sliders, whose name comes from the "prickly" grains of rice in the burger mix, at the school and at Parasole's Good Earth restaurants. And now you can try them at home by following this recipe!

Porcupine Sliders (Serves 6) For burgers:

  • 1/2 cup medium grain brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small stalk of celery, minced
  • 16 ounces Jennie-O lean ground turkey (93/7 works best)
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, rough chopped
  • 3/4 cup spinach leaves (washed, drained, stems removed, chopped)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worscestershire sauce
  • 1 scant pinch of crushed red pepper

For sandwiches:

  • 12 small multigrain or whole grain rolls
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Condiments of choice
  1. Follow package instructions to cook brown rice. Transfer cooked rice to a plate and let cool completely in refrigerator. (This can be done up to a full day ahead.)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a skillet, sauté onions, celery and garlic in oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to refrigerator and cool completely.
  4. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients including cooked rice and cooked onion mixture and mix well.
  5. Portion into 2½-ounce patties—the diameter of buns—onto a parchment lined baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 18 minutes until turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. (Time will vary depending on oven. Use a thermometer to check starting at 12 minutes.) Avoid overcooking, as lean turkey will dry out if cooked too long.
  6. Serve on mini whole grain rolls with optional lettuce, tomato, red onion and condiments.

Learn more about the program at and discover additional good-for-you turkey recipes at