Bison Burgers with Red Pepper Relish and Smoked Paprika Aioli

1 protein – 2 vegetables – 2 starches

I’ve published quite a few slider recipes over the past year, but a slider just isn’t the same as a big ole Man Burger, is it? With ground sirloin, we are afforded just four ounces, but when you use bison, you get to use 25 percent more, which graduates your delicate slider into Man Burger status. With summer perched on the precipice of fall, I think it’s time for a cookout, and this week’s recipe is a darn good reason to have one.

Not so sure of buffalo? I have a lot of friends who were convinced that they did not like buffalo, until they tried it without knowing it. They would rave and rave about the “beef” I was serving, wanting to know where I got it. Oh the fun I have when I tell them that they are eating buffalo, not beef. I can only describe it as tasting like beef, only more…beefy. The really great thing is that is more readily available than ever before—easy to locate near the ground beef in most groceries.

The flavors on this burger are big and bold, and it is a great burger for company (you’ll be a superstar at any party where these are served). Instead of serving this on a traditional hamburger bun, I have opted for toasted English muffins. There is a light muffin product that has just 100 calories per muffin, which means that it counts as two starch servings. Be sure to toast your muffins until crisp, and those little nooks and crannies will catch every bit of juice that oozes out of the patties while remaining chewy and delicious. The meatiness of the burger is complimented by the sweet-tart flavor in this quick pickled relish and really lights up with a sweet and smoky paprika aioli. The aioli alone will surely appear in future recipes.

When I tested this recipe, I made it for my daughter and two visiting friends. For the kids, I served a side of chips and salsa. They polished off the burger and their kale salad with raves, but I ended up throwing out the chips and salsa. From all three plates.

Now that’s different.

Oh, and you don’t have to be a man to enjoy the Man Burger. Dig in, ladies!

–Kim K.


  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Splenda® brown sugar blend
  • 1/2 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. lite mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 10 oz. ground bison
  • 1-2 C. baby kale leaves*

Set two medium-size mixing bowls next to your food processor. Bowl #1 will be for your relish, and bowl #2 will be for your burger mixture.

Put 3-4 matchsticks of red pepper in the food processor and the rest into bowl #1. Put about a teaspoon of chopped green onions into the food processor, and divide the remainder between bowl #1 and bowl #2. Place half of the garlic in the food processor and half into bowl #2.

To bowl #1, add the cider vinegar, Splenda brown sugar and half of the salt. Mix well. Transfer mixture to a zip-top bag, squeezing out most of air, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat broiler or grill.

To the food processor, add mayonnaise and yogurt along with smoked paprika. Process until well combined, scraping sides of bowl to make sure that red pepper is well incorporated and that no large chunks remain. Set aside.

To bowl #2, add ground bison and remaining salt. Mix well, using hands to incorporate ingredients. Divide mixture into two equal patties and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spray patties with zero-calorie cooking spray and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until they reach the desired doneness. You can cook the burgers under your broiler, on the grill or in a sauté pan. While burgers are cooking, toast English muffins until golden brown and crisp.

To serve, top bottom of each English muffin with a bison patty. Top with equally divided red pepper relish. Divide smoked paprika aioli between tops of English muffins and place on top of burgers. To any relish marinade remaining in bag, add the baby kale, seal bag and shake to coat.

Serve baby kale salad alongside burgers. Top salad with a few cherry tomatoes or strawberries, if desired.

*If you can’t find baby kale, feel free to use regular kale. Remove the stems and coarsely chop.

Makes 2 servings