Grilled Pork Burgers with Creamy Thai-Inspired Slaw

If you’ve never tried a pork burger before, you are in for a treat! Pork burgers are naturally tender and juicy and have a unique savory taste. Switch things up at the grill and serve this flavorful and healthy recipe for a burger like you’ve never had before! 

This recipe was created in partnership with our friends and farmers at the MN Pork Board.

A grilled pork burger topped with creamy Thai slaw on a toasted gluten-free bun

A New Pork Burger Experience You’ll Rave About

Lean, unseasoned ground pork is a versatile meat, and you can take the flavor profile in many directions. In this delicious pork burger recipe, we mix ground pork with traditional Thai ingredients, such as ginger, garlic, lime, and the perfect amount of heat from jalapeno and red pepper flakes. 

And plain-old burger toppers like ketchup and cheese will be a distant afterthought once you taste this creamy slaw topping. The slaw is fresh and crunchy with a simple peanut dressing that really makes the pork burgers sing! Our team loved this combination of flavors and textures so much that we’ve been raving about it ever since we each put it to The Real Food Dietitians test.

A grilled pork burger topped with creamy Thai-inspired slaw on a gluten-free toasted bun

Ingredients to Make Grilled Pork Burgers

This grilled pork burger recipe is loaded with fresh ingredients and flavorful seasonings. 

  • Unseasoned ground pork
  • Green onions
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno
  • Fresh ginger – or substitute ground ginger
  • Fresh basil – or use cilantro or another favorite fresh herb (or a mix)
  • Coconut aminos – or fish sauce
  • Lime – you’ll use both the zest and the juice
  • Shredded cabbage – to save time, you can use an undressed coleslaw mix for the cabbage and omit the carrot
  • Shredded carrot
  • Red bell pepper 
  • Chopped nuts – can use peanuts, almonds, or cashews
  • Peanut butter – or use your favorite nut or seed butter, such as almond butter or cashew butter
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Red pepper flakes

Ingredients for pork burgers including green onions, green peppers, jalapenos, and fresh herbs in small bowls.

How to Form Perfect Pork Burger Patties 

To make delicious pork burgers, you gotta get your hands involved. Combine all of the pork burger ingredients in a large bowl, and then use your clean hands to mix it all together. When the seasonings are evenly distributed, divide the ground pork mixture into four sections. 

Shape each of the sections into a round and thick patty, about 4 inches across. Use your thumb to form a slight indentation in the center of each patty, which will help the burgers retain their shape on the grill. 

Creamy Thai Slaw is THE Best Topper for Pork Burgers

We thought long and hard about what would be the best topper for these flavorful pork burgers. We knew that a crunchy-peanutty slaw would be very delicious, but even we were surprised by just how DELICIOUS this slaw topping is for pork burgers. The slaw is fresh and makes the perfect complement to the juicy savory pork. There is so much delicious umami flavor going on in each bite that you might not even have time to snap a photo before you gobble up your beautiful burger creation. We also loved the delicious Thai Peanut Slaw leftovers on their own and inside a lunch wrap. We’re pretty confident you’ll agree that this creamy peanut slaw is one darn good way to top a grilled pork burger.

Pork Burgers are Versatile, Healthy, and Delicious

When it comes to making homemade burger patties, natural ground pork may not be the first meat that comes to mind. But it’s an excellent choice to consider for burger night, especially since the flavor is light and versatile, making it an excellent platform for your favorite flavors. Want to experiment with your own pork burger flavors? Here are some classic ingredients that pair well with pork:

  • Fruit: apples, peaches, cherries, pineapple
  • Herbs and spices: rosemary, thyme, dill, fennel, paprika
  • Aromatics: ginger, garlic, clove, cumin 
  • Starchy vegetables: sweet corn, sweet potatoes, carrots
  • Heat: chili powder, paprika, spicy mustard

A grilled pork burger topped with creamy Thai slaw in a gluten-free toasted bun

How These Pork Burgers Can Fit In Your Diet

The beautiful thing about a burger is that you can customize it to fit your flavor choices as well as your dietary needs. This recipe for the pork burgers, slaw, and dressing is Whole30 friendly, paleo, gluten free, grain free, and dairy free. 

Gluten-free, Whole30, and Paleo: Omit the bun or use a gluten-free bun or serve the burger in a lettuce wrap

Peanut-free: Omit the peanuts and peanut butter and use almonds + almond butter or cashews + cashew butter instead

Nut-free: Omit the nuts in the slaw and replace with 1 teaspoon sesame seeds; omit the nut butter and use sunflower seed butter or another seed butter of choice

A grilled pork burger on two lettuce leaves and topped with creamy Thai slaw

The Right Temperature for Grilled Pork Burgers: Grill Pork Burgers to 160°

Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of grilled ground pork burgers, making sure the burgers reach 160° F. While large muscle cuts of pork (such as chops and tenderloin) need to be cooked to just 145° F, all types of ground meat, including beef, venison, turkey, and pork, should be cooked to 160°.

Can You Make Pork Burgers Ahead?

Yes, you can make all the components of this grilled pork burger recipe several hours or up to one day ahead to really expedite your delicious grilled meal. To do so, combine all of the pork burger ingredients, form them into patties and store the uncooked shaped patties on a covered plate in the refrigerator. You can combine all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then cover and refrigerate. And combine the slaw ingredients in a covered bowl and refrigerate, as well. Then, toss the slaw and dressing together while the pork burgers are on the grill.  

Do you love this pork burger as much as we do? Please leave a rating and review in the comments after you make it! 

A grilled pork burger in a gluten-free bun and topped with creamy Thai slaw cut in half

Other Great Grilled Pork Recipes to Try:

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Let’s Get Cookin’

Grilled Pork Burgers with Creamy Thai-Inspired Slaw

Pork burgers are naturally tender and juicy and have a unique savory taste. In this flavorful recipe, you’ll mix ground pork with traditional Thai ingredients (ginger, garlic, lime, and more). Top the burgers with a slaw that is fresh and crunchy with a simple peanut dressing that makes every bite so good!

  • Author: Jessie Shafer
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers and 2 cups slaw 1x
A grilled pork burger topped with creamy Thai Slaw in a gluten-free bun

Ingredients

For the Burgers:

  • 1 pound unseasoned ground pork
  • 2 green onions, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or cilantro (or mix of both)
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut aminos or ½1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of salt

For the Slaw:

  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • ½ cup shredded carrots (1 large)
  • ½ medium red bell pepper (cut into thin strips, then strip cut into thirds)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (light and dark green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or cilantro (or mix of both)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts (peanuts, almonds, or cashews)

For the Creamy Thai Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoon coconut aminos 
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice 
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • Warm water if needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to 425ºF-450ºF. A grill pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray over medium-high heat on the stove also works.
  2. In a bowl, combine all burger ingredients. Use your hands to mix well until all ingredients are incorporated together. Shape burgers into 4 patties, using your thumb to make a slight indentation in the middle of each one. 
  3. Grill burgers for 9 to 10 minutes on one side, flip, and grill for another 5-8 minutes on the other side, or until cooked to 160ºF internal temp.
  4. While the burgers are grilling, prepare the slaw ingredients and place in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over slaw ingredients and toss together until well incorporated. 
  5. To serve, place burgers on buns or lettuce wraps. Top each burger with a generous amount of the slaw, and serve any extra slaw on the side.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 burger with 1/2 cup slaw
  • Calories: 369
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 443 mg
  • Fat: 22 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 82 mg

Pin It Now, Make It Later!

A grilled pork burger topped with creamy Thai slaw on a toasted bun

This post was made possible by our friends at Minnesota Pork. Although we received compensation for this post, the opinions expressed here are – as always – 100% our own. Thank you for supporting the great companies we work with thereby allowing us to continue creating great recipes and content for you.

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All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

About Jessie Shafer

Jessie is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist living near Denver, CO where she splits her time among nearby playgrounds, typing away at her trusty laptop, and heating up her home kitchen with delicious experiments. Her best taste tester is her husband, a Denver firefighter with a well-trained palate. A former magazine editor-in-chief, Jessie has a long career in food publishing and health writing. While she once played centerfield for the Northwestern University softball team, Jessie now prefers her fitness in the way of biking up mountain passes and chasing two busy toddlers (the latter proving to be the more exhausting activity).

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