Turkey Burgers

5 from 8 votes
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Revamp your burger game with a healthier twist! Juicy, flavorful, and easy to make with this turkey burger recipe. Whether you’re a meat lover or simply looking for a delicious meal, this recipe will surely impress.

Best turkey burgers recipe.

It’s your lucky day! I’m sharing my secrets for the most juicy and flavorful turkey burgers. It’s perfect for grilling season or can be made on the stovetop to enjoy year-round. Often ground poultry isn’t too exciting because the meat can taste dry when not prepared properly. Adding the right ingredients to lock in moisture is critical!

Over the years, I’ve learned to use a panade in recipes like meatloaf and meatballs to solve dryness. A little bit of egg and bread crumbs improves the taste and texture of the patty. The result is tender bites that don’t fall apart. Add your favorite bread and toppings to build the best turkey burger ever!

Key ingredients

Ingredients needed to make this ground turkey burger recipe.
  • Ground Turkey: Use between 85 to 93% lean ground turkey. The fat prevents the meat from tasting too dry. I used 93% to make the recipe. It’s typically a combination of white and dark meat when purchased from the grocery store.
  • Binders: Eggs and Panko bread crumbs serve as a binder to hold the turkey patties together. The extra fat also helps to keep them juicy. If you don’t have panko, use finer traditional bread crumbs or fine pieces of fresh bread.
  • Seasoning: Soy sauce enhances the neutral taste of the poultry. Worcestershire sauce is a good substitute—smoked paprika, minced garlic, onion powder, and salt and pepper further season the patty.
  • Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley adds a subtle herbaceous note. Sliced chives, basil, or 1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning are good swaps.
  • Buns: Brioche, wheat, or sesame seed-topped buns pair well with the turkey. Select buns between 3 ½ to 4 inches in size, not jumbo-sized.
  • Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, onion, sliced avocado, pickles, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and barbecue sauce are just a few options.

Mix the turkey patties

I add a panade to the patties to make flavorful and juicy turkey burgers. I use a similar method to make meatballs. However, you don’t want the bread crumbs to overpower the meat. A tiny amount is used to help with binding, retain moisture, and reduce the shrinking.

Combine the ground turkey with whisked eggs, bread crumbs, soy sauce, minced garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, onion powder, and smoked paprika. You can skip the paprika, but I love the charred flavor it adds without needing to grill the patties. Gently mix it; don’t overwork the meat. The panade helps to prevent the cooked proteins from packing too tightly together.

Form the patties

Ground turkey burger patties on a parchment paper lined sheet pan.

The turkey mixture will feel a little sticky from the eggs. Portion into four equal-sized mounds, form into a ball, then press into 1/2-inch thick patties—target about 4 inches wide or slightly wider than the bun you plan to use.

To firm up the patties for cooking, place them on a baking sheet or plate, and refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes. Freeze for 15 minutes to speed things up.

Cook the turkey burgers

I prefer to cook the turkey burgers in a skillet on the stovetop as a quick and delicious method. The patty is softer than beef burgers, so it will better hold its shape in the pan. Heat a large cast iron skillet, grill pan, or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the burgers in olive oil until the surface develops a golden brown crust. Flip and continue to cook the patties over medium-low heat.

The process takes about 5 minutes per side. The poultry needs to be cooked until the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC). Lowering the heat so it can gently and thoroughly cook the burger is essential.

If you plan on grilling the patties, I recommend freezing them for 15 to 20 minutes before adding them to the barbecue so that it’s more firm and easier to handle.

Flavor variations

Sheet tray with ingredients to assemble a burger.

Now that you’ve mastered the best turkey burger recipe, it’s time for toasted buns and your favorite toppings. Try these other options to switch up the flavor:

  • Spicy: Add cayenne, chipotle, chili powder, minced jalapenos, or cajun seasoning to the patties for some heat!
  • Herbs and Spices: Try dried Italian seasoning, herbs de Provence, fresh thyme, chives, dill, basil, or tarragon. Add garlic powder, cumin, coriander, or mustard powder.
  • Cheese: Slices of cheddar, pepper jack, swiss, gouda, smoked gouda, brie, blue cheese, gorgonzola, or fresh mozzarella.
  • Vegetables: Saute small pieces of mushrooms or zucchini to add to the patty.
  • Toppings: Switch up the classic toppings with caramelized onions, pickled onions, crispy bacon, sauteed mushrooms, arugula, roasted peppers, or sundried tomatoes.
  • Bread: Swap out traditional burger buns for pretzel buns, focaccia, ciabatta, or toasted sourdough.

Serving suggestions

Frequently asked questions

What keeps turkey burgers from falling apart?

Ground turkey is very lean and falls apart quickly if overcooked. Add a binder with egg and bread crumbs to help keep the patty together. Chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator to allow the starches in the bread to absorb the extra moisture and firm up the meat, making it easier to cook.

Can I skip adding the panade?

If you prefer not to add the eggs and bread crumbs, the turkey patties will shrink more and not be as juicy. A good alternative is 1 to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise or olive oil mixed into the ground turkey to add extra fat to prevent a dry patty.

Can I substitute ground chicken in a turkey burger recipe?

Yes, ground chicken can be used. It may taste drier if it’s all white mean and has less than 7% fat.

Can uncooked turkey burger patties be frozen for later use?

Yes! They can be frozen and cooked as is. No need to defrost. Wrap each patty well and store in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

Turkey burger with onions, lettuce, tomato, and sauce.

Chill the turkey patties before cooking

Since this ground turkey burger recipe contains eggs and bread crumbs, the mixture will feel a bit sticky. The patties need time for the starches in the bread to absorb the moisture from the eggs. The cool air in the refrigerator or freezer will help dry the surface and firm up the meat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or 15 minutes in the freezer (no longer, or it will solidify too much).

Turkey Burgers

Healthy and delicious turkey burger recipe. Not only is it a leaner alternative to traditional beef burgers, but it's also packed with flavorful ingredients that will leave your taste buds satisfied.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 pound ground turkey, 93% lean
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs, or regular
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce, or worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic, or ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, optional
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 hamburger buns

Instructions 

  • Mix the Turkey Patties – In a large bowl, gently mix together the ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, soy sauce, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, onion powder, and paprika (if using). The mixture will be slightly tacky.
  • Form the Patties – Form into 4 even-sized rounds, about ¼ pound per patty. Press each patty down to a ½-inch thick by about 4 inches wide. Transfer to a plate or tray and freeze for at least 15 to 20 minutes maximum, or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Cook the Turkey Burgers – Heat 12-inch cast iron skillet, grill pan, or nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the patties. Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook over medium-low heat until the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), about 5 to 7 minutes.
    If using cheese, add to the patties about 2 minutes before reaching the desired doneness and allow it to melt on top.
  • To Serve – Toast the burger buns, then add the patties and desired toppings.

Recipe Video

YouTube video

Notes

  • Make Ahead: Uncooked patties can be cooked and refrigerated for 1 day. Individually wrap and store in an airtight container for up to 4 months—no need to defrost. 
  • Grilled Turkey Burgers: Preheat the grill over medium-high heat between 375 to 400ºF (191 to 204ºC). Add the patties, cover, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 to 165ºF (71 to 74ºC), about 3 to 5 minutes. Add cheese 1 minute before the burger is done cooking. 
  • Reheating: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave on high setting in 15 to 30-second intervals until hot. 
  • Topping Suggestions: Cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, avocado, mayonnaise, ketchup, and mustard.
  • Make it Gluten-Free: Substitute with gluten-free bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos. Use gluten-free buns. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 314kcal (16%)Carbohydrates 28g (9%)Protein 32g (64%)Fat 8g (12%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0.02gCholesterol 62mg (21%)Sodium 930mg (39%)Potassium 429mg (12%)Fiber 1g (4%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 237IU (5%)Vitamin C 2mg (2%)Calcium 86mg (9%)Iron 3mg (17%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Margaret Morris says

    Jessica,
    Maggie here. Katie’s sister.
    I made these burgers a few days ago.
    They were delicious.
    I got some ground Turkey thigh at Whole Foods. It was 85/15.
    It made a great burger.
    Thanks so much.
    Maggie

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hey Maggie, so great to hear from you! Trilled to hear that you enjoyed the turkey burger recipe.

  2. Soren says

    Ok. So I’ve been making turkey burgers for over a decade. I thought they were pretty good and so did my family. However, I have switched over to this recipe and WOW! The egg and bread crumbs do wonders for the texture and moisture retention. Also the flavors are great! Yum! I’m doing this from now on…