Wednesday, July 24, 2024
HomeWhole FoodsTurkey Burgers {Best Ever!} –

Turkey Burgers {Best Ever!} –

It’s a bold statement to be sure, but I stand by it: these are the best Turkey Burgers you’ll ever make! Perfectly seasoned and oh-so-juicy, they’re a healthier choice that doesn’t sacrifice flavor.

juicy turkey burgers topped with avocado and cheese
  • Turkey Burgers That Don’t Feel Like a Punishment. Turkey burgers have a bad reputation, and let’s be honest: they’ve kind of earned it. Dry, bland, and generally disappointing, many turkey burgers leave us wishing we had just made regular burgers instead. It took a lot of trial-and-error, but this is the one. 
  • Lots of Umami Flavor. I’ve got you covered in the flavor department with tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder. Each of these delivers a piece of that umami flavor you get from a traditional beef burger, all with the health benefits of lean ground turkey.
  • Your Go-To Turkey Burger Recipe. While I’ve shared turkey burgers here before (my Italian Turkey Burgers and Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers are reader faves!), I wanted to make a basic turkey burger recipe with the same versatility as a beef burger patty. You can top these babies with just about anything!
avocado, cheese, and tomato on a skillet turkey burger

5 Star Review

“100% agree – this is the best turkey burger I’ve ever made. I could eat it every night for dinner.”

— Sarah —

How to Make Turkey Burgers

The Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Turkey. I used 93% lean ground turkey meat. 90% is also fine; do not use any leaner than 93%.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs. Homemade breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs work too, but I always love using Panko. The texture is just right.
  • Worcestershire Sauce. Don’t skip it! If you have seafood allergies, use a bottle of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. It’s key to the flavor of these burgers.
  • Tomato Paste. Pro-tip: freeze the leftovers in one-tablespoon portions, pop them in a freezer bag, and next time you need a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, you won’t need to buy a whole can.
  • Hot Sauce. Optional and adjustable; use as much or as little as you like.
  • Onion Powder. This adds onion flavor without having to dice an onion.
  • Egg. Eggs (along with the panko) do double duty to bind the meat so your turkey burger doesn’t fall apart and they keep your turkey burgers moist.
  • Canola Oil. Or another high smoke point oil you like to use for cooking.
  • For Serving. Whole wheat hamburger buns, cheese, sliced avocado or Homemade Guacamole, and/or any other burger toppings you like.

Dietary Note

Need to make your burgers gluten free? Gluten-free panko is great for these turkey burgers, or you can use certified gluten-free rolled oats.

The Directions

turkey, breadcrumbs and sauces mixed together for juicy turkey burgers

1. Mix. Combine the turkey with the panko and seasonings in a mixing bowl.

juicy turkey burger ingredients in a bowl

2. Add the Egg. Use a fork to mix all of the ingredients together.

easy turkey burgers on a skillet

3. Prepare. Preheat the oil in a cast iron skillet and shape the turkey mixture into patties. 

easy turkey burgers on a skillet with cheese

4. Finish. Cook the turkey burgers in the skillet, add the cheese, and assemble on buns with your choice of toppings. ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Chicken Burgers. Ground chicken has a lot of the same issues as ground turkey when it comes to making burgers—which means this recipe is also great for making juicy, flavorful chicken burger patties!
  • Juicy Lucy Turkey Burgers. Make 8 thin turkey patties; top 4 of them with a slice of cheese, then place the other 4 patties on top, sandwiching the cheese in the middle. Pinch the edges together to seal them and cook as instructed.
  • Onion-y Turkey Burgers. Finely chop half a yellow onion, cook it with a splash of oil in your skillet until it’s nicely browned, and fold this into the ground turkey mixture. Top with Quick Pickled Red Onions.
  • BBQ Bacon Burgers. Top burgers with Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon and Barbecue Sauce.
  • Mushroom Swiss Burgers. Top with Swiss cheese and Sautéed Mushrooms.
turkey burgers recipe on a bun with toppings on a plate

Leftover Ideas

Crumble up leftover turkey burger patties and add them to marinara for a meaty pasta sauce, or use them in other recipes where you’d normally use browned ground beef or turkey like Taco Pasta or Italian Stuffed Peppers.

What to Serve With Turkey Burgers

a juicy turkey burger on a bun with a bite taken out of it

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Dark Meat Option. If you ask the meat counter or butcher shop, they may be able to supply you with a ground turkey that’s all dark meat, which will yield an extra-juicy turkey burger.
  • Know That Turkey Burger Mixture Feels Different Than Beef Burgers. The meat mixture is a little softer and wetter, but that’s because we have to introduce that extra moisture to keep the burger patties nice and juicy. You didn’t do anything wrong!
  • They’re Not Made for Grilling. I like cooking turkey burgers in a skillet. Because the turkey mixture is soft and wet, it’s not ideal for grilling, and baking them in the oven will result in dryer burgers, without the nice sear you get from stovetop cooking. 
  • Don’t Cook Before Freezing. To keep them from drying out, it’s best to freeze turkey burgers before cooking them. Shape them into patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover it with plastic wrap, and pop it in the freezer until they’re frozen through. Transfer the patties to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer. When you’re working with lean meat like turkey, it’s so important that you don’t overcook it because there’s less margin for error.

For the Turkey Burger Patties:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
  • ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce such as Tabasco (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

For Serving:

  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns or buns of choice
  • Thinly sliced or grated cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Other toppings of choice: tomatoes, lettuce, mayo (or my fave, nonfat Greek yogurt)

  • Make the patties: In a large mixing bowl, place the ground turkey. Top with the Panko, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, hot sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper.

  • Crack the egg into the bowl. With a fork, scramble the egg to break up the yolk, the use the fork to gently combine all of the ingredients. Don’t over work the meat or the burgers may be tough.

  • Meanwhile, in a large cast iron skillet (or similar sturdy skillet or a nonstick skillet), heat the oil over medium-high heat.

  • Shape the mixture into 4 patties that are about 1/2-inch thick and 4 1/2 inches across. The mixture will be very wet and soft. Work gently and trust that it will hold together once it cooks. I find it easiest to shape the patties with my hands, then carefully lower them directly onto the hot cooking surface (vs. transfer them to a plate, then transfer them to the skillet from there).

  • Once the oil is hot and shimmering, cook the turkey burgers for 4 minutes on the first side, flip, then continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on the second side, until the burgers reach 165ºF on an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part. If you’d like to toast the buns, do so during the last few minutes of cooking (see notes). If using cheese, place on top of the patties right after flipping. Transfer to a plate. Serve the burgers immediately on the buns, with avocado and your toppings of choice.

  • TO TOAST BURGER BUNS: Spray or brush the cut sides with oil and toast them in the skillet for a few seconds, until they’re warm and golden brown.
  • TO STORE: Cooked burgers will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wrap them tightly or store them in an airtight container.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat in the microwave, in a skillet over medium heat, or in an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer set to 350ºF.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze turkey burgers in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.

Serving: 1 (of 4)Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 33gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 109mgPotassium: 511mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 162IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 3mg

Join today and start saving your favorite recipes

Create an account to easily save your favorite recipes and access FREE meal plans.

Sign Me Up

Related Recipes

With a few tips and tricks, ground turkey is an amazing substitute for ground beef! Here are some more ground turkey recipes to try:



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments