Best Turkey Burger Recipe

Video paul is making turkey burgers

We’re calling this the best turkey burger recipe for good reason! These tender patties are made up of just the right amount of spice.

About the Best Turkey Burger Ever

The most important part of a good burger? The juicy, tasty patty, of course!

Which is exactly why turkey burgers get a bum rap. Turkey is lean, and fat equals flavor, so it’s easy to see the problem here.

But believe me when I say this turkey burger defies all odds; it doesn’t dry out and it’s packed with savory smokey goodness.

How Many Calories in a Turkey Burger?

These particular turkey burger patties are 215 calories each, and 33 grams of protein!

Turkey is lower in saturated fat, making it a heart-healthy choice. As someone with high cholesterol running in her family, heart-healthy options are important to me.

And as someone who isn’t always willing to sacrifice flavor, I knew I needed to figure out a way to create a heart-healthy burger tasty enough to rival a beef burger. And here she is!

Recipe Tips

  • Proper fat content. Ground turkey thighs and drumsticks offer up dark meat and a fat content similar to beef, whereas ground turkey breast is quite lean. If you’re buying prepackaged meat, some packages might just be labelled as “ground turkey”, and in this case, it’s usually a mixture of white and dark meat. Dark meat is definitely best when it comes to burgers. If you buy from a butcher, which is always your best bet, you can ask them to create a blend of light and dark meat that suits you.
  • Seasoning. My rule is always 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of ground meat. But for ground turkey, you also want to add enough bold flavors to the mix, like fresh garlic, onion, spices, herbs, and even liquid smoke! I love using liquid smoke because it really gives the patty that beefy charbroiled flavor we love in a burger.
  • Moisture. Turkey burgers are notorious for being dry, so adding enough moisture is crucial. I use both panko breadcrumbs and an egg. These also work as binders to help keep the patties intact while on the grill.
  • Avoid over/undercooking. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a Meat Thermometer so that you can cook the patties to a perfect 165º F. Obviously with turkey, you can’t go for a juicy medium rare. But you want to make sure you don’t overcook the patties, because they’ll dry out and won’t be appetizing at all.
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*Exact measurements included in the recipe card below.

  • Ground turkey, dark meat preferred or 80-90% lean
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic
  • Red onion
  • Liquid smoke
  • Egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs

How to Make the Best Turkey Burger

  1. Prep a baking sheet. Before you get your hands dirty, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. Blend your ingredients. Place the ground turkey into a large mixing bowl. Add all of the patty ingredients into the bowl and, with clean hands, gently blend everything until the mixture is cohesive.
  3. Form your patties! Divide the mixture into four equal portions and gently form them into patties. Place the patties on the parchment-lined baking sheet and gently press a divot into the middle of each patty.
  4. Chill. Pop the tray of patties in the fridge and let them sit in there for about 30 minutes. Refrigerating them helps firm them up so they don’t fall apart on the grill.
  5. Time to grill! Place the patties on the grill, cover, and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes. Gently flip them (they should have nice grill marks on the cooked side), cover, and let them cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  6. Temperature check. At this point, check the internal temperature with a Meat Thermometer. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165º F.
  7. Burger assembly. How you assemble your burger is completely up to you! Be sure to let me know how you dress your turkey burger in the comments below.

Useful Tools for This Recipe

  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Microplane
  • Meat Thermometer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Metal burger spatula
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
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A Few Recipe Tricks

  1. Create a thumbprint-sized divot at the center of each raw patty. This will prevent the patty from shrinking into a dry puck on the grill.
  2. Refrigerate the patties for about 30 minutes prior to grilling. Cooling them helps firm them up so they don’t fall apart on the grill.
  3. If you don’t have liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce will do the trick. You won’t get that delicious smokiness, but you’ll still end up with tons of umami flavor.
  4. No panko breadcrumbs? You could easily sub-in Italian breadcrumbs or very finely crushed saltines!
  5. Add dried chili flakes for a spicy version of this patty.
  6. Got leftovers? These burgers, once cooked, keep in the fridge for about three days. Read more about how long cooked ground turkey lasts in the fridge here.

Have You Made This Recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a STAR rating & commenting below with feedback!

You can also show off your creations on Instagram by tagging @killing__thyme

More Ground Turkey Recipes to Try:

  • Instant Pot Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes
  • Instant Pot Ground Turkey Tacos
  • Garlic and Ginger Meatballs with Hot Honey Glaze
  • Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls with Ground Turkey and Rice
  • Super Tender Ground Turkey Meatloaf
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>