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more grilling action

Recipe: turkey burgers

I had every intention of blogging yesterday, but it was one hell of a busy day with photo processing, errands, and then cooking and baking all afternoon and evening until I passed out without even the excuse of getting plastered. And just when we thought we were rightfully stepping into warmer weather, we were once again graced with snow. Wait a sec, I meant to say we were pummeled with snow. 80 mph gusts – that’s something I don’t mind leaving behind! Of course, today is melted out and sunny. [*psycho weather*] Good thing too, as we are having some buds over this evening.

While prepping all sorts of dishes yesterday (for today), I also had that pesky issue of what to make for dinner yesterday. The guy has got to eat or else he wastes away to nothing. I mean come on, how is this fair? I go on chemo for several months and have digestive issues and lose 10 pounds and he forgets to eat while at a telescope for 3 days and loses 10 pounds. WTF? But back to dinner, I wanted something quick and healthy and tasty. Turkey burgers. Bingo!

start with a medium red onion

It’s a simple thing to whip up as long as you have fire, and by fire I mean a grill. You could pan fry the burgers indoors, but what the hell season are we in now and why would you want to clean up that pan? Okay, southern hemispherers can claim it’s autumn… but I really believe that grilling should be a year-round activity.

adding minced onion to ground turkey

Ground turkey is more widely available today than it was 15 years ago when I started making turkey burgers. Better yet, ground turkey thigh meat can be found at my local Whole Paycheck Foods store. w00t!, yeah? I am a thigh girl. Love chicken thighs, love turkey thighs. My quads are tree trunks. All the better to kick ass with. You too can kick ass with moist turkey burgers made of ground turkey thigh meat, Grasshopper.

jeremy mixes it up because i jacked up my thumb

So really, you chop up an onion, mince some herbs (parsley, in this case), toss it in with ground turkey (thigh meat), garlic powder, salt, pepper, and mix it up.

form into patties, ready to grill

I like to make my patties flat and wide because the buggers will shrink to the size of the bun that way. I really don’t like biting into a lot of bun and no burger. This is a big issue for me. We grill over medium heat for 7 minutes a side. If it is your wont to add cheese as it is ours, then slap a slice onto the burger 2 minutes before you take it off the grill.

we like the swiss

My own favorite combination is to serve this on a potato roll bun with lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and a swipe of mayonnaise. Dress it up anyway you like it. Good times.

this is my burger because the guy fears tomatoes

Turkey Burgers
[print recipe]

1 lb. ground turkey meat (prefer thigh meat)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced (or whatever fresh herbs you like)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
cheese (optional)

Mix ingredients together and form 4-6 patties. Grill on medium heat for 7 minutes a side. 2 minutes before burgers are done, place a slice of cheese (optional) on each patty. Serve hot.

116 nibbles at “more grilling action”

  1. says:

    Yummo! Looks good. I need to try this and then try a couple of modifications.



  2. Graeme says:

    Oh, you know what Jen? I love the Swiss too.

    And you’re so right about the bread; Nothing but pillowy soft white rolls will do. Although, in my own very humble opinion, the cheaper the better.

  3. Laura @ HungryAndFrozen says:

    That looks so good. Turkey meat isn’t really prolific in NZ, unfortunately! You have a way with raw meat, seriously, even the uncooked patties look fab :) oh and I am definitely a thigh girl too.

  4. Christine says:

    Jen – Pierre isn’t down with turkey – *turkey ees for tanksgiveen* Well, I swapped turkey for beef once in a bolognese sauce and waited ’til all the compliments and praises for its deliciousness were over before I did a little dance and told him “It’s Turkay!!!’ I love turkey burgers, especially with lots of red onion, as you made them. Who knew something so good was also lower in fat/calories…

  5. Antonio Tahhan says:

    I love adding onions in the meat mixture; It makes for such a moist burger! I bet this approach would be phenomenal with ground lamb fresh mint and a sprinkle of rosemary, too. btw, that potato salad looks just as exquisite!

  6. manggy says:

    I wish *my* thighs could attract as much attention as your ground turkey thighs, heh heh :) (well, I did all I could for them, except squats– I was afraid my back would break– while I was playing ice hockey. Nope. Still twigs. Wanna trade? :)

    Maybe I could “forget to eat” too.. No, how could I?! How could he?!

    Lots of people miss the garlic and onion elements of the patty, which I think is a huge mistake! This sounds just about perfect!
    I really don’t like biting into a lot of bun and no burger. This is a big issue for me.
    Omg, you sound dead serious! I’ll keep that in mind! (scared) :p

  7. Susan at StickyGooeyCreamyChewy says:

    I’m a thigh girl too. I’ll have to see if my Whole Foods has thigh meat. I’ll bet it makes a much juicier burger.

    I can’t believe you got more snow. It hasn’t snowed here since 1989! My husband I got up at 3 in the morning and were out crunching around the grass in our pajamas. I almost had enough for one decent sized snowball! We were crazy kids back then! ;)

  8. Ellie @ Kitchen Wench says:

    Gorgeous! I just wish turkey was as accessible here, but it’s so hard to find, unless you buy a whole turkey which would just go to waste with me :(

  9. Amy says:

    I love thighs too, so much more taste and much moister. Now I’m in the mood for grilling! These look great.
    By the way, I’ve always had trouble understanding how one can FORGET to eat. Forget??!? That’s the first thing I’m thinking about when I get up in the morning! :)

  10. White On Rice Couple says:

    Brown meat, all the way! I so, so, so love seeing your beautifully diced up ingredients. You’ve got some mad dicing skills, so even and perfectly small. Just double swipe these delicious burgers with mayo for us and we’ll be very satisfied.
    Darn it, we gotta get grilling cause you are killing us!

  11. Steph F. says:

    Oh, wow! I haven’t been reading for a while but your posts are as lovely as ever. Sometimes I forget that I live in beautiful Southern California and should be grilling RIGHT NOW.

  12. Peter says:

    Great looking burgers and good choice with the thigh meat, keep them moist. I wish I could grill all’year ’round.

  13. jenyu says:

    Kevin – thanks!

    Graeme – mmm… pillowy… :)

    Laura – I wonder if you can ask the butcher to grind up some turkey leg meat for you?

    Christine – ha ha! I love your prank, you little trickster! I wonder what Pierre said?? :) You crack me up!

    Antonio – oh, that sounds pretty spankin’ good. Yup, the potato salad recipe will be up soon!

    Mark – no trade, bub! I would keep my tree trunk quads over gorgeous min-skirt legs any day! :) You can’t tele if your legs are weak. Yeah, don’t ask me how he forgets meals (that’s plural) – I am so serious about buns and no burger ;)

    Susan – well, snow is to be expected here :) Not necessarily where you are in sunny FL! I’ll bring a snow-cone machine down there and we’ll produce enough snow for you to make a proper snowball :)

    Ellie – oh how sad! Could you purchase the leg and ask a butcher to grind it (or grind it yourself?)

    Amy – tell me about it. But that’s probably why he’s skinny as a rail and I’m… not ;)

    WoRC – well, I’m missing three fingers! ha ha ha – just kidding!! *snort* Yeah – when will you guys get grilling?!?

    Steph – if you’re in So Cal, you should have been grilling since January ;)

    Peter – thanks!

  14. My Sweet & Saucy says:

    I love turkey burgers! My husband and I eat them all the time, so definitely will be trying this recipe out…thanks!

  15. jenyu says:

    MSS – great, and you’re welcome!

  16. diva says:

    looking at this, i can’t wait for my bbq party now. that cheese looks absolutely fantastic. yummy.

  17. Mrs Ergül says:

    I’ve been making burgers too! But not with Turkey cuz it’s not widely availbale here! I can get those whole ones but with just 2 of us, what am I gonna do with the rest of it? hehe, maybe I will try it with minced chicken instead!

  18. jenyu says:

    Diva – yay for bbq parties! I can’t wait for mine either!

    Mrs. E – can you try getting turkey legs and asking the butcher to grind the meat for you? Chicken might work too :)

  19. Christine says:

    Jen – Pierre said, “You bee-tray me, you bee-tray me… I never believe you anymore!” Loved every minute. :)

  20. jenyu says:

    Christine – ha ha ha! Oh, that’s CLASSIC. Love that Frenchie :)

  21. Rachelle ~ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" says:

    Your photos are great! (Hmmm, already dreaming of another new camera)
    These burgers caught my eye, because I grilled some up recently too. Adding you to my Reader! :)

  22. jenyu says:

    Rachelle – thanks!

  23. Grilling Planks says:

    The recipe is so good! I had never tried a turkey burger before, but now that I have, I don’t think there is any going back to burgers made from beef!

  24. jenyu says:

    GP – wonderful that you liked it so much! :)

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    […] Use Real Butter: Turkey Burgers (1/2 cup) […]

  26. Yvonne says:

    I also dice up celery and an apple. It keeps them moist. Then mix half mayonaise and half cranberry sauce. Spread this on the bun and add the turkey burger. Tastes like Thanksgiving and it’s healthy !!!!

  27. Kelli says:

    you can make the patty any thickness you want. if you put a dent in the center of the patty, it won’t shrink and it’ll stay flat.

  28. Jana Schroeder says:

    I hate to complain but I just made these for dinner tonight and after a couple bites, my husband couldn’t eat it (he eats everything!). It had waaaaaaaaay too
    much parsley and onion (and we LOVE onion). I think it would be good if I scaled WAY back on everything. Couldn’t even hardly taste the turkey. I’d rather have eaten them plain with s & p than to have so much of everything that it was very overpowering. Way too much seasoning. Sorry, but maybe some amount of an ingredient is incorrect?

  29. jenyu says:

    Jana – I’m so sorry you didn’t like them. I’ve been making these a while and I never have problems with them, but not everyone likes the same thing. Certainly scale back if that is your desire.

  30. Carmen says:

    Since I didn’t have any garlic powder I added a small minced garlic and a bit of serrano chili (I love spicy food) to the mixture. I then cooked it on an indoor grill and let me tell you it was so moist and very delicious!! YUM Thanks for the great recipe!

  31. melinda says:

    I add 2 tsps. Hidden Valley Ranch powder mix with about 2 Tbs. crumbled gorgonzola or goat cheese to mine. Very rich and gourmet flavor. Fresh italian parsley or rosemary are great herbs with turkey too.

  32. Mary Kay says:

    Can these be baked or fried on the stove? If so, for how long?

  33. jenyu says:

    Mary Kay – almost certainly, but I don’t know how long. You’ll probably be able to tell their doneness as you cook them. I’d suggest pan-frying them on the stove rather than baking them. Plop the patties on a hot skillet on the stove and let them cook until the meat is brown. Flip and brown the other side. You can cut into one in the center to check for doneness.

  34. Edith says:

    Magnífica receta, ya sabré a hacer después d Navidad para el recalentado y nos queda el pavo

  35. Brittany says:

    Chopped green apple mixed in is amazing. I usually use a white onion with the apple. Trust me. It’s fantastic.

  36. Monika says:

    Made this, but added chopped mango, tomatoe and cilantro. Soo good

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  38. Michelle says:

    can u freeze these?

  39. jenyu says:

    Michelle – probably, but I’ve never tried it.

  40. Tina says:

    Looks really good but this is not considered a low fat good for you recipe right?

  41. jenyu says:

    Tina – It all depends on what you consider low fat and good for you.

  42. christel says:

    Just made these :) they were really amaaazing! Thank you so much for the recipe.. I just struggled on how thick to make them. I guess I made them a little too thick though.. cause the onions were still raw on my first bite and that was kind of weird at first. But then I kind of got used to it. Next time I’ll try doing them on a grill, I bet that’s 1000 times better.

  43. alyssa says:

    Hi, do you have nutrition information for this recipe?

  44. Lshuttle16 says:

    This would also be really good with cranberries added. Mmmmmm:)

  45. jenyu says:

    alyssa – no, I’m afraid I do not, but it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out with a little help from google :)

  46. Jodi says:

    My daughter turned me onto Turkey Burgers about a year ago. I fell in love instantly which I was surprised because I’m not normally a big fan of turkey. Your patties looked wonderful and I plan on making these this weekend. (Only for me though), the guys won’t eat them and my daughter lives to far away to share them with. I though though that making up the patties ahead of time and then freezing them individually would work, then all I have to do is pull out for me when I am making them hamburgers. Also, I totally agree with you about grillin. It is a YEAR way of cooking in this house. When it starts to rain, the BBQ gets moved into the garage and when I’m ready to grill, the garage door opens and the grill gets fired up. I wouldn’t know how to eat much meat anymore if it wasn’t grilled :)

  47. belinda says:

    Oh, my goodness!! Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I just finished making these. Very Delish!!!!!!

  48. Lauren says:

    I didn’t dice up my onion quite small enough, so my burgers had a tough time staying whole. HOWEVER, that was 100% due to my poor knife-wielding skills. LOVED the taste otherwise — very easy recipe. Next time, I’ll throw the onion in a food processor :) Thank you so much!

  49. Rachel says:

    Really love these burgers!! I never thought I’d like a turkey one, but these are perfect! The only thing I did differently was to use cilantro instead of parsley (it’s what I had on hand) and YUMMO! Printing this one :)

  50. Rachel says:

    Also! I linked this to my Pinned It Friday post and here is the link if you want to check it out! Thanks again!

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  54. Gail says:

    I tried these burgers and they were very moist and tasty. However, they just fell apart when flipping them. Any suggestions?

  55. jenyu says:

    Gail – If you used turkey breast meat, I’d recommend trying turkey thigh meat next time. It’s going to be less fall apart-y. Also, I found when I minced the onions smaller, the burgers held together better. So perhaps try that as well? Also, I tend not to flip until the edges are cooked (it just means that they’ll hopefully stay together better).

  56. Jackie says:

    I made these into meatballs, for lunch tomorrow. YUM!

  57. courtney says:

    Sounds wonderful!! I can’t wait to try these! I will use fresh garlic instead of garlic powder though

  58. Wendy says:

    I must say, these are the best turkey burgers I’ve made to date! So delicious, even reheated. Must say though, think gouda is the way to go. Delicious! Made them a month or so ago and am was back to double-check the ingredients for my trip to the store shortly and felt compelled to comment (which isn’t something I typically do). Yum-o!

  59. Sarah says:

    These are THE BEST BURGERS I have EVER eaten. They are so simple but immensely tasty! I used pepper jack cheese and thought it was perfect. PS – I hardly ever comment on recipes anymore but thought this was worthy of a comment. Well done, guys! (As a side note, I used breast meat and grilled in a skillet on the stove, and didn’t have a problem flipping them at all. Definitely mince the onions fine!)

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  61. Anastasia Alexander says:

    Oh my god! I LOVE turkey burgers!! I believe in thigh meat all the way!! I believe in cooking with real butter only and I think you’re funny which makes your site fun to read! My new favorite cooking site!!! Yay!!

  62. Laura Tuiaea says:

    You could also add an egg to help hold it together. Yummy!

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  64. cristi miles says:

    I add chopped sundried tomatoes and feta…so good!

  65. Janet says:

    I made this last night and it is a good solid recipe. I did however think I could have cut down on the parsley and it was a tad bit salty. It could all be ajusted to taste. I will be making a larger batch to freeze and keep on hand.

  66. Debi Martin says:

    I havecused ground chicken (bought at Sprouts) they offer both white and mixed ground love love love the mixed. So I will be trying your recipe. Thanks

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  68. Holly says:

    I’ve been making turkey burgers (breast meat) for years but use finely chopped onion, cilantro, S&P, and garlic powder. I will have to try some of the other suggestions as well…the minced green apple sounds delicious!!

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  70. Alyce Huang says:

    Those look delicious. I’ve tried to make them in the past but they always fall apart. I’ll try your method to see how they turn out.

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  72. Gladys says:

    guau, mañana estaré comprando el pavo, eso se ve rico….gracias

  73. Becky O'Brien says:

    I love this recipe. I’ve been using it for about a year now. I double the recipe make patties and freeze them that way when I’m in the mood for a burger I just pull one out and grill it. Wonderful recipe. Thank you.

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  76. jeanne talberg says:

    my favorite turkey burger is a Thai inspired one…chopped red bell pepper, onion…cilantro, lemongrass ( I have frozen LGrass from an Asian store and I throw in T.of it to 20oz. of turkey burger)and if there’s zucchini around, a little of that thrown in. Season w/salt, pepper. Throw in 1 egg and some bread crumbs or oatmeal to soildify the mixture (like meatloaf)

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  78. Sheri T says:

    This was the best turkey burger I have ever tried. I used provolone, a slice of tomato, lettuce and a little bit of mayo. Delicious!!!

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  80. Judy says:

    Sounds delish! I laughed heartily while reading your pits and even out loud at whole (paycheck) food store! ( I used parenthesis because my device won’t do strike over like you did)

  81. Judy says:

    Ughhhhh post not pits!

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  83. Katonia says:

    I just made these tonight, and they were so good ☺ my kids and I thank you for this recipe!

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  85. Jenine says:

    These were amazing. No fresh parsley so I used 1 tbsp of thyme and instead of regular salt, I used a tsp of creole seasoning. Very, very tasty!

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  87. Samantha says:

    This is how I make them, but I use fresh minced garlic and if I have it I use cilantro instead of parsley and I add a generous amount of cumin. I also add an egg and some ground flax.

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  95. EvieB says:

    Thank you so much for this easy most delicious recipe.
    I put sage & onion on bottom half of bun, on goes the gorgeous turkey burger,
    Then redcurrant jelly with port on the top half of bun……….
    Oh to die for.

  96. ALLAIN UMALI says:

    i love the way its prepared so easy to do without the hassle and can be made either thick or thin patties
    its a wonderful and delicious recipe…

  97. Marsha says:

    This recipe is super. Just love it. Don’t skimp on the onions, parsley, and I do add 3 cloves of minced garlic along with garlic powder/s&p. Super tasty and we put them on warm/toasted onion buns by Pep Farm. Each burger gets a tbsp of mayo, too. Finger lickin’ good! Thank you!

  98. Marsha says:

    One more thing I’ve learned by making these is I pour out a bit of olive oil on a plate and coat my hand with a tiny bit of it. It keeps the turkey from being sticky. I do use the thigh meat and it does hold well.

  99. T says:

    Made it today for lunch. It was SPECTACULAR!!!!! I used the minced garlic like the other person did. Thanks for the recipe!!!

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  101. SooUu says:

    Gidday from Down Under
    Wow, what a response! You published this way back in 2008 and it’s still going strong! I guess that’s the power of the Internet.
    I plan to make these for dinner tonight, can’t wait.
    Oh and btw, I don’t know how people forget to eat either, I spend all day thinking about what my next meal is going to be and where it’s coming from, hence why at 6:45am I’m already planning tonight’s dinner.

  102. C.-G. says:

    Delicious. I had no more parsley so I substituted with coriander and only added 1/2 tsp of salt. I added about 1 tablespoon of blue cheese on each burger when I put in the bun. Easy and tasteful recipe. Thank you for sharing.

  103. Christine says:

    Help my turkey burgers just kept falling apart what am I doing wrong?

  104. jenyu says:

    Christine – it’s possible if the onion is large that there is too much, making the patties difficult to form. Reduce the amount of onion or increase the amount of turkey?

  105. Elaine says:

    Try adding grated cheese to the meat mix before making the patties. I also add a little cinnamon, mint and allspice to the mix for a Med flavour. That turned out to be the household favourite.

  106. Sue Leinaar says:

    We add a slice of pineapple, heated in frying pan, makes it even better with the swiss cheese/

  107. chrisdomino says:

    I add a smear of homemade cranberry sauce on one side and a slice of avocado on the other side of the bun. Simply heaven.

  108. Karen says:

    I made this tonight. Used Vidalia onion because that’s all I had. Other than that followed the recipe exactly. Hubby said he liked it better than a beef burger. Patties stayed together fine. Served with sweet potato fries. Will be part of the dinner rotation. Thanks for the recipe.

  109. Amanda says:

    Made these last night and they were terrific! Also only had Vidalia onion but they were so good!

  110. Anne says:

    I usually make a spinach feta burger and was looking for a turkey burger where I can leave out the salt. This recipe was yummy. I used all the herbs from my garden – sage, thyme, chives, basil, rosemary. What will I do in the winter when my herbs are gone? I top it with Thai chili sauce or peach chutney. Thanks.

  111. Kathy says:

    First time making or eating a turkey burger. I had my hubby grill them with bbq sauce & I added some liquid ranch. I will make again.

  112. Bri says:

    We love these bunless with a slice of provolone and a little mayo and pesto!

  113. Robin Eller says:

    I’ve made this recipe many times and it is excellent. However I don’t put anywhere near a medium red onion in it. I love red onion, but that would be like 50% turkey/50% onion.

  114. Lisa says:

    I agree, I use the medium onion and 3/4 cup parsley with closer to 2 lbs turkey meat and it’s perfect, and enough for 7 medium burgers. My husband was strictly against turkey meat until this recipe 👍🏻

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  116. Barbara says:

    Made these tonight. Very good. My husband enjoyed them too.

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