Easy Turkey Burgers

published Jun 21, 2024
Turkey Burgers Recipe

The secret to juicy, flavorful turkey burgers? Greek yogurt!

Serves4

Prep15 minutes

Cook11 minutes to 9 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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head on shot of a constructed turkey burger with mayo, lettuce, tomato and red onion.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Spencer Richards

I love a good turkey burger, but it often gets a bad rap for being boring, bland, and dry. Because of that I’ve spent years coming up with the ideal recipe that delivers flavorful and juicy turkey burgers. Well, I finally have a winner! This version starts with a smart technique that leaves you with tender, juicy patties every single time, and leans on a couple of pantry ingredients for a classic savory taste. Serve with cucumber salad, oven-baked potato wedges, or creamy cilantro-lime slaw for the ultimate summer meal. 

Why You’ll Love It

  • It’s actually a turkey burger you’ll want to eat! The patties are thick, juicy, well-seasoned, and delicious.
  • It’s quick and easy with a short ingredient list. These burgers are ready in less than 30  minutes from start to finish, and require fewer than 10 ingredients. 
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Spencer Richards

Key Ingredients in Turkey Burgers

  • Ground turkey: I strongly recommend using 93 to 94% lean ground turkey (the percentage can vary from store to store) for the best flavor and texture (99% lean ground turkey makes a much more dry burger).
  • Panko breadcrumbs: This essential ingredient forms the base of the panade, my secret technique for making juicy, delicious turkey burgers.
  • Greek yogurt: I’m partial to full-fat for the extra flavor, but any fat percentage works well here. Rich Greek yogurt moistens the meat and keeps it from drying out when cooking. 
  • Dijon mustard: Gives the burgers a big boost of flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: A little bit gives the burgers a deep savory flavor. 

How to Make Turkey Burgers

  1. Make the panade. This is the same technique used when making traditional meatloaf and meatballs (we also use it in our chicken burgers). This ensures the burger patties are juicy, flavorful, and well-seasoned from the inside out. Be sure to mix the panade well (I call for a mix of panko breadcrumbs and seasonings moistened with Greek yogurt) before adding the ground turkey to avoid overworking the ground meat.
  2. Shape the patties. Divide the mixture into four even portions (about five ounces each), and shape into patties about 3 1/2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Keeping the patties the same size ensures even cooking.
  3. Cook the patties. To cook the patties on the stovetop, use a large cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet (10 inches or larger is perfect). If you plan to top your burger with cheese, do so after flipping the burgers in the skillet.
  4. Assemble the burgers. Slide the patties onto buns and layer with your favorite burger toppings.

Helpful Swaps

  • An equal amount of regular breadcrumbs can be used in place of panko breadcrumbs
  • About 1/4 red onion or yellow onion can be used in place of the shallot.
  • If you have another favorite mustard, go ahead and use it in place of the Dijon. Whole grain, spicy brown, and honey mustard also work well.
  • If you don’t have any Worcestershire sauce on hand, the recipe calls for such a small amount (just one teaspoon) that I don’t think it’s worth buying a bottle. Instead use soy sauce in its place.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips 

  • The burger patties can be assembled up to one day ahead of time. Cover and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
  • Leftover cooked patties will keep well for up to four days in the refrigerator.

What to Serve with Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burgers Recipe

The secret to juicy, flavorful turkey burgers? Greek yogurt!

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 11 minutes to 9 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the burgers:

  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 1/2

    small bunch fresh parsley

  • 1/3 cup

    panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/4 cup

    plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon

    Dijon mustard

  • 1 teaspoon

    Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoons

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound

    93% lean ground turkey

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 4 slices

    cheese, such as provolone or cheddar (optional)

  • 4 split

    hamburger buns (optional)

Topping options:

  • Lettuce leaves

  • Sliced tomato

  • Thinly sliced red onion

  • Mashed or sliced avocado

  • Sliced pickles

  • Mayonnaise

  • Ketchup

Instructions

  1. Finely chop 1 medium shallot (about 1/4 cup). Pick the leaves from 1/2 small bunch fresh parsley and finely chop until you have 1/4 cup. Place both in a medium bowl.

  2. Add 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix to combine. Add 1 pound lean ground turkey and mix until combined; do not overmix.

  3. Divide the mixture into 4 (about 5-ounce) portions. Use your hands to gently flatten each portion into a patty about 1/2-inch thick and 3 1/2 inches wide. Place on a plate or baking sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each patty to create a dimple, which will help keep the burgers from bulging in the center as they cook.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or nonstick pan over medium heat until shimmering. Cooking in 2 batches if needed so as not to crowd the pan, add the patties. Cook undisturbed until a golden-brown crust forms on the bottom, about 6 minutes.

  5. Flip the burgers with a thin, flat spatula. Top each burger with 1 slice cheese if desired. Cook until the burgers are cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a patty registers at least 160°F, 5 to 6 minutes more. Assemble the burgers on hamburger buns with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

Grilling Instructions: Grill over direct, medium-high heat until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. The burgers should reach an internal temperature of at least 160°F.

Make ahead: The uncooked burger patties can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

Storage: Refrigerate leftover patties in an airtight container for up to 4 days.