Made with a 50/50 blend of zesty Italian turkey sausage and lean ground turkey, smothered in mozzarella, asiago, and grilled peppers, these Italian Turkey Burgers are sure to be a hit at your next backyard festa.
Ben’s parents live on a lake outside of Milwaukee, and their prime spot (and a pontoon boat) means that Ben and I—along with just about every one of their landlocked friends—make an appearance at the Clarke household on summer weekend afternoons (usually with a bowl of this Italian Farro Salad in hand).
It’s remarkable how an hour of lying around on a boat can leave one ravenously hungry and parched (even though we’ve been sipping Peach Margaritas all afternoon).
Without fail every Saturday afternoon, the post-pontoon hoard descends upon the Clarkes’ kitchen in desperate search of sustenance.
Queue the Italian turkey burgers!
Today’s healthy turkey burger recipe is MADE for:
- Lakeside lunches (alongside this Three Bean Salad).
- Summer potlucks (before your eat one too many Brownie Bites).
- Casual Italian dinner nights (alongside or following Homemade Mozzarella Sticks).
- And weeknight family grill sessions (served with this Healthy Potato Salad).
5 Star Review
“These were delicious! Thank you for another great recipe.”— Elaine —
Not your average turkey burgers, these Italian-style turkey burgers are inspired by those sunny afternoons where Ben’s dad lights up the grill and cooks up army-sized quantities of juicy Italian sausages with grilled peppers and onions.
So simple, but so satisfyingly delicious!
How to Make Italian Turkey Burgers
Loaded with Italian seasonings, breadcrumbs, and a juicy blend of lean ground turkey and Italian turkey sausage, these delicious burgers will convert any turkey burger skeptics.
- Ground Turkey. A great alternative to ground beef for burgers, ground turkey is an excellent lean protein source. (Don’t believe me? Try these Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers too!)
- Italian Turkey Sausages. Add richness, zestiness, and just a little extra fat to keep these burgers moist and juicy. You just have to decide if you want mild or spicy!
- Panko Bread Crumbs. Because turkey is so lean, turkey burgers can often fall apart easily when grilling. Using breadcrumbs benefits the burgers by working like glue to hold everything together.
- Herbs and Spices. A blend of basil, oregano, fennel seeds, garlic, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes mirrors classic Italian sausage ingredients.
- Asiago and Mozzarella. A perfect marriage between creamy, melty mozzarella cheese and sharp, salty Asiago crowns these Italian turkey burgers.
- Bell Peppers. A mix of red and green peppers make these an ode to the Italian flag.
- Red Onions. Add a little zip, a little bite, and extra crunch.
- Buns. These are hearty, hefty burgers so I like to go for a whole wheat bun since I feel they hold up best against all the tasty toppings.
Not just for Baked Chicken Parmesan! Add a dollop of warm marinara sauce to the top of each burger before serving for an extra tasty (albeit messy) addition. Buonissimo!
- Combine the turkey patty ingredients in a bowl and mix until evenly combined.
When mixing, use a gentle hand and try to handle the meat as little as possible, and avoid compacting the meat. This can cause your turkey burgers to become tough and rubbery once cooked.
- Shape into six patties.
- Cook on a preheated grill, flipping once.
- Top with cheese and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and the burgers are fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, toss together the onions and bell peppers in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Grill until the veggies are tender and slightly charred.
- Remove the burgers and veggies to serving platters and serve on buns of your choice. ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover cooked turkey patties may be stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Freeze. Cooked patties may be kept frozen for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat. If frozen, defrost cooked turkey burger patties in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a skillet, covered, with a little extra water to help the burgers stay moist.
Meal Prep Tip
Big party coming up? You can make these burgers ahead. Mix together the Italian turkey patty ingredients a few days (or weeks) ahead of your big event, shape into patties, and then freeze.
Uncooked patties may be frozen on a baking sheet until firm, then transferred to a freezer-safe container for storage for up to 3 months. To cook, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then grill as directed.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Grill Set. We love this all-in-one grill set the contains everything we need for a cookout.
- Mixing Bowls. For mixing the turkey burger patty ingredients.
- Silicone Grill Mat. Non-stick is perfect for grilling vegetables. It’s reusable and cleans easily in the dishwasher!
Frequently Asked Questions
Adding breadcrumbs, an egg, or a combination of both helps bind turkey burger patties together so they don’t fall apart.
When mixing and shaping turkey burgers, don’t overhandle the meat. Be gentle, and don’t compact the meat too much. Doing so can cause the burgers to become tough and rubbery once cooked.
Turkey burgers are a healthy alternative to traditional beef burgers. They are lower in both fat and cholesterol while still providing ample protein and iron.
Italian Turkey Burgers
For the Burgers:
- 1 pound 99% lean ground turkey
- 1 pound turkey sausage sweet or spicy with casings removed (I used spicy)
- 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 teaspoons ground basil
- 2 teaspoons ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces Asiago cheese
- 8 ounces Mozzarella cheese
- 6 whole wheat hamburger buns for serving
For the Grilled Vegetables:
- 1 large red onion halved and thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat a grill to medium-high. While the grill heats, make the burgers by placing the ground turkey, turkey sausage, bread crumbs, basil, oregano, fennel, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large mixing bowl.
- Gently mix with your fingers. Make sure the ingredients are fairly evenly incorporated, but do not compact the meat.
- Shape into 6 patties, then grill on medium high until the bottoms are browned (about 5 minutes).
- Flip and continue grilling until cooked through; about 5 additional minutes. When the burgers are almost ready, top with mozzarella and Asiago cheeses.
- Meanwhile, place the veggie slices in a medium bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place in a grill basket and grill until softened and lightly charred, about 8 minutes, turning the veggies often so that they do not burn. Toast the buns as desired.
- Serve burgers on the buns, topped with grilled veggies. Enjoy immediately.
- TO STORE: Leftover cooked turkey patties may be stored in a container with a tight-fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- TO FREEZE: Uncooked patties may be frozen on a baking sheet until firm, then transferred to a freezer-safe container for storage for up to 3 months. To cook, defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then grill as directed. Cooked patties may be kept frozen for up to 3 months.
- TO REHEAT: If frozen, defrost cooked turkey burger patties in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in a skillet, covered, with a little extra water to help the burgers stay moist.
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