Ben and I have a new addition to our household: a real, grown-up grill! It was just delivered last week, and my immediate reaction was to plan two BBQ dinners, two nights in a row. On the menu for both: Teriyaki Burgers with Grilled Pineapple.
Since my friends are coming over at six, and I have exactly ZERO prep work done, my plan is to make a double batch of the teriyaki burger patties, cook half tonight, then keep the rest in the refrigerator for tomorrow.
Work once, eat twice. I like this strategy.
For the rest of the menu, we’ll be having this Grilled Corn Salad (FAVE), sliced watermelon, and my favorite blackberry crisp for dessert. Nothing is fussy. Everything is delicious. Isn’t summer food the best?
Although our grill is new, this household is no stranger to burgers, like a Blue Cheese Burger, and especially burgers made with ground chicken and turkey. I love that they are leaner than beef burgers and, if done properly, can be just as satisfying.
If your experience with turkey burgers up to this point has been bland patties that are more reminiscent of a hockey puck than a juicy burger worth of its bun, these Teriyaki Burgers will change your mind. They’re sweet and tangy, plenty moist, and sure to please even the staunchest of red meat eaters.
Key Tips for Teriyaki Burger Success
ONE: It all starts with the meat. Choose ground turkey that is free of hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives. It’s worth it!
TWO: Amp it up! Ground turkey is ultra mild on its own, which makes it an ideal canvas to showcase a wide range of flavors. Season your ground turkey generously and don’t be afraid to experiment.
In honor of summer, I gave these Teriyaki Burgers a Hawaiian-inspired twist: lots of fresh ginger and pineapple, and a homemade teriyaki burger sauce that is first mixed into the patties for moisture and flavor, then brushed on the outsides as a glaze.
THREE: Make ’em moist! Avoid overcooking at all costs. I use this instant-read digital meat thermometer and pull them off at the exact moment the burgers reach 160 degrees F. The FDA says 165, but by the time the burgers have rested a few minutes (another key part of keeping them moist), they are safe to eat.
FOUR: Pile on the fixins. Once you have your juicy patty, it’s time to load it up! I topped the Teriyaki Burgers with grilled pineapple and red onion. The pineapple caramelizes on the grill, and its sweet flavor is a delicious counterpoint to the savory teriyaki sauce.
These turkey burger tips also apply to ground chicken, so if that’s your preferred protein, feel free to swap it into any ground turkey burger recipe.
Now that we’ve mastered the moist turkey burger basics, it’s time to put them into action.
More Favorite Turkey and Chicken Recipes
- Chicken Avocado Burger
- Italian Turkey Burgers
- Green Chile Chicken Burgers
- Sweet Potato Turkey Burger
- Portobello Mushroom Burger (no chicken or turkey, but just as hearty!)
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Silicone basting brush (love that you can just toss it in the dishwasher)
- Small whisk (perfect for stirring the teriyaki sauce)
- THIS is the grill we just purchased. Such an investment! My father-in-law owned an earlier version of this same model for 17 years, so I’m feeling confident that it will be worth it.
- No grill? No problem! Try this indoor grill pan.
Teriyaki Burgers with Grilled Pineapple
FOR THE BURGERS:
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- 1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic about 3 cloves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 4 rings canned pineapple reserve juice for teriyaki sauce below
- 1 red onion cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- Whole wheat hamburger buns for serving
- Prepare the teriyaki sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the reserved 1/4 cup pineapple juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove the lid and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. While you wait for the sauce to boil, whisk the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water together in a small bowl to create a slurry. Once the sauce is boiling, add the slurry, then stir to combine. Cook for 1 additional minute, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, panko, garlic, ginger, black pepper, cilantro, and 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce. Mix just until combined, and be careful not to compact the meat. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Set aside some of the remaining teriyaki sauce for serving, reserving the rest for grilling. Preheat the grill to medium high and lightly oil the grates. Grill the rings of pineapple and red onion slices until caramelized and tender, about 3 minutes per side for the pineapple and 4 minutes for the red onion. Grill the burgers for 4 minutes on the first side, flip, then brush with sauce. Grill 4 minutes, then flip again and brush the other side with sauce. Continue cooking until the burgers are cooked through and reach an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes total. Remove to a plate, cover, and let rest 5 minutes. If desired, grill the buns.
- Serve the burgers inside of the buns, brushed with reserved sauce and topped with grilled pineapple and red onion.
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