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It’s a bold statement to be sure, but I stand by it: these are the best Turkey Burgers you’ll ever make! Perfectly seasoned and oh-so-juicy, they’re a healthier choice that doesn’t sacrifice flavor.

avocado, cheese, and tomato on a skillet turkey burger

Turkey burgers have a bad reputation, and let’s be honest: they’ve kind of earned it.

Dry, bland, and generally disappointing, many turkey burgers leave us wishing we had just made regular burgers instead. 

While I’ve shared turkey burgers here before (my Italian Turkey Burgers and Chipotle Sweet Potato Turkey Burgers are reader faves!), I wanted to make a basic turkey burger recipe with the same versatility as a beef burger patty. 

It took a lot of trial-and-error, but this is the one. 

the best turkey burger recipe on a bun with topppings

What Makes This the Best Turkey Burger Recipe

How do you make a turkey burger that’s not terrible?

Let’s address the top two (often true) turkey burger complaints: They are 1) Dry and 2) Flavorless.

The dryness comes from the fact that turkey is so much leaner than ground beef.

We like that because it means a turkey burger is healthier, but the trade-off is that you end up with a burger that’s much less juicy.

Here’s how to keep a turkey burger from drying out:

  • Use 93% Lean Ground Turkey. Do not use any leaner than this (95% or 97% are no-gos), but you can use lower if you’d like. 90% is even a little juicier.
  • Add Breadcrumbs and Egg. They do double duty to bind the meat (so your turkey burger doesn’t fall apart) and they keep your turkey burgers moist.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer. When you’re working with lean meat like turkey, it’s so important that you don’t overcook it because there’s less margin for error.

Once I tackled the dryness, it was time for the easy part—adding flavor!

I’ve got you covered here with tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and onion powder.

Each of these delivers a piece of that umami flavor you get from a traditional beef burger, all with the health benefits of lean ground turkey.

These turkey burgers are here to WOW!

avocado and cheese on top of a easy turkey burger

How to Make Juicy Turkey Burgers

Other than the turkey itself, cooking up these turkey burgers isn’t that different from the process of making burgers with ground beef.

The meat mixture is a little softer and wetter, but that’s because we have to introduce that extra moisture to keep the burger patties nice and juicy.

Tip!

If you ask the meat counter or butcher shop, they may be able to supply you with a ground turkey that’s all dark meat, which will yield an extra-juicy turkey burger.


The Ingredients

  • Lean Ground Turkey. I used 93% lean ground turkey meat. 90% is also fine; do not use any leaner than 93%.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs. Homemade breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs work too, but I always love using Panko. The texture is just right.
  • Worcestershire Sauce. Don’t skip it! If you have seafood allergies, use a bottle of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. It’s key to the flavor of these burgers.
  • Tomato Paste. Pro-tip: freeze the leftovers in one-tablespoon portions, pop them in a freezer bag, and next time you need a tablespoon or two of tomato paste, you won’t need to buy a whole can.
  • Hot Sauce. Optional and adjustable; use as much or as little as you like.
  • Onion Powder. This adds onion flavor without having to dice an onion.
  • Salt & Pepper. Classics.
  • Egg. Binding agent.
  • Canola Oil. Or another high smoke point oil you like to use for cooking.
  • For Serving. Whole wheat hamburger buns, cheese, sliced avocado or Homemade Guacamole, and/or any other burger toppings you like.

The Directions

turkey, breadcrumbs and sauces mixed together for juicy turkey burgers

1. Combine the turkey with the panko and seasonings in a mixing bowl.

juicy turkey burger ingredients in a bowl

2. Add the egg to the bowl, then use a fork to mix all of the ingredients together.

easy turkey burgers on a skillet

3. Preheat the oil in a cast iron skillet and shape the turkey mixture into patties. 

easy turkey burgers on a skillet with cheese

4. Cook the turkey burgers in the skillet, add the cheese, and assemble on buns with your choice of toppings. ENJOY!

Dietary Note

Need to make your burgers gluten free? Gluten-free panko is great for these turkey burgers, or you can use certified gluten-free rolled oats.

Recipe Variations

  • Chicken Burgers. Ground chicken has a lot of the same issues as ground turkey when it comes to making burgers—which means this recipe is also great for making juicy, flavorful chicken burger patties!
  • Juicy Lucy Turkey Burgers. Make 8 thin turkey patties; top 4 of them with a slice of cheese, then place the other 4 patties on top, sandwiching the cheese in the middle. Pinch the edges together to seal them and cook as instructed.
  • Onion-y Turkey Burgers. Finely chop half a yellow onion, cook it with a splash of oil in your skillet until it’s nicely browned, and fold this into the ground turkey mixture. Top with Quick Pickled Red Onions.
  • BBQ Bacon Burgers. Top burgers with Baked Bacon or Air Fryer Bacon and Barbecue Sauce.
  • Mushroom Swiss Burgers. Top with Swiss cheese and Sautéed Mushrooms.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Cooked burgers will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wrap them tightly or store them in an airtight container.
  • To Reheat. Reheat in the microwave, in a skillet over medium heat, or in an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer set to 350 degrees F.
  • To Freeze. Freeze turkey burgers for up to 3 months in an airtight container or freezer bag with parchment paper between the layers.

Storage Tips

To keep them from drying out, it’s best to freeze turkey burgers before cooking them. Shape them into patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover it with plastic wrap, and pop it in the freezer until they’re frozen through. Transfer the patties to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

turkey burgers recipe on a bun with toppings on a plate

Leftover Ideas

Crumble up leftover turkey burger patties and add them to marinara for a meaty pasta sauce, or use them in other recipes where you’d normally use browned ground beef or turkey like Taco Pasta or Italian Stuffed Peppers.

What to Serve With Turkey Burgers

  • Mixing Bowls. I love these glass mixing bowls because they do double-duty for meal prep and serving.
  • Cast Iron Skillet. This one is made in the USA, it will last a lifetime, and it’s under $20. Score!
  • Measuring Spoons. Magnetic measuring spoons to keep your kitchen drawers tidy.
  • Instant Read Thermometer. Check the internal temperature for perfect turkey burgers!

Give them a try and I think you’ll agree—your family is going to gobble up these turkey burgers!

a juicy turkey burger on a bun with a bite taken out of it

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Turkey Burger Healthier Than a Hamburger?

Ground turkey has less saturated fat than beef, and it may also have fewer calories depending on the type of ground beef and turkey being compared. Healthy, of course, is subjective and depends on your health goals, but most experts consider turkey burgers healthier than hamburgers.

What Keeps Turkey Burgers Together?

In this recipe, egg and panko help bind the turkey burgers and keep them from falling apart.

How Should Turkey Burgers Be Cooked?

I like cooking turkey burgers in a skillet. Because the turkey mixture is soft and wet, it’s not ideal for grilling, and baking them in the oven will result in dryer burgers, without the nice sear you get from stovetop cooking. 

Turkey Burgers

4.79 from 19 votes
The best turkey burger recipe! These turkey burgers are juicy, flavorful, and perfect for piling with your favorite toppings.

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Turkey Burger Patties:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (I used 93% lean)
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot sauce such as Tabasco (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

For Serving:

  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns or buns of choice
  • Thinly sliced or grated cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Other toppings of choice: tomatoes, lettuce, mayo (or my fave, nonfat Greek yogurt)

Instructions
 

  • Make the patties: In a large mixing bowl, place the ground turkey. Top with the Panko, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, hot sauce, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Crack the egg into the bowl. With a fork, scramble the egg to break up the yolk, the use the fork to gently combine all of the ingredients. Don’t over work the meat or the burgers may be tough.
  • Meanwhile, in a large cast iron skillet (or similar sturdy skillet or a nonstick skillet), heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Shape the mixture into 4 patties that are about 1/2-inch thick and 4 1/2 inches across. The mixture will be very wet and soft. Work gently and trust that it will hold together once it cooks. I find it easiest to shape the patties with my hands, then carefully lower them directly onto the hot cooking surface (vs. transfer them to a plate, then transfer them to the skillet from there).
  • Once the oil is hot and shimmering, cook the turkey burgers for 4 minutes on the first side, flip, then continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on the second side, until the burgers reach 165ºF on an instant read thermometer inserted at the thickest part. If you’d like to toast the buns, do so during the last few minutes of cooking (see notes). If using cheese, place on top of the patties right after flipping. Transfer to a plate. Serve the burgers immediately on the buns, with avocado and your toppings of choice.

Notes

  • TO TOAST BURGER BUNS: Spray or brush the cut sides with oil and toast them in the skillet for a few seconds, until they’re warm and golden brown.
  • TO STORE: Cooked burgers will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wrap them tightly or store them in an airtight container.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat in the microwave, in a skillet over medium heat, or in an oven, toaster oven, or air fryer set to 350ºF.
  • TO FREEZE: Freeze turkey burgers in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 (of 4)Calories: 317kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 33gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 109mgPotassium: 511mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 162IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 68mgIron: 3mg

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Related Recipes

With a few tips and tricks, ground turkey is an amazing substitute for ground beef! Here are some more ground turkey recipes to try:

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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14 Comments

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    1. Hi Leslie! Yes, but the cooking time will vary some. Here is a guide to air fryer hamburgers: https://www.wellplated.com/air-fryer-hamburgers/

  1. My husband and I absolutely gobbled these up!! I made them exactly as directed except I used Potato rolls instead of whole wheat ones!! My husband seriously thought they tasted exactly like ground beef!!! I will be making these again for sure!! Thank you for such a fabulous recipe AGAIN!!5 stars

  2. I used a little chopped red onion instead of powder and my wife (who generally doesn’t like turkey burgers) gave it two thumbs up! The mixture was very squishy after mixing in the egg so I put the burgers in the fridge for 30 mins or so before cooking in a cast iron skillet 4 mins per side. They didn’t look cooked all the way through so I put the skillet in the oven to finish cooking at around 400F for another few minutes and to melt cheese on top. Leftover burgers reheated really well in the microwave. We’ll be eating more of these and less beef burgers in the future so thank you Erin!5 stars