The Best Turkey Burgers

Someone holding a turkey burger on a sesame bun with guacamole, mayo and arugula.

I’ve never used the term “juicy” to describe a turkey burger.

I knew they could be nutritious and easy, but noticeably lacking in moisture. There has to be a trade-off when it comes to healthy weeknight meals, right?

These turkey burgers are here to prove you (and me) wrong.

They start with a couple flavor powerhouses: Worcestershire sauce, granulated garlic, and harissa.

Here’s a tip: if you’re trying to make something taste better, add Worcestershire sauce. 

The harissa is optional; you can add sriracha or whatever chili paste you have lying around.

Ground meat and harissa filling in a white bowl.

I think the secret, though, to the best turkey burgers is finely chopped onion. 

Grate it on a box grater or chop it with a knife (if you love an eighth-inch dice as much as I do), and mix it right in with the ground turkey. You don’t want big chunks of onion, you want it to evenly permeate the meat. 

The onion adds pure savory liquid, combining with the juices of the turkey to create the best turkey burger you’ve ever had. 

I’ve also never used the word “best” to describe a turkey burger, but it’s 2019 and we’re defying the burger establishment.

Ground meat mixture in a white bowl.

The ground turkey mixture will feel different from your usual dry, flavorless meat. It has more moisture, so it will literally feel wet. 

This can make it tricky to work with, but it’s nothing a can of non-stick spray can’t handle. 

Scoop rounds of the mixture onto a well-greased plate and chill the burgers for a bit so they hold their shape and the flavors meld. 

Three burgers on a blue skillet.

Slip them onto a hot, well-greased skillet and you’ll have juicy, mahogany-hued burgers in about 6 minutes.

I like these with a few slices of avocado, a big handful (as much as you can fit in your hand) of arugula, Dijon mustard and pickles. 

Turkey burger on a sesame bun sitting on a napkin with a bite taken out of it.

Choose your favorite toppings and stuff the turkey burger to your heart’s content. My only recommendation is to set out extra napkins on the table. 

The best, juiciest burgers are always good and messy.

WATCH how to make Turkey Burgers 👇

How to make turkey burgers on the grill

Smash the ground turkey balls into patties before refrigerating (rather than smashing them on the skillet), forming them into 1/2 inch-thick patties with a thumbprint-sized “divot” in the center (this helps to ensure that they won’t puff up on the grill).

Keep the uncooked patties in the fridge for as long as you can (at least 10 minutes and up to 2 days); they’ll hold together better if they’re chilled.

Brush and oil the grates before grilling to ensure that the patties don’t stick to the grates.

Cook for about 3 minutes per side on a medium-high grill.

The Best Turkey Burgers

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.88 out of 5)
Dinner American
By Samantha Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Juicy, delicious, healthy, and easy- the best turkey burgers are here to prove all of your (and my) assumptions about this quick weeknight dinner wrong.


  • 1 tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp harissa or other hot chile sauce (such as Sriracha)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • ¼ of a small onion, finely chopped (2-3 tablespoons)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • Nonstick spray or oil
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Hamburger buns, lettuce, and desired condiments, for serving



Add garlic, cumin, salt, harissa, Worcestershire, mayo, and onion to a large bowl. Mix with a fork to combine. Add turkey and mix thoroughly until well-combined.


Coat a large plate with nonstick spray or oil. Using oiled hands (or an oiled ice-cream scoop), form mixture into 5-6 balls (about 1/3 cup mixture for each ball), place on plate, and chill at least 10 minutes and up to 2 hours (this step will help keep them firm). If chilling for more than 2 hours, cover with plastic and chill up to 2 days. If grilling, please read the instructions found at the end of the blog post, under "How to make turkey burgers on the grill."


Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in 2 batches, transfer the turkey mixture into skillet and use a spatula to press them into patties. Cook, until dark brown underneath, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook on second side until burgers are fully cooked (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the patty should read 165℉), about 2 minutes more. Let them rest for about 5 minutes before serving.


  • 289 Calories


For turkey burgers, my preferred toppings are pickles, red onion, arugula, and avocado on a whole-wheat bun. In the summer, I will add tomato. I also add Dijon mustard because it's probably my favorite condiment, but it's not necessary here. Unlike beef burgers, rosé or unoaked Chardonnay is a great match for turkey burgers, especially in the summertime. For a red, try a light to medium-bodied Pinot Noir. It has just enough acidity to cut through toppings like cheese or creamy avocado.

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