Yes, a turkey burger can be incredibly flavorful and juicy! The secret is in the type of ground turkey you use and in the ingredients that you add to the mixture.
I have many beef burger recipes on this website (these baked hamburgers are a big hit with readers), and I make them quite often for my family.
But sometimes I feel like making something a little different. Beef is great, but even if you love it, variation is, after all, the spice of life! And these tasty burgers, despite being quite lean, are delicious.
Aren't turkey burgers dry?
They don't have to be. I have a few tricks for making them truly juicy:
1. Use ground thighs (93% lean) and not ground turkey breast, which is way too lean.
2. Add a little mayonnaise and Dijon mustard for moisture, lots of spices and chopped fresh parsley for flavor.
3. Rather than grilling your burgers, it's best to pan-fry them in a generous amount of olive oil. The olive oil adds great flavor, and it also helps the meat remain nice and juicy.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make these tasty turkey burgers. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Ground turkey: Use ground thighs - 93% lean - not dry turkey breast.
Mayonnaise: I like to use avocado oil mayonnaise, but any mayonnaise will work.
Dijon mustard: This traditional French mustard is creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Make sure your spices are fresh - a stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Chopped parsley: It's best to use fresh parsley. But you can use a teaspoon of dried parsley instead.
Olive oil: For frying. It's such a delicious oil, but if you worry about cooking with it, you can use avocado oil instead. It has a higher smoke point.
How to make turkey burgers
It's a truly easy recipe. One of my easiest, actually. Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
Mix the ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the olive oil.
Form into patties. With wet hands for easier handling, form the mixture into four ½ inch-thick patties.
Cook the burgers. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Then add the patties and cook them until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.
How to serve them?
A hamburger bun is a natural choice. If you're watching your carbs, you could try smartBUN hamburger buns (available on Amazon) - they're not amazing but not too bad, actually.
How to season these turkey burgers
I usually tend to use dried spices and herbs because they're so convenient. So in this recipe too, I use garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika.
If you've never used smoked paprika, give it a try! You can probably find it in your supermarket's spice shelf. It's very flavorful.
I do like to use one fresh herb in this recipe - chopped fresh parsley. I find that it adds great flavor, and it also makes the burgers prettier!
If you don't have fresh parsley, you could use 1 teaspoon of dried parsley or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. But I don't think the burgers will be as good as when made with fresh parsley.
I use extra olive oil for frying
Theoretically, you could use just 2 tablespoons of olive oil for frying these turkey burgers. When you use 4 tablespoons, per my instructions, about half of it remains in the skillet.
But in my opinion, using more oil for frying makes for tastier, crispier burgers and for more even frying. So that's what I recommend.
What sides go with these burgers
Naturally, they go well with chips or fries. A few excellent options include carrot chips, eggplant chips, zucchini fries, and jicama fries. If you don't mind the carbs, these cajun steak fries are awesome.
What to do with leftovers?
You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
Or do like I do and enjoy them cold with some Dijon mustard and fresh-cut veggies! These turkey burgers really are delicious when eaten as cold leftovers.
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- 1 lb. ground turkey thighs (93% lean; ground turkey breast is too lean)
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise (I use avocado oil mayonnaise)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 tablespoons olive oil for frying*
- In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for the oil.
- With wet hands for easier handling, form the mixture into four ½ inch-thick patties.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the patties and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.