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The Secret to Juicy Turkey Burgers (w/ 4 Variations!)

Aug 30, 2022 | Recipes | 0 comments

Juicy Turkey Burgers

I'm sharing 4 takes on juicy turkey burgers: Mediterranean, Cajun, Mushroom Shallot, & Parmesan Turkey Burgers. No more dry turkey burgers!

I love a good turkey burger. It's nice to have some variation in flavor profile and my wallet certainly appreciates it with the price of beef these days.

That said, I've had some bad turkey burgers in my day and I bet you have too. Turkey is quite a bit leaner than beef which means turkey burgers can easily turn out dry. That's why I always mix things in with my turkey burgers. Whether it's avocado mayo, parmesan, feta or veggies cooked in olive oil, ground turkey needs a little something extra to make a truly delicious, juicy turkey burger.

I'm sharing my Mediterranean turkey burgers today which get extra moisture from sundried tomatoes and feta. I'm also sharing 3 other variations on turkey burgers though so you can satisfy whatever craving strikes!

Also, feel free to sub ground chicken in any of these recipes if it's what you have on hand or if you'd rather make juicy chicken burgers.

Personally, when I grill I love grilling my side dishes as well. Whether it's grilled fruit or a simple grilled veggie side, grilling the entire meal just makes dinnertime so simple. For some seriously tasty inspiration, check out this article on How to Grill Vegetables from Carnivore Style. It walks you through exactly how to grill different veggies, without undercooking or burning.

Make sure to scroll down for additional healthy turkey burger topping suggestions!

Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
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Mediterranean Turkey Burgers

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1-1 1/4# lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
  • ~3 oz feta cheese crumbles (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • S&P to taste
  • Romaine or Bibb lettuce for wraps (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat grill to medium.
  • Finely chop mint to equal ~3T.
  • For burgers, gently combine: 1-1¼# ground lean turkey, ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes, ~3T chopped mint, ~3oz feta (optional), 1 tsp garlic powder and S&P to taste.
  • Form into 4 patties.
  • Grill turkey burgers (or cook in a sauté pan) for ~5min/side.
  • Serve plain or wrapped in a lettuce wrap (or GF bun if you prefer!)

Healthy Turkey Burger Variations

If you're not in the mood for Mediterranean, I have 3 other healthy turkey burger variations for you today! Each of these uses the same concept – adding some sort of fat or moisture to compensate for the lean meat and give you a juicy, never dry, burger. However, that's where the similarities end. From spicy Cajun to Italian-inspired parmesan turkey burgers, these each have a totally different flavor profile.

Parmesan Turkey Burgers

For parmesan turkey burgers, combine 1# ground turkey (or chicken), 4 oz grated parmesan, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1 tsp parsley and 1/3 cup avocado mayo.

Form into 4 patties and cook on a grill for 4-5 minutes per side. Alternatively, you can bake in the oven at 425 F for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through to 165F.

Serve on buns or lettuce wraps with lettuce, tomato, optional mayo and shredded lettuce.

Cajun Turkey Burgers

For my Cajun turkey burgers, you'll first saute some onion, garlic and peppers and then mix that into the ground turkey before forming the patties. The veggies along with a healthy dose of Cajun seasoning give these burgers a nice hit of spice and a ton of bold flavor!

First, finely chop 1/2 red onion, 3-4 cloves garlic, the white portion of 1 bunch of green onions and 1/2 jalapeno (remove seeds & ribs for less heat). Saute veggies plus 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning in 1T olive oil over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, mix sautéed Cajun veggies into 1# ground turkey (recommend using hands). Form into 4 patties.

Cook burgers on a grill (outdoor or indoor) for ~4-5 minutes per side. Or bake in 425 F oven ~20-25 minutes. Serve burgers in gluten-free buns or lettuce wraps topped w/ avocado slices.

Mushroom Shallot Turkey Burgers

With mushrooms and tamari, these burgers pack in a ton of savory, earthy flavor. It's really nicely offset with a slice of melty swiss cheese. So good!

Saute 3 chopped shallots, 16 oz sliced mushrooms, 2T tamari, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper in 1 T olive oil for ~12 minutes over medium-high heat.

Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Mix 1# ground turkey with 1/2c sautéed mushroom/shallots (reserve the remainder of sautéed vegetables for topping). Combine turkey mixture w/ 1T tamari + 1/2tsp salt + 1/4tsp pepper + 1/2tsp garlic powder. Form into 4 patties.

Cook burgers on large sauté pan over med-high heat for 4-5 mins/side or until cooked through. (Or bake in 425F oven for ~20 min). 

Top each burger w/ 1 slice Swiss cheese (optional) and mushroom/shallot topping. Serve on GF bun or in a lettuce wrap. 

What are some healthy turkey burger toppings?

SO many choices for healthy turkey burger toppings! If you want to get creative, start with my Parmesan Turkey Burger above. It's more of a blank slate and works well with all kinds of toppings. You can also mix up the cheese, using feta or goat cheese instead of parmesan if you like.

Here are some ideas for fun toppings to take it to the next level:

  • Grilled fruit: I love grilled fruit and it makes the perfect juicy turkey burger topping. Either grilled pineapple or grilled peaches would be particularly good.
  • Guacamole: For a Tex-Mex inspired burger, top it with some fresh guac! You can find my simple guacamole recipe here.
  • Caramelized Onions: The sweetness from caramelized onions pairs nicely with savory turkey burgers.
  • Sauteed Peppers & Onions: These would be delicious atop my Mediterranean, Cajun or Parmesan turkey burgers!
  • A Fried Egg: I'm definitely team drippy egg over her. If you're like me, add a fried egg to your next turkey burger and watch that runny yolk turn it into pure magic.
  • Homemade BBQ Sauce: Store-bought is fine too of course, but if you haven't tried my homemade bbq sauce, this is a great opportunity!
  • Homemade Ketchup: My homemade ketchup is so much healthier than the typical bottled variety, and quite easy to make!
  • Basil Aioli: This stuff is good on pretty much everything and homemade turkey burgers are no exception!
  • Chimichurri: I'm a huge fan of cooking with fresh herbs. Cilantro and parsley make this homemade chimichurri so bright and fresh. It's excellent on turkey burgers or regular beef burgers!
  • Pesto: Spread a little pesto on the bun with my parmesan turkey burgers for an Italian-inspired take.

Are these good meal prep burgers?

Yes! All four of these turkey burger variations make great meal prep burgers.

Make the burgers through forming the patties and then store in the fridge. You can also freeze a batch for easy dinners later!

What's the nutrition like for these juicy turkey burgers?

Burgers are probably not what you think of when you think about healthy food but these juicy turkey burgers are actually quite healthy! Here are some of the nutritional highlights for my Mediterranean turkey burgers.

Turkey (B Vitamins, Selenium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Choline)

In addition to being a low fat source of protein, turkey contains significant amounts of B vitamins, selenium and zinc. B vitamins are important for red blood cell formation, amino acid formation and maintaining energy levels.

Mint (Vitamin A, Iron, Manganese)

Rich in vitamin A, iron and manganese, mint is a delicious way to add a little nutrient boost to your meals. Since vitamin A is fat soluble, it's best absorbed when consumed with fat – for instance, the feta cheese in this recipe! Moreover, mint can help with IBS and indigestion.

Tomatoes (Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Potassium, Antioxidants)

Packed with antioxidants, tomatoes may help reduce the risk of several kinds of cancer. Furthermore, they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium, many of which most people don't get enough of.

Bonus tip? Combining tomatoes with healthy fats boosts absorption of tomatoes' phytochemicals!

I want more healthy burger recipes!

From lamb to beef to a protein-packed vegetarian option, I've got you covered!

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers

Mediterranean Lamb Burgers

If you haven't tried lamb burgers, they're a really nice way to change it up! The burgers themselves are full of spices and they're topped with goat cheese, red onion and avocado for so. much. flavor!

BLTA Burgers

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado (BLTA) Burgers

This BLTA burger is great with either beef or bison. These are really good on lettuce wraps but you can of course use buns if you prefer!

Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers

If you're looking for a vegetarian option, my black bean quinoa burgers are an excellent choice. They're full of protein and hearty enough to grill.

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