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Published June 22, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
You will be blown away at the delicious flavors in this juicy turkey burger recipe that is loaded up with lettuce, tomato, and balsamic onions. The great thing about this recipe is that it is completely customizable.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up eating burgers and sandwiches. If you’re like me and want to check out some tasty fun sandwiches, then for sure make my Ultimate BLT or the classic Croque Madame.
Turkey burgers consist of cooked ground turkey meat that is served up in place of a traditional beef burger. They can be enhanced with other ingredients and cooked in the same fashion as beef burgers, whether that’s on a griddle or a grill. They are a great protein alternative to meat and typically have less fat making them healthier.
Due to turkey burgers having less fat, often outside ingredients are needed to help the turkey burger maintain its juiciness and flavor. Be sure to watch my video on how to make the best turkey burgers because they are absolutely loaded with deliciousness.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Turkey – I use a 50/50 combination of turkey thigh and breast meat
- Onion – You will need both yellow and red onions for this recipe
- Garlic – A few cloves will go a long way in making the turkey meat delicious.
- Seasonings – Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper are used in this recipe, and I’ve got a great homemade mayonnaise version for you.
- Mayonnaise – This will help add some much-needed fat to the turkey burger.
- Tomatoes – I always use Roma tomatoes because of their solid flavors.
- Balsamic Vinegar – This is going to be used to enhance the flavor of the caramelized onions.
- Avocado – Mashed avocado makes it easier to eat while on the burger.
- Lemon – Use this when mashing the avocado to help keep its color.
- Lettuce – I like butterleaf lettuce, but you can also use green or red leaves.
- Buns – Brioche buns are just the best to use for any burger situation.
- Chipotle Mayo – Use my homemade chipotle mayo recipe to add a nice zesty punch to this turkey burger.
How to Make the Best Turkey Burger
Use these easy-to-follow instructions for making the best turkey burger recipe:
Prepare the tomatoes and oven-dry them on a rack in the oven for 1 hour (see video).
Mix the ground turkey meat with all onions, garlic, mayo, and seasoning until combined. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to start forming and cooking.
Next, caramelize the red onions and then deglaze with the balsamic vinegar and set aside.
Make the chipotle mayo sauce and set it to the side until ready to use.
Mash the avocado with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, until it resembles the consistency of guacamole. Keep cool to the side.
Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and add butter until melted and hot.
Form the turkey burgers and add them to the griddle as soon as they are made.
Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°.
Add the cheese to the burger with 2 to 3 minutes left in the cooking process.
Toast the brioche buns on the griddle until lightly browned and toasted.
Assemble the burger by layering on as followed: Bottom toasted bun, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, turkey burger, chipotle mayonnaise, and then the final toasted top bun.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: These turkey burgers are meant to be eaten as soon as they are finished cooking. You can however prepare all the toppings 1 day ahead of time.
How to Store: Keep the meat and toppings separate and covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The turkey burgers by themselves will freeze well covered for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating and serving.
How to Reheat: Add the desired number of turkey burgers to a 13×9 casserole dish and cover with foil or a lid. Bake in the oven at 350° for 8-12 minutes or until warm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Turkey Burger Healthier than Hamburger?
- Both turkey and beef are excellent sources of protein, however, turkey meat is lower in saturated fat than beef making it a potentially healthier alternative.
Do you have to use breadcrumbs in turkey burgers?
- You do not need to use breadcrumbs; in fact, they can draw out moisture from the turkey and make your turkey burgers dry.
Chef Notes + Tips
- Feel free to use all turkey thigh meat in this recipe.
- If you aren’t a fan of turkey, this recipe will also work well if you substitute it with ground chicken.
- The toppings in this recipe are subjective, however, I feel they do a good job of complimenting flavors to make a very delicious turkey burger.
More Sandwich Recipes
The Best Turkey Burger Recipe
For the Toppings:
- 4 thickly sliced Roma tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large or 2 small peeled and julienne red onion
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 pitted and peeled avocados
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 5 slices mozzarella cheese
- 5 toasted brioche buns
- 5 large leaves of butter leaf lettuce
- Chipotle Mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Burgers:
- 1 pound ground turkey breast meat
- 1 pound ground turkey thigh meat
- ½ finely grated peeled yellow onion
- 4 finely grated garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 275°.
- Place the sliced tomatoes on a sheet tray with a rack and season them with salt and pepper. Bake them at 275° in the oven for 1 hour (see video). Set aside when done.
- Next, Mix the ground turkey meat with all onions, garlic, mustard mayo, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper until combined. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator until ready to start forming and cooking.
- In the meantime, add the 1 tablespoons of butter to a large frying pan over medium heat and caramelize the red onions until browned, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes while frequently stirring. Deglaze with the balsamic vinegar, mix in, and set aside.
- Make the chipotle mayo sauce and set to the side until ready to use.
- Mash the avocado with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, using a hand masher until it resembles the consistency of guacamole. Keep cool to the side.
- Heat a griddle or large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter until melted and hot.
- Form the turkey burgers into 8 large patties and add them to the griddle as soon as they are made (see video).
- Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°.
- Add the mozzarella cheese to each burger with 2 to 3 minutes left in the cooking process.
- Toast the brioche buns on the griddle until lightly browned and toasted.
- Assemble the burger by layering on as followed: Bottom toasted bun, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, turkey burger, chipotle mayonnaise, and then the final toasted top bun.