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turkey burgers

jennykay Jan 14, 2009 10:57 AM

I bought some ground turkey and want to try making turkey burgers. What is your favorite way to make them?


  1. amyzan Jan 16, 2009 08:25 AM

    I've made ground turkey breast burgers with ricotta cheese and caramelized onion mixed into the meat. They're more flavorful, but still a differently textured burger, quite springy, for lack of a better descriptor. Honestly, I prefer ground turkey thigh or bison to breast meat in a burger.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amyzan
      LuisasCatering Sep 29, 2009 03:42 PM

      please try my recipe :-)


    2. oana Jan 16, 2009 06:07 AM

      This is what I add:
      tomato paste
      finely diced tomatoes - pith and seeds removed
      finely ficed Cubanelle peppers (not hot)
      finely diced onions
      finely minced garlic
      finely chopped parsely
      chilli flakes
      generous salt and pepper

      So delicious :)

      1. b
        bnemes3343 Jan 15, 2009 10:02 AM

        I put chopped red onion, garlic, chopped parsley and S&P in mine. I sear them on both sides in a very hot cast iron and then finish them in a 400 oven. Very simple and very good (oh year, sometimes I put a tsp of butter in the center of each burger...)

        1. Shrinkrap Jan 15, 2009 09:56 AM

          In looking at some of these responses, I'm starting to wonder why each of us chooses to make turkey burgers in the first place. In my house, its for my daughter, who doesn't eat red meat. For some, I'm guessing it's for the calories. When I see additions of dark meat, cheese and bacon ( hmmm... maybe the bacon was in my imaginations...), I'm curious, for example, about any calorie savings..

          2 Replies
          1. re: Shrinkrap
            c oliver Jan 15, 2009 09:59 AM

            I'd never done them before happening upon that Oprah one which BTW I've only fixed once. But it's the flavor of that particular one for me, as well as the moistness. Nothing to do with health and I'm a major carnivore. But Granny Smith apples, chutney, etc. just sounded so good I couldn't pass it up. But even if for health, keeping the cheese and bacon but losing the beef is still not a BAD thing. Kinda like Big Mac, fries and a Diet Coke :) which honestly has always made me smile. But any savings is good.

            1. re: Shrinkrap
              porker Jan 15, 2009 10:16 AM

              We do a low carb, low fat thing to get where we want, then when all goes to plan... eat and exercise properly. This generally works except for a while of summer BBQ season and around the holidays...
              Anyway, turkey burgers (93% lean just the meat, no bun) can satisfy a between-meal lull. Relatively low calorie and low carb.
              I generally don't like turkey either - a lean patty simply sauteed is dull Dull DULL. That's why I grill them and season 'em.
              Now I actually like them.
              But you're right - adding cheese, bacon, etc etc would seem to defeat this purpose.

            2. fershore Jan 15, 2009 07:41 AM

              This recipe will make you throw your others away. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

              I never thought ground turkey could taste so good.

              1. m
                MEH Jan 15, 2009 07:24 AM


                I make turkey burgers pretty often. I always use the dark turkey meat. Here's how I do it:

                I saute a small onion in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft and let it cool. I add the softened onions and olive oil to about 1 1/4 pounds of ground turkey along with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix gently. I form this into 4 burgers, placing a half of a slice of cheddar cheese in the middle of each and cook on a lightly oiled nonstick pan over low to mdeium heat for about 5 minutes per side. Serve on toasted bun with the condiment of your choice.

                Good luck!

                1. r
                  RosemaryHoney Jan 15, 2009 06:27 AM

                  I make BBQ turkey burgers, but add grated granny smith apples to them. They add a moistness and some flavor, but they aren't overpowering (and kind of don't taste like apples...hard to explain). My basic recipe is 1 lb ground turkey, 1/2c good BBQ sauce, S&P, 1/2 - 1 granny smith apple (peeled and grated), 1/4 grated (or minced) onion, handful of chopped parsley. As I cook them, I spread a bit more BBQ sauce on them. They are moist and delicious.

                  1. a
                    aklein Jan 14, 2009 06:12 PM

                    just made them tonight... pinch ground cayenne, 1/2 tsp onion powder, salt, pepper, fresh thyme, fresh marjoram, slight pinch of lemon zest, a little olive oil... grill pan, toasted square of ciabatta, crumbled goat cheese... eat 'em up

                    1. v
                      valerie Jan 14, 2009 06:04 PM

                      I'm not a huge fan of turkey burgers, but I liked this Rachael Ray version with spinach and feta.


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: valerie
                        LauraGrace Jan 15, 2009 07:00 AM

                        The WF near me had spinach, feta, and pine nut turkey burgers on sale for a buck apiece a while back, and they ROCKED. I think the trick is to get ground dark meat rather than ground white meat, which is flavorless and dry. These were so moist and rich-tasting I about swore off red meat on the spot. But I agree in general that turkey requires add-ins.

                        I made a pretty mean turkey-black bean burger last summer! I'm thinking maybe a turkey-bacon burger with chopped jalapeno and some kind of creamy sauce. And I love the granny smith idea below -- maybe with walnuts and gorgonzola?

                      2. Shrinkrap Jan 14, 2009 05:40 PM

                        I use this one, sometimes using Penzey's sandwich sprinkle for seasoning.

                        Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers


                        1. porker Jan 14, 2009 03:45 PM

                          I like adding Asian flair like cheesecake17. Another option is to go southwest - cumin/chili powder/onion/bit of habanero or a pinch of chipotle in adobo.
                          I also love grilling, so for convenience sake, I'll fire up the charcoal grill and cook maybe 30 or so patties with various seasoning (another with plenty of Montreal steak spice). I freeze 'em on a tray then into freezer bags.
                          Quick outta the microwave...

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: porker
                            cheesecake17 Jan 15, 2009 05:30 AM

                            I do that too sometimes. Cumin, chipotle chili powder, carmelized onions. My husband's burgers get chipotle hot sauce in the mix too. I also freeze the burgers but usually uncooked so that I can broil them for a quick dinner. You gave me an idea to freeze them cooked- maybe it's worth it to make a huge batch of different flavors and bring them over to my mother and make use of her gas grill.

                            1. re: cheesecake17
                              porker Jan 15, 2009 10:19 AM

                              Its not such a big deal in the summer, when we're grilling and BBQing all the time. But with these frigid days (its -32 with wind chill today), I'm going to get everything I can out of lighting some charcoal.
                              Thats why I grill at least 2 dozen patties (sometimes 4) at a time.

                              1. re: porker
                                cheesecake17 Jan 15, 2009 10:25 AM

                                omg -32!! have a cup of hot coffee while you grill! i just go to my mother b/c i don't have a grill in my apartment. no terrace or porch to put it on.. so the broiler it is.

                            2. re: porker
                              c oliver Jan 15, 2009 10:24 AM

                              Texture-wise, I'm guessing you give up any hint of crunchiness when microwaving, don't you? Would it work to reheat slowly on rack in the oven? I know it would WORK, but wonder if you would gain anything.

                              1. re: c oliver
                                porker Jan 15, 2009 03:07 PM

                                As I mentioned below, we use the patties more of a snack thing than a substantial meal. Coming off the grill, they do have a nice char, but not quite crunchy per se. Reheating in the oven *may* provide a slightly better patty, but it seems like alot of energy for one or two patties.
                                The microwave takes about a minute and the flavor is good.
                                cheesecake, no place for a grill!? OMG! ;-/)

                                1. re: porker
                                  cheesecake17 Jan 16, 2009 05:54 AM

                                  No place for a real grill and no place to store a tabletop one. I refuse to buy a George Foreman b/c I've been scarred by the smell of salmon cooking on it. That's what mom's are for anyway :)

                            3. Caralien Jan 14, 2009 01:44 PM

                              I generally use ground turkey to make meatballs (sweet and savoury), breakfast sausage, or meatloaf, as it can take on a lot of seasoning, but as a burger, it's not my favourite because I want beef in my burgers.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Caralien
                                c oliver Jan 14, 2009 01:57 PM

                                Hey, C. Did you check that Oprah recipe? It would probably make great meatballs.

                                1. re: c oliver
                                  Caralien Jan 14, 2009 02:00 PM

                                  I'm sure it's good, but not yet. Ground turkey on the East Coast is far more expensive than in either Chicago or CA, but I'm always open to new recipes. My meatballs are also done "incorrectly", as I form them into 1" balls by hand and toss them under the broiler until done, then keep what's not eaten in containers to be eaten cold or reheated in beer, wine, broth, or on their own (I'm really inept at following recipes, hence my B- in Home Ec 24 years ago)

                                  I just read the recipe, and it looks good, aside from the chutney (I've tried, but can't stomach it). Never thought of apples in a meatball. Corn and bell peppers, yes, but this might be good with the local apples, although I would grate them (regular grater, not microplane) instead of chopping them, to keep the texture correct.

                                  There's just something about a beige burger which I don't like. Maybe it looks too much like the bun?

                                  1. re: Caralien
                                    c oliver Jan 14, 2009 02:03 PM

                                    I think it's too expensive in CA also. I started another thread about grinding my own turkey. I'll probably do that soon.

                                    1. re: c oliver
                                      Caralien Jan 14, 2009 02:16 PM

                                      I may try that at some point, but turkey is so good on it's own, roasted. If it were cheaper year-round, I'd roast it instead of chicken!

                                      Both my mother and father's father had meat grinders--the type to attach to tables. Once we get our house, that will be something to have (in addition to the meat slicer which we have no space for). Oddly enough, they look just like the "new" wheatgrass grinders.

                                      1. re: Caralien
                                        c oliver Jan 14, 2009 02:30 PM

                                        I got such a great price (approx. $170) on my KA stand mixer that I splurged later and got the pasta maker and one daughter gave me the grinder. I still have my mother's grinder somewhere but I'm sure there are parts missing my now. I've just moved it around the country for the last 30+ years :)

                              2. l
                                Leronis Jan 14, 2009 01:26 PM

                                This recipe from the Tabasco site makes awesome turkey burgers without adding fat - moist and flavorful. If you don't like spicy then just use less Tabasco and skip the spicy onions (but they're sooo good!)
                                Just sub ground turkey for the beef.

                                1. c
                                  cheesecake17 Jan 14, 2009 12:52 PM

                                  I like to add some teriyaki sauce, a splash of rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, a squirt of spicy mustard, and panko. Sometimes chooped up water chesnuts.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: cheesecake17
                                    c oliver Jan 14, 2009 01:23 PM

                                    Water chestnuts sound great - some crunch.

                                  2. todao Jan 14, 2009 11:14 AM

                                    Turkey by itself tends to lacking in flavor; it's usually to mild by itself for my taste. So when I use it in burgers I season it with a wide range of herbs and spices, depending on the result I want to achieve and the compatibility of the various herbs and spices I might choose to use. Traditional "Thanksgiving" turkey herbs and spices work well, a bit of garlic and cumin add spirit to the meat and a liquid smoke can also add interest to the burgers.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: todao
                                      goodhealthgourmet Jan 14, 2009 01:03 PM

                                      i'm also a fan of the garlic/cumin/smoke combo, which can be enhanced with smoked paprika.

                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                        goodhealthgourmet Jan 14, 2009 05:56 PM

                                        i spaced and forgot to add my other suggestion - curried turkey burgers.

                                    2. c oliver Jan 14, 2009 11:11 AM

                                      I happened to catch Oprah months and months ago (at least) and Donald Trump was on with his executive chef and they made these. They are really wonderful - moist and flavorful. It's funny because I just came across the recipe yesterday and was thinking I should make.


                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: c oliver
                                        amyzan Jan 16, 2009 08:21 AM

                                        4 pounds of turkey breast to serve six? Yow, that's some turkey burger! I've never tried sauteed apples, though, will give it a go, albeit in different proportions.

                                        1. re: amyzan
                                          goodhealthgourmet Jan 16, 2009 08:55 AM

                                          "Serves 6" must be a typo - if you read the instructions below the recipe, they specify to shape the meat into "eight 8-ounce" burgers.

                                          1/2 lb is still much too large for my preference, but at least it's not 3/4 lb.

                                          1. re: amyzan
                                            c oliver Jan 16, 2009 08:58 AM

                                            Yow is right! It's been a LONG time since I fixed it the one time. What's odd is that it says it make 8 8oz. burgers but serves 6. But even an 8 oz. burger sounds pretty big. I honestly don't remember what I did with the proportions. I too will change the next time. But, what I do remember is how darn good they were.

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