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Turkey Burger seasonings and moisteners

Many non red meat eaters coming to annual Memorial Day grill fest. I want to make turkey burgers bit want them to be tasty and not dry, if possible.Your thoughts?

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  1. We like rosemary, cracked pepper, dijon mustard and a little red wine vinegar. Never add salt. Tastes great on a toasted bun with dill pickles and garlic mayo.

    1. I use finely minced onion or mushroom to help add moisture. A turkey burger mix we make (also works with lamb) fine minced onion, crushed garlic, oregano, feta cheese. We serve them without buns but any sort of bread that would compliment Greek food would work for a bun

      3 Replies
      1. re: blackpointyboots

        Another vote for finely minced mushrooms -- the meaty texture doesn't detract from the turkey, and it adds a lot of flavor and moisture.

        1. re: blackpointyboots

          +1 on onions and mushrooms for moisture. And Worcestershire.

          1. The trick I discovered in an Italian cookbook for meatballs and the like was to use breadcrumbs (or stale bread) soaked in milk and mixed into the ground meat, to produce very tender moist results.

            1. I like scallions, ground cumin, and a bit of pureed chipotle en adobo as seasonings, for a bit of Southwestern flavor. I agree that finely chopped onion helps with moisture. And using dark meat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                I think I'll go with the onion, and maybe the chipotle. Thanks!

              2. My best friend's teenage daughter made turkey burgers for dinner the other night. and mixed the ground turkey with turkey sausage. Not sure of proportions since I wasn't there when she made them, but she said she didn't add any other seasonings or binders. The fat in the sausage helped keep them moist and I loved the flavor.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JoanN

                  I'll second the idea of incorporating some turkey sausage or turkey bacon. Garlic and onion are essential, and adding coleslaw helps with moisture and texture. It is better to use shredded rather than chopped cabbage, and to slice onions into paper-thin rings with a mandoline. The reason for this is that the strings of cabbage and onion form a matrix that helps keep the meat from falling apart.

                  1. re: greygarious

                    cole slaw with mayo? no cooked mayo for me!

                    1. re: magiesmom

                      Yes, although there's not all that much mayo in the cup or so of slaw that I'd add to 2 pounds of meat. There is no greasiness in the burgers, just moistness. Oil, eggs, and vinegar - those get cooked into all sorts of foods and sauces. Guess you don't like hollandaise or bearnaise either.

                2. To make turkey burgers for outdoor grilling, try to find the type that has some dark meat mixed with the white. It will be marked as about 90% lean. That all-white, 98% lean, will take a lot of work to hold together and will easily dry out if cooked at too high a heat. I like to use finely grated zucchini and onion for moisture. Add about a half cup each plus 1 egg per 2 lbs of ground turkey.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: VelvetRose

                    me too on the zucchini, and you never know it's there. I use it in turkey meatloaf, it's a WW recipe my daughter gave me.

                    1. re: VelvetRose

                      I like the zucchini idea, and I use all dark meat ground turkey.

                    2. I must admit, I'm a little confused. Dry? My biggest problem with turkey burgers always seems to be too much moisture, to the point where they don't hold together. I usually season with S&P, cumin, smoked parika and a dollop of GP mustard. When they are about ready I might splash a little Worchesterchire sauce or Sriracha if I want a little spice.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: jhopp217

                        If you're having a problem with your turkey burger patties being too moist, form them a few hours ahead of time, separate them with some squares of wax paper, & stick them in the fridge. Firms them up nicely.

                        1. re: jhopp217

                          Mine hold together fine, they just tend to taste dry when cooked. This is in part, I am sure because we eat beef burgers rare and tb's have to be cooked more.

                          1. re: magiesmom

                            I make my TBs medium rare. I can't eat anything that is bordering on well. Probably not the safest thing, but I've never gotten sick, so I stick with it

                        2. I make Turkey Burgers unbelievably frequently - we LOVE them. Have never had a problem with dryness - just pay attention while you're grilling them.

                          All I add to the meat (1 pkg. - about 1 to 1-1/3 pounds depending on the brand) for "regular" (not "specialty") burgers is about half a palm-full of McCormick's Monterey Chicken Grilling Seasoning, a few dashes of granulated garlic, some freshly-ground black pepper, & several good-size dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Form into 4 patties. That's it. Always juicy - even when thoroughly cooked as they should be. Remember - no "rare" or even "medium rare" allowed for turkey burgers, unless you want your guests to possibly develop an intimate relationship with their bathroom later on. . . . .

                          1. I make this at least once per week at the place where I work (a residential house for people with mental illness). I vary things each time, but the basic idea is finely chopped red onion or scallions, ground cumin, paprika, ground anise or fennel (tiny amount), salt and pepper, and a finely diced apple or pear. The fruit is what makes it moist. Sometimes I top with a simple tomato, onion, oil and vinegar salad with fresh thyme or basil, and some homemade mayo with lots of garlic and lemon, and more fresh thyme or basil. Or mayo with rooster sauce stirred in.

                            1. Tasty? Just mix in some Old Bay, to taste. I don't measure it, just sprinkle it in. As for moistness, I haven't had a problem as long as I don't overcook, but you could try the meat loaf trick of adding some bread crumbs or some bread softened in milk.

                              1. I use a ton of dijon mustard and a good amount of soy sauce (not sure of amounts). It's good topped with mayo mixed with lemon juice & rind & whatever other toppings are on hand.

                                1. Recently made turkey burgers with chopped fresh spinach, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes mixed into the patties. Yum. Good with a yogurt sauce.

                                  1. I don't know if calories are part of the considertion, but if not, cream's a good binder, along with plenty of herbs. It will also help them brown beautifully.

                                    1. I have a recipe somewhere at home that blends a little ricotta cheese into the burger patties. I like it. A lot!

                                      1. How about a little olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and some avocado spread?

                                        1. As long as this thread is being revived, let me add a shoutout for, and a link to, the Southeast Asian Turkey Burgers from "Gourmet Today" that have become an oft-repeated favorite for many of us COTM participants.


                                          1. Martha Stewart's turkey burgers have changed my life - I almost prefer them to a regular burger now. I tweaked the recipe and add worcestershire, siracha and grated onion instead of spring onions. I use panko breadcrumbs and I also add more grated cheese, any kind I have on hand, but the gruyere is tasty! I think the cheese inside keeps them really moist. Here is the basic recipe.


                                            1. I add some olive oil, garlic powder and a package of the Lipton Onion Soup Mix to the ground turkey and it was the best burger i'd ever eaten...VERY flavorful and not too dry.

                                              1. I make burgers from highland cattle/moose/venison/Canada goose all the time.
                                                All really lean meats.
                                                My tip is to have the ground meat cold. gently with your hands mix in a couple of T's of cold unsalted clarified butter and whatever herbs you want.
                                                I use a white plastic 4" collar used in plumbing to gently form the patties about 3/4" thick.
                                                Make a little indent in the center of the patty.
                                                Hot but not screaming hot fry pan. T of coconut oil. Gently turn burgers every 30 seconds. This will allow even cooking faster.

                                                1. I like to add sautéed onion that's chopped fine, along with your favorite seasonings, it gives it flavor and moisture.