If you think Turkey Burgers are bland and boring, it’s time to try this recipe. These have incredible flavor, with feta crumbles and fresh basil. This recipe only takes 20 minutes, and can be done either on the stove or on the grill.
Do you know what a turkey burger has that a ground beef burger doesn’t?
A special friendliness with other flavors. It’s way more suited to having different flavor combinations added to it.
Put feta and basil in a beef patty, and that might be kind of weird. Put feta and basil in a turkey patty, and you get something magnificent.
I’m all about having quick burgers and sandwiches that are delicious and easy to make (hello Croque Madame and Eggplant Parmesan Sandwiches), and these burgers are delicious, quick, and easy. They are the best turkey burgers, and a family favorite in our house!
Tips for Best Results
Use dark ground turkey – Do not use ground turkey breast here, which is nearly fat free and will turn out dry, even if cooked perfectly. Dark ground turkey is still lean, usually at around 93% lean, but will give you better flavor and juiciness.
Grill it if possible – While you can sear these turkey burgers on the stove, grilled meat is always superior in flavor. Grill it if you can!
While I love the grill for the best flavor possible, these are fantastic even when they’re quickly cooked in a cast iron skillet on the stove indoors. Just make sure to get the heat high so you get that wonderful brown crust on the edges.
How to Make It Step by Step:
In a large mixing bowl, combine dark ground turkey meat, feta cheese crumbles, fresh basil, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper:
Be sure not to use the 99% extra lean ground turkey breast here, as doing so will make it hard for you to have a juicy burger. The dark meat will give you better flavor and moisture.
Mix this all together gently to distribute the ingredients evenly, then shape the ground turkey mixture into four equal portions:
At this point, you may store the prepared patties in the fridge for up to 1 day, if you are making this recipe ahead of time. Just cook when you are ready.
To cook juicy turkey burgers, I’ve had great success for years simply cooking them in a cast iron skillet on the stove, but since my father-in-law bought me this indoor grill (affiliate) for Christmas, I’ve started using that instead.
You can also grill these on an outdoor grill, either a gas grill or charcoal grill. A george foreman grill also works. The cook time is more or less the same for all of these options.
I generally recommend medium-high heat, turning down to medium heat as needed if the outside is browning too fast.
When are the burgers done?
The recommended internal temperature for doneness for turkey is 165F, as measured using a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the turkey patty.
Because carryover cooking is about 5 degrees, I like to pull these off the heat at 160F. This will maximize juiciness.
Here’s a look at the fully cooked turkey burger, without any toppings:
Because there’s so much going on with the actual turkey patty, you can go pretty minimal with the fixings.
How to Serve It
Want to cut carbs? Serve in a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. Because there are no bread crumbs in the burger mixture, this makes it gluten-free (make sure your brand of worcestershire is gluten-free).
Variations to Try
Once you’ve tried the recipe, feel free to play with other kinds of ingredients. One of my favorite things about these homemade burgers is how versatile it can be. Here are some other variations I’ve enjoyed:
Blue cheese + Basil: Swap blue cheese crumbles for the feta cheese.
Feta + dill: Swap fresh dill for the basil. Add 1/4 of sliced green onion.
Turkey sage: Swap finely chopped sage for the basil.
Rosemary + feta: Swap finely minced rosemary for the basil.
Spiced: Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder.
Extra umami: Add 1 tablespoon of soy sauce to the mix, and omit the salt.
FAQ and Tips:
Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap so the turkey burger patties don’t dry out.
Yes, for up to 2 months. Store in an airtight container to prevent the meat from absorbing off flavors.
Yes, feel free to mix in the ingredients and shape the patties, then keep them in the fridge for up to 1 day before cooking.
For baked turkey burgers, place in a 450F oven for 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness. Cook to 160F, checked with an instant-read thermometer. I recommend placing the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, so they don’t stick to the metal.
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For the Turkey Burgers:
- 1 lb dark ground turkey
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 2 tbsp packed chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt*
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- desired toppings like red onion, lettuce, tomatoes, condiments, etc
- Gently mix together the ground turkey, feta crumbles, chopped basil, worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper with your fingertips. Make sure not to overwork the meat, but rather to think of distributing the ingredients evenly.
- Form the meat mixture into 4 patties, keeping in mind that the burger will shrink up during cooking. For this reason, I usually make them flatter than I ultimately want, and a little bit wider than the bun. Don’t make the patties too thick or they’ll take too long to cook.
- To cook on the stove, heat up a cast iron skillet over medium high heat for a couple minutes. Once the pan is hot, add the turkey patties and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Time will vary depending on how hot your pan is and how thick your patties are, but you want the center of the turkey burger to read at 160F (carryover cooking will bring the final temperature to 165F). If you find that the burgers are browning too much before the interior is cooking through, you can put a lid on the pan, or pop the burgers into a hot oven for a few minutes to finish cooking.
- You may also grill the burgers either on an indoor or outdoor grill. About 3 minutes on each side as well, depending on how intense the heat is. Check for doneness using a thermometer, aiming for 160F.
- Serve the turkey burgers with any accompaniments you want, and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in May 2019. Originally published May 2013.