In the mood for a burger? Me too. A juicy one that’s full of flavor -which is usually not the case with many healthy turkey burger recipes, right?
Don’t worry. This recipe had loads of flavor and a dose of veggies for a leaner and delicious fix. Buns are also optional.
There’s nothing like a good burger with slightly charred edges and all your favorite fixings, and these Healthy Italian Turkey Burgers have it all! You can serve it on a bun or in a lettuce wrap for a low-carb option; there’s no wrong way to enjoy this delicious recipe.
If your turkey burners have turned out too dry, a little flavorless, or fell apart easily; by the end of this post, you’ll know exactly how to make sure your healthy burgers with lean meats like turkey, chicken, or extra lean beef can turn out awesome.
How to Cook a Turkey Burger
You can cook a turkey burger on the stove in a pan, on the grill outside (or a pan with grill ridges), in the oven, in an air fryer, and in the oven. The chart below will show you how long to cook a turkey burger; but remember to use a meat thermometer to make sure they are not overcooked.
|Stove, in pan||medium-high heat||4-5 min per side|
|BBQ grill||medium-high heat||4-5 min per side|
|Oven||425F, rack middle||15 min|
|Air-Fryer||360F, rack in basket||3 min preheat,15 min cook|
They say the best way to learn how to make a recipe is by watching how it’s made. Check out this video where I show you how these awesome healthy turkey burgers are made.
How to Make Turkey Burgers Juicy
Due to the leanness of the meat, turkey burgers are renowned for being “dry,” but there a few healthy additions and simple tips to help you cook up the juiciest burgers yet:
Finely chopped onions, mushrooms, spinach, or shredded zucchini have high water content and add moisture to the meat mixture.
Add an Egg
The fats in the yolk help to keep the meat moist and bind the ingredients. An egg per pound does the trick.
Indent the Middle
Once you’ve shaped the patties, place your thumb in the center of each patty and press firmly to create an indent. This will ensure that the edges and center cook evenly and at the same time.
Cook by Temperate
The trick to juicy burgers is cooking the meat by temp, turkey being poultry needs to be cooked to an internal temp of 165F. It can easily be measured with a meat thermometer.
Turkey Burger Seasoning
The best turkey burger seasoning is the one your tastebuds prefer. From spices, seasonings, and condiments, you can’t go wrong when it comes to adding a little flavor.
Head over to your spice cabinet or pantry and grab your favorite from the list below.
- Creole Seasoning (2-3 teaspoon per pound)
- Taco Seasoning (1 tablespoon per pound)
- Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon per pound)
- Dijon mustard (1 tablespoon per pound)
- Minced garlic (1-2 cloves per pound)
- Garlic powder (1 ½ teaspoon per pound)
- Minced onion (½ small onion per pound)
- Chopped herbs, fresh (1 tablespoon per pound)
- Italian Seasoning (1 tablespoon per pound)
- Tomato paste (1 tablespoon per pound)
- Pesto (1 tablespoon per pound)
How Long to Cook Turkey Burgers
When it comes to cooking meat, I always cook it by temperature, not time, so once the meat reaches 165F, remove it from the heat. Keep the cooking heat to medium-high, which means the burgers need about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for the internal temperature to reach 165F without drying out.
How to Grill Turkey Burgers Without Falling Apart
A trick to keep burgers of any kind intact while grilling or cooking is to shape them into patties and freeze for 10-15 minutes. You aren’t trying to freeze the burger, but the cold will help the burger keep its shape while cooking. Other things you can do to keep burgers from falling apart:
Don’t Overwork the Meat Mixture
Overworking the meat mixture toughens the meat, resulting in a dry disk of burger meat.
When on the heat, burgers are liable to fall apart. Once a crust is created on the bottom, give the burger a flip and no more until the internal temperature is 165F and it’s ready to be removed from the grill.
How to Keep Turkey Burgers from Drying Out
Along with adding veggies and cooking by temperature, here are a few more pointers to prevent your burgers from drying out:
Turn up the Heat
When the heat is too low, the patty is sweating, and all the moisture is draining out. Starting with a hot skillet of grill creates a “crust” on both sides of the burger, which helps lock in moisture.
Give it a Rest
Resist the temptation to serve the cooked patties straight from the grill, instead, give them about 5 to 10 minutes so the juices are sealed inside.
Spinach Turkey Burgers
Spinach in a burger? Yes, it works, and it’s a great way to get in extra veggies. By the time the seasonings are added, and the burger is cooked, you can’t taste the spinach but it packs extra nutrition.
However, if you have some extra picky eaters who avoid all things green, you can swap the spinach for finely shredded peeled zucchini or finely chopped mushrooms; both take on the burgers’ flavors without adding suspicious specks of green.
Healthy Turkey Burger Toppings
Burger toppings don’t have to be an afterthought and they don’t have to be borning to keep your burger night healthy; here are a few ideas below to get you started:
- Cheese: American, Cheddar, Pepper Jack, Provolone, etc.
- Tomato slices
- Caramelized onions
- Sauteéd mushrooms
- BBQ sauce
- Mayonnaise or Aioli
- Mustard (can’t leave that out!)
- Shredded lettuce or mixed greens
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- Sliced avocados
- Fried egg
If you want to turn these turkey burgers or other burger recipes into a fun, family dinner, try setting up a burger bar using any of the ideas above or some of your family’s favorite options.
Can You Make Turkey Burger Patties Ahead?
One reason burgers are a favorite weeknight dinner for moms is the ability to prep them ahead. You can prepare and shape the burger mixture up to 2 days ahead and store them in the refrigerator for a mid-week meal that’s quick to assemble and satisfy those burger cravings.
Here is how to make them ahead and store them:
- Combine the ground meat and seasonings
- Mold and shape the patties
- Place the patties on a large plate
- Cover the plate tightly with plastic wrap
- Refrigerate for up to 2 days
To cook, remove the burgers from the refrigerator and reshape the patties, if necessary. P.S: don’t forget to add the indent in the center and start with a HOT skillet or grill!
Healthy Burger Sides
If your planning a burger night, add any of the delicious sides to make this a whole meal:
Healthy Turkey Burgers Recipe
- 5- ounces spinach, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Large lettuce leaves
- Tomato, sliced
- 4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto
- In a large bowl, combine the spinach, turkey, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and salt until blended.
- Divide the mixture into 4 parts and shape it into patties. Gently press down the center of each patty to create a slight depression so the burger will cook evenly.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high, or place a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Serve over large lettuce leaves. Top each burger with sliced tomato and 1 tablespoon of Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and your favorite burger toppings.