Herbed Turkey Burger

Ground turkey is typically much leaner than ground beef. In order to keep the burger from being too dry it helps to use ground dark meat from thighs and legs if you can get it. Adding a little olive oil to the mix helps too.

  • Yield: Makes 8 turkey burgers.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion, minced
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 pounds ground turkey meat, preferably from the legs and thighs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


1 Sauté the chopped onion in olive oil for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes, or until the garlic begins to brown. Remove from heat. Transfer the onions, garlic, and oil to a large bowl to cool down.

2 Once the onions are cool to the touch, add the ground turkey, salt, pepper, and herbs into the bowl. Using your hands, gently mix everything until well combined. You want the herbs mixed in without overworking the meat (which would make the burgers tough).

3 Form the meat into patties. Here's a burger patty tip: use your fingers to form a slight indentation in the middle of the patties. When burger patties cook, the meat contracts from the edges. Having the middle part slightly thinner than the edges when raw will help the patties finish with a more even shape (less bulge in the middle).

4 Cook on a hot grill or in a hot cast iron frying pan for 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through (165°F if using a meat thermometer). If using a grill, coat the grill grates first with a little vegetable oil. If using a frying pan, put a little oil in the pan first to help keep the burgers from sticking. A trick my mother uses when making burgers in a cast iron frying pan is to sprinkle the bottom of the pan with a little salt. The salt acts sort of like ball-bearings, keeping the patties from sticking when you go to flip them.

Serve with toasted buns, and the accompaniments of your choice—sliced onions, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, bacon, mayonnaise (especially good with mayo), mustard, relish, ketchup.

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  • Eleonora Perez

    I have made this recipe four times it is a favorite, so yummy! We add cayenne pepper to the mayo and the result fantastic.

  • Sara

    This turkey burger was amazing! I made 5 of them and had them for lunch or dinner for the past 5 days (and I’m not a fan of leftovers)! Great recipe.

  • Angela irons

    I added cumin to the recipe, and served with red currant jelly and mayo- and homemade chips- delicious!!

  • dre

    This past weekend i was looking for a good burger recipe. if it happen to be turkey, all the better. We were heading to an out of town BBQ so i made these burger 2 days a head of time… not sure if it was the fact the herbs were able to marinate the meat for a couple days, but these burger were SO good. I would highly recommend this recipe. DO IT… you wont regret it.

  • Lauren

    We made this recipe last night and I really liked it! It smelled absolutely delicious! We didn’t have any problems with the burgers staying together or sticking (well, they didn’t stick much on the grill).

    However, the turkey meat was not very flavorful and a bit dry (as an until recently 12 year vegetarian, this doesn’t bother me so much). I rued that I didn’t get dark meat. My friend is on the paleo diet, so we ate it sans bun. We both thought it would have been better with a bun, loaded up with the stuff in the salad I made with it (arugula, spinach, apple, avocado, red onion, with a tiny bit of sweet soy sesame dressing [a mustard vinaigrette would have been wonderful]). Cheese and yams might have also made nice accompaniments.

    In the end, I tore up the patty and ate it in the salad and it was very good. I thought the arugula in particular was a nice foil for the herby burgers. I’ll definitely make this again (extremely easy and I love the fresh ingredients) and have plans to use the herbs in a cream cheese dip I’m making next week.

    • Lauren

      I made this again last night and again enjoyed it. I’d forgotten how I served it the first time, and, coincidentally, again ate it sans bun with an arugula salad – this time a simple one with tomato, red onion, and balsamic vinegar.

  • Elsa

    I just made these burgers for my boyfriend and I for a Sunday football lunch and it was delicious! I made my own garlic and herb aioli to go along with it and it was even better. Thanks Elise!

  • Donald Young

    Burgers were delicious. I added a sprinkle of curry powder and a few dashes of soy sauce. Thanks for your recipe.

  • Chelsea

    This recipe is delicious!! I’ve never made a turkey burger before, but was inspired to try it after coming across it on your website. My husband and his family who were visiting loved it! I’ve been an avid follower of your blog and wanted to thank you for constantly inspiring me to try new things. I can always count on your website to provide delicious and reliable recipes :)

  • Sarah Knowles

    Just to say we made these for dinner tonight. Really easy and really delicious. And no need for egg, or breadcrumbs, or any other kind of binding. We cooked them on our ‘health grill’ and there was no issue at all with the burgers sticking. Would probably add less salt and pepper next time, but they were lovely, thanks Elise. Hope the new house is coming together, wishing you all the best with the next chapter of your life – very inspiring reading.

  • Alicia*

    “…parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme…” Careful Elise, you’re dating yourself! Some of us are still in denial. I think you should name this “Scarborough Turkey Burgers”. Great use for herbs. Tastey!

    That was our working title, but I was afraid half the folks out there wouldn’t get the reference! ~Elise

  • joan

    Elise! it’s 97 degrees in NYC. So – who the heck wants to turn on the oven one more time. Turkey burgers here I come. Thanks SO much for – truly – making me laugh out loud. Parsley Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Who knew? Seriously – Simon & Garfunkle Foodies of the 70’s? I’m still laughing.

  • Dianne E Oelberger

    Similar to one we like: lean grnd turkey, finely chopped: carrot,red onion,celery; then rosemary, basil, thyme parsley…. whatever. A favorite on ww english muffins, maybe some smoked swiss! yummy and healthy.

  • Debra

    Let me first tell you that anytime I need a recipe for something, I look through your blog first to see if I can find it. Lucky for me there was this turkey burger recipe last night when I wanted to make turkey burgers!
    Now, I didnt have all of the spices listed on hand, but what I did have made a tasty delicious burger. Thanks so much for all your postings!

  • David

    Do you have a recipe for an aioli or any other type of sauce that might be good on this burger?

  • Amanda

    This looks great! We’ll definitely be trying it for our 4th cookout. (On a side note, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme were used in embalming. The original old English song is actually about death.)

  • EMK(Eat,Drink, and be Merry)

    I often make turkey burgers and agree ground turkey itself doesn’t provide much flavor. This recipe sounds perfect for this time of the year. My version is mediterranean style. This is one of my favorite burgers.

  • Ann

    OMG does this burger look good! Never tried ground turkey, but I will now. Thanks for sharing your creativity!

  • Window On The Prairie

    My husband and I tried turkey burgers a while back for the first time, and really liked them.


  • KariVery

    Love that song, and them burgers! When we make ours, we add some chopped mushrooms sauteed in a little butter, chives and a dash of white wine to the ground turkey before cooking. Oh and of course, a nice melted slice of Tillamook sharp white cheddar, and sliced avacado….. delish!

  • Lisa_S

    Turkey burgers never appealed to me until just now. I think I’ll have to give this one a try.

    For those with vinyl records lying around, check out the array of USB turn tables available now so you can still enjoy those albums. Some can plug right into your computer and include software to “rip” your albums for you too so you can “burn” them back to CD for use in the car or make MP3’s for your MP3 players.

    Cool idea Lisa, thanks! ~Elise

  • Meagan

    The turkey burger looks so delicious! I love big fat juicy burgers but I never make them!

  • A baby mom again

    These look terrific! Was remembering herb turkey burgers but couldn’t remember which herbs…

    The buns also look very inviting. Do you have a brand you recommend?

    Love you website! Keeps all our tummies very happy!

    By far and away the best buns we’ve found are made by Rudi’s Bakery, carried at Whole Foods. ~Elise

  • Jerry (CbsoP)

    My favorite Simon and Garfunkle song ever! I also had it on vinyl, now have it on my playlist. The burger looks awesome too!

  • Kath

    That’s a great idea, Elise! Thanks!

  • Patty

    Your comments about that song….my sentiments exactly!! Always wondered as a child how you could tell these herbs apart and why you would want to cook anything at all with them??!! Now, I have them growing all the time in pots and I love them all. Nothing better than fresh herbs. Love your website Elise!!

  • Kath

    Our stores seem to only carry ground turkey breast, with the packages boasting how lean it is. I might try buying a turkey leg and making “ground” turkey with my food processor.

    You can always just add a strip of bacon to the turkey burger. So good! ~Elise

  • Terry in Colchester, VT

    Can’t wait to try these! My herb garden over-floeth. Maybe I’ll throw in a basil leaf for good measure. Thanks for the recipe, as always it looks and sounds wonderful.

  • Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I’ve been adding a bit of Greek yogurt to turkey burgers to help retain moisture. It really works.

    Great idea, thanks Lydia! ~Elise