Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Long before I had any idea what those words meant, or what an herb even was, I was singing those syllables at the top of my lungs, as a kid in the '60s playing the vinyl record I bought with allowance money.
What these fine herbs were doing in the lyrics of an old English ballad, a lover's duet no less, I haven't a clue. But the result was, at least for this kid, a lifelong curiosity about them.
What was parsley, or sage? And why would they hang out with rosemary and thyme?
Tell you what. They're great in this turkey burger!
Video: How to Make Herbed Turkey Burgers
Herbed Turkey Burger
The Secret to Juicy Turkey Burgers
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.
As for flavor, ground turkey on its own just isn't as flavorful as ground beef, even if you use ground dark meat as we recommend. But jazzed up with some chopped fresh herbs, a little onion, and garlic? The result is exquisite.
A turkey burger worthy of the name "burger."
Cook on the Grill or Stovetop
You can cook these turkey burgers on either the grill or the stovetop. Make sure your grill or pan is very hot and well-oiled to prevent the burgers from sticking. For either grilling or stovetop cooking, cook the burgers for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until cooked through (165°F if using a meat thermometer).
Make Ahead and Freeze
Like most burgers, these turkey burgers freeze well. Shape them into patties, then wrap the raw patties in plastic wrap and freeze in a single layer on a plate or baking sheet in the freezer. Once solid, gather them into a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
Thaw overnight in the fridge, then cook as per the recipe.
More Great Burgers to Try!
- Tuna Burgers with Dill Olive Mayo
- Pesto White Bean Veggie Burgers
- Hawaiian Pork Burger
- Turkey Zucchini Burger with Garlic Mayo
- Stovetop Double Stack Cheeseburgers
Try These Variations!
So many of you have made (and loved!) this recipe over the years -- thank you! We love all the tweaks and swaps you've made. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Add crumbled feta to the mix and top with tomato relish or tomato jam.
- Try any other combo of herbs, like basil, oregano, tarragon, or marjoram.
- Sauté some mushrooms and add them to the mix.
- Make your burger with homemade aioli or some refrigerator pickles.
- Top with guacamole!
Ideas for What to Serve on the Side
Need some inspiration for what else to put on your plate? Try a few of these favorite side dishes:
Herbed Turkey Burger
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion, minced
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2 pounds ground turkey meat, preferably from the legs and thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- To serve:
- Burger buns
- Toppings like sliced onions, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, bacon, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and/or ketchup
Sauté onions and garlic:
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.
Make the burger mix:
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).
Form the meat into patties:
Use your fingers to form a slight indentation in the middle of the patties. When burgers cook, the meat contracts from the edges. If the middle part is slightly thinner than the edges it will help the patties finish with a more even shape and less of a bulge in the middle.
Cook the burgers:
Cook on a hot grill or in a hot cast iron frying pan for 5 to 6 minutes per side, until cooked through (165°F if using a meat thermometer).
If using a grill, first pre-heat the grill on high for 10 minutes and coat the grates 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 the burgers:
Toast the buns and serve the burgers with the accompaniments of your choice—sliced onions, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, bacon, mayonnaise (especially good with mayo), mustard, relish, and/or ketchup.