Herbed Turkey Burger

VideoSandwichGrillBurgerGround Turkey

These easy, flavorful turkey burgers can be cooked on the grill or stovetop. Keep them juicy using turkey leg and thigh meat and a little olive oil. Season with fresh herbs from the garden and serve with a side of chips!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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

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.”

Turkey burger recipe

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.

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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:

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:

Updated August 2, 2020 : We spiffed up this post with a new video. No changes to the original recipe.

Herbed Turkey Burger Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

1 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.

2 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).

3 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.

4 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.

5 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.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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33 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Gina

    Yum! Used fresh oregano, rosemary, mint, basil, cilantro and parsley, as I had them.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Julie B

    These burgers were very tasty! I didn’t have (forgot to get) any fresh herbs, so I subbed dried for everything – including the garlic and onion. In addition, I forgot to add the parsley all together. Burgers were still tasty and juicy. Timing for cooking was spot on – this may be the first time I wasn’t nervous about whether the burgers were cooked all the way through. Best part for me – the tip to add a little salt to the cast iron skillet – first time EVER, my burgers didn’t stick and crumble while I tried to flip to the other side! Thank you!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Rosa Crawford

    I usually don’t like turkey burgers. But this recipe change my mind. It was so delicious. Only thing I did different. I added onion powder because I don’t like raw or cooked onions.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. krystyna

    This recipe was great! I didn’t have rosemary or thyme unfortunately but it still turned out. Does anyone know how many calories per burger?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Bobby Fleck

    I am not a big fan of Turkey meat but this recipe is really good. If you are like me and find Turkey tasteless, try adding cevapcici or fajita spice, it will give nice taste to your burger.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
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Turkey burger recipe made with herbs and olive oil, served on a bun with onions and lettuceHerbed Turkey Burger