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.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 8 turkey burgers


  • 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 teaspoon kosher 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


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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  • low and slow

    This is very close to my recipe but try adding some ground chicken to the mix it helps to keep the burger moist and flavorful.

  • Oyate

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I started an elimination diet for inflammation and I found this recipe that works great! Best thing about it was ALL 4 of my children enjoyed this meal. Ages 8,7,5 & 2.5, and they wanted more!!! I have a hard time getting my baby to eat anything and this hamburger she wanted more of! I substituted the bread for alfalfa and I made an easy homemade guacamole to go on top of the patty. So, Guac on top of the patty, alfalfa wrap, and romaine wrapped around that. A protein burger. So good!! I will keep this for the main menu. Thank you.


  • Al

    Amazing, the kids gobbled them up( pun intended) and even my wife love them!


  • Kandace

    The best turkey burger!! Love all the herb flavors.


  • Wendy Reaves

    This was a Great burger!!! I added a little garlic powder and season salt to my ground turkey to ensure it was well seasoned. Excellent!!! Thank you for the recipe.


  • Acp

    Outstanding turkey burger that isn’t dry & holds together without egg or breadcrumbs (which I can’t eat). I modified it a little- fresh basil instead of parsley, and I puréed the red onion into a kind of jam before mixing it in. Topped w avocado. Whole family loved it & it’s even paleo & AIP compliant.


  • Norma Hair

    I have been making these burgers for years. It is always a family favorite and is often requested. This recipe is a major reason I maintain a beautiful herb garden.

    This and your Spanish Baked Chicken are my secret weapons. Thank you for the ammunition!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Norma, oh, I’m so glad you like them! Fresh herbs really make a difference, don’t they?

  • 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.


  • dre

    This past weekend I was looking for a good burger recipe. If it happened to be turkey, all the better. We were heading to an out of town BBQ so I made these burgers 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.


  • 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!


  • 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 :)


  • Angela irons

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

  • 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.


  • Donald Young

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

  • 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.


  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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