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+ servings
a turkey burger on a bun with bacon, red onion, and havarti cheese with a bite taken out of it

really good turkey burgers

This really good turkey burger recipe is more about technique than anything else. From here, you can take it and adapt it to suit your personal tastes. See notes for suggestions.
NOTE: Unlike beef burgers, turkey burgers must be cooked all the way through. No medium rare, pink centers here.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 burgers


  • ½ medium onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, minced
  • teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoon salt, divided (for the outside of the burger patties)


  • ¼ cup BBQ sauce for basting (see notes)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 4 slices cheese of your choosing
  • 4 slices bacon


  • Combine onion, garlic, rosemary, pepper, and curry powder together in a large bowl. Add the turkey last and mix with your hands just until evenly combined. Do not overmix.
  • Divide turkey mixture into quarters (use a kitchen scale if you want to be precise) and shape into balls.
  • Flatten each ball into a patty ¾"-1" thick, approximately 4" wide.
  • Use your thumb to make indentations on the flat sides of each patties to help them stay flat while cooking.
  • Heat 1-2 tablespoon oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. You'll know it's ready when a droplet of water flicked into the pan sizzles and evaporates immediately.
  • Generously salt the outside of each patty before placing it in the pan. Holding the patty in the palm of your hand, sprinkle salt over the side facing up, then place the patty salt-side down in the skillet. Repeat for each patty. Cook 5 minutes.
  • Just before flipping the patties, salt the tops. Then flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes on the second side.
  • Serve on your favorite burger buns with your favorite burger toppings.


  • If you want to add BBQ sauce, use a silicone basting brush to apply it in the last minute of cooking, after each side of the patty has cooked. This works best if you’re cooking them on a grill. It does work on a cast iron, but can get a bit messy.
  • If adding cheese, place it over the top of each patty in the last 30-60 seconds of cooking and cover the skillet.
  • If adding onions, soften them in the pan after flipping the burgers, then place them on top of the cheese while it melts to secure them in place.
  • To make any seasoning adjustments to your turkey burger before shaping the mixture into patties, cook a teaspoon of it in a skillet and taste it.
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