Juicy Turkey Burger Recipe

4.56 from 178 votes

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This Turkey Burger Recipe will be the juiciest and most delicious burger you ever did make. One secret ingredient takes these babies over the top! Simple to make on the grill or stovetop, flavorful, and obviously super moist. Serve with homemade French Fries, Kettle Chips, or a Macaroni Salad. Yum!

Turkey burger on wood round tablescape

Turkey Burgers: Healthy and Delicious

Believe it or not, lots of you readers are looking for a good, juicy turkey burger recipe. Turkey is a great source of protein without the added calories of a traditional beef burger (find the recipe for beef burgers here). This is one of the many reasons why I love making delicious turkey burgers.

Not all turkey burger recipes are created equal, and this one reigns supreme. Even though they can be notoriously dry, I’ve come up with a solution that keeps burgers made with the best turkey burger recipe moist and juicy whether you’re grilling them on a BBQ or inside on a griddle.

turkey burger with a side of ranch dressing on a wood round

Turkey Burgers Vs. Beef Burgers

In many ways, turkey and beef burgers are very similar. The main difference, as far as preparation goes, is the obvious one. Instead of beef, you use turkey meat (usually ground turkey breast or ground turkey thighs). Like most ground turkey recipes, the only real downside is that turkey can be quite dry. More on that in the next section.

Why are Turkey Burgers Dry?

Ground turkey is much lower in fat than ground beef, thus making a drier burger patty once it’s cooked. If you use a lean ground beef to make your burgers, you’ll get a similar dry result. It really all comes down to fat content. While ground turkey certainly cuts down on some calories, a lot of people don’t like turkey burgers because, when you cook turkey burgers, they become really dry. So, how can we make moist and juicy turkey burgers, you ask? Here’s my secret:

My Secret Ingredient: Butter

While I use lots of relatively basic ingredients to form my turkey burger patties (ground turkey, egg, poultry seasoning, milk, etc..), the secret really is filling each burger patty with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Yes, that’s right. Butter! It adds flavor and moisture that helps to keep the turkey burgers nice and moist. That’s what makes these the best turkey burgers by far.

Love turkey burgers? I’ve got lots of variations for you: Cheddar Ranch Turkey Burgers, Greek Turkey Burgers.

How to Make Turkey Burgers

turkey burger ingredients

Make Turkey Burger Patties

Into a large bowl, add lean ground turkey, milk, egg, salt and pepper, parsley, and poultry seasoning. Mix to create a uniform mixture, then divide into 4 equal portions.

The milk will help the patties stay tender and moist, the egg will hold the patties together and the salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning make this turkey burger recipe delicious!

Some people prefer mixing their own seasoning using things like garlic powder, smoked paprika, and onion powder. However. I like the flavor that poultry seasoning lends to the dish. 

Form each portion into a turkey patty. Cut cold butter into 1/2 tablespoon slices and press into each turkey burger patty. Form the meat evenly around the butter. If you don’t think your patties are firm enough, throw them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

A Note About Ground Turkey

In my experience living coast to coast, I’ve come to realize the differences in quality and excess moisture across different brands of ground turkey. Some of it is moister, some of it is drier. In my photos, you’ll notice my formed burgers look perfectly normal because I used 99% fat free ground turkey. Typically the leaner the turkey, the ‘drier’ it is. So, for ease, use a leaner ground turkey. Adding milk to the patty and stuffing each patty with butter will help keep your turkey burgers moist and juicy.

If you make this recipe and notice you have wet turkey meat, try decreasing the milk OR add in a few plain bread crumbs to make it easier to work with. If the mixture for the turkey burgers is still a little too sticky, do your best to form the burgers and then give them a quick freeze, especially if you’re wanting to grill these outdoors. Turkey burgers are easier to cook on an indoor griddle when they are ‘sticky’.

grilled turkey burger with a slice of cheese on top

Cooking Turkey Burgers: How to Grill Your Turkey Burgers

Preheat your desired cooking surface nonstick skillet, whether that’s a large cast iron skillet, an electric griddle, or an outdoor BBQ grill. Be sure to grease well or spray the patties with nonstick cooking spray, whichever is easier. An indoor grill that has a bottom and top plate to ‘squish’ the patties to cook is not recommended (I’m looking at you, George Foreman.)

Some recipes recommend using olive oil, coconut oil, or even canola oil for frying burgers. I don’t suggest doing that because it can alter the taste significantly. It also prevents the patties from making that slightly crunchy outer shell that we all know and love.

How Do You Know When Turkey Burgers Are Done? How Long Does it Take to Cook a Turkey Burger?

Cook turkey patties for about 4 minutes per side, until browned. Turkey Burgers are done when they have an internal temperature of 165°. Once they reach 165° F, pull them from the grill. Overcooking your burgers can cause a dry patty, so be sure to get them off the grill once that internal temperature is reached. Do not cut into your turkey burgers to see if they’re fully cooked. You will lose all the butter and end up with a drier burger. Trust your thermometer. Remove from the grill and rest about 10 minutes covered with foil to rest.

Can a Turkey Burger Be Pink in the Middle?

No. Any poultry of any kind needs to be fully cooked to 165° F to be safe to eat. While ground beef can be eaten rare, chicken and turkey needs to be cooked completely, all the way through. Invest in an instant read thermometer. This is the one I have that I would recommend.

Build Your Turkey Burger

Once your turkey burgers are done resting, you can gather some toppings and build the turkey burger of your dreams! Really, the sky is the limit. I prefer the usual lettuce, tomato pickle, but here are a few other options if you’re feeling creative.

What to Put on a Turkey Burger

  • American cheese, sharp cheddar, colby jack or blue cheese. Yum!
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • thinly sliced red onions
  • dill pickle chips
  • sliced avocado
  • sautéed mushrooms
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • BBQ sauce
  • ranch dressing
  • chick-fil-a sauce
  • soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • relish
  • bacon
  • french fried onions
  • a fried egg
closeup of a loaded turkey burger with a bite taken

How Many Calories Are in a Turkey Burger?

This Turkey Burger Recipe is 198 calories per burger patty with 8.2 grams of fat and 28.6 grams of protein. This doesn’t include the cheese, the bun or any toppings. The patty itself is very low carb and you can keep this low carb by serving on lettuce leaves instead of a burger bun and topping with just veggies, mustard and sugar free ketchup.

Freezing Turkey Patties

You can also freeze your turkey patties to keep them fresh for up to 3 months! Follow the directions up until you form the meat around the butter. After doing this freeze patties in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet (about an hour). Once frozen, transfer patties to an airtight freezer-safe container, separated by pieces of parchment paper. To use, thaw in the fridge overnight then cook as desired.

turkey burgers on a tablescape

What to Serve with Turkey Burgers

Like any other burger recipe, there are side dish staples to serve with it. I’ve picked out a few of my own recipes that you can make alongside this juicy and tasty recipe.

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closeup of a loaded turkey burger with a bite taken
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4.56 from 178 votes

The Best Turkey Burger Recipe

This Turkey Burger Recipe will be the juiciest, most delicious burger you ever did make. One secret ingredient takes these over the top!
servings 4 burgers
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey 93/7 or 99% fat-free
  • 1 large egg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon cold milk
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • any other burger toppings: pickles, lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, etc. as desired
  • 4 soft sesame burger buns or whole wheat hamburger buns if you prefer


  • Place turkey into a large bowl with egg, salt, pepper, parsley, poultry seasoning and milk. Stir to combine. {Mixture may seem a little wet, but once it starts cooking, the egg will help hold it’s shape together.}
    turkey burger ingredients in a bowl
  • Preheat indoor griddle to medium-medium high heat.
    electric grill
  • Divide meat into 4 even patties. Cut butter into skinny half tablespoon pats. Press butter into the center of each patty forming the meat around it.
    woman's hand covering turkey mixture around the butter slice
  • Spray griddle pan with nonstick cooking spray and place each burger down onto the griddle. Cook about 4 minutes per side or until browned and completely cooked. Feel free to melt cheese on top of each burger. {Place cheese onto cooked side of the burger and cover with a large pot lid or foil for 1 minute to melt cheese.}
    melted cheese on top of turkey burger on the grill
  • Remove burgers and place onto buns. Top with any desired toppings and condiments and serve.
    Turkey burger on wood round tablescape



Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 709mg | Potassium: 338mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Vitamin C: 0.6mg | Calcium: 327mg | Iron: 3.1mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: juicy turkey burger, turkey burger, turkey burger recipe, turkey burgers
4.56 from 178 votes (49 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating

191 Responses
    1. Linda

      I cannot have dairy at all. Will try Earth Balance soy butter & simply Almond milk. I have a question: can you air fry these? We do have an indoor griddle. Also, they look marvelous! Please let me know. Tkx.

  1. Roberta Woolmer

    Silly question, do you think margarine would work? My husband is lactose intolerant. Milk, when cooked, is okay, but not sure about the butter.

  2. Carmen

    5 stars
    Can I just say that I actually enjoyed reading your commentary surrounding this recipe! You’re a hoot!! 🙂
    Trying these tonight for my keto fiance, sans bunz!

  3. Dana M

    Plan on trying this recipe in hopes of converting my 10 year old from a hamburger lover into a turkey burger lover! Thanks!

  4. Sarah Thomas

    5 stars
    These look amazing! I’ve been thinking about trying this recipe since you posted it- can’t wait to make them this summer!

  5. Jennifer B

    5 stars
    I finally tried these this weekend and oh my!, they were delish. I even made more tonight for lunches this week. It is HOT down here in TX and anything I can do to lessen the time daily in the kitchen is the best.

    1. Lauren

      No, you can totally form the patties the night before, separated by wax paper, stored on a plate, covered really well with plastic wrap and refrigerated.

  6. Marilyn Brennan

    5 stars
    My turn to make these. John and I are at the coast for three nights and I brought a pound of ground turkey, and have the other ingredients, so here’s to a treat tonight!

  7. Karlie

    5 stars
    I was skeptical when seeing how loose the burger mix was in the bowl, mine looked a little runnier, but they came out amazingly well! I’ve never used my center stove griddle, but it worked like a charm for these turkey burgers. So delicious! The family loved them and proclaimed them as good as, or better than beef burgers. Juicy as promised. Total winner, thank you for this recipe!

  8. Candice Briggs

    5 stars
    Just made these tonight. Followed the recipe exactly as it was written. My family loved them. My husband said they were restaurant quality. Thank you!

  9. Jessica

    5 stars
    A couple years ago I swore I’d never make another turkey burger. Ground turkey can be difficult to work with (esp w/o breadcrumbs) and they always end up dry or just not tasting very good. I’ve had your recipe saved for some time now, & finally decided to make it tonight. Hands down, best turkey burger I’ve ever had. This recipe did not disappoint! The outside was nice and crispy while the inside stayed super juicy. Thanks for the fre recipe!

  10. Janine

    5 stars
    I have to say……….. I made these and let me tell you they ARE SOOOOO JUICY! ! ! Topped mine with the cheese as suggested and cole slaw on a whole grain sandwich thin bun to help with the healthy issue and the Juicy still shined. Best Turkey Burger Hands Down. Thank you for sharing

  11. Jessica

    5 stars
    I have made this recipe for turkey burgers numerous times, I love it and so does the boyfriend. We even eat the leftovers the next day for our lunch. 🙂 Sometimes we use Boston leaf lettuce for buns… helps limit the carbs. THANKS so much for most certainly the best turkey burger recipe.

  12. Jenny

    5 stars
    I just made this… OMG I’m in love. The smell and taste of red meat makes me sick, and I only eat it about once a year, for a burger. Now I can a have a burger when ever I want.

    I made mine with mushroom and Swiss.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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  14. Karen

    I may have to try this. I think if I add anything, it would be some smoked paprika to give it a smoky flavor, like grilled burgers.

  15. Lindsay S.

    5 stars
    These are delicious! Making these on the griddle is genius! These have been added to our dinner rotation. I make them as sliders and the left overs heat up well for a tasty lunch. Thank you for this recipe!

  16. Laura

    5 stars
    These burgers were delicious and juicy! So much better than those frozen turkey burgers. The only thing I could not get myself to do was put a half a tablespoon of butter into each of the burgers. So I took one half a tablespoon of butter melted into the pan and smushed the Burgers down so they were thin not thick .
    Again The juiciest turkey burger I have ever had and will have again . My boys loved them too !

  17. Melli Warren

    5 stars
    Wow!….this is the BEST hamburger recipe EVER!!! I spread some jalapeño ranch dressing on it & it was like icing on a cake! Deeeelish!!! I will definitely make this again & again & again!

  18. Joanne

    5 stars
    I tried your recipe for the turkey burger tonite. Wow! Who would’ve thought a little egg and some milk with a dab of butter would make the Burger so juicy. Hats off to you Lauren. I’ll be using your recipe from now on. Thank you!

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    1. Sandie Jordan

      These would be best made in a pan and not on a grill. While they taste good, they are too loose to cook on an open grill top.

      1. Jan

        Definitely not suitable for BBQ-they were tasty but I lost a lot of the meat through the grill and they stuck pretty bad. I would try them again but cook them on a smooth griddle or pan

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  21. Erithea Stone

    5 stars
    I did your recipe the only difference is that put onions and green peppers in a chopper and puree it and put it in the meat. I followed your directions and even pulled out the thermometer It was so good and juicy.

  22. Erin

    5 stars
    “Best burger you’ve ever made!” – my husband
    I cooked mine a George foreman and they turned out delicious! I’m definitely going to do this more often especially when it’s to cold to grill out

  23. Christian Antwon

    5 stars
    hi Lauren, I just tried this recipe today, and oh my goodness you are right these are the juiciest turkey burgers I ever made I threw on some sliced pepper jack cheese and they are so wonderful, thank you for sharing this recipe, God bless you and your family

  24. Paige

    5 stars
    Ok, so.. I’ve been cooking turkey burgers for a long time, and this is by far the BEST recipe. The reason I believe this is the best recipe is because of how juicy the burgers are!! I sampled one after cooking them.. and I immediately devoured two more. I think the butter is the trick! I also added some extras such as some McCormick Grill Mates Hamburger seasoning and Munster cheese on top. Hands down juiciest burgers.. bookmarking this recipe! thanks!!

  25. Stacey J

    5 stars
    My whole family LOVED these. I made them exactly according to the recipe. Very delicious. Very juicy and not the least bit dry. Thank you very much. This will be a new regular at our house.

  26. diana burke

    I try not to eat meat but your turkey Burger looked so good that I will have to break down and make one soon I have been following lots of your post have made several very nice dinners Thank you for all the tips. I know you will enjoy your trip and renewed life with your husband You sure take on a lot i admire your efforts. God Bless you and your family.

  27. Jeanette

    i may have to join Instragram just to view the reunion pictures! Congratulations! My husband use to be on a Sub so I understand how excited you are. Thank you to your husband for his service!

  28. Christina

    We’ve resorted to buying turkey burgers. Not because the ones I made were dry, but because they fall apart too easily. Yours look like they hold up pretty well so I’ll give them a try.

    1. Lauren

      You have to be pretty gentle with them up until you put them on the griddle, but once they start cooking, they definitely hold their shape well.

  29. GiseB

    Now THAT is a juicy turkey burger! YUM!! You’re almost there, so excited for you! Make sure you get all dolled up 🙂

      1. Crystal R

        5 stars
        I just made turkey burgers using your recipe and secret ingredients.. This is the best burger I’ve ever eaten!!! Juicy and delicious.. the milk was a great add indeed.. Thank you so much for sharing.. my husband and I loved it

    1. Mayra

      5 stars
      I tried your recipe, and I must say that these were the best turkey burgers I’ve ever made!!!! I seasoned to my taste, but I added almond milk, and 1 egg and egg whites to a large pack of turkey meat. I smeared butter while cooking, and they were a huge hit! Thank you 😊