Spiced Up Turkey Burgers

Spiced Up Turkey Burgers on TheShiksa.com #healthy #grilling #recipe #4thofjuly

For many years, I’ve wanted to create a turkey burger that is full of flavor– tender, juicy, and the opposite of bland. Recently I discovered the perfect blend of flavors to make even the most boring ground turkey into a scrumptious, savory flavor bomb. I used my mother-in-law’s Ima Burger recipe as a base, then added smoked paprika, Middle Eastern spices and a touch of applesauce. The genius of Ima’s original recipe is the bread soaked in olive oil, which adds heart-healthy fat to the lean turkey meat. Instead of bread crumbs, which can dry out the meat, using bread soaked in olive oil gives the burgers moisture and flavor. Applesauce adds a little more moisture and just a faint touch of sweetness to balance out the spices; the touch of natural sugar also helps to make some great dark grill marks on the burgers. I’m so excited to share this recipe with you… and with 4th of July just around the corner, the timing seemed perfect!

Since we usually serve our meals mezze-style with lots of salads and dips, I generally prefer making my burgers slider-sized. This allows me to enjoy a burger without filling up on it, so I have room for all the other tasty side dishes. Of course, you can make the burgers bigger if you prefer… just substitute regular sized buns and use 1/2 cupful of meat mixture per burger.

I like to serve these spiced-up bad boys topped with freshly sliced tomato, baby kale, and a simple Lemon Herb Mayo sauce. They don’t really need a lot of “dressing up” with so many awesome herbs and spices in the mix. You can of course add your own favorite toppings… dill pickles, ketchup, mustard, sriracha… whatever you fancy! Grill these up for the 4th of July and get ready for a patriotic party in your mouth.

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Spiced Up Turkey Burgers on TheShiksa.com #healthy #grilling #recipe #4thofjuly

Spiced Up Turkey Burgers

Turkey Burger Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lb lean ground turkey (1 package)
  • 1 slice white bread, crust removed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the burgers
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp onion, very finely minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Heaping 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper, or more to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp applesauce
  • Vegetable oil, for frying (optional, if not grilling)
  • 10 slider-sized buns for serving

Lemon Herb Mayo Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise (I like Spectrum)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Optional Toppings

  • Baby kale or butter lettuce, fresh tomato slices, dill pickle slices

You will also need

  • Mixing bowl, grill and grill-safe spatula or frying pan, pastry brush
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: About 10 burgers
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Cut the crust off of your piece of bread. Pour olive oil onto a small plate. Soak the crustless bread in the olive oil, turning the slice once, till all the oil is soaked up by the bread.
  • Place ground turkey in a medium mixing bowl. Shred and crumble the oil-soaked bread into tiny pieces and add it to the meat along with the parsley, onion, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and applesauce.
  • Stir ingredients with a fork and/or clean hands until the spices and herbs are well blended with the meat. Gather the meat mixture in 1/4 cupfuls and make small, thick patties (they will shrink up to slider sized during cooking). The patties will initially be soft, but will firm up as they grill.
  • If grilling, grease the preheated grill well before you start cooking. Cook the patties by grilling or frying (I recommend grilling). I like to brush the burgers with olive oil periodically as they grill to keep them nice and moist.
  • Grill for 15 - 20 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Cooking times may vary by grill type.
  • I also like to grill the buns. If you're doing this, brush the internal sides of the buns lightly with olive oil, then grill them open-side down for 2-3 minutes till they are warm and golden crisp around the edges.
  • If you prefer not to grill the burgers, you can cook them in a skillet using 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. I like using olive oil; any oil with a somewhat high smoke point will do. Heat the oil over medium heat till hot but not smoking. Fry the burgers for 10-15 minutes, flipping occasionally, until thoroughly cooked.
  • Serve turkey burgers on slider-sized buns with Lemon Herb Mayonnaise and your choice of toppings.
  • TO MAKE LEMON HERB MAYONNAISE: Mix mayonnaise together with herbs, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl till well blended. Serve as a sauce for the Turkey Burgers.
  • Spiced Up Turkey Burgers on TheShiksa.com #healthy #grilling #recipe #4thofjuly

Comments (36)Post a Comment

  1. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Thanks for this! I´ve stuck to one turkey burger recipe for as long as I can remember (just ground turkey and a small can of diced green chilies), so it´ll be nice to change things up a bit this summer!

  2. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Wow, these look super tasty! Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’m definitely going to make these for the 4th! I’ve never been able to stomach beef burgers, so looking forward to this mouth-watering alternative. Happy 4th of July! :)

    1. Heather,

      Tomatoes are red, the mayo is white, and add some bleu cheese!

      There you go! Enjoy.

  3. I believe this recipe may return me to turkey burgers. I have avoided them because of being bland, dried out. Thank you.

  4. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Am I the first to actually try these? Well, they definitely get my stamp of approval. Yummy, moist, and very lightly spicy ( I used sugarless applesauce, that may be why). I didn’t have smoked paprika so I used a grill chicken spice instead.

    1. So happy you liked them! Sugarless applesauce shouldn’t matter, but the smoked paprika would have added more spice. You can also add additional cayenne for a kick.

  5. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Love these! Your food photography is beautiful! I wrote about our turkey burger recipe but they’re the super easy kind! These look amazing. I love your history recipes too!

  6. If I don’t have applesauce, is there something close to it that I could substitute? No one in my house eats it and I would prefer not to buy an entire jar for just a small amount…

    1. Whitney – you can buy the individual packs of applesauce, that is what i did. I used half of one for the recipe and ate the rest :-) and the other packs can wait till my next venture

  7. Do you think that quinoa or oats might be able to be substituted for the bread? I’m not sure how these would work with the olive oil if at all, but I was thinking that they may be able to be used for those of us with an aversion to bread products.

    1. Hi Kate, I have never tried either substitute so I’m not sure, although oats would probably be closer in terms of texture and flavor. If you try either one please me know how it works for you!

  8. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Best turkey burgers ever!! Whole wheat bread worked great instead of the white – otherwise stuck to the recipe. Served it with the sriracha mayo you suggest for the beef Ima Burgers and it was great. Had them in pita with cucumber and tomato salad and pickled tomato. Yum.

  9. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    These were fantastic! I made some with just turkey, some with just beef, and some with both. We thought all were perfect. I’ll be making more this weekend. Thanks so much!

  10. Was searching for turkey burger recipes and came upon this one. Can’t rate it yet but I’ve got a batch in my smoker right now, they smelled wonderful while preparing, can’t wait. But I must comment on your site as a whole, what a find, everything looks great! Hummis devilled eggs for me tomorrow.

    1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
      This recipe is a winner. I gave them 2 hours of cherry smoke and took them to an IT of 165 F in my smoker. Nice and moist with a bit of a kick too!

  11. Tried these tonight as written, with lemon basil mayo. I sauteed the patties since it is too cold here to grill; I used a digital thermometer to make sure they were cooked to 165 degrees. I toasted flat onion rolls in toaster. The patties were indeed moist and a little spicy. I think I might add a little more salt and cumin as they were still a bit bland for our tastes. Lemon mayo did really add something to the burger. We will make these again. Only 3 weight watchers points per large patty, good protein, low fat and tasty. Thank you Tori! Your palate is always to be trusted.

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