Confident home cooking
turkey burgers
Healthy, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Turkey

California Turkey Burgers

by Nick

Betsy and I went mountain biking last weekend for the first time here in the mountain biking capital of the world. I had been once before, but it was Betsy’s inaugural journey.

Turns out that she is a mountain biking natural. She was hoping over boulders and stuff like a pro. Meanwhile, I was stumbling all over the place. I think I’ll make her lead next time so she can’t see me constantly falling on my face!

When we got home, I was anxious to see what people thought would be a good post-mountain biking meal. Turns out that turkey burgers won the poll which was awesome. First, they just sounded good to me. Second, I’ve never made turkey burgers on Macheesmo before so I was excited to give them a shot!

4 Burgers
Prep Time
Total Time
Print Recipe

California Turkey Burgers

California Turkey Burgers


  • 12 ounces ground turkey (16 ounces will make 5 burgers)
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • Handful of parsley, minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, minced (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces Cheddar cheese (or your favorite)
  • Ciabatta rolls
  • Avocado
  • Greens
  • Other burger fixings


1) Mince onions, parsley, garlic, and pepper.  Mix with ground turkey along with salt and pepper.

2) Form 4 patties with turkey mixture.

3) Grill over high heat for 5-6 minutes per side.

4) In the last minute, add cheese to burger and close lid to help melt cheese.

5) Grill buns until lightly charred.

6) Assemble burger with avocado, mayo/mustard, and greens!

Making the Burgers

Frankly, I find turkey burgers to be a bit bland normally. If I got to a restaurant I’ll almost always order a veggie burger over a turkey burger unless there’s something special about that place’s turkey burgers.

Fortunately, at home, we can do a few things to make the burgers have some good flavor.

Like mix in some herbs and veggies! Now, you could go crazy on the herbs if you wanted. I just went with some fresh parsley, but tons of herbs play well with turkey because it’s kind of a blank slate. So go crazy.

turkey burger

Burger basics

I mixed in some red onion and diced Serrano pepper as well to give it some extra flavor and heat. The key to all of these veggies is to make sure you dice them very small so nobody gets a huge bite of red onion or something in their burger.

Then just toss everything in a bowl together along with a pinch of salt and pepper.



Grilling the Burgers

Once you have your burgers mixed and formed into patties, grill them over high heat for about 5-6 minutes per side.

Once they are almost cooked, add some cheese on top if that’s your thing. I sliced mine this time, but grated cheese will melt faster.

Either way should get the job done though on a hot grill.


Use your cheese of choice.

The Buns

I spend a lot of time thinking about buns when I’m making burgers. A bun can make or break the whole thing for me. Sometimes I make my own (like these kaiser rolls) if I have enough of a head start.

On this day I was able to find these perfect little ciabatta rolls at the store which would be perfect for these burgers.

I grilled them also of course to get them nice and crunchy.

grilled bun

Most important.

Any time I describe something as “California” that really just means it has avocado on it.

So yea, once my burgers and buns were grilled, I topped mine off with some avocado, mayo or mustard, and some fresh greens.


Great burger.

As an aside, those greens you see there… those were my first thing harvested from my garden this year!

I’ll post more on the garden on another day, but two months of planning and maintenance went into those little leaves you see there!

Oh. And make these burgers. They are good. And that’s from somebody that doesn’t really like turkey burgers.