California Turkey Burgers: These super-flavorful grilled turkey burgers are really healthy and stay nice and juicy. You're gonna love them! |
Easy Eats

California Turkey Burgers

California Turkey Burgers: These super-flavorful grilled turkey burgers are really healthy and stay nice and juicy. You're gonna love them! |

This is an updated post from the Macheesmo Archives.

The first time Betsy and I went mountain biking together was in the mountain biking capital of the world, Grand Junction, Co. I had been once before, but it was Betsy’s inaugural journey.

Turns out that she was 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 make these California Turkey Burgers. They seemed like the perfect post-bike burger and also I’ve never made turkey burgers on Macheesmo before so I was excited to give them a shot!

California Turkey Burgers: These super-flavorful grilled turkey burgers are really healthy and stay nice and juicy. You're gonna love them! |

California Turkey Burgers

Just a moment please...

4 Burgers
Prep Time
Total Time

Hand made turkey burgers with tasty herbs mixed in. Topped with avocado and served on a ciabatta roll.


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
Other burger fixings
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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 Turkey 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.

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.

California Turkey Burgers

Nice mix.

Grilling the Burgers

Once you have your burgers mixed and formed into patties, grill them over high heat for about 4-5 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.

California Turkey Burgers

Hot grill!

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.

California Turkey Burgers: These super-flavorful grilled turkey burgers are really healthy and stay nice and juicy. You're gonna love them! |

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

14 comments on “California Turkey Burgers

  1. Turkey burgers are great if you add a lot of seasonings. I find that they are a better base than beef burgers since you want to complement the beef and not overpower it. Turkey is much blander and much more versatile if you are trying to do something other than the standard burger.

    My favorite way to make them is to take my leftover Thanksgiving stuffing (I make an apple-cranberry-sausage one) and through it in the food processor. Use about 3/4-1 cup of that, one egg, and one pound of turkey to make 4 burgers. Great flavor – like Thanksgiving on a bun.

  2. A little bit of grated potato mixed in to the ground turkey keeps the burgers from drying out.

  3. oh yum!
    So question for you:
    I don't own a grill nor do I plan to- can you cook a turkey burger in an iron skillet? I usually get super low fat turkey burgers (because I add back all the fat with cheese!) – so would I have to grease the skillet? Do I ever put a lid on the pan??
    Sorry to jump in with questions – I just am sort of wondering out loud if iron skillets can get me to the same place as a grill.

    1. You can totally do them in a cast iron skillet. Any burger actually. I would add a very tiny amount of oil to the pan when it's very hot just because the burgers are so lean. The only reason you would need to cover it is to really melt the cheese well at the end.

      Good luck!

  4. Last week I was doing my monthly shopping at City Market (Krogers) and picked up examined the contents (they were your same ciabatta buns) and put it into my cart. I found them to be absolutely wonderful!!!!

    I love ciabatta breads and would love to get my hands on a recipe that produces that same texture — I want to use it for pizza dough — or bread to pig out on!!~

  5. Nick – I googled turkey burger and this was the fourth site that came up!! I’m definitely using your recipe rather than Rachel Ray’s. I hope you’re planning your next trip to DC. We can’t wait to host you. :)

  6. Yessss! I LOVE making my own turkey burgers– so much more flavor and freshness than the pre-made ones you can get at the store. And that grilled ciabatta? Swoon.

  7. These sound Delicious! Gonna definitely try them this week. I’m on Weight Watchers so I’m wondering how many points this is – but either way they are gonna be on my menu this week! Thanks for sharing

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