This healthy turkey burger recipe is my weeknight dinner go-to. They’re quick and easy to throw together, absolutely packed with flavor, and incredibly moist. Who else won’t tolerate a dry turkey burger? Shredded zucchini is added to both the burger mix and the tzatziki which keeps the burgers moist and the ingredient list short.
Table of contents
- 93% lean ground turkey
- Plain 2% or whole milk Greek yogurt
- Whole-wheat bread crumbs
- Fresh parsley
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Fresh (or dried) oregano
- Kosher salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper
- Fresh dill
- White wine vinegar
Test Kitchen Tips
- The zucchini tzatziki is far more ideal for meal prep than regular tzatziki made with shredded cucumber. Though not as “fresh” in flavor, zucchini is less watery, which means the sauce stays nice and thick longer (it doesn’t release excess water and thin out the sauce).
- Store cooked turkey burgers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for upn to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave in 30-second increments, or in a hot skillet until warmed through. Store tzatziki in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Give it a quick stir before serving.
Tips for Making the Best Healthy Turkey Burgers
- Use 93% lean ground turkey. 99% lean ground turkey is just too lean and will make a very dry burger. If you’re using 99% lean ground turkey, I recommend adding one to two more tablespoons of olive oil to the meat mixture.
- Don’t skimp on the herbs. The combination of parsley and oregano makes the flavor of these burgers stand out. And the generous amount of garlic? A must.
- Do your best to squeeze most of the moisture out of the zucchini before mixing into the meat mixture and the yogurt mixture. The more you squeeze out the better the burgers will hold together.
- Get that cast-iron skillet nice and preheat before brushing with oil and adding the burgers. I specify preheating the dry skillet over medium for 5 minutes and I do so for a reason. The more evenly heated the pan, the more evenly the burgers will cook.
How to Serve these Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
- You can absolutely serve these like traditional burgers on toasted buns with lettuce, tomato, the zucchini tzatziki, thin slices of red onion, and even some crumbled feta cheese.
- Serve with the zucchini tzatziki over this delicious Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad.
- Swap the bun for a lettuce wrap.
- Serve over a classic Greek Salad made with chunks of fresh tomato, cucumber, feta and oregano vinaigrette.
FAQ About these Turkey Burgers
Sure! I recommend replacing the whole-wheat bread crumbs with gluten-free Panko bread crumbs.
I find turkey burgers hold together better when cooked in a cast-iron skillet or griddle. To cook these on the grill I recommend chilling them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
These burgers can also be cooked on the stovetop in a grill pan.
Tzatziki is a cool, creamy yogurt dip found in Southeast Europe and the Middle East. Strained yogurt is mixed with with shredded cucumber, garlic, olive oil, and some kind of acid like lemon juice or vinegar. Then and a combination of herbs adds flavor and freshness. Common herbs used include dill, mint, parsley and/ or thyme.
If you give this Healthy Mediterranean Turkey Burger recipe a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @zestfulkitchen on Instagram. I love hearing about and seeing your ZK creations!
Healthy Mediterranean Turkey Burgers with Zucchini Tzatziki
- 2 small zucchini
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 ½ cups plain 2% or whole milk greek yogurt, divided
- ½ cup (2 ounces) whole-wheat bread crumbs
- ¼ cup minced parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons grated garlic, divided
- kosher salt and black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or cracked black pepper
- Grapeseed oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Using a large hole box grater, shred zucchini; transfer to a clean kitchen towel.
- Gather corners of towel and squeeze tightly to release excess liquid. (When you think you’re done, squeeze a bit more.) Shredded zucchini should measure about 2 cups (8 ounces in weight).
- Combine 1 cup shredded and squeezed zucchini, turkey, ½ cup yogurt, bread crumbs, parsley, oil, oregano, Worcestershire, 1 ½ teaspoons garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.
- Divide meat into 4 equal portions.
- Gently form each into a ball, then lightly flatten into 1-inch-thick burger patties. Press finger through center of patties (this helps keep the patties flat during cooking) and transfer to a plate; chill patties at least 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- For the sauce, combine remaining 1 cup shredded and squeezed zucchini, remaining 1 cup yogurt, remaining ½ teaspoon garlic, dill, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper; season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium for 5 minutes. Brush with a teaspoon or so of grapeseed oil to coat.
- Transfer burger patties to pan and cook, without moving, until bottom sides are dark brown and crusted, 3–4 minutes. Flip burgers and cook until charred and crusted, 4–5 minutes more and an instant-read thermometer register 160ºF. (Total cook time will be 9–10 minutes.)
- Transfer burgers to a plate and let rest 5–10 minutes.
- Serve burgers with tzatziki and orzo salad or on a bun with tzatziki, lettuce, tomato and crumbled feta.