These juicy turkey burgers are healthy, packed with protein (thanks to Greek yogurt) and incredibly flavorful. Serve these burgers with some stellar side dishes for the most delicious turkey burger menu around.

Photograph of turkey burgers on a large white platter with buns, lettuce, and yogurt sauce

Are turkey burgers healthy?

Like with most things, it depends. Generally speaking, if you use lean ground turkey and little added fat, then your turkey burgers will be pretty darn healthy. But not all turkey burgers are created equal.

Since lean ground turkey can cook up to be fairly dry, some recipes pack burgers with tons of added fat in an effort to keep them juicy.

I wanted to create a recipe that was juicy and tender while still being healthy. And let me tell you—it was no easy feat.

Photograph of turkey burger with steak knife stuck through the top

So how do you make a juicy turkey burger that’s also healthy?

I found the key was adding moisture, but not just any kind of moisture. I needed an ingredient that had binding properties, added liquid, and wasn’t full of fat.

America’s Test Kitchen and Julia Turshen (one of my favorite ladies, check out her books Small Victories and Now & Again) add ricotta to their turkey burgers and turkey meatballs (respectively) to keep them tender and moist. Brilliant! 

However, I wanted to take it one step further. Ricotta is delicious, and a great way to create tender turkey burgers, but it also isn’t the healthiest addition.

Per cup, ricotta contains 36 grams of fat whereas 2% Greek yogurt only has 4.5 grams. On top of that, you get more protein from Greek yogurt than you do ricotta. There was no question, I had to give Greek yogurt a try. And good thing I did!  

Here is why you should add Greek yogurt to turkey burgers:

  • Adds moisture
  • Helps bind the meat
  • Adds some tang
  • Adds just a bit of fat (I like 2% but you could definitely use fat-free)

Photograph of turkey burger with steak knife stuck through the top

What goes well with turkey burgers?

Want more ideas? Check out this turkey burger menu below!

Photograph of turkey burger with steak knife stuck through the top

Goodbye Garden Party Menu

Red Wine Apple Cider Sangria

Autumn Kale Apple Salad with Goat Cheese & Pistachios

Juicy Thyme & Dijon Turkey Burgers

Trapanese Pesto Pasta

Deconstructed Apple Crisp

Photograph of turkey burger with pickled red onions, sauce, and lettuce

Print
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Photograph of turkey burger with steak knife stuck through the top

Juicy Dijon & Thyme Turkey Burgers

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers 1x
  • Method: Grilling

Description

These juicy turkey burgers are healthy, packed with protein (thanks to Greek yogurt) and incredibly flavorful. Serve these burgers with some stellar side dishes for the most delicious turkey burger menu around.


Ingredients

Scale

For the burgers:

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (93%)
  • ½ cup 2% or full-fat greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed  

For the sauce:

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon honey
  • 4 whole-wheat buns or multigrain hamburger buns, toasted
  • Bibb or green leaf lettuce

Quick pickled red onions


Instructions

Combine turkey, ½ cup yogurt, bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons Dijon, oil, thyme, Worcestershire, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and fennel seeds (mixture will be fairly wet). 

Divide meat into 4 equal portions, gently form each into a ball, then lightly flatten into 1-inch-thick patties. Press finger through center of patties (this helps them patties flat) and transfer to a plate; chill patties at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, combine ½ cup yogurt, 4 teaspoons Dijon, lemon juice, garlic, and honey for the sauce; season with salt and pepper.

For a gas grill:

Heat grill over high for 15 minutes; clean and oil grill grate. Transfer patties to grill and cook, covered, without pressing down, for 5–7 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking.

Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook, covered, until an instant-read thermometer, such as the Thermapen, inserted into the center of the burgers reaches 160°, 5–7 minutes more.

Transfer burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest 5–10 minutes.

For a skillet or grill pan:  

Heat a cast-iron skillet or grill pan coated with nonstick spray over medium until nearly smoking.

Transfer burgers to grill pan and cook, without moving, until bottom sides are dark brown and crusted, 3–4 minutes. Flip burgers and cook until starting to brown, but not crusted, 3–4 minutes more.

Reduce heat to low, cover pan with lid slightly ajar to let steam out, and cook 8–10 minutes more, flipping as needed to prevent burning, until an instant-read thermometer, such as the Thermapen, inserted into the center of the burgers reaches 160°, 7–10 minutes more.

Transfer burgers to a plate and let rest 5–10 minutes.  

Turn grill to low (or use skillet/grill pan) and grill buns, cut side down, until toasted 1–2 minutes.

Serve burgers on toasted buns, with sauce, lettuce, and pickled onions.


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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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Comments

  1. Can we talk about how delicious these are?! Thank you for another great recipe, my family loved these!!

  2. We grilled these last night. They were delicious. I love the flavor combos from the ingredients in the patties + the sauce. I also served the pickled red onions. Our side was grilled zucchini. A perfect combo!

  3. Love these zesty turkey burgers! Great on a bun or over a bed of arugula with the sauce as a dressing!

    1. Hi Jenn! I’m so happy to hear you enjoy them!! Love the idea of serving these on a bed of arugula, that sounds delicious!