Healthy turkey burgers are a great way to enjoy burgers whilst cutting down on your consumption of red meat. They are juicy, moist and flavoursome.
Why make your own burgers?
- Homemade burgers are quick and easy to make, and taste delicious
- You can control the quality of the meat
- You can avoid the fillers. These gluten free turkey burgers are made without bread, unlike many shop bought burgers. (it's a common way to keep the cost of goods down). They are also egg free and dairy free.
- You can season your burgers to suit your own taste, and eat less salt
- By making homemade burgers, you can avoid sulphites and other preservatives
Do I need bread or egg to hold these homemade burgers together?
These burgers will hold their shape without any extra ingredients. Make sure to shape them quite gently so that the meat stays tender.
There's just a few ingredients in this healthy turkey burger recipe, and they are very easy to make.
What turkey should I buy for turkey burgers?
I've used ground turkey thigh to make these burgers juicy and moist. Thigh meat is darker, and higher in fat than turkey breast. It is also more flavoursome and moist. Both turkey breast and thigh are rich in protein, and an excellent source of B vitamins and minerals. Dark meat contains higher levels of zinc, which is an important mineral for immunity.
Ground turkey thigh meat is usually about 7% fat. If you see ground turkey that's 2% fat this is likely to be turkey breast which is a little too dry for this recipe.
Onions Some burger recipes use onion powder, but I've used fresh onion in this recipe. You can use white or red onions. Make sure that you chop it very finely so you don't end up large chunks of onion in your burger. Onion adds texture as well as flavour. It is sauteed before mixing it with the turkey as this adds an extra layer of flavour. Don't skip this stage as the onion won't cook through properly in the burger if you add it raw.
Sage is a perfect complement to the turkey in these burgers. (It's also proven that sage is good for your brain) Finely chop the sage leaves, and saute with the onion to soften the flavour. Of course, you can use other herbs if you prefer. Basil also works very well, add it directly to the minced turkey rather than cooking it first.
Salt and pepper - season to taste.
Olive oil, or another healthy oil for frying
How to make
Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add half of the olive oil. Fry the onion with the sage for about 5 minutes until starting to go golden and soften.
Add the turkey meat to a large bowl and add the seasoning, sage and onion. Gently mix together, and divide into 4. Shape each quarter into a pattie with your hands. Each burger should be about 1.5 cm thick.
Put the pan back on the heat and add the remaining olive oil. Fry the burgers for 5 minutes until brown and cooked partway through.
Carefully flip the burgers with a spatula or fish slice and fry on the remaining side for a further 5 minutes. Check that the meat is fully cooked through. If you pierce the burger with a sharp knife, any juices should run clear.
Can I make these burgers in advance?
Absolutely. Healthy turkey burgers are an ideal recipe to prepare ahead of time. They'll store well in the fridge for a few days, and then can be cooked at the last minute. They will also freeze well, if you want to get them prepped well in advance. If you end up with any leftover cooked turkey burgers, store them in the fridge, and warm through in a pan.
If you are looking for other ways to use ground turkey, you might also enjoy turkey mince lasagne or a turkey bolognese sauce. And for some great vegetarian burgers to add to the BBQ, try these lentil burgers.
Frequently asked questions
Turkey is a good source of protein and a number of vitamins and minerals. It is also lower in saturated fat than many cuts of beef. Making your own burgers also means you can control the amount of additives and salt.
One of these healthy turkey burgers has just over 200 calories for a sizeable, filling burger. Of course what you have with your burger will be important if you are looking to lose weight. Accompanying the burger with plenty of veggies and salad will help to fill you up for less calories.
For gluten free turkey burgers, make sure you follow a recipe without breadcrumbs. Seasoning such Worcestershire sauce can often contain gluten, so just use meat with added veggies, salt pepper and herbs.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Healthy Turkey Burgers
- 500 g minced turkey thigh
- 1 onion peeled and very finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 sage leaves very finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place a frying pan over a medium heat, and fry the onions and sage in half of the olive oil for 10 minutes until golden and soft.
- Add the onion and sage mix to a bowl with all the other ingredients. Mix gently, and shape into 4 patties, about 1.5 cm thick.
- Fry the patties in the remaining olive oil for around 5 minutes on each side or until fully cooked through.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.