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One of the most rewarding parts of marriage has been saving my husband from daily dinners of plain ground turkey and plain egg whites. Yes, I kid you not – that is really what he ate.

Plain, plain, plain. How could one live that way?


I knew he needed to be rescued before he drowned in a vat of ketchup in an attempt to spice up his life.


In comes his beloved ground turkey. We use ground beef for burgers, too, but somtimes it is nice to have a 99% fat-free turkey burger. Heart healthy, low-fat, and a nice change of pace once in a while.


Using 99% extra lean ground turkey breast, I add every spice in my cabinet to the mix, plus whole wheat bread crumbs and olive oil.



Well, not every spice, but that is how I initially felt when I first tasted what my husband ate every night. Out of desperation I threw almost every spice into that darn ground turkey just to get the awful taste out of my mouth.

Over the past few years, the recipe has been a bit more perfected and thankfully we have a real, outdoor grill these days. The stink of plain ground turkey on a George Foreman grill every night in a tiny apartment is so utterly, completely, gag-inducing that I was ready to knife the awful stuffed turkey and scream ‘this is all your fault!’

To this day, I still begin to shake when I see the George Foreman grill.

However, I was able to maintain my composure, create this turkey burger recipe, and make my husband smell 600 times better (ok, that’s a stretch) than he did in those long, unfulfilling years before he met me.


At least I like to think the years before me were unfulfilling.


Once the burger is grilled, we like to serve it on a wheat bun, topped with fresh mixed greens and tomato.



The Best Turkey Burger

1-2 lbs 99% extra lean ground turkey breast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup seasoned, whole wheat bread crumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons worchestshire sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1/2 tablespoon onion powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon dried parsley

salt & pepper to taste


Preheat grill or skillet.

Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix into turkey until just combined. Form into 4 patties and cook until heated through. Serve on whole wheat buns with fresh spring greens and tomatoes.




The burger is perfect for your New Year’s resolution – low- fat, heart healthy, tasty, and quick to make.

And in 2 weeks when you forget all about those resolutions and fall off the wagon, I have lots of goodies to lure you back into the dark side. I’m here for ya. :)

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50 Responses to “The Best Turkey Burger.”

  1. #
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — January 2, 2010 @ 7:19 am

    lol– my husband ate some pretty funny meals before I came along too. Of course, back then, I was known to eat peanut butter and microwave popocorn for dinner, so I guess I don’t have much room to talk :-)


  2. #
    Stephanie — January 2, 2010 @ 7:22 am

    this burger recipe sounds great, ground turkey DEF needs something extra bc by itself can be just plain BLAH!!! yum :)


  3. #
    The Candid RD — January 2, 2010 @ 7:39 am

    I LOVE turkey burgers! I usually add the most random ingredients, basically whatever will add taste and moisture. I like the idea of adding olive oil, I mean it’s simple, yet I bet it really helps! Thanks for the recipe :)


  4. #
    Nicole- Geek Turned Athlete — January 2, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    We usually don’t eat turkey burgers for the dryness reason, but I will definitely be giving this a try!! thanks!


  5. #
    heather — January 2, 2010 @ 8:30 am

    oh, how I adore you!!!

    this turkey burger looks DELIGHTFUL- i’m adding this on my men for January’s “eat in” month, for sure! YUMMMMERS.

    and i know i can always count on you to lure me to the dark side ;) ha.


  6. #
    katie — January 2, 2010 @ 8:42 am

    my mom always makes turkey burgers! she puts feta in them..but not breadcrumbs-thats a great idea for not so healthy eaters!


  7. #
    kay (eating machine) — January 2, 2010 @ 9:02 am

    i really do think your husband and my fiance would be best best friends if they met.
    “i’m content to eat the same freaking meal EVERY night!” “me too!”


  8. #
    homecookedem — January 2, 2010 @ 9:07 am

    haha, this post is so cute and funny! ;) My husband would still be eating plain ol white rice and sausage for dinner every night. Though he does do a lot of the cooking for us now, but he knows white rice and sausage just isn’t gonna cut it for me! ;)

    Your turkey burgers look great!! :)


  9. #
    carolinebee — January 2, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    I LOVE turkey burgs so much, I really want/need a foreman grill for Boston but they are kind of a biznatch to use and clean! My roommate and I found a recipe for turkey burgers, secret ingredient: putting those crispy fried onions IN the patties..genius!!!


  10. #
    Diana @ frontyardfoodie — January 2, 2010 @ 9:36 am

    I feel you sister. Before me my husband ate three things. Chips and salsa, ramen noodles and frozen pizza. The great thing was, he hated that stuff but didn’t know how to do any better. So I had a clean slate to work with!

    Those burgers look sensational!


  11. #
    Abby (Abby's VeGaN Eats) — January 2, 2010 @ 9:46 am

    What a pretty presentation!! Your husband is one lucky guy!! :)


  12. #
    Sara — January 2, 2010 @ 10:05 am

    Yum! I love turkey burgers too…and I always try and cram as much flavour I can into those patties- I also like to use the 99% fatfree…yums!
    I can’t believe your man used to eat all that stuff PLAIN! I have a phobia of plain food (not literally but you get my drift)…I mean, since we all have to eat anyways, why not make it as delicious and sumptious as possible!!! Herbs n spices n sauces are for sure my besties in the kitchen :)


  13. #
    Maxie — January 2, 2010 @ 10:25 am

    I’d love to try this! Anytime I try to make turkey burgers they end up tasting like paste. Unfortunately all I have is a george foreman though :-(


  14. #
    Sherrie — January 2, 2010 @ 10:39 am

    That sounds great!


  15. #
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — January 2, 2010 @ 10:55 am

    This looks great! I’m always looking for new ways to spice up turkey burgers!


  16. #
    chrysta — January 2, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    Oh yum! This is one awesome looking burger girl! Thanks so much for this fabulous recipe! You always take such gorgeous food photos btw!


  17. #
    Paula — January 2, 2010 @ 11:46 am

    Wow, these look fab!

    And how can anyone eat PLAIN TURKEY so often? I don’t get that at all!


  18. #
    Tracy — January 2, 2010 @ 11:56 am

    Haha, I know what you mean…how can they eat that stuff?! ;-)

    I was wondering, do you think this burger recipe would be good with venison? I have some from a friend that I am trying to figure out what to do with!


  19. #
    devan — January 2, 2010 @ 12:24 pm

    those look so great!! :)

    Happy New Year


  20. #
    Kailey — January 2, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    that turkey burger really does look like the best turkey burger that I have ever seen :) Delicious.


  21. #
    Abby (Nibble, Nourish, Run) — January 2, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

    That looks wonderful! Cannot wait to try it…I always think my turkey is a little bland but this recipe looks fab!


  22. #
    Katie @ cozydelicious — January 2, 2010 @ 1:27 pm

    Haha! My husband put ketchup on everything too! That was back when he lived on mac and cheese and frozen garbage! These look super yummy – I love grilling in winter. There’s something so fun about being outside at the grill in the snow. I actually usually put a little BBQ sauce (bottled or home made) in my Turkey burgers to keep them from being too dry, but maybe I’ll try your combo of worchestershire and tobasco instead next time! Thanks!


  23. #
    Stef — January 2, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

    oh my god, your husband lived on such blandness? ick! he’s lucky to have you :)


  24. #
    Gliding Calm — January 2, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

    OH MAN! i could use one of those RIGHT NOW ! i loveeee turkey burgers!!!

    thanks for always the sweetest comments! someday I am coming over and you are cooking for me, and I will be like a content beached whale….stuffed with “how sweet it is” goodness! :)

    HAPPY 2010 !


  25. #
    Naomi(onefitfoodie) — January 2, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    i love turkey burgers esp tasty healthy ones!! i can always count on you for an awesome recipe Jess! ahh the dreded foreman grill, I think i used it every day in college and it always burnt my chicken!!! I say go for the grill!

    I hope you had a fabulous New years!


  26. #
    Shelley — January 2, 2010 @ 2:02 pm

    haha your husband is lucky to have you :) the turkey burger looks amazing!


  27. #
    One Healthy Apple — January 2, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

    When I forced myself into my hubby’s condo, there was a shopping trip in which the only things on the list were orange juice, yogurt, chocolate chip cookies, and milk. I have no clue what he ate before me!

    I would so want a wife like you- your guy is very well fed!


  28. #
    Gracie — January 2, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

    DELISH! Have you ever tried ground chicken? It’s pretty tasty and has similar (if not lower) calories/fat than the ground turkey. Just if you’re ever looking to switch it up :) I do find the chicken to be a bit less flavorful, though…


  29. #
    Lisa — January 2, 2010 @ 6:01 pm

    Thanks, I’ll have to try thosE!


  30. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — January 2, 2010 @ 8:01 pm

    Hi Jessica!
    thx for your great comment re judging. I try not to judge myself but it’s hard b/c I am so Type A in so many ways! Learning to let go is a lifelong process :)

    Turkey burgs look great, hubs would enjoy for sure!


  31. #
    Cheryl — January 2, 2010 @ 8:03 pm

    Looks great! Before we lived together, some nights I would just eat cheese and crackers for dinner…ahh the good ole days;)


  32. #
    Christine @ Fresh Local and Best — January 2, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

    This looks like a fabulous delicious and healthy recipe. The Worcestershire sauce make truly make the dish.


  33. #
    Jenny — January 2, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    haha- my mom STILL refuses to let me make turkey burgers for the fam. In her defense, I’ve never actually had ground turkey and she has. She has your sentiments about it, but I’m still optimistic that I would like it. Maybe she’ll let me give your recipe a try!


  34. #
    rebeccasubbiah — January 2, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

    wow tasty and healthy

    happy new yr


  35. #
    light delight with Tou Tou — January 2, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

    your husband is so lucky to have you :-D This turkey burger does look delish!! I had never really grilled a burger myself , but seems like it does spice the burger up :-D love it!


  36. #
    Amanda — January 2, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

    This actually looks edible. And I do have some old ground turkey in my freezer. You just may have inspired me! :)


  37. #
    Lindsay — January 2, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

    Mmmm, love turkey burgers. They freeze so well and I never feel guilty about eating one. I do a version with spinach, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and a little bit of garlic…

    I also love to use mini pitas instead of a bun!


  38. #
    Heather @ The Joyful Kitchen — January 3, 2010 @ 8:18 am

    I am making these this week. ‘Nuff said :)


  39. #
    Jenny — January 3, 2010 @ 10:23 am

    Oh, yum! I love doing worcestershire sauce along with spices in my turkey burgers- the more flavorful, the better! And on a side note- wth is with men and Foreman grills?!?!

    You know, perhaps I could be of service with the stuffed turkey? If you can put him in a window visible from the street, I’d be happy to do a drive by shooting!


  40. #
    julie — January 3, 2010 @ 11:52 am

    what a great recipe :) definitely have to bookmark that for sure.

    hahaha i feel that way about budlight from my brothers would would leave the basement smelling like that after their parties. so gross!


  41. #
    Mara — January 3, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

    Looks yummy!! I love new ways to eat turkey, I tend to get in a rut with turkey and chicken. Thanks!!


  42. #
    Simply Life — January 3, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

    oh that burger looks delicious!


  43. #
    Good Taste. Healthy Me — January 3, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

    Yum I do love me some turkey burgers. I made an amazing turkey meatloaf recipe. My boyfriend and I were in seventh heaven with it. Definitely try it if you get the chance.


  44. #
    Jolene ( — January 6, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I have been looking for a good turkey burger recipe! You are an angel :-)


  45. #
    Alison — January 4, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

    I’m making these turkey burgers tonight! So excited! I made my own whole wheat rolls, which are a family favorite. To top off the healthy dinner, I am also making your Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie for dessert, haha. Everything is about balance, right? :)

    Love the blog! Keep the awesome recipes coming!



    • Jessica — January 4th, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

      Hope you love them!


  46. #
    Brynn — July 17, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    We were searching for a way to jazz up our ground turkey and this was it! YUMMM! :) Thanks for the recipe!


  47. #
    Brie — December 20, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Here’s MY favorite turkey burger recipe – it’s got a secret ingredient to keep it moist n’ juicy :)


  48. #
    candy gardner — January 2, 2015 @ 10:38 pm

    Black beans mixed in also adds flavor. And moisture. I use with the olive oil. Yum.



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