I will be the first to admit that I am the biggest trash talker on turkey burgers.

Thai Turkey Burgers I howsweeteats.com

In fact… in 99% of cases I find them utterly disgusting. The other 1% is almost totally consumed by these asian turkey burgers I discovered last year that I go through huge phases with. I mean, HUGE phases. Like phases where I make eight of them on Sunday and eat them for two meals a day in different ways and finish them off by Wednesday. Which is just crazy considering I’m pretty sure the whole reason I hate turkey burgers to begin with is because I unknowingly entered into a marriage four years ago where turkey burgers were center stage and center stage only for the first, oh… I don’t know… six months?

Uh huh. I had my fill.

Thai Turkey Burgers I howsweeteats.com

If turkey burgers are covered in cheddar and bacon and ketchup and avocado OR gorgonzola and bacon and maybe some sort of fabulous aioli, then I might be down. But then I’d also probably just want beef instead? Sooooo yeah. Right now a burger like that is my power meal. Which means, um… that I am just loving it? That I make it for others and feel powerful? I guess.

Not to be confused with one’s power song, in which case if you’re wondering – my current one is Kelly Clarkson’s Catch My Breath. Oh my gosh. I hate myself for how many times I have had this song on repeat the last five days. It’s utterly horrifying. And so incredible. I’ve been screeeeeaming this song. Spontaneous dance parties and singing into a large wooden spoon? Triple check.

Thai Turkey Burgers I howsweeteats.com


Back to the positive side of turkey burgers since I’m forcing one down your throat today. You know I’m nuts over this thai sauce combo I came up with a few months ago and when it came to putting it in a burger? Turkey just sounded right. So I did that. And even put some slaw (yes, like raw vegetables) on top that contained peanuts (which sounds weird but is completely perfect) and placed the entire thing on a toasted bun and ate it.

I live a wild life.

Thai Turkey Burgers I howsweeteats.com


Thai Turkey Burgers

Yield: makes 4 burgers

Total Time: 35 minutes


1 pound 94% lean ground turkey
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded carrots, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 whole wheat buns, toasted

thai sauce
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lite canned coconut milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon-sized knob of ginger, grated
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

2 cups chopped napa cabbage
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup chopped peanuts


Begin by combining all the ingredients together for the sauce: the sweet chili sauce, rice vinegar, coconut milk, brown sugar, garlic cloves, peanut butter, ginger, lime juice and soy sauce, and whisk until combined and fairly smooth. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the sauce and set it aside. Place the rest in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly thickened. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey with the salt, pepper, sliced green onions, chopped shredded carrots and about 2-3 tablespoons of the 1/4 cup of sauce that you set aside. Mix until just combined, being careful not to overmix but making sure everything is incorporated. I ended up using the full 1/4 cup. The patties can be slightly difficult to put together since they are so "wet," so to cook them, I heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, added 1 tablespoon of olive oil then quickly formed the patties one at a time, placing them in the skillet. Cook for at least 4-5 minutes, until you can see the edges brown and the turkey becoming opaque so the burgers flip easily. Flip gently but quickly, and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the burgers are cooked through. (Note: because of how wet the ground turkey is, I am not sure how these would hold up on the outside grill.)

To make the slaw, quickly throw together the cabbage, carrots, cilantro and peanuts, tossing well. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the sauce, then toss well to coat. Add additional sauce if desired. Place each burger on a bun and top with a heaping spoonful of the slaw and additional sauce if desired.

[thai sauce from this thai crunch chicken salad]

Thai Turkey Burgers I howsweeteats.com

So there, Monday.

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108 Responses to “Thai Turkey Burgers.”

  1. #
    georgie @geodoes — January 15, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    I’ve been thinking about burgers LITERALLY all day. These are definitely on the cards for dinner this week. yes to asian slaw. yes to turkey burgers!


  2. #
    Jaoncarol — January 15, 2013 @ 8:04 am

    I make something similar–but I cheat and add the dry packaged Taste of Thai peanut sauce mix to bind. I also add some finely chopped water chestnuts for a little crunch.
    Oh, and I serve with spicy mango salsa.


  3. #
    Tina | My Life as a Mrs — January 15, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    oh. em. gee. I want this for breakfast!!!!!


  4. #
    Alyssa — January 15, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Those turkey burgers look delicious! (and somewhat healthy???) ;-)


  5. #
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — January 15, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    This is the best idea for a turkey burger, like EVER! Pretty genius my friend!


  6. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — January 15, 2013 @ 10:32 am

    Hmm, I’m not sold on the turkey burgers buuuuutt yours looks freaking delicious! Could this be the game changer for me??


  7. #
    HeatherChristo — January 15, 2013 @ 11:07 am

    OMG. I am freaking out how good this looks right now. WELL done.


  8. #
    Theresa — January 15, 2013 @ 11:11 am

    I think I mIght try this! I’ve tried to start incorporating turkey into our diet once a week instead of red meat and have been looking for good burger recipes. This is definitely a new take on it! :)


  9. #
    Lisa — January 15, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    These look amazing! I just recently came across your blog thanks to Pinterest, and I love it! You make me laugh every day with your hilarious stories-and I have a crush on that Kelly Clarkson song too! Enjoy your kitchen dance party-mine happens in the car in traffic :-)


  10. #
    Jessica — January 15, 2013 @ 11:46 am

    These look amazing. I can’t wait to try this recipe out.


  11. #
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — January 15, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

    Seriously, those look too amazing! I wish I could have one right now sitting in my office for breakfast. The flavors sound incredible!


  12. #
    Amber @ Slim Pickin's Kitchen — January 15, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

    I’ve always been a fan of turkey burgers over beef burgers, but I’ll either of them any day. I also love thai anything so this recipe seems completely perfect and normal to me!


  13. #
    Jessica — January 15, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

    I am ALL over everything Thai lately. And I also have a love hate relationship with turkey burgers…thank you for covering them in Thai-ness. I totally love the way you think.


  14. #
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — January 15, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    Sounds amazing! I am an avid turkey burger enjoyer only in the summer kind of person and then beef burgeres the rest of the year. I get you, sometimes they are just too dry and light. I loooove these though. I like slaw on anything, makes it seem healthier.


  15. #
    Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife — January 15, 2013 @ 9:29 pm

    Gorgeous burger!


  16. #
    Wendy — January 15, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

    These look incredibly delicious. I am making them for tomorrow’s dinner with ground chicken (I like the taste better than ground turkey.) Thanks!


  17. #
    Shelby — January 15, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

    Made the burgers. Made the slaw. It took all my willpower to eat only one…and a half. Soooo good!


  18. #
    Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes — January 15, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

    Jessica…you’re KILLING me here. Why? Why my weakness turkey? It’s 10:14 pm in Jamaica. This is torture. Maybe, mouth watering torture, but torture nonetheless. You know, I’d love if you could check out my blog – I just changed my layout and domain completely (and we do have the same name!) :)


  19. #
    Bernadette @ Now Stir It Up — January 16, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    These look great. I love the Thai flavors with the turkey.


  20. #
    katya — January 16, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

    It looks like it´s something to crave for!!!!!


  21. #
    Shea Goldstein — January 16, 2013 @ 6:39 pm

    Oh Dear Gracious. Those look amazing.


  22. #
    Toni — January 17, 2013 @ 5:22 pm

    Do you use the thickened sauce as the slaw dressing? Or just to serve on the side of the burger?


  23. #
    Erica M. — January 21, 2013 @ 12:02 pm

    I don’t just love your recipes, I love your tone!! You crack me up. I will be making these this week. Keep it up!


  24. #
    Tomeka — January 24, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

    I made these tonight….ummm OH MY GOODNESS! They were delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!


  25. #
    Laura — January 25, 2013 @ 9:22 am

    I made these last night (with soy butter & no peanuts bec. my son is allergic) they were AWESOME. And would have only been better with REAL peanut butter:-)


  26. #
    Emily W. — January 25, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    I have now made this recipe twice in 2 weeks. Was such a hit with my first hungry audience that I made it for my parents last night with the same results! Don’t usually love the dryness of turkey burgers but the sauce and slaw remedies this perfectly.

    I make with sweet potato fries and it’s a great compliment. Thanks for the great recipe!


  27. #
    Amanda — January 29, 2013 @ 11:31 am

    I made these – neither my husband nor myself have ever eaten turkey burgers so we were suspicious but they were fantastic. My four year old even ate a burger which was great and there was enough left over Asian coleslaw to eat on the side. I did cut the cilantro entirely out of the recipe though (my husband is one of those weird people who finds that cilantro tastes bitter), replacing it with a little extra carrot.


  28. #
    Lois — February 1, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    I make chicken/turkey burgers of every single variety–with buns, without, Asian, Buffalo, with mixes…always looking for the next best burger, much to my family’s chagrin sometimes. But these were AMAZING and my very picky husband took leftovers to work three days in a row. That’s a first. Thanks so much for a new go-to.


  29. #
    Raymon Vaupel — April 22, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

    In many countries, food laws define specific categories of ground beef and what they can contain. For example, in the United States, beef fat may be added to hamburger, but not to ground beef if the meat is ground and packaged at a USDA-inspected plant.*

    Our new blog


  30. #
    Valarie — September 17, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    Made these last night and they were AMAZING! The perfect combination of spicy, sweet and savory. I loved every single bite. Thank you for sharing!


  31. #
    anna — March 19, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

    These burgers are freaking awesome. Totally in love with them thank you so much.


  32. #
    Robin — May 30, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

    they sound great! to put them on the grill you either need to add breadcrumbs (about 3 slices of bread) or freeze them & then put them on the grill frozen. :-)


  33. #
    Amanda — March 30, 2015 @ 12:10 am

    I discovered this recipe hereabout a year and a half ago and make it regularly. It’s such a well written recipe!!! No matter what “Dammit I forgot to buy _” alterations I have to make last minute or what I screw up. My husband loves it and he hates the very concept of turkey burgers because it implies health. We eat the leftover slaw on the side, I always make double or triple the sauce and freeze batches because the “simmered” sauce tastes fine mixed into future turkey burger batches, and substitute lemon for lime when I have to and 1/4 tsp ground ginger for fresh when I have to and it’s always always good. Also I made the slaw and added strips of chicken marinated in the sauce and cooked on the stove to the top like a salad and it was good that way too. I like it best exactly the way you wrote it but it’s a truly awesome recipe.


  34. #
    Marta johnston — October 20, 2015 @ 9:21 pm

    I pinned this recipe a while back and finally made it for dinner tonight. My husband, who ONLY likes traditional beef burgers, LOVED them! The grocery was out of ground turkey breast so I used ground turkey thighs. They were delicious!!!!! So juicy and full of flavor! Thanks for a great turkey burger recipe!



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