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. #
    Marnely Rodriguez-Murray — January 14, 2013 @ 7:56 am

    It’s unfair to read this with only a cup of coffee in my tummy! These look amazing!


  2. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — January 14, 2013 @ 8:01 am

    These sounds amazing! Tony and the boys will not go for turkey being the sub for beef burgers (although, Max won’t eat burgers anyway since he hates ground beef), but making the burgers a completely different flavor is perfect! I need to do that more often. These sounds perfect. The sauce sounds amazing too. I’m definitely giving that a try. Have a great week Jessica!


  3. #
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy — January 14, 2013 @ 8:12 am

    I make Thai chicken burgers and I love them!! These sounds fab too.


  4. #
    Carrie @Bakeaholic Mama — January 14, 2013 @ 8:22 am

    THESE BURGERS! I want to eat them for breakfast lunch and dinner!


  5. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — January 14, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    Yesssss! I swear, I think I might have been Thai in a past life because I love absolutely everything about Thai cuisine. You’ve just reminded me that I have a similar burger recipe that is awesome but desperately needs re-photographing because the original photos totally didn’t do them justice. Yours on the other hand, are making me crave a burger at 7:30am!!


  6. #
    megan @ whatmegansmaking — January 14, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    When done right, turkey burgers are awesome! I love the thai twist on these :)


  7. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — January 14, 2013 @ 8:28 am

    Well it’s official I can’t cook your delicious looking looking Thai Turkey Burger, my stove is sitting in my dining room ,along with my fridge . Unless I can rig up my pellet stove ,so I can cook on it,its takeout all the way……do you deliver?


  8. #
    Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper — January 14, 2013 @ 8:33 am

    The peanuts in this sound delightful!


  9. #
    Madison — January 14, 2013 @ 8:37 am

    I haven’t ever had a turkey burger–this might be the recipe to try then! :)


  10. #
    Kim in MD — January 14, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    I am swooning over this burger! I think that turkey burgers get a bad rap. I make them all the time, and I love them! I actually prefer them over beef burgers, given the choice. I love Thai food, and I know these burgers are going to be on my menu this week!


  11. #
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} — January 14, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    I’m loving the idea of the slaw on top of a burger. This one is going on my future meal-plan list.


  12. #
    Lauren | Have Fork, Will Eat — January 14, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    These look amazing. I’m not normally one for slaw on my burger but I’m not sure I could resist this.


  13. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — January 14, 2013 @ 9:34 am

    Mmmm burgers. I bought some spicy peanut butter and I need to get a better handle on Thai spices and tastes because they use a lot of peanut butter. I wonder if some of that PB might taste really good in that sauce.


  14. #
    LC — January 14, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    What is a turkey burger?


    • Jessica — January 14th, 2013 @ 10:09 am

      it’s all I could think about.


  15. #
    Robyn | Add a Pinch — January 14, 2013 @ 9:51 am

    In the land of turkey burgers, these would definitely be the king! Definitely!


  16. #
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — January 14, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    Yes to these nummy-looking turkey burgers, and YES to spontaneous dancing/singing in the kitchen. Even better if both are happening at the same time. :)


  17. #
    Divya @ Eat.Teach.Blog. — January 14, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    Um, yum.
    I need to try this out ASAP.

    And…LOVING Kelly Clarkson’s song. May or may not have rolled down all my car windows in 30 degree weather to sing at the top of my lungs.


    • elizs — January 14th, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

      Yeah, I was going to say Kelly Clarkson can do no wrong IMHO. So no guilty feelings about playing that song on repeat!

      Also, for those of us who don’t eat red meat, turkey burgers are nummy. And this recipe looks delicious!


  18. #
    Awkward Charm — January 14, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    This looks AMAZING!! Just printed it off!


  19. #
    Katherine R. — January 14, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    This is a wild life I’d definitely like to take part in. Holy deliciousness.


  20. #
    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — January 14, 2013 @ 10:12 am

    That slaw looks perfect!


  21. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — January 14, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    Why is my head not wrapped around 14 of these right now?


  22. #
    Carly @ Snack Therapy — January 14, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    I’m convinced that you could Thai-ify anything and it would taste like perfection.


  23. #
    Lindsay — January 14, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    i sometimes feel like you read my mind. I was just thinking about turkey burgers yesterday and how I was going to make them, slathered with this mango salsa / guacamole mashup: http://lovebeerlovefood.com/mango-salsa-guacamole-mash-up/ but now I might have to try this!! Love.


  24. #
    Brie @ Entrée the Giant — January 14, 2013 @ 11:19 am

    I’m actually a big fan of the turkey burg – and I can’t wait to give mine a Thai twist :)


  25. #
    Little Kitchie — January 14, 2013 @ 11:28 am

    I want, I want, I want. I’m usually meg on turkey burgers too, but I agree it just kind of makes sense with the Thai sauce. Can’t wait to try this !


  26. #
    Amy — January 14, 2013 @ 11:30 am

    Girl, you haven’t lived until you’ve had a really rough day and found yourself CRYING to that damn song and pep talking yourself, “I won’t let you get me down!” Yikes.

    These turkey burgers look magical! I eat them all the time and it will be a fun way to mix it up!


  27. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — January 14, 2013 @ 12:05 pm

    Preettyyyy sure I once gave myself food poisoning from my own turkey burgers so I tend to have an aversion to them too. But I’m truly crazy for slaw on burgers so I think I can get on board with this one.


  28. #
    Karly — January 14, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    There are so many ways for a turkey burger to go wrong, but this one looks like it’s all good. I get in big “phases” with foods too. Though my husband calls it something more along the lines of “obsession.” As in, OMG I can’t wait until your obsession with carnitas ends because I never want to eat another piece of pork in my life.

    So, maybe I’ll make turkey burgers for dinner tonight instead of carnitas?


  29. #
    a farmer in the dell — January 14, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    I am a skeptical turkey burger lady as well. I have never been a fan. These look really convincing though!


  30. #
    Morgan — January 14, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

    I tend to stick my nose up to turkey burgers. I just feel like you gotta have the real things. But with a sweet chili sauce that has coconut milk AND peanut butter, i can’t see how you could go wrong!


  31. #
    Amanda @ MarocMama — January 14, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

    These look out of this world!!! Dinner tonight!


  32. #
    Chloe @Ergo-Blog — January 14, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

    I had my first turkey burger over the weekend at a restaurant and it was soo good and I was shocked! I’m curious if it was just the restaurant’s blend of spices that tasted so good or it is in fact turkey burgers in general…I’ll try this out! =)


  33. #
    Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — January 14, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    I’ve been trying to figure out ways to jazz up a turkey burger. I looove thai flavors! This is awesome.


  34. #
    Melissa @ Treats With a Twist — January 14, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    Ok you read my mind. I brought some lean turkey to work today to make burgers (I’m a nanny so I get to cook when it’s nap time)…but all I could think about is that the ONLY way these burgers will turn out good enough for me to eat them for the next few days is if they are full of Asian flavors.
    You’re right, I never order turkey burgers out bc they almost always suck. But I want you to come make me one now!


  35. #
    Erica {Coffee & Quinoa} — January 14, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

    Yum! I love Thai flavors, and I can totally believe that a turkey burger is the perfect place for them :)


  36. #
    dervla @ The Curator — January 14, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    IF i were going to eat a turkey burger, and that’s a big IF, then I’d definitely go with your version. Those things need some serious jazzing up. Also: did you watch girls yet, or were you like me and put it off cause of the Golden Globes?


  37. #
    Mary @ The Kitchen Paper — January 14, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

    I’m right there with ya on the turkey burger hate, usually, but these DO sound amazing! Anything with a thai special sauce must be good, right? Maybe I’ll get over my fear of ground turkey (seriously, something about that weirds me out) and give these a go…


  38. #
    Jess — January 14, 2013 @ 3:16 pm

    These look amazing! cannot wait to try these! :)


  39. #
    Jenna — January 14, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

    These sound incredible


  40. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 14, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    Loving that thai sauce with the coconut milk, sweet chili sauce, rice wine, ginger, PB.I could drink it! And the slaw. That’s perfect for me!


  41. #
    Julie — January 14, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    This slaw is calling my name in a serious way. Amazing.


  42. #
    Eileen — January 14, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

    Well, I love turkey burgers, and I think this version sounds just about perfect. :) All hail the mighty turkey burger!


  43. #
    Katie @ Blonde Ambition — January 14, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

    I have been eyeing your Asian turkey burger recipe for a loooong time now (like I think it was one of the first recipes of yours that I pinned a year ago) — these sound just as good! And wouldn’t luck have it that I have ground turkey in the freezer right now?


  44. #
    Thomas Nichols — January 14, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

    These are sooooo good. Turkey burgers are where its at, I love them so much!!


  45. #
    Michelle @ Brown Eyed Baker — January 14, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

    I’m also on the “meh” train when it comes to turkey burgers, but all of the flavors here sound fantastic. Totally something I would love… going to make these for lunch one day!


  46. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — January 14, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

    I haven’t been a huge fan of turkey burgers but these have my attention. Looking good!


  47. #
    Ross @ TheFaceBaby — January 14, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

    As a lean-protein freak I’m on board for most everything turkey. Even, dare I say, turkey bacon (once I forgive the giant difference in texture and general floppiness of the whole charade). But yeah – yummy turkey burgers are NOT easy to come by. Black-bean burgers are almost always great, but I think turkey just panics whenever it hears the word “burger” and transforms into a pathetic, sand-papery version of itself. Thanks for inventing a delightfully moist alternative!

    And for making slaw. I love slaw


  48. #
    Sabatino @ hotcupoflove.com — January 14, 2013 @ 11:23 pm

    I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of turkey burgers either, but these look amazing!


  49. #
    Connie the Cookie Monster — January 15, 2013 @ 12:36 am

    i think i will ask my thai friend to authenticate these by making a couple dozen burgers to taste test :P


  50. #
    Talaia @ WholeYum — January 15, 2013 @ 7:51 am

    I just woke up, I’m starving, and I want this to eat!



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