best turkey burgers ever!

There’s nothing like a good backyard BBQ to wrap up a busy and fun-filled weekend. The smell of sunscreen and chlorine mingled with the aroma of dinner cooking on the grill makes my heart happy. These easy turkey burgers are perfect for those kinds of evenings when you want to throw dinner together quickly so that you can enjoy a few extra minutes of jumping on the trampoline with your kiddos.

Turkey burgers can sometimes be tricky – they’re either dry and bland or so overly moist that they can’t hold their shape and fall apart. The key to a great turkey burger is in finding the balance between drying out the meat enough to bind the burger together and adding extra fat to keep it moist. Luckily for you, I’ve done lots and lots of experiments in that department, and I’m ready to share my recipe for delicious and foolproof turkey burgers.

turkey burger ingredients


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 strips of pre-cooked bacon
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

I always chop up my basil, bacon and onion into tiny and practically undetectable pieces so that my kids won’t suddenly refuse to eat their burger upon discovering that they’ve just eaten something green.

turkey burger mix on plate with food

Lightly beat the egg in a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix well until thoroughly combined. The best way to mix it up is with your hands. It’s not exactly my favorite thing in the world, but it makes quick work of it.

Shape the burger patties and stack them with sheets of parchment or freezer paper between each patty to prevent sticking.

This next step is critical – it can make or break a good turkey burger. Place your stack of patties in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. 30 minutes is just barely cutting it though, so if you have the time to spare, I’d recommend leaving them in the freezer for about an hour. This really helps the components of the burger have time to meld together, and the mild freezing helps the patty keep its shape and hold together during cooking.

grilling turkey burgers with corn and hot dogs

Grilled corn tastes pretty amazing alongside turkey burgers, so that’s my #1 go-to BBQ side dish. Just soak it in water for 10 minutes before throwing it on the grill so that the husks don’t burn, and top it with a little butter, salt and pepper. I always grill up some hot dogs as well for my child who thinks you can’t have a burger without eating a hot dog too.

kings hawaiian hot dog buns

No other bun pairs as well with these turkey burgers as King’s Hawaiian hamburger buns. The King’s Hawaiian taste blends perfectly with sweetness of the grilled onion and the smokiness of the bacon. Really, nothing else even compares!

kids plain grilled turkey burger

See how happy they are together? My kids like their burgers plain like this (with the addition of some ketchup for boys #1 &3), but I like mine kicked up just a bit more…

turkey burger on kinds hawaiian bun

More bacon and cheese, you say? Um, yes, please. It IS a weekend after all.

hot dogs on kinds hawaiian hot dog buns

Just for the record, my six-year-old, who has been refusing to eat hot dog buns for his entire life, ate TWO of these Kings Hawaiian hot dog buns this weekend. He said, “See this part here where it’s just ketchup and bun and no hot dog? I like that part too.” See, they really are that good!

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signature of Heidi from Happiness is Homemade craft blog

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kings Hawaiian. The opinions and text are all mine.


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  1. Just made these tonight. They were a hit! These are seriously the best turkey burgers I’ve ever made! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I made these burgers for Mother’s day and they were a huge hit! My family raved over them. Personally I am not a burger person but I really loved these burgers. Thank you for the delicious recipe.

  3. So I made these tonight and let me tell you, they were awesome. I can sympathize with needing to mask some ingredients for picky eaters by cutting them small. I placed the onion and bacon pieces into a food processor with a half teaspoon of minced garlic before adding them to the mix. I used sharp cheddar in the burger and then topped them with Swiss. We also ate them on toasted bagels. If you haven’t tried this, I recommend it. We use simple egg bagels and an occasional everything bagel. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  4. My pleasure! I came back to refresh my memory since we’re making them again tonight (very late dinner).
    It’s soup and salads for a month after this, though; I’m sure I’ll have gained 5lbs by tomorrow!
    By the way your website is great- very fun read!
    thanks again:)

  5. I made these for dinner tonight and they were FAB. I had my mind set on turkey burgers, but wanted something a bit more sinful than our standard go-to (dull, healthy-shmealthy low-fat this and low-salt that) recipe. Went all out and bought a big whack of bacon – mmmmmm bacon!! – sharp cheddar cheese, and some soft, chewy calabrese buns (the King’s Hawaiian would’ve been nice but am not sure if we even have them here).
    I caramelized the chopped onion for about 20min before adding it to the mix, tossed in a bit more crumbled bacon and, like you, we topped the finished burg with MORE cheese and bacon.
    So outrageously good. And although we’ve probably satisfied our decadence allocation for the month with these babies, I’m making them again tomorrow. Help, you’ve unleashed a beast.
    Thanks for a tantalizing recipe!

    1. Wow, thank you for the lovely comment! I’m so glad you loved them as much as we do! These are a once-a-month occurrence on our dinner menu, and they’re one of the only meals that all three of my picky eaters can agree upon! 🙂