Learn how to make the best turkey burgers in the oven all year long! These light and healthy ground turkey burgers make an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love and cook in just minutes.
If you are trying to reduce how much red meat your family eats, ground turkey is an excellent alternative to ground beef for homemade burgers.
If you're not careful, turkey burgers can be very dry but my recipe guarantees a juicy burger you'll want over a beef burger any time!
We start with flavorful, fresh ingredients that help boost the moisture of the turkey burger.
By broiling them in the oven, they get a quick flash of heat that it isn't quite as intense as an outdoor grill. You'll quickly find that baked turkey burgers in the oven hold together better and retain their juicy texture much more easily.
My kids absolutely devoured them. Our only regret was that I didn't double the recipe so we could have leftovers the next day!
Why This is the Best Recipe
There are dozens and dozens of options for turkey burger recipes out there but this is the best one because:
- Easy to Prep: Just because they're filled with flavor doesn't mean they need to be tricky to prepare. This recipe comes together quickly and easily for a busy night.
- Easy to Cook: No need to preheat the grill! Bake the turkey burgers in the oven in just minutes.
- Light and Healthy: Ground turkey is so much healthier for your family and can often be purchased more affordably than ground beef.
- Great Texture: Ground turkey makes a burger patty that has a similar texture to beef. Ground chicken tends to be a little mushier.
- Easy to Tweak: I love the fresh ingredients for this recipe but don't miss the easy flavor variations listed below!
This Italian turkey burger recipe has a few main elements:
- The Juicy Turkey Burger Patty: The burger itself has sundried tomatoes, fresh chopped shallot, fresh chives, crushed red pepper flakes, and ground turkey.
- Oven Baked Balsamic Onions: These are optional, but they only take a few minutes to prep and make a huge difference. I think they're totally worth it. You just need an onion and balsamic vinegar.
- Burger Toppings: Besides the bun, you just need sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese, fresh tomato slices, and fresh arugula.
How to Make Turkey Burgers in the Oven
I LOVE our broiler pan for baking turkey burgers because it lets me mimic grilled food right in my oven.
It is a two-piece pan with a flat grated top that rests over the deeper dish below like this one here.
I line the bottom with aluminum foil for easy clean-up since the fat tends to cook off and drip down into the bottom collection pan.
This makes our burgers crispy on the outside because of the airflow and juicy on the inside because they don't have to cook too long to cook all the way through.
Preheat the Broiler
For most ovens, this is a heating element inside the top of the oven. It works a little like a toaster but hotter like a grill. Our broiler operates at 550°F.
Place one of the oven racks 8 inches away from the broiler.
Prepare the Broiler Pan
Line the inside of the bottom part of the broiler pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
Spray the top of the grill pan part of the broiler pan with cooking spray.
Place the turkey burgers on the greased pan with 2 - 3 inches between each patty for air flow.
Bake the Turkey Burgers
Cook the turkey burgers under the broiler for 5 minutes.
Carefully flip them over with a spatula and place them back under the broiler for another 4 minutes or until the burgers register 180°F with a thermometer.
Not all broilers cook perfectly evenly. I've had 4 different ovens since living in our house and each broiler has had a different personality.
The good news is, you'll know where the food is cooking because it will begin to brown faster than spots where the broiler isn't as hot.
You may need to adjust the position of the broiler pan to ensure that all the burgers brown evenly.
Just keep an eye on them as they cook and rotate the pan every minute or so as needed.
TOP TIP: Broiled food can burn in a blink of an eye. Keep a close watch on anything you place under the broiler so you can quickly pull it out before it burns.
When you broil food in an oven, you are using the blazing hot heating element to toast your food. You can keep the oven door ajar so you can keep an eye on the dish so your food doesn't burn. If you shut the door, the food will cook even faster because the heat of the oven will rise quickly.
The oven broiler is the perfect tool for browning or toasting the tops of foods for texture. Casseroles with bread crumb toppings, toasted breads for crostini, or browning baked meats like chicken tenderloins or burgers to give them a grilled appearance and flavor.
Meal Prep Timing
We served our Italian turkey burgers with balsamic onions, fresh tomato, and arugula. My girls requested tater tots as the side dish.
To prepare everything in a timely manner, this was my workflow:
- Make the Balsalmic Onions: Slice the onion and have them roasting in almost no time at all. While they cook, prep the rest of the meal. They are SO good, they are worth the extra 2 minutes at the front end.
- Prepare the Turkey Burger Patties: Prep all the ingredients and form the patties. Store them on a plate or pan until you are ready to cook them.
- Bake the Tater Tots: If you're baking a side dish, I recommend doing so BEFORE you finish the turkey burgers. The burgers cook so quickly and are best served warm. I simply put an aluminum foil tent over the finished tots while we waited for the burgers.
- Broil the Turkey Burgers in the Oven: It should only take 9 minutes total-- 5 minutes on the first side, 4 on the other side.
- Top the Burgers with the Cheese and Serve: The burgers will be hot enough you can just top with cheese and serve but if your cheese slices are extra thick, you can top the burgers with cheese and place them under the broiler for a few seconds to melt.
Serving Suggestions for Kids
For picky eating kids, there is a lot of "suspiciousness" going on with these burgers. I was super worried my kids wouldn't like them.
I used some of my mom super-power tricks but in the end I was worried for nothing. The kids LOVED them and agreed it is absolutely a make-again recipe.
If you're worried about making these turkey burgers for your kids, I suggest these tricks:
- Chop the veggies for the burger patties SMALL! You can't even see the sun-dried tomatoes in the patties, they almost melt right in if you chop them tiny enough. The green of the chives might be easier to spot, but hopefully it will be buried under the bun. The shallot shouldn't even add any crunch-factor if you cut it small enough. The ingredients inside the patties went completely unnoticed by my kids.
- Serve all the toppings at the table in separate bowls: My girls did not want the fresh veggies on top of their burger, but that was our main veggie serving for the meal. I suggested they make a side salad instead and they ended up eating a lot more arugula than they would have on their burger. Win-win.
- Let them use ketchup: I preferred topping my burger with balsamic glaze, but ketchup still really does complement this particular burger patty. If it means your kids will eat it, go for it.
More Burger Recipes
Once you know how to bake turkey burgers in the oven, you'll want to tweak this recipe for other fun flavor variations.
You can use ground turkey with lots of hamburger recipes, but one of my favorite easy tweaks includes a candied bacon burger.
Start with my easy whole wheat hamburger buns made from bread machine dough and baked in the oven.
Then top with fresh tomato and basil, a slice of cheddar cheese, and this easy baked peppered bacon.
Baked Turkey Burgers in the Oven
For the Balsamic Onions
- 1 yellow onion sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
For the Turkey Burgers
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil minced
- 1 shallot finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh chives finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 slices of mozzarella cheese
- 1 fresh tomato sliced
- 1 bunch of arugula
Prepare the Balsamic Onions:
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Thinly slice the onions and toss them on a cookie sheet with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Roast them for 20 minutes or until crispy and browned.
Prepare the Turkey Burger Patties:
- Finely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and add them to a large mixing bowl. Finely chop the shallot and chives and add them to the bowl. Add the parmesan, red pepper flakes, and ground turkey to the bowl. Use a fork to lightly fluff the ground turkey into the ingredients. Keep fluffing and stirring gently till everything is evenly incorporated.
- Gently pat the turkey into a large round disc. Use a large spoon to divide the meat into 4 equal portions. Scoop ¼ of the meat at a time and form a thin burger patty. The meat will shrink as it cooks, so make the patties ½-inch larger than the bun you intend to place them on.
Broil the Turkey Burgers in the Oven:
- Place your oven rack near the top of the oven and preheat the broiler. Spray a boiler pan with cooking oil. Place the turkey burger patties on the pan. (For easy clean-up, place aluminum foil underneath the grate plate.)
- Broil the turkey burgers for 5 minutes. Carefully flip them over and broil for an additional 4 minutes or until the patties register 180°F.
- We place all the toppings buffet-style at the table and let the family top their burgers as they choose. If the kids don’t want the arugula and tomato on top of the burger, it makes an excellent side salad with a pinch of the balsamic onions.
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