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Skillet Turkey Burgers

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Juicy and savory with a well-browned crust, these skillet turkey burgers rival the best beef burgers.

Skillet Turkey Burgers

If you’re a beef burger lover, you might think that turkey burgers can’t measure up to the real thing – and, in most cases, you’d be correct. But these skillet turkey burgers, modestly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, are delicious in their own right. They have a juicy texture, deep savory flavor, and gorgeous browned crust. The secret is adding ricotta cheese, a bit of bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce to the burger mix. If you’d like to try some variations, consider adding a few tablespoons of finely chopped fresh herbs, a clove of minced garlic, or thinly sliced scallions. Serve the turkey burgers on buns or rolls, garnished as you like.

For more ways to lighten traditional ground beef recipes by substituting ground turkey, see my turkey meatballs, turkey meatloaf and turkey chili.

What You’ll Need To Make Skillet Turkey Burgers

stovetop turkey burgers ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Place ground turkey in a medium-size bowl. Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, and mustard.

turkey, ricotta, bread crumbs, and seasoning in bowl

Using your hands, mix until well blended.

turkey burger mixture

Divide meat mixture into 4 equal portions. Lightly toss one portion from hand to hand to form a ball, then lightly flatten ball with fingertips into a 3/4-inch-thick patty with a slight depression in the center (this prevents the burgers from puffing up when cooked). Repeat with remaining portions.

forming the patties

Heat a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium heat until very hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the burgers and cook over medium heat without moving the burgers until the bottom side of each is dark golden brown and crusted, 3 to 4 minutes.

cooking turkey burgers

Turn the burgers over; continue to cook until the bottom side is light brown but not yet crusted, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the pan to the oven and continue cooking for 7 to 8 minutes, or until burgers are completely cooked (an instant-read thermometer inserted from the side of the burger into the center should register 160°F). Remove the turkey burgers from the pan and serve immediately.

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Skillet Turkey Burgers

Juicy and savory with a well-browned crust, these skillet turkey burgers rival the best beef burgers.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1¼ pounds 93% lean ground turkey (I use Shady Brook Farms)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for cooking
  • 4 hamburger buns (lightly toasted and buttered, if desired)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
  2. Place the ground turkey in a medium-size bowl. Add the salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, and mustard. Using your hands, mix until well blended. Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions. Lightly toss one portion from hand to hand to form a ball, then lightly flatten the ball with your fingertips into a ¾-inch-thick patty with a slight depression in the center (this prevents the burgers from puffing up when cooked). Repeat with the remaining portions.
  3. Heat a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium heat until very hot, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the burgers and cook over medium heat, without moving the burgers, until the bottom side of each is dark golden brown and crusted, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the burgers over; continue to cook until the bottom side is light brown but not yet crusted, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the pan to the oven and continue cooking for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the burgers are completely cooked (an instant-read thermometer inserted from the side of the burger into the center should register 160°F). Remove the burgers from the pan and serve immediately.
  4. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The uncooked burgers can be frozen for up to three months. (Freeze the burgers on a baking sheet or plate so their shape sets, then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag for easy storage.) Defrost the burgers overnight in the refrigerator prior to serving and then cook as directed.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 burger
  • Calories: 445
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Sodium: 536 mg
  • Cholesterol: 121 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • What is the white sauce that’s shown in the picture? Would love to add unique condiments!

    • — Anjli on February 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • It’s just a combo of mayo and Dijon mustard. Enjoy the burgers!

      • — Jenn on February 19, 2024
      • Reply
  • I make these a lot bc they are delicious! Another 5 star Jen recipe and it makes an easy dinner.
    I follow the recipe exactly as she wrote it and they are so moist and flavorful. We love the crust that is created from frying them in my caste iron skillet.

    • — Sharon on February 19, 2024
    • Reply
  • This recipe was perfect for a quick dinner. I used goat cheese instead of ricotta (didn’t have it) – very flavorful. I would’ve cooked it for less time to make it juicier. Since it’s a favorite already, I’ll do that next time!

    • — Joe on January 29, 2024
    • Reply
    • These were delicious tasting burgers, but they haven’t held their shape for me. They fall apart easily. I followed the directions exactly and made them twice but with the same result. What might be the cause? I am using the whole ricotta and bread crumbs as directed.

      I am a fan of your recipes!

      Danielle

      • — Danielle on February 10, 2024
      • Reply
      • So glad you like the recipes, but sorry you’ve had a problem with these! If you’re not making any changes to the recipe and are using the ingredients called for, I suspect you’re just not forming the patties compactly enough. You don’t want to make them too compact, but next time, I’d use a bit more pressure when you shape them into patties.

        • — Jenn on February 12, 2024
        • Reply
  • I love these burgers! They’re so juicy and tasty! Thank you for another excellent recipe, Jenn!

    • — Caly Konschewitz on December 28, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have been using your recipes for years now. I find that, again and again, your recipes are my “go to cookbook” for everything I make. I have to say something after I made your Skillet Turkey Burgers last night. They were perfection! It was the best turkey burger I have ever made and I have made tons of different turkey burger recipes. I followed your recipe in every way. I used the Shady Brook Farms turkey which had the exact portion that your recipe called for (1 1/4 lbs). And, I used my large cast iron pan like the one you have pictured in your directions. I couldn’t believe it…the burgers didn’t burn and were cooked to perfection when I removed them from the oven. What a fabulous technique combining cooking in a skillet and baking. It must be the reason the burgers were so moist. Also the flavor is perfect. It’s not too overpowering yet is SO GOOD. It is just like you described, they “rival the best beef burgers.” Thank you so much, Jen. My husband and I are devotees of your recipes.

    • — Lisa Dymond on November 17, 2023
    • Reply
  • This recipe was amazing I keep some in my fridge but they do t last long. Thank you for the recipe . Everyone in my house thoroughly enjoy these burgers healthier than beef. Keep the recipes coming and thank you again .

    • — DeeDee on March 26, 2023
    • Reply
  • So great! These burgers are incredibly moist, tasty and easy to make. The addition of ricotta really elevates the texture and flavour. You continue to be our favourite chef for every recipe we make. Love you and your wonderful Recipes!

    • — Jackie Davis on February 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on February 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. Amazing recipes! quick question: in the “my recipe box” section is there a way to make folders eg “chicken” or “chocolate” etc. it would make it easier to group the recipes under categories. I could just use the search tab but i like the idea of folders in the recipe box. Thanks and keep those recipes coming! great website!

    Dan

    • — dan miller on February 3, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Dan, so glad you like the recipes! As of now, I don’t have the functionality to create folders in the recipe box, but I will add that to my list of potential enhancements to the blog. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • These are so delicious! Jenn, you truly have the best recipes and I’m so thankful for all that you share with us. These should go in your next cookbook they are that good! Such a great weeknight meal. I served with arugula and Mayo/Dijon as a sauce. May try with a little caramelized onion next time!

    • — Ashley on February 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • Most delicious, moist Turkey burgers ever! Jenn you are truly my go to when it comes to healthy, fresh, home cooking! Your recipes are perfect every time! I can not thank you enough for sharing your gift with us all! Keep the delish coming! Xoxo Jen Moore

    • — Jen Moore on January 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Quick question on the turkey burgers… Can I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese because I cannot find ricotta at any store at this time!?? Thanks

      • — Jen Moore on January 3, 2023
      • Reply
      • Hi Jen, I think you could use cottage cheese but I’d blend it in a blender or food processor first to get rid of the curds. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on January 3, 2023
        • Reply
        • Thx u! So crazy that our town is out of Ricotta cheese!! I’ll try it and let you know how it works out! Again…thx u for sharing your gift!! You are absolutely my go to recipe gal!! Happiest New Year!! Jen

          • — Jen Moore on January 3, 2023
          • Reply
          • The Turkey burgers turned out great! Moist and the cottage cheese worked out just fine, I made sure to follow your advice and blend it first! Thank you again and Happy New Year!!

            • — Jen Moore on January 5, 2023
          • Glad to hear it — thanks for reporting back! 🙂

            • — Jenn on January 5, 2023
  • Hi Jenn,
    This one was one of the rare occasions that we weren’t impressed with your recipe. Turkey felt mushy and not flavorful enough. We absolutely love your steakhouse burgers (the best burgers imo!) and will stick to that. However, I’m trying to move away from red meat as much as possible and introduce more turkey recipes to our rotation. Do your turkey spinach meatballs have a similar texture to this one?
    Also, where in the world I can find Shady Brooks ground Turkey? I love your brand choices – always top quality – and would prefer to use your recommendations. Thanks so much!

    • — Oleda on December 26, 2022
    • Reply
    • I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy these! The texture of the turkey meatballs is a bit different – they’re a little firmer. And I find the Shady Brook Farms turkey at my local grocery stores (Giant and Safeway). I wonder if it just isn’t distributed to your region?

      • — Jenn on December 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Jenn, thank you for your reply – it’s very helpful! We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have Safeway around here. I’ll definitely check it out as I swear by your recommendations!

        • — Oleda on December 28, 2022
        • Reply
  • Can’t wait to make these. Do you serve them with a mayo condiment? I was wondering what’s on the roll.

    • — JOAN FALINE on October 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Joan, I think that was a combination of mayo, Dijon mustard, and some chopped parsley (but you really could use any fresh herb). Hope you enjoy the burgers!

      • — Jenn on November 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • Really love these skillet burgers and I am not a fan of turkey burgers in general. I never have the 1 and 1/4 lb turkey on hand so I make it with 1 pound of ground turkey with no issues (I do scale back a tad on the ingredients overall). The only other change is I add chopped scallions. Super simple to whip up with a side salad for a quick weeknight dinner.

    • — Steph on October 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn,
    These turkey burgers are outstanding. I followed your method, and the burgers came out so juicy and flavorful. are used ground thigh meat, and added more Italian spices.
    Perfect cooking instructions!!
    Thanks for a recipe that the whole family loved !

    • — Carol on September 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Tried these today and they were delicious, even though I slightly burned the burgers. The flavor is great, perfect amount of salt…I’ll definitely make them again. I used gluten free breadcrumbs (Aleia’s Italian Seasoned) and they worked very well. Once again, thank you!

    • — Diane L. on June 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • “I’m obsessed with these turkey burgers” said the girl who doesn’t like turkey burgers!

  • Absolutely outstanding!

  • Unlike most of the recipes on here this one was just blah. I followed the directions exactly and the burgers held up quite well. They looked great too. But they were very bland and cheese in the meat just made the whole thing too cheesy for my taste. It was like I was having a burger that was loaded with cream cheese.

    I won’t be making this again.

    • — Amandeep Anand
    • Reply
  • I wasn’t able to get the desired browned texture on the outside, either, and they crumbled all over the place. Since they were crumbling so much I was wondering if I had forgotten to add eggs. I had to fry them in my cast iron for 15 minutes or so on each side to get them browned and turn up the coil past oil-burning temps before baking them in the oven. I had to substitute ricotta with cottage cheese, as well. The flavor was good but they turned into more like a meatloaf than a burger. Still tasted good on a bun but with a very mushy texture.

  • Follow the recipe to the T made a disaster of my cast-iron skillet and still did not get the desired browned exterior. Only follow this recipe because it was raining outside and could not grill my turkey burgers which always come out supreme.

  • Can you use just a regular skillet and transfer the burgers to an oven safe pan?

    • Sure – enjoy!

  • A family favorite. Juicy and flavorful!

  • My new go-to turkey burger! So easy and fast to make. I doubled it and cooked in 2 batches. Still good and juicy reheated the next day, in fact I thought they tasted better! Thank you!

  • These burgers are the best! I ate 2!!!

  • Best turkey burger ever!

  • Jen, I love your recipes but I don’t mix milk with meat. Is there a substitute I can use for the ricotta cheese?
    Thanks, Bonnie

    • So glad you like the recipes, Bonnie! Unfortunately, there’s not a good substitute for the ricotta here. You could try these turkey burgers instead. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

  • Simply the 💣! No condiments necessary with these little buddies. I have made so many of Jen’s recipes, and this is our absolute go to weeknight recipe -healthy(ish)too! My current top 5 –
    1. Classic Lasagna (hands down the best “lasagna” I have ever made).
    2. Chicken Tikka Masala – so good and relatively easy to make.
    3. Enchiladas (Sam Sifton’s) – mi amor.
    4. Grown up Peanut Butter Cups (believe it’s called a tart)
    5(tie). Roasted Salmon Quinoa Bowls – the Green Goddess dressing deserves its name & Skillet Turkey Burgers

  • Delicious and easy! Our toddler loved them, as well! Will definitely make again.

  • Wonderful and easy to make. My husband loved it, though he said he wouldn’t call it a turkey burger.

  • When I told my husband we were having turkey burgers for dinner, his response was less than enthusiastic. I was too lazy to go to the store to buy the ricotta and the Italian bread crumbs. I used what I had – feta and panko to which I added 1 tsp Italian seasoning. I also forgot to turn the oven on, so I simply pan fried them. After dinner, my husband enthusiastically said, “Wow, I would have these again for dinner.” The highest compliment possible from him. They were amazing. Thank you, Jenn.

  • These burgers were super tasty! I had a problem with them falling apart in the pan, not sure what happened there, but I’ve never been super great at shaping burgers.

    • Hi Morgan, glad you liked them but sorry to hear they fell apart. I suspect that you probably just need to apply more pressure as you’re making the patties to make the burgers a little bit more compact. Hope that helps!

  • Has this been tried in an air fryer? Any idea what the settings would be?

    • Hi Shannon, I don’t have any experience with an air fryer, so I can’t weigh in – sorry!

  • Do these have to be cooked in a skillet or can they be put on the grill?

    • Hi Kelly, If you want to cook these on the grill, I’d put them in a skillet so they don’t fall apart. If you want a turkey burger that can go on the grill grates, I’d suggest this recipe. Hope that helps!

  • These burgers are so moist and delicious, you’ll think you’re eating beef. We make a big bunch, freeze some and pull them out individually as needed for a quick meal. Taste great reheated as well.

  • Fantastic as always! These were so quick to put together and a hit with the whole family – including 4 kids under 8. Obviously it’s a little harder to work with the turkey texture over beef but I couldn’t believe how flavorful and moist these were with so little effort. Jenn does it again! So grateful for how your recipes bless our family and make homemade dinners doable – even in my exhausted state of pregnant with my 5th haha. I love the grilled turkey burgers, but I have a harder time sourcing the turkey sausage so these were such a nice option without having to go to a second store. So grateful for you Jenn!

    • — Lynnessa R Struble
    • Reply
    • Wow – you have your hands full!! Glad everyone enjoyed the burgers. 🙂

  • These burgers are fantastic! So quick to put together and delicious! Perfect for a week night meal. I’m so thrilled that you have a new cookbook coming out! I’ve already preordered mine. Can’t wait to get it! Love all your recipes.

  • Hi Jenn, and many thanks. Tried this skillet burger recipe and boy, was it a hit with my husband! After 50 plus years of marriage we needed a change in burgers from the onion soup recipe that is full of sodium. He is a bit suspicious of new recipes but always loves what I cook. Followed the recipe and found the burgers to be juicy and flavorful. I have been cooking forever it seems, but did not know about putting an indentation in burgers to keep them from puffing up. Wow! Old dog and new trick. We really love all your recipes, thanks for being here.

    Candyce Conley
    Dayton, WA

    • — Candyce Conley
    • Reply
  • Your recipe is similar to my favorite from Pam Anderson, but hers uses goat cheese, no breadcrumbs. I checked back on hers and it now uses ricotta like yours, no breadcrumbs. Any idea why ricotta wins out over goat cheese? I imagine it is easier to mix in. Breadcrumbs to give it body? I make and freeze these all the time, as they are my go-to emergency meal (like today).

    • Hi, I’m not sure why ricotta would win out over goat cheese as I’ve never tried these with it (but it sounds yummy)! And I like think the bread crumbs just help a bit with the texture.

      • Well, I did it. Followed your recipe exactly BUT only had 1 pound of turkey since that’s what normal grocery stores provide, used panko, so added 1/4 tsp thyme. Wow! Turned out delicious and moist and TENDER. You’ve made me a believer in breadcrumbs! And the ricotta was much easier to blend in.

        • — Susan L Wright
        • Reply
  • I just made this turkey burgers tonight. I must say they have been the juiciest turkey burgers I have ever made. I will add sauteed onions and garlic next time. The creamy mayo & mustard sauce is a must. Thank you for this and all your recipes.

  • Made as indicated. Texture was pleasantly moist. Flavor was ok but could have benefited from adding garlic or shallot as some readers did. Made the Mayo and Mustard sauce and that enhanced the flavor.

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