Skillet Turkey Burgers

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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

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).

cooking turkey burgers

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

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 pounds 93% lean ground turkey (I use Shady Brook Farms)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 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 3/4-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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Reviews & Comments

  • Could you please tell me about the white sauce that is pictured on the bun with the turkey burger?

    • — Shannan on April 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • It’s just a combo of mayo and Dijon mustard. Hope you enjoy the burgers if you make them!

      • — Jenn on April 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • These were very delicious!! I had tried turkey burgers before and hated them so had never attempted to make them at home but my young adult son kept asking me to make some so after reading all the great reviews, I thought I would give it a try and so glad I did! Nothing like the horrible one I had before, this one was juicy and so flavorful. I didn’t have Italian breadcrumbs but had panko crumbs and added Italian seasoning to it; otherwise, didn’t change a thing. Served it with avocado, tomatoes, lettuce and a chipotle aioli…Yum!!! This one is a keeper!!!

    • — Nancy A on April 14, 2021
    • Reply
  • After years of sporadic attempts to create flavor filled Turkey burgers, once again I succumbed and decided to give Jenn’s rendition a try, from my trust in her cooking eye. Admittedly though, I did this in a snarly/grumbling manner, wondering why do I keep trying Turkey, when it will never rival Beef. What ended up on our dinner plates last night was the biggest game changer ever. These were astounding burgers! We are a family of 2, who would love to dine on grilled or griddled hamburgers often. But for us, Beef is a luxury food, that is eaten only occasionally. These burgers are TRULY every bit as satisfying as any of the tastiest beef burgers I’ve made, and now I can have “burger nights” at my beck and call. My love affair with carbon steel skillets only grows, and this is what I used for last night’s feast. A sincere thank you Jenn, for what you’ve shared with your readers/fans.

    • — Jeff Winett on April 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you! This is, by far, the best replacement for beef burgers. We are restricted from eating beef and we miss our burger nights. Not any more! It is so umami AND I didn’t use full fat ricotta cheese. I can’t wait to make these again!

    • — Sophia on April 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • OMG !!!!! Made this last night & was blown away. I stopped eating ground beef years ago. I’ve been eating ground turkey & never was satisfied with any burgers I made with it….till now. This is a remarkable game changer. I followed the recipe & only added sautéed shallot & garlic to the mix. I think a food thermometer is a must to not overcook them. I will add the ricotta to my turkey meatballs and meat loaf & see how it tastes. It’s certainly a magic ingredient here. Many, many thanks for this. A BIG fan, Nancy

    • — nancy g visconti on April 12, 2021
    • Reply
  • Excellent. I made the mixture into meatballs. Cheated and used stewed tomatoes for a sauce-lightly crushing the tomatoes and put over zucchini noodles. Hubby and I loved it. I did reduce the pepper by half and used cottage cheese. Thank you.

    • — Barbara Burkham on April 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Loved this recipe! I noticed in the picture that you garnish it with a creamy dressing. Can you share what kind it is? Many thanks~

    • — Raphaela on April 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Raphaela, It’s just equal parts Dijon mustard and mayo. (And glad you like the burgers!)

      • — Jenn on April 12, 2021
      • Reply
  • The skillet turkey burgers amazing
    I love your recipes

    Aidan

    • — Aidan elliott on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hope you enjoy if you make them! 🙂

      • — Jenn on April 9, 2021
      • Reply
  • These are terrific exactly as written. I want to mention that these are turkey burgers so if you want them to taste like a beef burger then add in some A1 steak seasoning. I have a beef allergy but in past years loved a good cheeseburger. Once I found out the cause of my issue tick borne beef allergy I was off all beef products. This recipe with this one added ingredient plus a good slice of cheddar and you will be in faux beef heaven !

    • — Michelle on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m on a low carb diet and was wondering what I could substitute for the bread crumbs and ricotta?

    • — Tim on April 8, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Tim, those ingredients are pretty important here. You may want to give these turkey burgers a try. Hope you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on April 8, 2021
      • Reply
  • Made these tonight. Love them! Very moist and good flavor. We skipped the bun to avoid carb, but addd some cheese the last minute in the oven. Sweet potato fries on the side and dinner was done!

    • — Nicole S on March 27, 2021
    • Reply
  • Delicious and easy! Didn’t have ricotta on hand, so used cottage cheese. Turned out great. Did it my cast iron pan and then in the oven, next time will try it on the grill with cast iron. Stove top burgers make a splattery mess for me! Served with all the typical burger toppings and oven roasted fries. Definitely will be on repeat.

    • — Elizabeth on March 23, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made these last night. I minced a shallot and large clove of garlic, sauteed in a little olive oil and added to the turkey burger mixture. Other than that, followed the recipe to a T, toasted sesame seed buns, and melted provolone over the burgers. Just had mayo as a condiment. These are by far, the most delicious and juicy turkey burgers we have ever made. My husband and I just love every one of your recipes Jenn. So glad I found you. Are you going to have another cookbook at some point?!

    • — A perfect turkey burger! on March 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed these! Yes, I do have a second cookbook coming out on September 14 – thanks for inquiring, and stay tuned! 🙂

      • — Jenn on March 19, 2021
      • Reply
      • YAY! I was going to ask when your next book was going to be released! Every recipe has been a success- every recipe provides the full flavor profile and technique that makes adaptation easy. Always delicious, easy, and a “home chef’s” best friend – so thank you!

        • — Ginger Redlinger on March 21, 2021
        • Reply
        • 💗

          • — Jenn on March 22, 2021
          • Reply
  • I generally start these on the stove in a cast-iron skillet and then put them in the oven, as suggested. If I want to throw these on the grill, would u suggest cooking them on the stove first in a cast-iron skillet and then finishing them (in the skillet) on the grill, rather than the oven? Or should I put them on the grill from start to finish? I know you have a grilled turkey burger, but I am not crazy about sausage. And I really like this recipe. Thanks!!

    • — Melissa on March 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • You could go either way here, but if you do put these on the grill, I’d keep them in the skillet (as you mentioned) so they don’t fall apart.

      • — Jenn on March 5, 2021
      • Reply
  • What is the reason for frying and then baking to finish these off? I have fried alone and they turn out just fine.

    • — Laurie on February 23, 2021
    • Reply
    • I also wonder if part skim ricotta is an acceptable substitute for full fat, knowing it may not be quite as rich in flavor.

      • — Laurie on February 23, 2021
      • Reply
      • Sure, as you suspected, they won’t be quite as tender/rich, but it will work. 🙂

        • — Jenn on February 24, 2021
        • Reply
    • Hi Laurie, the combination of both the stove and the oven is so the burgers get cooked all the way through without getting too browned on the outside.

      • — Jenn on February 24, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi
    Can I use ground chicken breast instead of turkey? Love your recipes!

    • — Hillary on February 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Hillary, You can use chicken but I wouldn’t use extra lean as it will make the burgers dry. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • Just made these today and they were so easy and tasty. I’m not a huge fan of ground turkey but trust your recipes and I was not disappointed. Thank you!

    • — Carrie Funk on September 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Chef Jenn,
    You mention that one can add the sautéed onions, scallions or shallots, would all the mentioned be ‘sauteed’ in oil before adding it to the raw ground turkey?
    I’d like to try this as I wanted to be sure to do away with the ‘gamey’ turkey aroma in these burgers.
    appreciate the input…

    • — JooJoo on September 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi JooJoo, I’d saute onions or shallots, but it’s not necessary if you use scallions. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 4, 2020
      • Reply
      • – What would be portions of onions vs. shallots appropriate for 1lbs of ground turkey?
        -How long would one sauté the onions or shallots ?
        Thank you in advance for your input.

        • — JooJoo on September 5, 2020
        • Reply
        • Hi JooJoo, I’d suggest about 3 tablespoons of finely chopped shallots or onions and would saute them for about 5 minutes or until tender. Just make sure not to brown them.

          • — Jenn on September 7, 2020
          • Reply
  • These are delicious! We have made them several times. Thank you for a yummy and easy recipe.

    • — CHERYL on August 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • TOTAL PLEASER! Very moist and flavorful my family loved them!

    • — DC on August 1, 2020
    • Reply
  • Awesome turkey burgers! Juicy and tasty … thank you for posting such a great recipe 🙂

    • — JooJoo on July 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • First time turkey burgers were a hit!!! While you shouldn’t expect them to taste like a “beef” burger, these burgers are super moist and have good flavor!! I omitted the cheese because of a milk allergy in the house, and they still came out great!!! Followed the cooking times to a tee and they were cooked through.

    • — Zoe Smith on May 25, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hey. I just made these tonight as I had some leftover ricotta but no Worchesterire sauce and only a small ovenproof pan. Making do in a rental kitchen and these were delicious. The times given are exactly right. These are tasty and filling. Will make again especially when no BBQ. I use so many of your recipes that I often forget to add a review. Everything I make from the site (and the amazing cookbook) turns out perfectly. Much appreciated.

    • — Judi on November 11, 2019
    • Reply
    • 💗

      • — Jenn on November 12, 2019
      • Reply
  • My daughter just shared this recipe with me. My husband is on a special diet right now. The ricotta is not an option for us. I would use one egg for binder and likely cook entirely on stove top. Will my edit work?

    • Hi Terry, yes, I think you could get away with using an egg in place of the ricotta. And it’s fine to cook these entirely on the stove; I’d just make the patties a bit thinner so they get cooked all the way through without getting too browned on the outside. Hope you enjoy!

  • Jenn these burgers are outstanding. Served them with your Big Italian Salad on the side. Your recipes are truly amazing. Every one of them have the perfect ingredients and never have I had to “doctor” them. Each time I try a different recipe I can not believe how wonderful it is. I can’t believe it took 50 years of cooking to come across perfect recipes that are delicious and easy. Thank you. And you truly are amazing!

    • Aww, so happy you’re enjoying the recipes, Carol! ❤️

  • Hoping to make these soon- do you think this would work with lean ground chicken?

    • I think you could, Monica, but make sure you don’t get extra lean as it could make the burgers dry. Hope you enjoy!

  • It’s been a few years since I made these burgers, I remember them being delicious. Do you think they would hold up on a BBQ grill?

    • Hi Kerrie, Unfortunately they won’t – but this recipe will. 🙂

  • This is the favorite turkey burger recipe of our household! I discovered it a few years ago and my husband always says “ooooo!” when I tell him I’m making the ricotta turkey burgers :-). I love serving this with sauteed onions, and often eat it with a salad and some sauteed veggies. Very tasty and EASY! Thanks, Jenn!

  • Just goes to show, Cooks Illustrated recipes aren’t always “the best”! Love the simplicity of your recipe. Thank you!

  • These were incredibly delicious! You are such a creative, talented chef. Every single recipe that I’ve tried from this site (5 so far) has been excellent. Looking forward to receiving your cookbook! Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    • So glad you’re enjoying the recipes; thanks for taking the time to let me know! 🙂

  • My Family LOVES these pan seared turkey burgers.
    I do mix ALL the adds into my Italian bread crumbs and have used 2% milk or whatever milk I have on hand to substitute for the 1/2 c of whole milk ricotta, as I do not have that on hand. Then I mix the “bread crumb mixture into the ground turkey and mix it in well with the best kitchen tools; my clean hands!
    The first time I made these burgers I followed the directions to only get a golden crust on one side of the burger before putting them in the oven, but we found there is a LOT of flavor in the crust so now I cook the burgers on top of the stove in my cast iron pan until both sides have a lovely crust. Put the burgers into a hot oven that has come to temp for 20 mins or more and let them go. It doesn’t take long for them to reach 160 degrees internal temperature.
    We love them on brioche rolls! Very tasty.
    Thank you Jenn.

  • I had some ground turkey I wanted to use up but did not have any ricotta on hand. I did have some cottage cheese which I rinsed off in a sieve, drained well, and mashed a bit finer with a fork. Worked very well in the recipe and the burgers were totally moist and delicious. Yummy!

  • Perfect in every possible way! Thanks a lot, Jenn, by far the best turkey burger I have ever tasted anywhere!

  • The most delicious turkey burgers ever!!! And so easy to do!!

  • Made these for supper tonight – outstanding!! Will definitely make them again
    I have 2 questions – Can they be frozen after cooked? Do you think they can be made with same outcome on barbecue? Thanks!

    • Glad you liked them! I think they could be frozen, but maybe would be better if frozen before cooking. And, yes, you could grill these if you want (or you could try this grilled version).

  • This is the best recipe. My son and husband request this every week !

  • Another huge crowd pleaser! We left out the bun and added a slice of cheddar for a reduced-carb option and it was a huge hit. Again, Jenn created something that my two-year-old absolutely loves! These also freeze and reheat beautifully – definitely a weeknight go-to meal for our family!

  • What could you substitute if you don’t have ricotta cheese?

    • Hi Teri, You could try cottage cheese but I would definitely blend it in a food processor first to get rid of the curds. Hope that helps!

      • For lactose intolerant folks like me what can I use instead of ricotta? (Wish they’re make ricotta lactose free!) thanks!!

        • — Dana Pirulli on April 8, 2021
        • Reply
        • Hi Dana, I would try lactose-free cottage cheese and purée it.

          • — Jenn on April 8, 2021
          • Reply
          • Would you please comment on using panku bread crumbs mixed with a bit of dried oregano, thyme and basil instead of Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Here in Denmark I cannot buy the bread crumbs you used. Thanks. Ken

            • — Ken on April 8, 2021
          • Hi Ken, It’s fine to use panko with dried herbs but you’ll need to crush the panko to a fine texture (bread crumbs are much finer than panko).

            • — Jenn on April 8, 2021
  • For those who don’t like mustard, I subsituted 1 tsp of low sodium soy sauce and it came out well. I didn’t want to add any more because I wanted to make sure the burgers would still bind.

  • These are the best turkey burgers! So easy and so good definitely follow the cooking method makes all the difference!

  • These are the best turkey burgers I have ever had. They needed a little bit more time in the oven than the recipe calls for, but they turned out perfectly with the added cook time

  • When you say milk ricotta cheese do you mean cow’s milk or is this the only ricotta made and suggestions for toppings besides tomatoes and lettuce which I adore by the way. Lettuce I mean.

    • Hi Judy, Yes, I mean cow’s milk ricotta. You can top them with anything — red onions, cheese, avocado, sprouts, whatever you like 🙂

  • Hello! I followed your instructions, but added a little extra time for the burgers in the oven just to try and be safe. I don’t have a meat thermometer and was wondering: is it okay for them to be a bit mushy on the inside?

    • Hi Alexa, If they are fully cooked, they shouldn’t be mushy.

  • I have made these several times too – they have great flavor, are not dry and freeze really well. Another super recipe! Thanks!

  • This is a great recipe. I have also added cubed pepper jack cheese in the ground turkey mixture. Delicious! It makes giving up beef MUCH less painful!

  • My husband loves turkey burgers and the thought these were the best he ever had!

  • I made this terrific recipe tonight for a dinner party and got many rave reviews. I like your adaptations, as well as, I had to make my own changes due to missing certain ingredients. I used Panko and lots of dried Italian Seasoning instead of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Thank you for the reminder to check the internal temperature, which I did and found out I was way under and the burgers needed five more minutes in the oven. Thank you for helping me look smart in the kitchen!

  • Just wanted to let you know that these turkey burgers are AWESOME! I added shallots and fresh herbs like you suggested…great flavor and so moist.

  • We like our burgers a little flatter so I made 6 patties instead of 4. They cooked quickly so I didn’t even have to finish them in the oven. I also melted cheese on top – delicious. Thank you!

  • I loved this burger. Easy and delicious-the ricotta cheese made it so tasty, too!

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