Fire up the BBQ and get out of the hot kitchen! We’re sharing with you the best burger recipe you’ve ever tasted– Our Hawaiian Turkey Burger Recipe. We’re also sharing our secrets for making the juiciest turkey burger you’ve ever eaten. Juicy, flavorful and healthy you’ll feel good about feeding this easy meal to your family!
Caramelized pineapple, ooey gooey mozzarella cheese, crunchy shredded lettuce, sweet dribbles of teriyaki sauce and the juiciest most tender burger patty you ever tasted– My mouth is starting to water as I gear up to share with you the most delicious burger recipe I’ve ever tasted in my ENTIRE life–My Hawaiian Turkey Burger Recipe!
When I was a kid my family had a tradition that my dad BBQ’d hamburgers every Sunday night. 52 weeks out of the year, rain or shine, through snow and sleet, he was out at the BBQ, grilling up some burgers. The burgers my dad made were always made with ground beef, and cooked to perfection. They were never dry and always packed with flavor. Flavorful and juicy burgers were what I came to expect. I’m telling you this because I know what a good burger tastes like, in fact, some people might call me a burger connoisseur (ok I’m probably the only one calling myself that… but it’s true!)
In my early twenties I went to a restaurant and had my very first turkey burger experience. It was not good. The patty was dry, tasteless and it turned me off turkey burger for a long time. It wasn’t until I hit my 30’s and became a bit more health conscious that I decided to try making turkey burgers at home. Through a bit of trial and error I learned how to make the perfect turkey burger, and I’m going to share those tips with you today.
Before I created this burger, if you had asked me what my favorite burger in the whole entire world was, I would have told you “The Bonzai Burger from Red Robin”. Every single July I go to Red Robin and order myself a Birthday Bonzai Burger. I always leave the restaurant feeling overfull (hello bottomless fries) and like I’m waddling my way to the car afterwards. I’ll be honest, I usually find myself thinking “I wonder how long I’ll have to exercise to burn that birthday meal off?” Don’t get me wrong, it’s delicious– but it might not be the healthiest choice.
It was with the Red Robin Bonzai Burger in mind, and wanting a guilt free version that I set off to develop my own version using Canadian Turkey. It wasn’t an easy challenge, the Bonzai burger is so good that I dream about it at night, but I was confident that I could achieve a close second place favorite burger. What I didn’t expect was that I would create something so delicious that I would prefer it to my special birthday burger! But that’s just what happened! I created a burger that not only has delicious toppings, but that has a patty that is so infused with flavor that when you bite into it, it’s like a flavor explosion in your mouth!
Once you try this burger once, I know you’ll continue making it over and over again and not just because turkey is low in fat and high in protein making it a healthier option, but because it’s the most delicious burger that you’ve ever tasted!
Why Use Turkey When Grilling This Summer?
-Both the white and dark meat are healthy, lean sources of protein that is plump and juicy.
-Turkey is a great way to switch up some of your favorite grilling recipes. Swap in turkey, instead of other protein sources in your favorite grilling recipes for a whole new flavor experience!
-With turkey’s mild flavor it picks up the flavors of marinades, rubs, sauces or whatever you choose to mix it with really well!
-There are tons of cuts to choose from! Have you checked out the turkey section at your grocery store lately? I’m always surprised by the variety of cuts– ground meat, legs, drumsticks, thighs, breast roasts, breast steaks, breast rolls, drummettes, wings, sausages, and burgers. With such a wide selection, you can turn any meal into a backyard feast, with leftovers that taste delicious the next day.
10 Tips for Grilling The Perfect Turkey Burger:
- Perfect Patties- Start with a tennis ball size scoop of meat, roll gently between two hands and flatten to a 1-inch height. When forming your patties, make an indent with your thumb or the back of a spoon in the middle of your burger to avoid creating a domed shape while they’re cooking.
- Gentle Touch- Use a light touch when mixing your ingredients and making your patties. Overworking the meat will lead to a tough burger.
- Clean and Oil Your Grill- Make sure you oil your grill to ensure your burgers don’t stick and are easy to turn. Clean your BBQ so it’s free of any debris before you grill. This will ensure your burgers don’t stick and release smoothly when they’re ready. We cook these burgers in cast iron pans on top of our grill to ensure the burgers stay together and don’t fall through the grill since there are so many delicious “add ins” in the burger. If you don’t have cast iron you could also cook on top of a piece of foil.
- Chill It- Chill your burger mixture for 30 – 60 minutes before grilling to let burgers set up and prevent them from falling apart on the grill. This will also allow your seasonings to mingle and really absorb into the meat. Ground turkey loves spices, sauces and big, bold flavours.
- Don’t Scorch- Don’t shock your meat by cooking directly on a scorching hot grill. This will toughen up meat fibres. Make sure you pre-heat your grill and cook your patties over medium heat for tender, juicy burgers.
- Leave it- Only turn your burgers once! Let your burgers cook halfway through, 4 – 6 minutes, before turning and continuing to cook on the other side. Resist the urge to flatten your patties with a spatula. This will squeeze out all the precious juices from your meat that keep your burger moist.
- Cook it- Use safe grilling practices and always use a thermometer to check meat to make sure it is cooked thoroughly. Burgers should reach a temperature of 165°F before you remove from the heat.
- Brush up- If you’re applying a glaze or cheese to your burger, do it in the last 3 – 4 minutes to avoid any burning or charring.
- Take a Break- Let your burgers rest for 10 minutes once taken off the grill. This will allow the juices to re-absorb and let the flavours shine.
- Don’t Forget Your Buns- Toast your buns while your burgers are resting. A little crust will ensure your bread doesn’t fall apart when you start loading up on toppings.
Ready to learn how to make my Hawaiian Turkey Burger Recipe? Read on!
Hawaiian Turkey Burger Recipe
-1 lb extra lean ground turkey
-2 tablespoons milk
-3 tablespoons of your favorite teriyaki sauce
-1/2 cup panko
-Mozzarella cheese, sliced
We suggest these burger toppings:
-An extra drizzle of teriyaki sauce
-Crispy fried onions (like these)
You’ll also want:
-A bowl for mixing your patty ingredients
-A cast iron pan or other griddle for your bbq
Step 1: In a large bowl mix together ground turkey, egg, milk and teriyaki sauce. Once mixed, gently fold in panko. Be careful to use a light touch and not overmix your ingredients.
Step 2: Form your patties by taking tennis ball sized scoops of meat, rolling gently between your hands and then flattening to a 1-inch height. Set in the fridge for 30-60 minutes for the flavors to marry and the burger patties to firm up a bit.
Step 3: Heat your grill to medium heat. Place a cast iron pan on top of the grill and lightly oil. Close the grill lid to let your cast iron pan heat up. Once the pan is heated, place your burger patties in the pan leaving at least a 1 inch space between each burger. Cook your burger for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and then flip to cook on the other side for an additional 4 minutes. While your burger is cooking, add sliced pineapple to the grill, flipping once the pineapple develops nice caramelized grill marks.
(Note: Don’t have a cast iron pan? No problem! Use a grill pan or lay a piece of foil on your grill.)
Step 4: Add pineapple to the top of your burger and place sliced mozzeralla on top. Remove your burger from the cast iron frying pan and place directly on the grill. Close your BBQ lid for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted and the internal temperature of your burger is 165°F.
Let your burger rest for 10 minutes then place it on a toasted bun and top with mayo, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and an extra drizzle of teriyaki sauce. Want an extra crispy flavor explosion? Add a sprinkling of crispy fried onions on top!
- 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons of your favorite teriyaki sauce
- ½ cup panko
- Pineapple rings
- Mozzarella cheese, sliced
- In a large bowl mix together ground turkey, egg, milk and teriyaki sauce. Once mixed, gently fold in panko. Be careful to use a light touch and not overmix your ingredients.
- Form your patties by taking tennis ball sized scoops of meat, rolling gently between your hands and then flattening to a 1-inch height. Set in the fridge for 30-60 minutes for the flavors to marry and the burger patties to firm up a bit.
- Heat your grill to medium heat. Place a cast iron pan on top of the grill and lightly oil. Close the grill lid to let your cast iron pan heat up. Once the pan is heated, place your burger patties in the pan leaving at least a 1 inch space between each burger. Cook your burger for 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and then flip to cook on the other side for an additional 4 minutes. While your burger is cooking, add sliced pineapple to the grill, flipping once the pineapple develops nice caramelized grill marks.
- Add pineapple to the top of your burger and place sliced mozzeralla on top. Close your grill lid for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted and the internal temperature of your burger is 165°F.
- Let your burger rest for 10 minutes then place it on a toasted bun and top with mayo, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and an extra drizzle of teriyaki sauce. Want an extra crispy flavor explosion? Add a sprinkling of crispy fried onions on top!
Are you looking for additional tips, recipes and HOW TO’s? Visit canadianturkey.ca for all your cooking inspiration. The Get Grilling recipe section is filled with tasty recipes to fire up on the grill. There are year-round WHOLE TURKEY HOW TO’s packed with helpful tips and techniques like brining and spatchcocking, and instructional and recipe videos that make it easy to create a delicious dinner all summer long.
I hope you all have a wonderful summer! Happy grilling!
Disclosure: Thank you to Canadian Turkey for working with us on this post! As with every article on Hello Creative Family all thoughts and opinions are 100% our own, we only share things we love, and we love Canadian Turkey!
Tell me… What’s your favorite thing to cook on the grill? Do you do a lot of BBQing during the summer? What recipe could you reimagine using turkey as the protein source?
Like our Hawaiian Turkey Burger Recipe? We’d love for you to pin it for later!
Make sure you also check out our Caprese Stuffed Turkey Burger Recipe!
Make sure you check out some of our other favorite Canadian Turkey recipes here: