Last updated on May 12th, 2020.
Juicy, moist Turkey Burgers topped with delicious Guacamole – the flavor combination is out of this world! I use a secret ingredient to make sure the turkey burgers turn out juicy, tender, and flavorful. You’re never going to look down on turkey burgers again.
These gluten free turkey burgers are made WITHOUT any breadcrumbs!
When I told my husband I was making turkey burgers with guacamole, he made a face and said “Turkey? With guacamole? Does that even go together?”
OH DON’T YOU DOUBT ME.
Of course they go together! Just look at that nice layer of guacamole sitting high on a nicely browned juicy turkey burger patty. If you ever doubted turkey burgers, this recipe will change your mind.
The salty, creamy, lime-y guacamole goes so well with juicy turkey burger patties. You’re going to be craving these burgers over and over again after you try them once.
The trick to making really REALLY good turkey burgers
Turkey burgers are trickier to cook than beef burgers because ground turkey releases this yucky grey juice while it cooks. The extra liquid in the pan prevents the turkey burgers from browning nicely, plus it just makes the whole thing look unappetizing.
My secret ingredient for making delicious turkey burgers is adding quick-cooking oats or instant oats to the ground turkey. The oats help absorb the extra turkey juices and gives the turkey burger a really nice texture.
I prefer adding oats to turkey burgers vs adding breadcrumbs to turkey burgers. I can’t quite explain why, but every time I use oats the burgers turn out absolutely fantastic. When I use breadcrumbs, they’re good, but not as good.
Besides, oats are healthier than breadcrumbs. You can use gluten-free oats to make these gluten-free turkey burgers, since there is no breadcrumbs in here!
The other secret ingredient for making turkey burgers that don’t suck is to add lots of onion. I finely dice an onion and then saute the onion (and some fresh garlic) for a few minutes. This softens the onion, makes it sweet and takes away some of that strong onion flavor. The sauteed onion gets mixed into the ground turkey meat and adds lots of moisture, flavor, and juiciness.
You can skip the step to sauteing the onion and add onion powder (and garlic powder), but I really really don’t recommend skipping this step. The fresh onion really gives the turkey burgers lots of flavor.
How much oats to add
You might have to experiment with how much oats to add – it all depends a little on how lean your ground turkey is.
Typically, 1/2 cup instant or quick cooking oats is just right for 1 pound of ground turkey. If you have learn ground turkey breast, you might want to cut that down to 1/3 cups oats, so your burgers don’t turn out too dry and tough.
How to cook juicy turkey burgers
My other trick for fool-proof juicy turkey burgers is to brown them in a pan and then finish cooking them in the oven. Even though it feels like an extra step, it’s actually much easier to cook them this way – you don’t have to worry about them burning or getting too dark on the outside before they are fully cooked inside – you don’t have to keep adjusting the heat.
Just brown in a skillet, pop them in the oven, and set a timer.
To help reduce cleanup for this recipe and save on dishes, use an oven-save skillet or a cast-iron pan to brown the burgers, or line your baking dish with foil or parchment paper.
I swear by this method for cooking burgers – I use the same technique for my venison burgers and they always come out juicy and awesome too, even though it is a lean meat.
Of course, you can also grill these burgers like you would grill any burgers.
What temperature to cook turkey burgers
Of course, you’ll want to check the temperature of the burgers to make sure they’re done. Just like chicken, you want to cook turkey to an internal temperature of 165°F. I use this thermometer and I love it. It has a timer and a temperature alert, which is super helpful for lots of different recipes.
Guacamole on turkey burgers
As good as the turkey burgers are on their own, the guacamole on top is what really takes this burger recipe to the next level.
Here’s a little tip for making guacamole specifically for toppings burgers: Add a tiny bit more salt and lime juice than you would typically for guacamole. Just a bit. Don’t overdo it. The little bit of extra salt and lime juice helps the guacamole really hold its own next to the bun and the burger patty itself.
Mash up all the guacamole ingredients in a bowl, squeeze extra lime juice over it to keep it fresh until it’s ready to serve, and slather a nice thick layer of guacamole on these turkey burgers.
Other burger toppings
Other burger toppings and add-ons that go GREAT on these turkey burgers are:
- Thinly sliced red onion
- Sliced tomato
- Pickled jalapeno slices (place them on top or chop them right into the ground turkey mixture before cooking!)
I hope I’ve convinced you to make these burgers!! If you do make them, please take a picture and tag me on Instagram or Facebook. You can find me at @babaganoshblog on both. I love seeing your creations!
Other recipes you might love:
- Venison burgers
- Moroccan meatballs with polenta
- Chickpea sweet potato burgers with feta – a great vegetarian option for barbecues!
- Orzo coleslaw salad – an awesome pasta salad / coleslaw combination for barbecues
- Beet and blue cheese salad – a great side dish salad
- Shrimp and veggie skewers with chimichurri sauce
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Juicy Turkey Burgers with Guacamole
For the turkey burgers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped (see notes)
- 1 garlic clove minced (see notes)
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup instant oats or quick / 1-minute oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Burger ingredients: buns, cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, ketchup, etc.
For the guacamole
- 1 Hass avocado
- 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves chopped
- 1 tsp onion finely minced
- 1 very small garlic clove minced
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (optional, use only if your avocado is not very ripe)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or adjust to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1/4 small jalapeno (optional, or use a pinch of cayenne pepper)
- Preheat oven to 350F. (See notes)
- Saute the chopped onion and minced garlic in about 1/2 tablespoon oil for a few minutes until the onion starts softening and browning. Or skip this step and use a teaspoon of onion powder and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder instead (I do not recommend skipping, see notes).
- Combine all the ingredients for the turkey burgers (ground turkey, egg, oats, sauteed onion or onion powder, salt, pepper) into a bowl and mix well with a fork. Try not to mash the turkey, but to mix it instead. Using wet hands, form 4 - 6 burger patties. Wetting your hands between each burger will prevent the turkey from sticking to your hands.
- Heat up some the olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) in your oven-safe pan, and carefully place the burgers in the the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat, or until each side is nicely browned. The inside will still be raw at this point, that's OK.
- Transfer the browned burgers into the oven, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the inside of the burgers is fully cooked at 165F. Optional: top the burgers with cheese and put back in the oven for another minute, or until the cheese melts.
- While the burgers are in the oven, prepare the guacamole: Mash the avocado in a bowl. Add the rest of the guacamole ingredients, and mix well.
- Assemble your burger! Don't forget to toast the bun 🙂
- If you don't want to take the extra step of browning the diced onion and garlic, you can either use raw onion and garlic, or a teaspoon of onion powder and half a teaspoon of garlic powder instead. I find that the sauteed onion adds lots of juiciness and flavor to the whole burger!
- SAVE A BIT OF THE DICED ONION FROM THE BURGER and use it for the guacamole, so you don't have to chop onions twice, and mince 3 garlic cloves so you have 1 ready for the guacamole
- You can saute the onion and garlic in the same skillet, just wipe it clean with a paper towel before cooking the turkey burgers so the onion residue doesn't get too browned
- Brown your turkey burgers in a cast-iron pan or another oven-save skillet, so you can transfer it directly to the oven. If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, or if your burgers don't fit in one pan, you can line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and bake the burgers on that to reduce extra dishes