These moist and delicious grilled Spicy Southwestern Turkey Burgers are packed with flavor and are a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers.
I have to admit, I've always thought turkey burgers were rather gross. I have never come across one that could compete with the flavor or texture of a moist and juicy beef hamburger. All of my previous expectations where shattered as soon as I took a bite into this spicy turkey burger. The first word that came out of my food stuffed mouth was "wow". It was that freaking good.
I always have a story of how my recipes came to be, so allow me to tell you my tale. I'm trying to eat healthier these days so I bought some ground turkey at the store. The problem is, not of us really like ground turkey. Turkey lunch meat? Great. A wonderful roasted Thanksgiving turkey smothered in gravy or leftover turkey soup? You bet. But for some reason, ground turkey kind of freaks me out. I don't like the way the raw meat feels and I usually feel like the final product is sort of dry and flavorless. That was so not true for these burgers.
I was originally going to make my turkey croquettes which are like these little Thanksgiving tasting patties. Its sort of the only recipe I ever buy ground turkey for. But my food loving husband is actually not too find of the wonderful flavors of Thanksgiving and pretty much said "eww" when I told him what was for dinner. Discouraged, I tried to think of other uses for my ground turkey. I had some leftover roasted hatch green chile in my frig along with some chipotles in adobo sauce that needed to be used up, so I sent him a text that asked "spicy turkey burgers?" and he lovingly replied with "duh" which in my husband's terms really means "why yes, dear, I would be ever so grateful if you prepared a tasty and healthy dinner for our family to enjoy".
I discovered a few secrets while cooking these turkey burgers. First - you must add fat to make them moist, so I threw in some mayonnaise with the raw meat. If that means that I can no longer call them healthy, than so be it. They needed it. And boy did that mayo make them absolutely delicious. Second, the onion really added some much needed moisture, in addition to the added flavor. Who doesn't like a little onion with their burger? Next, the spicy green chile and chipotle. Wow - what a combo. Delicious. Finally, I lathered some homemade green chile aioli onto the bun as well as a piece of melty extra sharp white cheddar - perfection!
Full Recipe Instructions
Spicy Turkey Burgers
- 1 pound ground turkey breast
- ¼ cup about 4 ounces roasted green chile, minced
- 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce (minced)
- 1 very small onion (finely minced)
- ¼ cup panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Combine all ingredients in bowl. I use my hands to ensure everything is fully mixed. Form into four equal sized patties.
- Preheat your grill to 300 degrees F. Spray grill grates with olive oil to prevent sticking. Grill turkey patties for a duration of about 30 minutes, turning only once half way through the cooking process. Ground turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.
- I like to top with a thick slice of sharp cheddar about 5 minutes before I'm done grilling.
- Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, including some green chile aioli.
I made these tonight and they were ridiculously delicious, however, mine ended up being loose meat sandwiches. I sprayed the grill. Cooked them at 300°-350°. Completely fell apart when I tried to flip. I cringe thinking about taking apart the grill to clean up. 🤦🏻♀️Anywho, so delicious and flavorful…I think I’d have to cook them in a pan next time 🤷🏻♀️
Mary K Ceverha
I make these ALL the time!!! I use ground chicken that I ground up and use barely any mayo in it. Then, pile on mayo mixed with dijon, adobo and some of the chopped poblanos! YUM!!!!
can you freeze these for make ahead meals?
I definitely think you can prep the patties and freeze.
These were amazing! It made me so happy that my husband thought they were delicious, too. I didn’t have the chipotle in adobo sauce so used a tablespoon of hot sauce which added some nice heat. Also added a bit of salt based on another comment. Topped with a spiced mayo. Can’t wait to make these again!
OMG! I made these tonight and they are fabulous! The chipotle in adobo is the best! And the mayo....juicy indeed! Great taste and just spicy enough....my new go to turkey burger recipe! Thanks for posting!!
Thank you for the kind comment, Cheryl!
I am making these again today! We have made these regularly when turkey has gone on sale over the past year and we love them so much! Moist and full of flavour. Thanks so much for sharing!
Sounds delicious! I plan on making these for our trip to the lake this week.
Something I've done with my turkey burgers to keep them moist but healthy is to puree a can of mushrooms and add them to the burgers. Seems to keep them moist without the added fat. And freezing them for a bit (or completely) before grilling actually helps them stay together on the grill.
I love turkey burgers and these were amazing. I wish I had added salt which would have rounded out all the wonderful flavors! I loved the moisture from the mayo and the bread crumbs helped hold the patties together. I loved the spinach instead of lettuce, wonderful recipe, will make again!
Thanks for the comment. Yeah... this is a tough one because you can't add salt to the raw meat and take a little taste to see if its enough (unlike cookie dough which I have no problem eating raw). I usually tend to stay on the conservative side with salt because you can always add more but you can't take it out if you add too much, right? Krissy