Juicy turkey burger piled with caramelized onions, melted brie cheese, tangy sun-dried tomato mayo, crisp bacon, and peppery arugula make for the BEST turkey burger I've ever had. Sandwich it all between a pretzel bun, and prepare for the best turkey burger of your life.
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- Make a double batch of caramelized onions and save some for later. You can even freeze the extras.
- Cook bacon in the oven for an easier clean up.
- Turkey burger patties will be very loose before cooking, use 2 spatulas to make flipping them easier.
- Use 85%15% ground turkey for a juicier burger.
- Ground turkey - use an 85%/15% mix of ground turkey - that means 85% lean and 15% fat. Since turkey is naturally more lean than ground beef, you will need this higher fat content ratio for a better tasting juicy burger.
- Onions - I like to use sweet or yellow onions when making caramelized onions.
- Butter - I always recommend using a European butter for the best flavor. Kerry Gold is my favorite. All of the recipes on Feeding Our Faces are made with unsalted butter unless otherwise stated.
- Bacon - Thick cut bacon is the best. Makes for a meatier bite.
- Buns - The turkey patties for this recipe are large and thick. And when you add all the toppings, this burger will be substantial. You need a big bun to hold up to it. The Pretzilla Burger Buns are my favorite for this burger.
- Brie - Ohh melty nutty creamy Brie cheese, you are divine. You can find it in small wheels, and slice strips off for the burgers. You can eat the rind, or choose to cut it off. Once melted, the rind has a better texture and becomes unnoticeable in the burger.
What's the best way to cook bacon?
Bacon is truly one of the culinary world's best treasures. It's so salty, crispy, and dripping with umami. It can also be a mess to cook. The best way to cook bacon is to bake it in the oven! Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cover a large baking sheet with foil. Lay out the cold bacon in a row. It's ok if they touch, they will shrink some as they cook. Bake the bacon for 15-20 minutes, until the desired crispiness level is reached. I prefer extra crispy bacon, bordering on burnt.
When the bacon is finished, lay out on paper towels or tea towels to absorb the drippings and set aside until you are ready to use it. Set the foil covered baking sheet aside until it cools and the fats solidify. Then you can easily remove the foil and toss for a super easy cleanup.
Since you're already cooking that bacon, make a double batch for these Sous Vide Bacon and Gruyere Egg Bites.
How to caramelize onions?
Check out my full post on how to caramelize onions.
While the bacon is cooking, time to caramelize the onions. I am working on an in depth step by step tutorial for making caramelized onions for you. But until that is done, I'll quickly break it down here.
Add the onions to a large pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt on medium low heat. The pan will seem overcrowded and that is ok, they will cook down to about ¼ of this amount. Cook the onions for about 30-45 minutes, stirring every few minutes and scraping up the fond as you go. Fond is any bits that start sticking to the pan. If they start to char or brown too quickly, turn the heat down. The key is to slowly allow them to caramelize without charring or burning them.
The secret to caramelizing onions is patience. The other secret is allowing the onions to stick to the pan long enough to let them caramelize, but not so long that they will burn. This is why frequent stirring is key, but not constant stirring.
If you feel the onions aren't browning enough, add a tablespoon of water to the pan to deglaze as you scrape the bottom of the pan. This redistributes the caramelized sugars stuck to the pan back to the onions.
Towards the end of the process, when the onions are uniformly turning light brown in color, turn up the heat to medium and add the sugar and remaining butter. Now you will need to keep a close eye on them, stirring more frequently, so they don't burn. When the onions are a deep rich dark brown and jammy in texture, they are done. Set the onions aside until you are ready to assemble the burgers.
How to make sun-dried tomato mayo?
This is the easiest step of this recipe. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes of excess oil. Put the tomatoes in a paper or tea towel and squeeze out any remaining oil. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, mayonnaise, garlic, salt, and pepper to the food processor. Pulse until mayo is mostly smooth, but has a few small bits of sun-dried tomatoes remaining. Don't overmix which may cause the mayonasse to heat up and potentially break.
Transfer the mayo to a container and keep in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
How to make turkey burgers?
Now onto these thick juicy turkey burgers. Turkey burgers get a bad rap for being dry, flavorless, and kind of boring. But I am here to change that! Get ready for the best turkey burger of your life.
The key to making turkey burgers moist and juicy is using a higher fat content ground turkey, like an 85/15 mixture. I also don't use bread crumbs in this recipe so the burgers can stay juicier.
Before mixing the patties, preheat the oven to 350°F. As always when mixing any kind of ground meat mixture, like turkey burgers or meatballs, mix all the other ingredients FIRST, then gently fold in the ground meat. This helps to prevent over mixing. So mix together the grated onion, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, lightly beaten egg, and salt first to combine. Then add in the ground turkey and lightly mix.
NOTE: the turkey burger mixture will be very loose and wet. Separate the mixture into 3 even portions and loosely shape into patties. If you do this on squares of parchment, it will make transfer to the pan easier.
Preheat your skillet on medium heat until fully heated. This step is important! You don't want to add the meat to a cold pan. Add a little bit of olive oil, and add the turkey burger to the pan. These will be big thick burger patties. Use your finger to indent the middle of the burger. This will help the middle to cook evenly.
Sear both sides of the patties for about 3-4 minutes, until the outside has started to brown. GENTLY flip the burgers over. Since these are softer patties, flipping might be a challenge. To make this easier, I use two spatulas to flip them over.
Finish cooking the patties in the oven for 10-15 minutes until fully cooked throughout and the center reaches 165°F.
While the burgers are in the oven. slice the brie cheese. You can remove the rind if you want, but I find once melted its not noticeable in the burger. Slice the brie into strips.
When the burgers are finished, turn on the broiler. Lay a few strips of cheese across the burgers, and put under the broiler for about a minute, until the brie is melted and oozing. Keep an eye on the burgers the whole time they are under the broiler to watch they don't burn.
Spread caramelized onions on the top bun, and sun-dried tomato mayo on the bottom bun. Add the burger with melted brie. Top with bacon and arugula.
Serve with fries or potato wedges. I like to eat these with sweet potato fries.
To keep turkey burgers moist, you will want to use an egg in the mixture. I also omit breadcrumbs from this recipe since they can soak up too many juices. This is why these patties will be loose and wet before you cook them.
Adding an egg will help keep the burgers moist. Also using a ground turkey with a higher fat content will make the burgers more moist. I use 85/15 ground turkey.
Talk about related recipes
Turkey Burger with Caramelized Onions, Melted Brie, Sun-dried Tomato Mayo, Bacon, and Arugula
- 6 slices bacon
- 3 Buns pretzel buns are my favorite for this burger
- 1 pound ground turkey 85/15%
- ½ onion grated and drained
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 heaping teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 medium onions sliced into rings (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons butter divided
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
Sun-dried tomato mayo:
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes drained and squeezed of oil
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic smashed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Brie cheese small wheel
- BACON: Preheat oven to 400°F. Cook bacon for 15-20 minutes, until desired crispiness. When bacon is done, turn oven down to 350°F.
- ONIONS: While the bacon is cooking, start on the onions. Add onions to a pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt. Heat on medium low heat, and cook for about 30-45 minutes. Stirring every few minutes, and scraping up any fond that forms on the pan.* If they start to brown too quickly, turn the heat down. You want to slowly caramelize them, not char them. Towards the end of the caramelizing process (about 30 minutes), turn up the heat to medium and add in the rest of the butter and sugar. Cook and stir until the onions are a rich dark brown and jammy. Set aside.
- SUN DRIED TOMATO MAYO: Squeeze excess oil from tomatoes. Add ingredients into a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth, but small bits of sun dried tomatoes remain.** Transfer to the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
- TURKEY BURGER: Mix together all ingredients for the burgers except the ground turkey. Then fold in the ground turkey. Don’t over-mix. Loosely form 3 patties. Patties will be loose and wet***. Preheat a pan on medium heat. Add a little bit of olive oil, and sear the burgers on each side, developing a browned crust. Finish off the burgers in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until cooked fully throughout, and center reaches 165°F
- ASSEMBLE: When the burgers are finished, turn the broiler on the oven. Lay some sliced brie on top of the burgers and put under broiler for about a minute, watching closely, until cheese is melted. Spread the mayo on one bun and caramelized onions on the other. Add the burger and top with bacon and arugula.