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Air Fryer Turkey Burgers

Make healthy air fryer turkey burgers from scratch in half the time it takes to grill them. And just like homemade air fryer sausage patties, these burgers come out juicy and delicious every time.

Air fryer turkey burger on a plate.

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

The air fryer is one of the best ways to prepare homemade turkey burgers. The process is quick and easy, resulting in juicy, flavorful burgers – something that can be hard to achieve with ground turkey. 

Turkey burgers have gotten a bad rap for being dry and tasteless, but it all depends on how you cook them and what you mix into the ground turkey mixture to form the patties. 

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients for air fryer turkey burgers.
  • Turkey: Select a ground turkey made from dark meat that is 80-90% lean, so you have more fat to flavor the patties and keep them together.
  • Garlic: I recommend using two fresh garlic cloves, but measure with your heart.
  • Spices: Season the turkey burgers with kosher salt, dried parsley and oregano, garlic powder, and onion flakes.
  • Egg: Use eggs to bind the ground turkey mixture together and add moisture to the patties.
  • Mayonnaise: High-quality mayonnaise, like Duke’s or Hellman’s, deeply flavors the burgers; it’s the perfect complement to otherwise bland ground turkey.
  • Liquid Smoke: We may not be grilling the burgers, but no one needs to know that. A few taps of liquid smoke give the burgers a subtle smoky flavor as though they are fresh off the grill. You can also use umami-rich Worcestershire sauce.

Tools Used to Make this Recipe

I cook the burgers in an Instant Pot Vortex Air Fryer for 20 minutes at a lower temperature, about 320°F (160°C), for the best results. It is also a good idea to have a food scale to weigh the patties and a food thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

How to Make Air Fryer Turkey Burgers

The full recipe with measurements is in the recipe card below.

Step 1: Combine the ingredients for the turkey burgers in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

The ingredients for turkey burgers in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Preheat the air fryer to 320°F (160°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a food scale to portion 3-5 ounces of ground turkey.

Ground turkey portioned on a scale.

Step 3: Form the meat into a ball and set it onto the baking sheet; repeat with the remaining turkey. Use another baking sheet to press down the turkey to create patties.

Turkey burgers on a sheet pan.

Step 4: Make an impression in the center of each patty using your thumb.

Turkey burgers on a sheet pan.

Step 5: Cook for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Turkey burgers in the air fryer.

Expert Tips

  • Use your hands or a stand mixer on a low setting to combine the ingredients, but do not over-mix, or it will cause the burgers to become dense and less juicy. 
  • Refrigerate the turkey mixture before forming and cooking the burgers. Chilling the mixture helps bind the ingredients and prevent the patties from falling apart as they cook.
  • A lower cooking temperature and longer cooking time will keep the burgers from shrinking and puffing up. You can also use your thumb to press down in the center of each patty to keep this from happening.
  • Turkey is lean and prone to drying out. For this reason, be sure you don’t overcook the patties. The best way to know when the burgers finish cooking is to use a food thermometer. The safe internal temperature for turkey is 165°F (73°C).

What to Put on a Turkey Burger?

Use ancho aioli, Sriracha mayo, chipotle lime sauce, or BBQ aioli as a creamy sandwich spread to elevate the flavor of the burgers. 

Topping Ideas for Burgers:

Serving Suggestions

While toppings enhance burges, don’t forget about the side dishes. Serve air fryer turkey burgers with sweet potato friesroasted potatoes, or air fryer red potatoes. And you can pair them with arugula spinach saladcorn on the cob, or sumac cucumbers for a lighter meal option.

If you’re making burgers for a barbecue or cookout, try vinegar coleslawsouthern potato saladpasta salad, or egg salad with pickles.

What to do with the Leftovers

  • Can I prepare this recipe ahead of time? You can combine ground turkey with the other ingredients and even form the patties 1-2 days before cooking them. Cooked patties keep for 3-4 days, making them excellent for meal prep.
  • Refrigerate: Store the leftover patties in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: Wrap and store uncooked turkey burgers for nine months in the freezer, or you can wrap cooked air fryer turkey burgers in plastic wrap before transferring them to a freezer-safe container or bag. They will freeze for 4-6 months
  • Thaw: Defrost the leftover burgers in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat: Warm leftover patties in the air fryer at 360°F (182°C) for 5 minutes or in the microwave.
  • Repurpose: My favorite way to use the leftover burgers is to chop the patties to make a cheeseburger salad with tomatoes, pickles, onions, and drizzled with a small amount of homemade Big Mac sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook turkey burgers in the air fryer?

The cooking time for turkey burgers vary depending on the thickness and size of the burger patties and air fryer model you use. However, the best way to cook turkey burgers is to check the internal temperature of the patties using food thermometer.

Are turkey burgers healthy?

Turkey burgers are an excellent part of a well-balanced diet. Turkey has fewer calories and less fat than ground beef, making it a leaner protein option for burgers. And using turkey accommodates those with specific dietary restrictions, like those who avoid red meat or need to follow a low FODMAP or elimination diet to reduce inflammation.

More Burger Recipes:

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Air fryer turkey burger on a plate.

Air Fryer Turkey Burgers

Tressa Jamil
Make healthy air fryer turkey burgers from scratch in half the time it takes to grill them for a juicy and delicious burger every time.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5 Patties
Calories 131 kcal
Ingredients
  
For the Patties:
  • 1 pound ground turkey, 80-90%, dark meat
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion flakes
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 2 taps liquid smoke
Instructions
 
  • Combine the ingredients for the turkey burgers in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 320°F (160°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a food scale to portion 3-5 ounces of ground turkey.
  • Form the meat into a ball and set it onto the baking sheet; repeat with the remaining turkey. Use another baking sheet to press down the turkey to create patties.
  • Make an impression in the center of each patty using your thumb.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
Notes
Expert Tips:
  • Use your hands or a stand mixer on a low setting to combine the ingredients, but do not over-mix, or it will cause the burgers to become dense and less juicy. 
  • Refrigerate the turkey mixture before forming and cooking the burgers. Chilling the mixture helps bind the ingredients and prevent the patties from falling apart as they cook.
  • A lower cooking temperature and longer cooking time will keep the burgers from shrinking and puffing up. You can also use your thumb to press down in the center of each patty to keep this from happening.
  • Turkey is lean and prone to drying out. For this reason, be sure you don’t overcook the patties. The best way to know when the burgers finish cooking is to use a food thermometer. The safe internal temperature for turkey is 165°F (73°C).
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Nutrition Disclosure:
  •  The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
Nutrition
Serving: 1 Burger | Calories: 131 kcal | Carbohydrates: 1 g | Protein: 23 g | Fat: 4 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 83 mg | Sodium: 536 mg | Potassium: 302 mg | Vitamin A: 79 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 18 mg | Iron: 1 mg
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating




CK

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

Amazing recipe. Easy to follow and makes DELICIOUS and juicy burgers.

The cook time may need to be adjusted based on your air fryer, but this seems common.

I have recommended it to friends and family because of its ease and great taste. Give this recipe a shot!

Tressa Jamil

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

I am so happy you enjoyed the burgers, and thank you for taking the time to comment and rate the recipe. I will make not in the tips section that the cooking time will vary based on air fryer model.