Juicy air fryer turkey burger, a super delicious burger on the healthier side. Ready in no time at all.
Who said that a burger can’t be even remotely healthy? These air fryer turkey burgers are quite so.
Swap fattier meat for lean ground turkey and choose a better patty, and you should be fine. All the trimmings are actually good for you: lettuce, tomato, onions, and some mustard. OK, there is still the cheese if you like cheeseburgers, but most of the time, I am perfectly satisfied without the cheese. Or I choose a lower fat slice.
Can you make turkey burgers in the air fryer?
You can cook any kind of burger with this great kitchen gadget. From regular beef patties to turkey or chicken, bean or grain burgers. You can even buy frozen patties and cook them in the machine; it can hardly get any simpler.
The best about using the air fryer to cook burgers?
The circulating hot air makes them crispy on the outside while they remain moist and juicy on the inside. Dry patties might be an issue, especially when made with poultry; you can’t undercook poultry, not even slightly, so for sheer fear of serving undercooked food, most people (me included) would slightly overcook the burgers.
The handy kitchen machine solves this problem perfectly; the patties will be cooked evenly on the inside, while the crust only crisps without getting dry.
No mess: frying or grilling patties on the stove requires quite a bit of cleaning. But cook them in the fryer, and all you must do is clean the parts of the machine; the stovetop remains clean.
What do you need?
- You can buy it already ground. However, I grind it myself most of the time. We always buy our turkey from a farmer in the village, so I have huge chunks of the breast in the freezer.
- To be able to grind it properly, I cut the breast into cubes and freeze the cubes. When ready to use them, I defrost them only partially before grinding, my meat grinder deals so much better with partially frozen meat.
Other ingredients for the patties: onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sweet and smoked paprika, egg, salt, and pepper.
Regular beef patties generally don’t need lots of seasoning, but I find seasoning more important when making turkey burgers, turkey is not as hearty as beef and benefits from adding more spices.
Can I use other kinds of meat?
Yes. You can use ground chicken or ground beef. The cooking time is about the same, but check, especially when cooking chicken; poultry should be cooked properly.
- Tipp: use your favorite burger toppings; you don’t have to stick to mine.
- Otherwise, you will need burger buns or another kind of buns, mustard, and ketchup for the sauce, tomatoes, red onions, lettuce, and pickled cucumbers.
- Instead of the mustard ketchup mix, you can use your favorite BBQ sauce. I also love to serve turkey burgers with Asian sweet chili sauce.
Do I need cheese?
- If you want to make a cheeseburger, you will need a small slice of Cheddar for each burger.
- Other nice options are Pepper Jack, aged Gouda, Swiss, blue cheese, or even feta.
- If not, skip the cheese; the burgers will be delicious without it as well.
How to make air fryer turkey burgers?
- Grate the onion on a box grater or process it in a small food processor so that it’s as finely chopped as it can be; larger pieces will not have the time to cook properly inside the patty.
- Grate the garlic as well.
- Mix ground meat, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sweet and smoked paprika, mustard, egg, salt, and pepper. I use my hands to mix everything well. (1,2)
- Form four even patties; they should each weigh about 150 g/ 5.3 oz. For perfect results, you can use a burger press. Otherwise, form the patties as regularly and neatly as you can. Keep in mind that they will shrink during the cooking process, so you might want to form them slightly larger than the patty. (3)
- Preheat the machine according to its instructions (mine needs 3 minutes).
- Spray the fryer’s basket with oil. Place the patties inside and spray them lightly with oil as well. (1)
- Cook for 7 minutes.
- Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, it should be 73 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit. (2)
- If you want to make a cheeseburger, place a slice of cheese on each burger during the last minute of the cooking time, it will melt nicely on top of the patty. (3)
Build the burger:
- While the burgers cook, prepare the toppings.
- Slightly toast the bun halves. I do that in a pan, toasting the cut side for about 1-2 minutes. You can also heat them in the oven, but the stovetop makes things faster and crispier.
- Slice the tomatoes, red onion, and sour cucumbers.
- Wash and dry the lettuce leaves.
- Mix ketchup and mustard in a small bowl.
- Smear the lower half of the buns with the ketchup mix.
- Cover with lettuce, and add 1 or 2 tomato slices.
- Place the hot turkey patty on top.
- Add onion rings and sour cucumber slices.
- Cover with the other bun half.
- Serve immediately. Try them with our Cheese Smashed Potatoes.
Can I make the patties in advance?
- Yes, you can form them and keep them in the fridge. Place on a plate in a single layer (don’t stack them) and cover them loosely with plastic wrap. You can refrigerate them for several hours before cooking, but I would not leave them overnight.
- I make a double batch most of the time, as the patties freeze very well, and I can always make my kids happy with a burger when I don’t have time for more cooking.
- Form the patties.
- Place them on a baking tray/roasting tin/large plate lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Freeze for a few hours until solid.
- Stack the burgers with a small piece of parchment paper in between (I use the same paper that was on the baking sheet and cut it into smaller pieces).
- Place in freezer containers or freezer bags.
- Freeze for up to 3 months.
Can I air fry the burgers from frozen?
- Yes. You can let them defrost in the fridge as well, but why bother?
- Place the frozen patties in the preheated fryer and cook as instructed above, adding 3 to 5 minutes to the cooking time.
- Make sure that the burgers are done by checking with a meat thermometer.
Give my quick recipes a try for your next family meal! Feel free to reach out if you need any assistance!
Air Fryer Turkey Burger
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ⅓ cup breadcrumbs
- ½ onion , small
- 1 garlic clove , large
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp smoked paprika (Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 egg
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher (less if using table salt)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoon olive oil for brushing (or oil spray)
- 4 burger buns
- 3 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 4 lettuce leaves , large
- 1 tomato , large
- 1 red onion
- 2 sour cucumbers more as needed, depending on size
- 4 slices cheese , optional (Note 2)
- Grate the onion on a box grater or process it in a small food processor so that it’s as finely chopped as it can be. Grate the garlic as well.
- Mix turkey, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sweet and smoked paprika, mustard, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix with the hand until well combined.
- Form four even patties, they should each weigh about 150 g/ 5.3 oz. (Note 4)
- Preheat the air fryer according to its instructions (mine needs 3 minutes). Spray the fryer’s basket with oil. Place the patties inside and spray them lightly with oil as well. (Note 5)
- Cook for 7 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. The internal temperature should be 73 degrees Celsius/ 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To make a cheeseburger, place a slice of cheese on each burger during the last 30 – 60 seconds of the cooking time.
- While the burgers cook, prepare the toppings.
- Slightly toast the bun halves in a grill pan for about 1-2 minutes.
- Slice the tomatoes and sour cucumbers, cut the red onion into rings.
- Wash and dry the lettuce leaves.
- Mix ketchup and mustard in a small bowl. (Note 5)
- Smear the lower half of the buns with the ketchup mix. Cover with lettuce, add 1 or 2 tomato slices. Place the patty on top. Add onion rings and sour cucumber slices. Cover with the other bun half.
- Serve immediately.
- The nutrition is calculated including cheese.
- I prefer sweet smoked paprika, but hot to taste is fine as well.
- Cheddar, Pepper Jack, aged Gouda, Swiss, blue cheese, or even feta.
- The patties can be frozen now. See the blog post for more information on that.
- If you don’t have an oil spray, brush the basket and the patties with a little oil.
- BBQ sauce or sweet chili sauce can be used instead of the ketchup mustard mix.