Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers


Turkey burgers have often been overshadowed by their beef counterparts, but with a surge in health consciousness, they have started to take the spotlight. The Honey-Mustard Turkey Burger is a delectable example of how turkey can be transformed into a juicy, flavorful, and nutritious meal. This dish combines the lean goodness of turkey with the tangy sweetness of honey mustard, creating a harmonious balance that tantalizes the taste buds. Let’s dive into the nuances of this burger, exploring its ingredients, preparation, and the reasons it’s a standout choice for both health enthusiasts and food lovers alike.

The Foundation: Ground Turkey

Ground turkey serves as the primary ingredient for these burgers. Unlike beef, turkey is lower in fat and calories, making it a healthier alternative. It’s a versatile meat that absorbs flavors well, which is essential for creating a juicy and tasty burger. Typically, a mix of white and dark turkey meat is used to maintain a balance between flavor and moisture. The key is to ensure the meat is fresh and, if possible, organic, to maximize the nutritional benefits.

Flavor Enhancers: The Honey-Mustard Marinade

The defining feature of Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers is, of course, the honey-mustard sauce. This sauce is not just a topping but also a crucial component of the patty mixture, infusing the meat with flavor from within. The honey-mustard sauce is a blend of honey, Dijon mustard, and a touch of vinegar. Honey adds a natural sweetness and helps to caramelize the burger when cooked. Dijon mustard, with its sharp and tangy profile, provides a contrast that complements the sweetness of the honey. Vinegar adds a slight acidity, balancing the overall flavor profile.

Binding Agents and Seasonings

To ensure the turkey patties hold together, binding agents such as breadcrumbs and eggs are essential. Breadcrumbs add texture and absorb moisture, preventing the patties from becoming too dense. Eggs act as a binder, holding the mixture together during cooking. For seasoning, a combination of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder is used. These spices enhance the natural flavor of the turkey without overpowering the honey-mustard notes.

Adding Depth: Herbs and Aromatics

Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro can be added to the mixture to introduce a burst of freshness. These herbs not only enhance the flavor but also add a vibrant color to the patties. Finely chopped onions and garlic are also incorporated, providing a savory base that deepens the overall taste of the burger. These aromatics should be sautéed beforehand to mellow their flavors and avoid any harsh, raw taste in the patties.

The Cooking Process

Cooking turkey burgers requires a bit of finesse to ensure they are fully cooked without drying out. The patties can be grilled, pan-fried, or baked. Grilling is a popular method as it imparts a smoky flavor and gives the burgers a desirable char. When grilling, it’s important to preheat the grill and oil the grates to prevent sticking. The patties should be cooked over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on their thickness.

Pan-frying is another effective method, especially when grilling is not an option. A non-stick skillet with a bit of oil helps achieve a crispy exterior while keeping the inside juicy. Baking is the least conventional method but works well for batch cooking. The patties are placed on a baking sheet and cooked in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

The Perfect Bun

The bun plays a critical role in the overall experience of the burger. A good bun should be sturdy enough to hold the patty and toppings without falling apart but soft enough to bite into comfortably. Brioche buns are a popular choice due to their slightly sweet flavor and pillowy texture, which complements the honey-mustard turkey patty. Whole wheat buns are a healthier option, adding a nutty flavor and extra fiber to the meal.

Toppings and Accompaniments

The choice of toppings can elevate the Honey-Mustard Turkey Burger to new heights. Crisp lettuce, juicy tomato slices, and red onion rings add freshness and crunch. Avocado slices or guacamole provide a creamy texture and a dose of healthy fats. For an extra layer of flavor, pickles or pickled jalapeños can be added, offering a tangy kick.

Cheese is optional but highly recommended for those who enjoy a melty addition. Mild cheeses like mozzarella or provolone work well, as they don’t overpower the honey-mustard flavor. For a more pronounced taste, sharp cheddar or Swiss cheese can be used.

Condiments and Sauces

In addition to the honey-mustard sauce mixed into the patties, more sauce can be spread on the bun for an extra burst of flavor. Other condiments like mayonnaise or a dollop of Greek yogurt can add creaminess. A touch of hot sauce or sriracha can be mixed with the honey-mustard for those who prefer a spicy kick.


For the Turkey Patties:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey (mix of white and dark meat)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (whole wheat or gluten-free if preferred)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (or cilantro if preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

For the Honey-Mustard Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For Serving:

  • 4-6 burger buns (brioche or whole wheat recommended)
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Red onion rings
  • Sliced avocado (optional)
  • Cheese slices (optional; mozzarella, cheddar, or Swiss)
  • Extra honey-mustard sauce for spreading


Watch the Full Recipe video:

  1. Prepare the Honey-Mustard Sauce:
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, honey, mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt), and apple cider vinegar until smooth. Adjust the sweetness and tanginess to taste by adding more honey or mustard as preferred. Set aside.
  2. Make the Turkey Patties:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, honey, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, chopped onion, minced garlic, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Avoid over-mixing as it can make the patties tough.
    • Divide the mixture into 4-6 equal portions and shape them into patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Use your thumb to make a small indentation in the center of each patty to prevent them from puffing up during cooking.
  3. Cook the Patties:
    • Grilling: Preheat the grill to medium heat. Lightly oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. Grill the patties for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Avoid pressing down on the patties with a spatula to keep them juicy.
    • Pan-Frying: Heat a non-stick skillet or grill pan over medium heat and add a small amount of oil. Cook the patties for 5-6 minutes per side, ensuring

they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

  • Baking: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until fully cooked.
  1. Toast the Buns:
    • For an extra layer of flavor and texture, lightly toast the burger buns. This can be done on the grill, in a skillet, or in the oven. Toasting helps to prevent the buns from getting soggy when the sauce and toppings are added.
  2. Assemble the Burgers:
    • Spread a generous amount of the honey-mustard sauce on the bottom half of each bun.
    • Place the cooked turkey patty on top.
    • Add your choice of toppings: lettuce leaves, tomato slices, red onion rings, and sliced avocado.
    • If using cheese, add a slice to the patty during the last minute of cooking to let it melt slightly.
    • Spread more honey-mustard sauce on the top half of the bun and place it over the toppings.
  3. Serve and Enjoy:

Serve the Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers with your favorite side dishes. Sweet potato fries, a simple green salad, or roasted vegetables make excellent accompaniments.

Tips and Variations

  • Customize the Patties: Feel free to add other ingredients to the patty mixture, such as finely chopped bell peppers, grated carrots, or different herbs like basil or thyme.
  • Spicy Kick: For a spicier version, add a teaspoon of hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the patty mixture. You can also mix some hot sauce or sriracha into the honey-mustard sauce.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs and serve the patties on gluten-free buns or lettuce wraps for a low-carb, gluten-free meal.
  • Meal Prep: The turkey patties can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking. They can also be frozen for longer storage. To freeze, place parchment paper between the patties and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

Nutritional Benefits

Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers are not just delicious but also packed with nutritional benefits:

  • Lean Protein: Turkey is a lean source of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Turkey provides important vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, selenium, and zinc.
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado adds healthy monounsaturated fats, which are good for heart health.
  • Antioxidants: The honey in the honey-mustard sauce contains antioxidants, which can help protect your body from inflammation.

Environmental Considerations

Choosing turkey over beef has environmental benefits. Turkey farming generally has a lower environmental impact, requiring less water and producing fewer greenhouse gases compared to beef farming. Opting for organic, free-range turkey ensures higher animal welfare standards and better quality meat.

Final Thoughts

Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers are a fantastic way to enjoy a classic comfort food while maintaining a healthy diet. The combination of flavors from the honey and mustard, along with the juicy turkey patty, creates a satisfying meal that will please both adults and kids. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner, a weekend barbecue, or meal prepping for the week, these burgers are a delicious and nutritious choice. Enjoy the balance of sweet, tangy, and savory flavors in every bite!


1. What makes Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers healthier than beef burgers?

Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers are typically lower in fat and calories compared to beef burgers. Turkey is a lean source of protein, offering essential nutrients like B vitamins, selenium, and zinc without the higher saturated fat content found in beef.

2. Can I use ground chicken instead of ground turkey?

Yes, ground chicken can be used as a substitute for ground turkey. It has a similar texture and nutritional profile, though the flavor might be slightly different. Make sure to use a mix of white and dark meat to maintain juiciness.

3. How can I prevent the turkey patties from drying out?

To prevent dryness, do not overcook the patties. Cooking to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) is sufficient. Adding moisture-rich ingredients like finely chopped onions, garlic, and a bit of honey to the patty mixture also helps. Additionally, avoid pressing down on the patties with a spatula while cooking.

4. Can I prepare the patties ahead of time?

Yes, the turkey patties can be prepared ahead of time. Form the patties and store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking. They can also be frozen for longer storage. To freeze, place parchment paper between the patties and store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.

5. What are some good side dishes to serve with Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers?

These burgers pair well with a variety of side dishes. Popular options include:

  • Sweet potato fries
  • Simple green salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Quinoa salad
  • Corn on the cob

6. Can I make the honey-mustard sauce spicier?

Absolutely. To add some heat to the honey-mustard sauce, mix in a bit of hot sauce, sriracha, or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Adjust the amount to suit your spice preference.

7. What type of buns should I use?

Brioche buns are a popular choice due to their slightly sweet flavor and soft texture. Whole wheat buns are a healthier option, offering extra fiber and a nutty taste. For a low-carb or gluten-free option, you can use lettuce wraps instead of traditional buns.

8. Can I add cheese to Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers?

Yes, adding cheese is a great way to enhance the flavor. Mild cheeses like mozzarella or provolone complement the honey-mustard flavor without overpowering it. For a stronger taste, sharp cheddar or Swiss cheese are good options. Add the cheese during the last minute of cooking to let it melt slightly.

9. Is it necessary to use both honey and mustard in the patties and the sauce?

Using both honey and mustard in the patties and the sauce ensures a consistent and well-balanced flavor throughout the burger. The honey adds sweetness and helps with caramelization, while the mustard provides tanginess and depth.

10. How can I make the recipe gluten-free?

To make the recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs in the patty mixture and serve the patties on gluten-free buns or lettuce wraps. Ensure all other ingredients, such as mustard and vinegar, are also gluten-free.

11. Can I bake the patties instead of grilling or pan-frying?

Yes, baking is a viable option, especially for batch cooking. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the patties on a lined baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

12. What are the nutritional benefits of Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers?

Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers offer several nutritional benefits:

  • Lean Protein: Essential for muscle growth and repair.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Turkey provides B vitamins, selenium, and zinc.
  • Healthy Fats: If using avocado as a topping, it adds healthy monounsaturated fats.
  • Antioxidants: Honey contains antioxidants that help protect the body from inflammation.

13. What should I do if the patties fall apart while cooking?

If the patties are falling apart, try adding more breadcrumbs or an extra egg to the mixture to help bind them. Ensuring the patties are chilled for at least 15-20 minutes before cooking can also help them hold their shape better.

14. Can I use a different type of mustard?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of mustard to suit your taste. Dijon mustard is recommended for its smooth texture and tangy flavor, but you can also try whole grain mustard for added texture or spicy brown mustard for more heat.

15. How do I store leftover cooked patties?

Store leftover cooked patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven, on the stovetop, or in the microwave until heated through.


Honey-Mustard Turkey Burgers offer a delightful blend of flavors and a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers. The combination of lean ground turkey, sweet honey, and tangy mustard creates a juicy and flavorful patty that’s sure to please both health enthusiasts and food lovers alike. Versatile and easy to prepare, these burgers can be customized to fit various dietary preferences and can be paired with an array of delicious side dishes. Whether grilled, pan-fried, or baked, the Honey-Mustard Turkey Burger stands out as a nutritious and tasty option for any meal. With their appealing taste and health benefits, these burgers are a perfect addition to your culinary repertoire, making every bite a delightful experience.

Also Read: Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

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