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Healthy Air Fryer Turkey Burgers

Make air fryer turkey burgers for a simple, healthy dinner. Fresh ground turkey is combined with seasoning to make burger patties and cooked in an air fryer for a quick and easy dinner. Ready in about 20 minutes!

turkey burger in a bun

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Turkey burgers are not just a healthy alternative to beef, they are a delicious meal in themselves. These air fryer turkey burgers are juicy on the inside and full of flavor.

So if you think of turkey burgers as something you only make because you are trying to eat healthy think again! This homemade turkey burger recipe uses mustard, onion and Worcestershire sauce to flavor the turkey.

These combine to give the turkey burgers a rich deep flavor. Give this recipe for deliciously spiced turkey burgers perfectly cooked in the air fryer a try.

turkey burger with toppings

Why Cook Turkey Burgers in the Air Fryer?

Making these turkey burgers in an air fryer has a few distinct advantages over over grilling, which is how I have cooked turkey burgers in the past.

  • The hot air circulating around the burgers cooks them without drying them out.
  • It is much easier to control the temperature and get even cooking with an air fryer than a grill, whether it is gas or charcoal. When I grill burgers I always end up with a few that are too brown or burned on one side.
  • And air fryer is easier to clean than a grill.
  • My grill is currently covered in snow and ice. And even if it wasn’t it is way too cold to cook outside! And sometimes it is too hot to cook outside. But summer or winter the air fryer works the same.
ingredients for making turkey burgers

Key Ingredients

  • Ground turkey – I use 93% ground turkey for my turkey burgers. You can buy ground turkey as much as 99% lean, but I think burgers benefit from a little bit of fat.
  • Red onion – Chop the onion finely so that it mixes in well with the ground turkey. I don’t mind little pieces of onion in my burgers, but you can also use a food processor to really make the onion finely chopped.
  • Mustard – A little bit of spicy brown mustard adds flavor and depth to the burgers.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Worcestershire sauce is a great condiment for enhancing flavor. It brightens the flavor of the meat and adds some saltiness.
  • Salt & pepper

Step by Step Instructions

1. Mix the Burgers

Put the one pound of ground turkey in a bowl. Then add the finely chopped onion, spicy mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

ingredients for making air fryer turkey burgers

Mix everything together with your hands, trying to mix just enough to combine the ingredients without over mixing. The meat will be very wet.

2. Shape the Burgers

Divide the meat into three equal parts on a piece of parchment paper. Then shape the meat into a round and flat burger shape.

turkey burger

Press down a little bit in the center of the burger to indent the middle. The burger will puff up a bit in the middle as it cooks, so a small indent in the center will help it cook more evenly and reduce the amount the patties shrink.

turkey burgers before cooking

I prefer to make my burgers 1/3 of a pound, which is about a 6 ounce burger. Alternatively you can make slightly smaller 4 ounce burgers and make 4 for each pound of meat.

3. Refrigerate the Burgers (optional)

Turkey is softer than ground beef so it is more likely to fall apart as you cook and flip them. Refrigerating the turkey burgers for half an hour can help with this.

But I have made these without refrigerating them first and they come out fine. Just be careful when you flip them over and wait until a little more than halfway through the cooking process to flip them so they hold together better.

4. Air Fry the Turkey Burgers

Preheat the air fryer at 360 degrees F for about 3 minutes when you are ready to cook. Then place the turkey burgers in the air fryer basket.

The burgers need to be placed in a single layer. My 5.8 quart air fryer can fit three 6 ounce burgers or four 4 ounce burgers. Don’t over crowd the basket so that the air can circulate.

turkey burger in air fryer

With 93% ground turkey I do not need to grease my air fryer basket and the burgers don’t stick. But if you are using 99% fat free ground turkey I’d suggest using a mister bottle to spray a little olive oil on the basket.

Cook the burgers at 360 degrees F for 17 minutes, flipping them over after 10 minutes. Then use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey burgers.

Always use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, don’t try to guess based just on time. A thermometer is not expensive and the peace of mind it gives you is priceless. Food poisoning is not fun!

cooked turkey burger

When the burgers register 165 degrees F internally at the thickest part they are done. I find 17 minutes works well for my air fryer, but yours might vary by a minute or two more or less.

5. Add Cheese (optional)

If you want to melt cheese on top of your turkey burger then add it after the burger is completely cooked. Leave the patties in the air fryer, put cheese on top and close the basket.

The residual heat will melt the cheese on top of the patties in 1-2 minutes.

turkey burger in front of air fryer

How to Serve

Serve these juicy air fryer turkey burgers on your favorite hamburger bun with whatever toppings you prefer. Here are some topping ideas:

  • Red onion
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Pineapple slices
  • Pickled jalapenos

Additionally you don’t have to serve these on hamburger buns. Put them in pita bread or use lettuce to make a turkey wrap.

air fryer turkey burger in a bun

How to Store

You can refrigerate unused turkey burgers for 2-3 days after forming them into patties. Then just cook as directed.

You can also freeze the burgers. Freeze them flat on a cookie sheet and then put them in a plastic bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook them cook them frozen, following the directions here.

Variations

My turkey burger recipe uses spicy brown mustard to flavor the burgers. But if you prefer here are some things you can replace the mustard with:

  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Horseradish
  • Yellow mustard

Each of those will impart a different kind of flavor the burgers. You can also use a combination of flavors, like 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon of horseradish. Experiment and find your favorite combination!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you make frozen turkey burgers in the air fryer?

To cook frozen turkey burgers preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees F for 5 minutes. Then add the burgers and cook for 15-17 minutes, until they reach 165 degrees F internally, flipping once.

Why did my turkey burger fall apart?

Turkey is naturally a very wet meat, so you can’t treat a turkey patty like a beef hamburger. Letting the patty cook for more than 50% of the cooking time before flipping and only flipping once will usually resolve any issues.

You can also refrigerate or freeze the patties for 30 minutes to make them firmer if it is a big problem for you. Adding bread crumbs or an egg to the meat mixture is another way to make the turkey burger less wet.

turkey burger in front of air fryer

Find More Easy Air Fryer Dinners

Yield: 3-4

Air Fryer Turkey Burgers

turkey burger in front of air fryer

Make an air fryer turkey burger for a simple, healthy dinner.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground turkey (93% fat free)
  • 3 Tablespoons onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

For Serving

  • buns
  • cheese
  • toppings - onions, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, pineapple

Instructions

  1. Put the ground turkey in a bowl. Add the diced onion, spicy mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands.
  2. Form the meat into patties. Make three patties for 6 ounce burgers or four patties for 4 ounce burgers.
  3. Flatten the patties and make a little bit of a depression in the center of the patty.
  4. (Optional) Refrigerate for 30 minutes to make the patties firmer before cooking if desired.
  5. Preheat the air fryer at 360 degrees F for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the patties to the air fryer, making sure they are in a single layer. Cook at 360 degrees F for 17 minutes.
  7. Flip the patties once, after 10 minutes.
  8. Use an instant read thermometer and check the temperature of the patty in the center or the thickest part. The patties are done when they reach 165 degrees F.
  9. If they aren't done continue to cook for another 3 minutes and recheck them.
  10. Serve on a bun with your favorite burger toppings.

Notes

Frozen turkey burgers - If frozen cook patties at 370 degrees F for 17 minutes, flipping once. Check for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F before serving.

Alternative flavor ideas - replace the spicy brown mustard with ketchup, mayonnaise or horseradish.

If using 99% fat free turkey spray the air fryer basket with oil from a mister bottle before cooking.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

3

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 408Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 828mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 39g

Nutrition facts are estimates and don't include buns and toppings.

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turkey burger on a bun with cheese, onions and lettuce
collage pin for air fryer turkey burgers
By on February 20th, 2021

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