Delicious And Healthy Turkey Burgers Recipe In An Air Fryer

turkey burgers air fryer recipe

Turkey burgers are a fantastic alternative to traditional beef burgers, offering a leaner and healthier option without sacrificing taste. Using an air fryer to cook your turkey burgers ensures they turn out juicy on the inside with a deliciously crispy exterior. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the science behind turkey burgers, the culinary details and techniques, as well as provide tips, variations, and a mouth-watering turkey burger recipe.

The Science Behind Turkey Burgers

Understanding the science behind turkey burgers is essential to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. Turkey meat has a lower fat content compared to beef, which can cause the burgers to dry out during cooking. To counter this, a few adjustments can be made.

Ground turkey often includes dark and white meat, with the dark meat having a higher fat content. By using a combination of both types of meat, we ensure a juicy and flavorful burger. Additionally, adding ingredients like onions, garlic, breadcrumbs, and egg help bind the meat together, add moisture, and enhance the overall taste.

Culinary Details and Selection

When selecting ground turkey for your burgers, opt for either lean or extra-lean varieties. This ensures a healthier burger while still maintaining juiciness. I recommend choosing organic or free-range turkey if available, as it tends to have a better flavor profile.

To further enhance the taste, consider using a mix of herbs and spices, such as rosemary, thyme, paprika, cumin, or even a dash of Worcestershire sauce. These aromatics bring a depth of flavor to your turkey burgers.

Cleaning Your Air Fryer

turkey burgers

Before preparing your turkey burgers, it’s essential to clean your air fryer thoroughly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for disassembling and washing the removable parts. Wipe down the interior with a soft cloth and mild detergent. A clean air fryer ensures your burgers won’t transfer unwanted flavors and reduces the risk of cross-contamination.

Preparation and Tips

turkey burgers

  1. Start by preheating your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for a few minutes. This step helps create the perfect golden crust on your turkey burgers.
  2. Meanwhile, gather all the ingredients needed for the recipe and ensure they are at room temperature, allowing for even cooking.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, finely chopped onions, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, and any desired herbs and spices. Use your hands to gently mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Avoid overmixing, as it can result in a tougher texture.
  4. Once the mixture is combined, divide it into equal portions, shaping each into a patty. Keep in mind that while turkey burgers typically shrink during cooking, they won’t shrink as much as beef burgers due to the lower fat content.
  5. Before cooking, lightly brush or spray both sides of the turkey burgers with a neutral oil. This helps with browning and prevents sticking.
  6. Place the turkey burgers in the preheated air fryer basket, ensuring they are not touching each other. This allows for proper air circulation and guarantees even cooking.
  7. Cook the turkey burgers in the air fryer for approximately 12-15 minutes. Halfway through cooking, flip the burgers using tongs to ensure they brown evenly on both sides.
  8. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the burgers. The FDA recommends cooking poultry to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it is safe to consume.
  9. Once the turkey burgers reach the desired doneness temperature, remove them from the air fryer and allow them to rest for a few minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a moist and flavorful burger.
  10. Serve your turkey burgers on whole-grain buns, topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and any additional condiments of your choice.
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close up view of air fried turkey burgers

While the classic turkey burger is delightful, there are numerous variations you can explore. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Loaded Mediterranean Turkey Burger

  • Add crumbled feta cheese, chopped Kalamata olives, and sun-dried tomatoes to the turkey patty mix.
  • Serve on a toasted ciabatta bun with a layer of hummus, sliced cucumbers, and a drizzle of tzatziki sauce.

2. Spicy Southwest Turkey Burger

  • Incorporate diced jalapenos, crushed tortilla chips, and cumin into the turkey mixture.
  • Top with pepper jack cheese, avocado slices, and a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise.

3. Teriyaki Pineapple Turkey Burger

  • Mix in some grated ginger, soy sauce, and chopped green onions to the ground turkey.
  • Grill pineapple rings alongside the turkey burgers and brush them with teriyaki sauce.
  • Pair the burger with a soft Hawaiian roll, arugula, and a slice of sweet grilled pineapple.

Doneness Check

close up view of air fried turkey burgers

To ensure your turkey burgers are cooked thoroughly, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The 165°F (74°C) temperature ensures the meat is safe to eat and maintains a juicy texture. Insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the patty, avoiding any bones if present.


To make a classic turkey burger, follow this mouth-watering recipe:


  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or basil)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Neutral oil for brushing


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, chopped onion, minced garlic, breadcrumbs, beaten egg, dried herbs, salt, and pepper.
  3. Gently shape the mixture into equally-sized patties.
  4. Lightly brush or spray both sides of the patties with neutral oil.
  5. Place the patties in the air fryer, ensuring they are not touching.
  6. Cook for approximately 12-15 minutes, flipping the burgers halfway through.
  7. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, ensuring it reaches 165°F (74°C).
  8. Remove the turkey burgers from the air fryer and let them rest for a few minutes.
  9. Serve on your favorite bun, topped with desired condiments and garnishes.
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Turkey burgers cooked in an air fryer offer a healthy and delicious alternative to traditional beef burgers. By understanding the science behind turkey burgers and following the culinary details and tips provided, you can create perfectly cooked turkey burgers with a delightful crispy exterior and moist interior. Explore different variations to add exciting flavors, and always ensure your burgers are cooked thoroughly before enjoying your culinary masterpiece. So grab your ingredients and air fryer, and get ready to savor the amazing flavors of a juicy turkey burger!

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  • FAQS On Turkey Burgers Air Fryer Recipe

    How Do You Make Turkey Burgers In An Air Fryer?

    To make turkey burgers in an air fryer, start by preheating the air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Form the turkey burger patties by combining ground turkey, breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, and your preferred seasonings. Place the patties in the air fryer basket and cook for about 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through cooking. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.

    Can I Use Frozen Turkey Burgers In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can use frozen turkey burgers in the air fryer. Simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. It may take slightly longer, typically 14-16 minutes, flipping halfway through. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are properly cooked.

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    What Is The Ideal Seasoning For Turkey Burgers In The Air Fryer?

    The ideal seasoning for turkey burgers in the air fryer depends on personal preference. Common seasonings include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried herbs like basil or oregano, and Worcestershire sauce. Experiment with different seasonings to find the combination that suits your taste buds.

    Can I Use An Air Fryer To Cook Turkey Burgers From Scratch?

    Yes, you can use an air fryer to cook turkey burgers from scratch. You can easily combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, and seasonings to make homemade turkey burger patties. Follow the cooking instructions provided in the recipe, ensuring they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

    How Do I Prevent Turkey Burgers From Drying Out In The Air Fryer?

    To prevent turkey burgers from drying out in the air fryer, you can add moisture to the patties. Consider mixing in grated onion, minced garlic, or even some grated zucchini or carrot. Another method is brushing the patties with a light coating of olive oil or melted butter before cooking to help retain moisture.

    Can I Cook Turkey Burgers With Other Ingredients In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can cook turkey burgers with other ingredients in the air fryer. You can add sliced onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms to the air fryer basket with the turkey burgers for added flavor. However, keep in mind their cooking time may differ, so adjust accordingly.

    Can I Use A Marinade Or Sauce For Turkey Burgers In The Air Fryer?

    Yes, you can use marinades or sauces to enhance the flavor of turkey burgers in the air fryer. You can marinate the turkey patties before cooking, or brush them with marinade or sauce during cooking. However, avoid excessive sauce as it may result in excess moisture and prevent browning.