by Olena

Healthy Turkey Burgers with Zucchini

Olena's image
Olena Osipov
5 from 99 votes

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Healthy Turkey Burgers with 5 simple ingredients. These lean burgers made with ground turkey and zucchini are juicy, flavorful, and will disappear as soon as they come off the stovetop or include in your repertoire of healthy grill recipes.

Serve these turkey patties or any of my healthy burger recipes traditionally on a whole grain bun with side of Instant Pot corn on the cob or “naked” over a bed of lettuce salad or pictured arugula salad. Yum!

Three healthy turkey burgers on a plate topped with guac, salsa and cheese.

Sumptuously moist, smack-your-lips and the best healthy turkey burger recipe on the web!

Proof that turkey can be flavorful and moist lies in the most popular turkey recipes here on iFOODreal. Try healthy turkey meatloaf, healthy turkey meatballs and this five star ground turkey and broccoli pasta.

Turkey can be good, healthy and amazing!

From healthy turkey chili to boneless turkey breast roast to turkey meatball soup, I have been using this nutritious, lean and delicate meat in healthy dinner recipes for a decade now. No one ever complains!

Why Is This the Best Healthy Turkey Burger?

I just gave the classic burger an epic makeover. What’s better about my easy homemade turkey burgers?

  • Forget about all those unnecessary fillers! These are eggless, without breadcrumbs or exotic sauces burgers.
  • Only 5 simple ingredients for a clean healthy turkey burger recipe!
  • Juicy burgers thanks to my low fat secret ingredient, zucchini!
Lean turkey burger served on bed of lettuce.

Ingredients

For the best healthy turkey burgers you’ll find anywhere, you only need 5 simple ingredients!

  • Ground turkey: It can be any fat %. I usually buy extra lean but lean will work as well. We love ground turkey year round turkey stuffed acorn squash in the fall and ground turkey tacos all winter long!
  • Grated zucchini: I recommend to use medium size holes on the grater. So squash doesn’t become a puree, neither appear in big shred in healthy turkey burger patties.
  • 1 garlic clove: You can use 1-2 tsp garlic powder or flakes but fresh is better, more flavor.
  • Cumin: Adds a nice punch of flavor to otherwise bland turkey meat.
  • Salt and pepper: For flavor and taste.

I tried to make turkey patty with oil instead of zucchini and they came out dry. So, it is key ingredient. And just simple seasonings, you don’t even need Worcestershire sauce here. Try these other healthy zucchini recipes!

Ground turkey, zucchini, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.

How to Make Healthy Turkey Burgers

It’s extra fast and easy to make these healthy turkey burgers! Plus, they make a quick dinner year round.

  • Combine turkey and zucchini: Simply add ground turkey to a medium size bowl and add grated zucchini. Yes! That’s my “secret ingredient”. It keeps the patties moist, flavourful, and zucchini is a superfood, loaded with nutritional benefits.
  • Add flavor: Add one chopped garlic clove, cumin, salt and pepper. That’s it! Mix well. Shape into patties.
  • Cook: You can pan fry, grill, or even bake your healthy turkey burgers!

Pan Fry

  • Add oil to skillet to prevent sticking.
  • Brown healthy turkey burgers on both sides in a hot pan for 8-10 minutes, flipping only once halfway through cooking time.

It’s important to remember low and slow when cooking your lean burgers! Flip only once so they not only retain their shape but their juices, too.

Grill

  • If grilling, freeze burgers for 10 minutes prior. Helps to hold their shape.
  • Spray both grill and both sides of healthy turkey burgers with cooking spray.
  • Make sure the temperature of your barbecue reaches 285 degrees F before placing your patties on the grill, so they won’t stick.
  • Grill about 8 minutes for well done.

Grilled turkey burgers not only look more appetizing, but darker grill marks also give more flavour to the meat.

Bake

  • Place patties on lined baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 25-30 minutes.
  • You will have to sear them on a hot pan for 2 minutes on each side, or possibly broil.

Serve with make ahead southwest quinoa salad or healthy broccoli salad and dinner’s ready!

Expert Tips

  • To grate zucchini use medium size grater holes. Not the large ones and not the ones that makes a complete mush. This way burgers are right amount of juicy.
  • Shape patties a bit wider than the bun since they shrink during cooking.
  • Don’t use a panini press grill as it presses all the juices out of burgers. Indoor one sided grill, grill skillet, or skillet is fine.
  • Flip burgers only once during cooking.
  • Prepare all the toppings and buns before cooking the burgers.

If grilling: Freeze healthy turkey burgers for 10 minutes prior to help hold their shape!

A pile of healthy turkey burgers on a plate.

FAQs

Are turkey burgers healthy?

What makes a turkey burger healthy? Um, are you sure you are ready for this mind blowing info?
Beef vs. turkey.
Calories: 500 vs. 87.
Fat: 32 vs. 2 grams.
Protein: 18 vs. 27 grams.
Turkey is packed with high protein to help build strong, healthy muscles. It gives you a boost with energizing iron and builds up your body with immune-strengthening zinc. Turkey is bursting with vitamin B12 to keep your nervous system – your body’s electrical wiring – working well.

At what temp is a burger with ground turkey done?

When the internal temperature reaches 165 F your burger is done. The best way to ensure doneness is to insert a meat thermometer in the center of the patty.

How do you prevent turkey burgers from being dry?

Make this recipe. 🙂 Seriously, though, zucchini adds a lot of moisture to your healthy turkey burgers just like when you use it in baked goods such as healthy zucchini bread! Pan frying your burgers in oil will also help them retain moisture.

How Do You Keep Burgers From Falling Apart?

I have never had this issue when making these lean homemade turkey patties!

If you are experiencing this, though, remember to use the low the slow method for cooking your patty. Do not excessively flip them whether you are pan frying, grilling, or baking.

Can I Make These in Advance?

Yes, you can make these ahead of time and get dinner on the table even faster. I recommend to make a big batch and freeze them for days when you’re extra rushed or when unexpected company comes calling.

  • Fridge: These patties keep well overnight in the fridge.
  • Freezer:Arrange raw healthy turkey burgers on a parchment covered baking pan, freeze, then place in storage containers. Cooking from frozen using preferred method and adding 5 minutes cook time.

What Are Some Healthy Topping Ideas?

Healthy ground turkey burgers with all the trimmings! Let everyone build their own burger or make it bun-less and add toppings to a bowl full of leafy greens like Mexican kale salad or spinach salad!

  • Fresh greens like Boston or Bibb lettuce.
  • Thickly sliced large size tomatoes.
  • Fresh red onion rings.
  • Dill pickle slices.
  • Dijon or regular mustard.
  • Your favorite cheese.
  • Hot sauce and ketchup.
Buns, veggies, ketchup and mustard for healthy turkey burger toppings.

For a restaurant worthy pub meal pair with air fryer sweet potato fries or air fryer buffalo cauliflower wings.

Theme ideas:

Serve with Mexican street corn salad or cauliflower potato salad for a party on your plate!

Serving Recommendations

Whether you grill, pan fry or bake, turkey patty meal ideas will remain the same. Here are some of my favorite ways:

More Healthy Burger Recipes You Will Love

You may also love browsing all my healthy burger recipes or healthy grill recipes!

Healthy turkey burger recipe on a bun with toppings.
Healthy Turkey Burgers with Zucchini

Healthy Turkey Burgers with Zucchini

Healthy Turkey Burgers with 5 simple ingredients. These lean burgers made with ground turkey and zucchini are juicy, flavorful, and will disappear as soon as they come off the stovetop or grill.
4.99 from 99 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 burgers
Calories: 92kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini about 1 medium
  • 1 large garlic clove grated
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  • In large mixing bowl, add ground turkey, zucchini, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Using your hands, mix well.
  • Form 6 large turkey burger patties about a size of a medium hand. Flatten them as burgers “jump up” while cooking. Use wet hands to help with stickiness issue. I usually form patties as I am waiting for skillet to get hot and as I go.
  • Stovetop: Preheat medium ceramic non-stick skillet on low-medium heat. It’s important to cook turkey burgers low and slow so they get cooked through and do not fall apart (they won’t). Add about 1.5 tbsp of oil to the skillet and swirl around. Place 3 patties in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes per side, flipping once. Repeat with remaining oil and burgers.
  • Grill:
    If grilling, freeze burgers for 10 minutes prior. Helps to hold their shape. Preheat grill on medium and spray with cooking spray. Spray turkey patties on both sides with cooking spray, place on a grill and cook for 6-8 minutes flipping once. Grills vary, so check your burger for doneness by inserting a food thermometer into the center of the patty. You are looking for 165 degrees = done.
  • Serve hot and right away is the best. Burgers are the most juicy this way. Serve traditional way on a whole grain or thin multigrain bun with all the fixins. Or serve "naked" with mashed avocado (easy guacamole recipe) and store-bought salsa. Or on a bed of greens. Sky is the limit.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.

    Freeze: Lay patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, freeze completely and then transfer to a large Ziploc bag. Cook from frozen following recipe’s instructions + 5 minutes.

      Video

      Notes

      • Zucchini: To grate zucchini use medium size grater holes. Not the large ones and not the ones that makes a complete mush. This way burgers are right amount juicy.
      • Forming patties: Shape patties a bit wider than the bun since they shrink during cooking.
      • Indoor grilling: Don’t use a panini press grill as it presses all the juices out of burgers. Indoor one sided grill or grill skillet is fine.
      • Flipping: Flip burgers only once during cooking.
      • Get ready: Prepare all the toppings and buns before cooking the burgers.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1burger | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 235mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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        1. Sure can! Add oil to skillet to prevent sticking. Brown healthy turkey burgers on both sides in a hot pan for 8-10 minutes, flipping only once halfway through cooking time. Enjoy!

      1. Hiya! I really want to try this recipe as I avoid too much meat fat and this sounds like a good way to avoid the rubbery turkey burgers I sometimes end up with, but, I am wondering if you’ve tried cooking them in an air fryer? I’d like to try it, so might just have to experiment. Gonna try this recipe with the instructions for other turkey burger recipes, might just cut down the time to avoid overcooking….. wish me luck!

        1. Zucchini should keep them moist, but yes I agree cutting down on cook time and then checking for doneness is the way to go! Definitely update us with how the air fryer worked!

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