Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto

4.60 stars average

Topped with fresh pesto, spicy arugula, and creamy mozzarella cheese, these juicy grilled turkey burgers are the best you will ever make!

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

Grilled turkey burgers with pesto and arugula

Filled with sun-dried tomatoes and topped with fresh pesto, spicy arugula, and creamy mozzarella cheese, these juicy grilled turkey burgers with pesto are the best you will ever make!

Grilled turkey burgers with pesto.

As soon as the weather ticks up here in Michigan, you can find me outside at the grill. Not only does it add an amazing and unique flavor to your food, but it’s a great way to cook dinner without heating up your house!

My husband loves turkey burgers, so I am always coming up with new ways to re-invent the classic. And with a last name like Della Croce, I really can’t go wrong giving any dish an Italian spin so I decided to do just that with these Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto. Topped with bright pesto, spicy arugula, and fresh mozzarella, each bite is a flavor explosion.


  • Ground turkey: I use ground turkey breast, as it is leaner with fewer calories than ground beef, it’s a healthier alternative for burgers.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: Keeps the meat juicy while cooking, and adds a bright, burst of flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: Helps to bind the ground turkey and keep it moist, as well as adding nutty, salty flavor.
  • Garlic: You can’t go wrong adding garlic to almost anything, with strong, nutty, earthy, and sometimes spicy flavor. It sweetens as it cooks in the burgers.
  • Mozzarella:I use part-skim fresh mozzarella to reduce the fat, but the flavor is worth it in moderation.
  • Hamburger buns: White, whole-wheat, with or without sesame seeds, use your favorite or what you have!
  • Pesto: Whether homemade or storebought, pesto is a delicious sauce made of olive oil, basil, parmesan cheese, and nuts.
  • Baby arugula: Much milder than mature arugula, but still gives your burger a bit of a kick of spicy flavor.

How to Make Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto

Mincing sundried tomatoes

Start your Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto by mincing your sun-dried tomatoes.

Adding parmesan cheese to ground turkey

Then put your ground turkey in a large bowl, and add the grated parmesan cheese and grated garlic.

Addind sundried tomatoes to ground turkey

Then add the sun-dried tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.

Forming ground turkey patties

Mix well with your hands, then form into 4 evenly sized patties.

Grilling turkey burgers

Grill your turkey burgers on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side.

Putting fresh mozzarella on turkey burgers

During the final minute or so, add a thick slice of mozzarella cheese to each patty.

Toppping burgers with pesto

Once the cheese is sightly melted and bubbly, remove the patties and lay them on the botom bun with a bit of arugula. Spread pesto on top of each.

Holding a grilled turkey burger with pesto.

Place the bun on top, serve, and enjoy your Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto!

Easy Substitutions

  • Make it gluten free: Use a gluten-free bun and this dish is celiac friendly!
  • Switch the sauce: Try making your own pesto, or top it with an aioli or tahini sauce.
  • Make it vegetarian: Use a black bean patty or beyond meat and you can still enjoy this Italian inspired burger!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What can you put in burgers to hold them together?

I find that adding the cheese and sun-dried tomatoes works wonderfully. Alternatively, you can add 1 egg yolk, or try adding crushed black beans or chickpeas.

What goes well with turkey burgers?

Try it with some grilled asparagus, or a potato salad.

How do I store leftover burgers?

Keeping the patty separate from the rest, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Grilled turkey burgers with pesto.

More Grilling Recipes

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Liz eating grilled turkey burgers with pesto.

Not grilling season where you are? No problem! You can still make these Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto on the stove or in the oven using the broiler.

No fork required.

Grilled turkey burgers with pesto and arugula

Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto

4.60 stars average
Topped with fresh pesto, spicy arugula, and creamy mozzarella cheese, these juicy grilled turkey burgers are the best you will ever make!
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 10 minutes
TOTAL: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 20 ounces Natural Ground Turkey
  • ¼ cup minced sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (drained)
  • ¼ cup Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 1- inch slices part-skim fresh mozzarella
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns (sliced)
  • ¼ cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  • ¼ cup baby arugula


  • Pre-heat grill to high heat.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together ground turkey, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, grated garlic, salt, and pepper using your hands. Form into four equal-sized patties.
  • Grill turkey burger patties over high-heat until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking, top each burger with one mozzarella slice and heat until slightly melted and bubbly.
  • Place burgers on split buns and top with pesto and arugula to serve.


Serving: 1gCalories: 506kcalCarbohydrates: 35.6gProtein: 52.3gFat: 18.3gSaturated Fat: 6.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11.9gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1458mgFiber: 6.6gSugar: 3.4g

40 thoughts on “Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto”

  1. This was AMAZING! Sooo good! Tastes like something you’d pay $15 for at a restaurant. It’s an easy recipe to meal prep as well.

  2. These burgers were so great! I added italian seasoning to the burgers and left out the sun dried tomatoes. I love them but my husband doesn’t. These were so delicious, I may add bruschetta to the burgers next time. I used pesto and a little balsamic mayo on the buns. Great recipe! So yummy!

  3. The burgers came out great, I made one change instead of bun I placed cooked burger on top of grilled Portabella Mushroom

  4. My family loved these! Even my picky 7-year-old devoured hers AND wanted seconds. The only changes I made was using grated Parmesan instead of shredded (because that’s what I had on hand) and I cooked them in a cast iron grill pan. We live in an apartment that doesn’t allow grills, so I had to compromise. Thank you for a healthy alternative that was super easy and wonderfully delicious.

  5. These were delicious! Wow! I wasn’t expecting them to be so good! The flavor of the burger was really good–very moist and flavorful. I loved the sundried tomatoes; I could taste that really well. Every aspect of the burger was complimented really well. I’ll definitely make these again. Well done! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. We made these burgers for dinner last night and they are delicious! My husband and I devoured them. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I’m with you, if we can get a good semi-warm day around here, I’m out there grilling! You can’t go wrong with turkey burgers, every loves them. But this recipe takes turkey burgers to a whole new level. I love that you used arugula, it is my favorite!

  8. Growing up in the midwest I 100% agree with you! When it hit 60 I was opening up my windows and headed outside like it was 100 degrees…haha. After a cold winter you look forward to 60 degree days :) I also always look forward to grilling season and these burgers are PERFECT for a quick weeknight (or fun friend bbq!) meal.

  9. These would be even better if you mix a little pesto in with the meat before grilling… sounds super yummy!

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