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!
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
Start your Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto by mincing your sun-dried tomatoes.
Then put your ground turkey in a large bowl, and add the grated parmesan cheese and grated garlic.
Then add the sun-dried tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.
Mix well with your hands, then form into 4 evenly sized patties.
Grill your turkey burgers on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
During the final minute or so, add a thick slice of mozzarella cheese to each patty.
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.
Place the bun on top, serve, and enjoy your Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto!
- 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.
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.
More Grilling Recipes
- Flank Steak Tacos
- Chipotle Soy Turkey Tenderloins
- Grilled Chicken with Fresh Tomato Basil Salsa
- Best BBQ Grilled Chicken Recipe
- Garlic Rosemary Lamb Chops
Did you try this burger recipe? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.
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
- 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.