Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto

4.60 stars average

Jump to Recipe Pin

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

Eat It, LIke It, Share It!

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.

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


  • 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.

Last Step:

Please leave a rating and comment letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps us to continue providing free, high-quality recipes for you.



Serving: 1gCalories: 506kcalCarbohydrates: 35.6gProtein: 52.3gFat: 18.3gSaturated Fat: 6.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11.9gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 1458mgFiber: 6.6gSugar: 3.4g
Did You Make This Recipe?Post a pic and mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

40 responses to “Grilled Turkey Burgers with Pesto”

  1. Kok aan huis Avatar
    Kok aan huis

    This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing you’re creativity!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Of course!

  2. Ellen Taylor Avatar
    Ellen Taylor

    Turkey taste is amazing. Got a new recipe to try soon :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce


      1. Senya Avatar

        Does the nutrition information include the bun, or is it just for burger?
        Thank you

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          Yes it does!

  3. Bre Avatar

    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.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      That makes me SO happy!!

  4. Brady Avatar

    Hello Liz, I made this burger as per your instruction. Its taste was awesome.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so happy to hear that Brady!

  5. Crissy Avatar

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Wow I love that changes you made! So glad you loved them!

  6. Mark Pinto Avatar
    Mark Pinto

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

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce


  7. Sabrina Avatar

    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.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh I’m so thrilled they were a hit! Let me know if you try any of my other recipes!!

  8. Kristin H Avatar
    Kristin H

    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!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!!! :)

  9. Gia Avatar

    These were very yummy thanks for the recipe!!! I put sum Chile Serrano and it got spicey ❤????

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Ooo what a great idea!