Turkey Smash Burgers

Turkey Smash Burgers

This one’s all about magic and secrets and will have you asking…

How are these turkey smash burgers so juicy? Why is this smash burger sauce so darn good? Well friends, allow me…

The burgers have a special little magic ingredient that keeps them moist and juicy, a feat that is not always easily achieved in a turkey burger. And the sauce has a secret ingredient that gives it an edge over the other burger sauces of the world. Exciting isn’t it.

I also must tell you one of the best things about turkey smash burgers… they don’t fall apart as easily as some turkey burgers. The smashing keeps them from drying out and keeps them together too. Or maybe it’s all that gooey, melty cheese…

Turkey Smash Burgers

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Picture it. Me. Standing at the kitchen counter. Burger sauce all over my face and my hands, pickle juice literally running down my arms

It’s not pretty friends, but that is how it goes down around here when I make these. Every time. These are probably not dinner guest burgers. Or even anyone else in the house at all while I’m eating them burgers. But they are damn good.

I make these smash burgers exactly how I like them, topped with shredded iceberg lettuce (the best lettuce I don’t care what anyone says), thinly sliced sweet onion and way too many pickles… Sometimes dill, sometimes sweet, sometimes both. Mood dependent.

I also like an obscene amount of secret sauce.

I’m not asking you to do it exactly how I do it, I can only tell you that my way is the right way.

Juicy turkey burgers

turkey smash burgers, how to make them…

First we’ll make the secret sauce which is so easy it’s ridiculous. Is that the secret, you ask? That it’s so easy? No. No, it’s not. The secret to my secret smash burger sauce is hot sauce. Just a teaspoon, but it really adds that extra something. Use whatever hot sauce you like, but I like it to have a good amount of heat and a lot of vinegar so it’s nice and tangy. So, mix up some mayo, ketchup, mustard, garlic powder and hot sauce and set the sauce aside.

Now for the burgers and they are really quick and easy… lean ground turkey, salt, pepper and… BUTTER. Butter is the magical ingredient that will absolutely make these burgers perfect. Ground turkey doesn’t have a lot of fat, so to give these burgers the smash burger credit they are due, to ensure they are juicy and moist and crusty, we need to add in a little fat. Trust.

The patties go into a hot cast iron skillet (I use a 12″ one like this) on the stove with a little drizzle of oil and then you’re going to… you guessed it… smash ’em down so they’re nice and flat and thin. Let them cook, flip them, add some melty cheese and finish them off.

Now, toast your brioche buns, assemble your burgers and eat.

Double smash burger

Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:

Turkey – lean ground turkey is what’s readily available to me, so that’s what I use. You can use ground chicken too. Don’t worry, the burgers won’t be dry because we’re going to add in our special magic ingredient…

BUTTER – YES! BUTTER! Butter makes everything taste better, but it plays a very essential role in a turkey burger and that it to add in some fat where there isn’t much. Do not skip this part or you will regret it. 🙂

Lettuce – I adore iceberg lettuce and when it’s shredded into thin ribbons I think it’s game-changing on a burger. Feel free to use your favourite lettuce though.

Onions – I like sweet onions, sliced thinly and raw on my burgers. They’re mild and just add the right hit. Use whatever you prefer or even fry or caramelize your onions.

Brioche Buns – rich, subtly sweet, soft brioche is just the best for smash burgers because it plays well off the crispy patty, but sesame buns are also good or any bun you like.

Pickles – sliced dill pickles are ideal, but sometimes I use sliced sweet pickles. Sometimes I add both. I’m moody like that.

what to serve with turkey smash burgers… a few ideas from the archives…

Juicy turkey burgers
Turkey Smash Burgers

Turkey Smash Burgers with Secret Sauce

Juicy, buttery turkey smash burgers with the best smash burger sauce. Crispy edged burgers with melty cheese topped with shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced onion and loads of pickles. The secret sauce is easy to make and is the magic that brings it all together.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 burgers


For the burgers:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter melted and cooled
  • Neutral oil for cooking
  • 4 slices American cheese
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Sliced pickles
  • Sliced sweet onion
  • 4 brioche buns

For the Smash burger secret sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce


To make the sauce:

  • Combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, garlic powder and hot sauce in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.

To make the burgers:

  • Add the turkey, salt, pepper and butter to a bowl. Mix until just combined.
  • Divide the meat into 4 equal portions, forming each into a ball.
  • Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium high-heat.
  • When the skillet is hot add in a drizzle of oil and add in 2 of the burgers. Press each down firmly with a spatula to make thin patties. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip the patties and top each with a slice of cheese. Cook 2-3 minutes longer until browned and cooked through.
  • Remove from pan and cook remaining two burgers.

To assemble the burgers:

  • Toast the brioche buns.
  • Add a thick layer of sauce to the bottom bun.
  • Top with the burger patties, then with the onion, pickles, lettuce and top with the bun.
Keyword Turkey Smash Burgers
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Let me know what you think below and if you like this Turkey Smash Burgers Recipe I know you’ll also love my Havarti Grilled Cheese with Pickles and Chili Crisp. Another fave handheld treat.


  1. Chris Isom

    5 stars
    Super delicious. My children said it was the best turkey burger they have eaten and I have tried quite a few recipes. Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    Joni! I am a beef girl through and through lol but these changed the game. Thank you! The burger sauce was also 10/10.

5 from 6 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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