These Greek Turkey burgers are juicy and loaded with such incredible Greek flavors like oregano, dill, lemon, feta and tzatziki. Make your next meal a delicious burger!
I have to thank Mama Fantabulous for this burger inspiration. Mr. Fantabulous and I were out and about one day and while we had breakfast we hadn’t had lunch. And one thing about being married to that man, one does not skip a meal. I’m talking even if he was up all night and slept until 1pm, when he gets up, that’s breakfast. Then lunch is a few hours later followed by dinner. Me. on the other hand, could stand to skip about 47 meals and would be fine though with my luck I’d still end up gaining 5 pounds! Seriously ladies, don’t you hate that? You could drink water and air for like 2 days and gain 5 pounds where your hubby/boyfriend/brother/male friend could gorge himself on chili cheese fries, a large pizza, few beers, chips, cake and ice cream all day and still lose 3 pounds?! WTH!
Life is cruel I tell ya. Anyway, back to these crazy awesome burgers! While we were out and about I suggested we stop somewhere and get a bite to eat (while I love to cook I also like a break every once in a while). He wasn’t in the mood for any of the places where we were as they were all chain-type restaurants; something neither of us are fans of.
Since we were close to his parents house we decided to pay a quick visit to them. As we were driving I was telling him how Mama Fantabulous had called me early that morning asking for my Tzatziki recipe as she found some Greek turkey recipe online and wanted to use that as a topping. Well all he heard was “gyro” (love his selective hearing! <eye roll>) and says, “Oh I could go for a gyro!”. I just chuckled, shook my head and said, “Honey, she’s making a Greek burger and wants to top it with gyro sauce.” Of course he gave the look of ‘yuck!’ to me and I just laughed it off. He’s so picky! He’s like that 5-year-old that says “Ewww!” when they hear a dish or recipe before even trying it. Fortunately for me even though he’ll do that, he’ll at least try it and 95% of the time he ends of falling in love with the dish.
When we got to their house as usual Mom made coffee for him, tea for me. She then asked if we were hungry. I, at that point, really wasn’t hungry anymore. He, on the other hand, is always hungry. She pulled out a turkey burger and started to make it for him. As the men chatted she was telling me about the recipe she found. Unfortunately she couldn’t recall where she found it other than on Pinterest. Those burgers called for cumin, olives, oregano and mayo which made my face cringe. I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE olives with a passion. Plus to be honest, I’ve never associated cumin to Greek food. Is that a Greek staple?
She went to assemble his and asked what she should put on it – to me sliced red onions, cheese, arugula and tzatziki sauce made sense. He DEVOURED this burger in under a minute. He pulled off a single bite – like maybe the size of a chocolate chip for me to taste. It was good though I immediately tasted the olives. He then got quiet and started to look over her should and into the fry pan. I knew exactly what he was doing but since he hadn’t lived at home in decades Mom didn’t catch on right away. She then looked at my face, sauce the grin and put two and two together. Without saying a word she grabbed him a 2nd burger to make and one for me. I laughed out loud and said, “SEE!!! You’re the one who started that, not me! You trained him that way!” Mom just laughed and said she was going to beat my butt. As we ate our burgers I got wrapped up in my head, studying the burger as I ate it making mental notes on what I would change or add to it. All I knew is that I wanted to make this by the TKW way.
About a week or so later, as I was shopping I started to think about that burger and decided to pick up some ingredients. Now when I think about Greek foods I think of the basic inclusions – lemon, oregano, tzatziki, feta. Since I knew I wanted to melt cheese on this burger I went for a Greek cheese, Kasseri. If you can’t find it you can use any mild melting cheese. Kasseri is a full-flavored cheese that, at first, has a bold salty flavor and strong smell (not in a bad way) but as you eat it, it becomes surprisingly sweet. This cheese balances out the flavors in this burger so beautifully. If you can find it, definitely use that on this burger!
Once home I whipped up the Tzatziki sauce, put that in the fridge to chill out and then got to making my burgers. I went with the basics – meat (which I chose a slightly higher fat content as I wanted my burger to be juicy and not dry out), spices (both oregano and dill – figuring the dill in the burger would marry well with the dill in the sauce), crumbled feta, grated cucumber for flavor/texture and complexity, plus yogurt. When I mixed this together, I’m going to be honest it was really, REALLY soft. I contemplated adding in some bread crumbs to bind it but resisted as I wanted a burger and not a meatloaf though I suspect this would make one amazing meatloaf! I wet my hands and was able to form a patty but it was really, really soft. I covered the one patty in plastic wrap and then wrapped the rest of the mixture up and put both in the fridge to chill for an hour in hopes that it would chill up.
About an hour later I pulled both out and while still softer than say ground beef, the mixture had more body behind it and was easier to form patties.
*NOTE: to form these make sure you wet your hands first as that will help form them and prevent it from sticking to your hands. I found, honestly, forming them first, then chilling the formed burgers was easier but it really makes no difference. Once these burgers were cooked I got to assembling them. Down went a bed of peppery arugula and a smear of sauce. Next went that burger (which was dripping juices!) all covered with melted cheese. Next came the thinly sliced red onion, radishes for heat and crunch and lastly more sauce.
That first bite was truly magical! It was so full of flavor and incredibly tender! It was juicy and just flavor explosion after flavor explosion! Every bite you picked up another flavor. The hint of lemon coupled with the peppery arugula. The creaminess of the yogurt with the turkey. There was not a single bad bite nor a bite that I loved more than the other. This burger truly was/is amazing!
I’ve made this burger a bunch of times and each time I’ll try different things. I’ve added chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the mixture and that is really good! He’s had it with olives and loves it; I refuse to eat those still. You can even add spinach (I prefer to wilt it first as to not add more liquid to the burger). You can’t go wrong with this burger to be honest! Just make it and fall in love with a killer turkey burger!
If you struggle with making perfectly formed burger patties definitely check out this burger press!
- 1 pound ground turkey 85/15 ratio
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or full-fat sour cream)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup grated English cucumber
- 4 brioche buns
- 1 cup loosely packed baby arugula
- 4 slices Kasseri cheese (can use double cream gouda)
- Greek Tzatziki sauce
- Red onion, thinly sliced
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Place the grated English cucumber in a clean linen cloth or a few paper towels and squeeze out the excess liquid.
- In a large mixing bowl add the turkey, yogurt, lemon juice, oregano, dill, salt, pepper, feta, and drained cucumber. Gently mix to combine. Wet your hands and form into 4 evenly sized patties. Place the patties on sprayed parchment lined plate pan and cover. Place the formed patties into the fridge for 1 hour. If the mixture is too soft to form the patties place the bowl in the fridge for 1 hour (cover with plastic wrap first).
- Spray a grill pan or non-stick pan with nonstick cooking spray and set the pan over medium heat. Lightly mist both sides of the turkey burger with olive oil and place down on the hot grill pan. Cook until browned on each side, flipping only once. ~7-9 minutes per side. The temperature should read 165F. If melted cheese is desired, after flipping top each burger with Kasseri cheese
- To assemble, on the bottom of the burger buns evenly divide the arugula, next add a tablespoon or two of Tzatziki sauce, thinly sliced red onion, burger, top with radish slices and another tablespoon or two of Tzatziki sauce.
For a really great burger press, check this one out! Evenly pressed burgers every time!
Additions to the recipe
If you wanted you could add chopped sundried tomatoes, spinach and minced olives too for an even more authentic Greek flavor.
Keywords: turkey burger, greek burger, juicy burger, grilled turkey burger, mediterranean burger