Pesto Turkey Burger

Yield serves 4
RECIPE Ingredients


  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup drained bottled dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/8 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


  • 24 ounces Ground Turkey
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices havarti cheese
  • Radish sprouts, or other microgreens
  • 4 whole grain buns
Recipe notes
Turkey burgers don’t have to be dry and flavorless. In this easy recipe, we dressed them up with two types of pesto, lots of herbs, radish sprouts, Havarti, and avocado. The pesto not only adds flavor but helps to keep the turkey moist.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Make the basil pesto: add basil, garlic, walnuts, and Pecorino to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just mixed. With the processor running, add olive oil and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Make the tomato pesto: in a small saucepan cook garlic in the olive oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened and cool. Add garlic and olive oil mixture, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and balsamic to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until just mixed then process until well mixed and smooth.
  3. Place turkey in a medium bowl and add thyme, rosemary, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of the basil pesto. Gently mix until combined. With wet hands, form four 6 ounce turkey patties. Season both sides of each patty with salt and pepper. Cook your patties using a hot oiled grill or pre-heated, lightly-greased cast iron pan until just cooked through. Internal temperature should read 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Just before the patties are done cooking, add 2 slices of cheese to each and cover to melt. Rest the patties on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes.
  4. While turkey is cooking, stir together mayonnaise and the rest of the basil pesto.
  5. Toast buns if desired. Dress with basil pesto mayo and sprouts. Place turkey patties on top then add tomato pesto, avocado, and top buns. Serve immediately.