Spicy turkey burgers, grilled and topped with guacamole and sprigs of fresh cilantro make a delicious, economical weeknight dinner.

Grilled Guacamole Turkey Burgers

The secret to great turkey burgers is to make sure that the meat is very well seasoned as ground turkey tends to be a bit bland and dry.

These spicy turkey burger patties include a small amount of panko crumbs to help retain the natural juices, fresh garlic, minced jalapeño pepper, chopped cilantro and a handful of crumbled Queso Fresco.

If you’re not familiar with Queso Fresco, it’s a fresh Mexican cow’s milk cheese with a fresh, milky flavor and crumbly texture. You can replace it with feta cheese, but feta has a drier texture and saltier flavor.

Note: Bon Appetit recommends soaking feta in cool water to tone it down a bit before using it as a replacement for Queso Fresco.

To serve, the burgers are topped with homemade guacamole and more fresh cilantro.

Grilled Guacamole Turkey Burgers

Spicy Turkey Burgers with Guacamole

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Flavorful turkey burgers, grilled and topped with guacamole and sprigs of fresh cilantro make a delicious, economical weeknight dinner.


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1 tablespoon panko crumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Queso Blanco, crumbled (or mild feta cheese)
  • 4 soft sandwich rolls
  • 3/4 cup guacamole
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs for topping


  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to a medium temperature (about 400°F).
  2. Add the ground turkey, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, honey, panko crumbs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of black pepper, cheese, and chopped cilantro to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine gently, but thoroughly, then form into 4 equally-sized patties.
  4. Transfer to a plate and chill the burgers for 15 minutes.
  5. Brush both sides of the burgers with a little vegetable oil and oil the grill grates as well. (see notes)
  6. Add the burgers and cook until you see juices start to accumulate on the top of the meat, approximately 4 minutes.
  7. Carefully flip them over and grill until they are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes longer.
  8. Transfer the burgers to a plate to rest for 5 minutes.
  9. To serve, place a burger on each bun, top with 2 tablespoons of guacamole and sprigs of fresh cilantro.


Grilling Notes:

Turkey burgers are more fragile than beef burgers, and to protect them from breaking apart you can grill them on aluminum foil. Here's how:

  • Line the grates of the grill with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil that's large enough to accommodate the burgers with a few inches between them.
  • Poke a few small drainage holes in the foil with the tines of your grilling fork, then either brush the entire surface with oil or coat with nonstick spray.
  • You may need an extra minute or two of grilling time, watch carefully.

You can also pan-sear or broil turkey burgers. The overall cooking time (8 to 10 minutes) should remain the same.