No dry turkey burgers here.
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Dinner on the grill is a perfect summer pastime, and burgers are a classic option. While turkey burgers can have a bad reputation for being as dry as the Sahara (and often as flavorless), that doesn't have to be the case. Find out how a few key ingredients can transform ground turkey into something truly juicy and delicious. Plus, get a recipe that uses the ingredients in one mouth-watering burger.

Grilled Turkey Burgers
Credit: Jason Donnelly

5 Key Ingredients for Healthy and Delicious Turkey Burgers

Choose 93%-Lean Ground Turkey

Swapping traditional ground beef for 93%-lean ground turkey is a great way to cut back on saturated fat. Compared to the typical 85%-lean ground beef burger, one made with 93%-lean ground turkey has half the saturated fat at 2.5 grams. (And it has a lighter environmental footprint than beef, as well as a milder taste— which some cooks prefer.) Plus, 93%-lean ground turkey still has enough fat content overall that it's not as prone to drying out as the 99%-fat-free kind. 

Add Moisture with Grated Onion

One of the biggest challenges with cooking lean ground meat, especially turkey, is that it can easily become dry. Our fix? Add moisture by mixing in grated onion—grating releases more of the veggie's juices compared to chopping. The onion also imparts lots of flavor.

Boost Flavor with Worcestershire Sauce

This fermented English condiment is made with vinegar, onions and garlic, molasses, anchovies and spices, so it packs tons of umami. Yes, it's high in sodium, but we only use 1 tablespoon in the entire recipe. That way, you get the savoriness without the salt bomb. And it enhances the meaty taste of the turkey burger.

Bind it with Fresh Whole-Wheat Breadcrumbs

Lean ground turkey needs a binder to help the patties hold their shape so they don't fall apart on the grill. (Higher-fat meat naturally stays together.) So we turn to breadcrumbs. Using fresh instead of dried gives the burgers even more moisture.

Boost Fiber with Whole-Wheat Hamburger Buns

It's worth checking to make sure whole-wheat flour is the first ingredient on the label, or scoping out the fiber content of your pick, since some brands may seem more wheaty than they really are. Choosing whole-wheat gives you more fiber than a white bun (an impressive 3 or 4 grams per roll versus less than 1 gram).

This article originally appeared in EatingWell Magazine, June 2021.