Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Turkey Pesto Burgers

Turkey Pesto Burgers

Looking for a healthier burger, but don’t want to sacrifice flavor? Look no further! These turkey pesto burgers are healthy, easy, and delicious!
turkey pesto burgers with condiments

Looking for a healthier burger, but don’t want to sacrifice flavor? Look no further! These turkey pesto burgers are healthy, easy, and delicious! 

Must-Know Cooking Skills

For recipe success, learn how to:

Dice an Onion
Measure Wet & Dry Ingredients

Culinary Tips for the Best Pesto Burgers

If you have picky eaters, dice the onions finely so that they don’t notice them. 

When mixing the ingredients, don’t overwork the meat. Otherwise, the burgers will turn out tough.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Ground Turkey: substitute ground chicken or salmon. We don’t recommend fully substituting red meat as it is higher in saturated fat and might require recipe modifications. However, a combination of grass-fed ground beef and mushrooms could work.
  • Shallot or Onion: use white, yellow, red, or green onions.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs: substitute plain, whole wheat, or seasoned bread crumbs, but cut back on the added salt if you do. Panko is typically very low in sodium.
  • Pesto: make your own or use your favorite store-bought variety. Any flavor will work!
  • Fresh Tomatoes: use cherry or regular tomatoes. You can also substitute regular or drained sun-dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil.
  • Oil: substitute cooking spray.

Turkey Pesto Burger Variations

You can change up these pesto burgers by changing the meat. Make chicken pesto burgers with ground chicken or use ground salmon or a mixture of grass-fed ground beef and mushrooms for other unique variations.

You can also vary the recipe by changing up the pesto. Check out our Pesto Base Recipe to learn how to create endless variations!

Equipment Recommendations

Are Burgers Healthy?

Not all burgers are healthy on their own, but they certainly can be included in a well-balanced diet. These turkey pesto burgers are a much healthier choice than their greasy counterparts; they are full of nutritious ingredients, including turkey, pesto, and tomatoes. 


Turkey is a lean source of protein and is rich in B vitamins and minerals such as iron. 


Pesto typically features dark leafy greens and extra virgin olive oil. Leafy green vegetables are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that promote health and help fight diseases. 

Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. (1, 2)


Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a phytochemical that helps protect against heart disease and prostate cancer. (3, 4)

Serving Suggestions for Turkey Burgers with Pesto

Serve pesto burgers as a traditional burger or make a salad by layering burger slices on top of a bed of greens. Turkey pesto burgers also pair well with a mediterranean-inspired grain bowl.

Slice the burgers for an easy finger food or make smaller burgers into sliders for kids. Pair with roasted vegetables and a salad for a balanced meal that they will be sure to love!

How to Store and Reheat Pesto Burgers

Cool leftover burgers completely, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. 

Leftover burgers can also be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place on a baking sheet and freeze. Once the burgers are completely frozen, transfer to a freezer-safe bag.

To reheat, place the burgers on a pan and place in a cold oven. Turn on the oven and heat to 350ºF. Once it hits 350° F, the burgers should be warmed and ready!

Looking for More Recipes that Feature Pesto?

Try out these tried and true favorites!

Turkey Pesto Meatballs

Pesto Crusted Salmon

Baked Pesto Salmon

turkey pesto burgers with condiments

Turkey Pesto Burgers

Looking for a healthier burger, but don’t want to sacrifice flavor? Look no further! These turkey pesto burgers are healthy, easy, and delicious!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 burgers


  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ¼ cup finely diced shallot or onion
  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup pesto (homemade or store bought)
  • ¼ cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover the pan)


  • Place ground meat in a large bowl.
  • Add shallot, bread crumbs, pesto, tomatoes, egg, salt, and pepper and mix until just combined.
  • Using your hands, form 4 patties.
  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.  Once pan is hot, add oil.
  • Once the oil is shimmering, add burgers. Cook patties for about 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through (165º F). Enjoy!


If substituting chicken, cook to 165ºF.
If substituting a beef & mushroom mixture, cook to 155ºF.
If substituting salmon, cook to 145ºF.
Keyword Turkey Pesto Burgers

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