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Kalyn's Kitchen

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers

These Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers are loaded with fresh herbs and I eat them in low-carb pita bread to make this a carb-conscious meal. Enjoy the turkey burgers and sauce in lettuce wraps if you want even fewer carbs!

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Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers shown inside pita with sauce and herbs

If anyone just turned their nose up a bit at the mention of turkey burgers, stay with me here for a minute. While it’s true that ground turkey can sometimes be a little ho-hum, these Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers have finely chopped mint and parsley added to the turkey, and they’re seasoned with an interesting mix of paprika, cumin, coriander, and pepper flakes for a delicious turkey burger that’s moist and flavorful. I actually had the leftovers for breakfast and again for lunch the day after I first made them, which is a pretty high recommendation in a house like mine where the fridge is always packed with interesting things to eat.

I loved the turkey burgers wrapped inside my favorite low-carb pita bread, but you could also enjoy them in lettuce wraps for a version that’s lower in carbs. I served them with a dollop of Tzatziki Sauce enhanced with some freshly chopped mint and parsley. I thought that was the perfect sauce to go with the flavor of the turkey burgers, but if you don’t want to go to the trouble of making Tzatziki, I have a few quicker sauce recommendations after the recipe.

What if you don’t have an outdoor grill?

If you don’t have an outdoor grill (or it’s not grilling weather) these tasty turkey burgers can be cooked on a stove-top grill pan with ridges or George Foreman Grill as well. (affiliate links) Use Grilling Recipes to find more ideas for grilling.

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers process shots collage

How to Make Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Put turkey into a bowl and let it come to room temperature while you chop the fresh mint and parsley.
  2. Add chopped mint, chopped parsley, olive oil, and spices to the bowl with the meat. 
  3. Then mix with your hands, just enough to combine.
  4. Put cling-wrap on the baking sheet. Then divide the turkey mixture into six even portions, roll the turkey into a ball, and flatten to make a patty.
  5. Put more cling wrap over the top and put baking sheet into the fridge and chill the turkey at least 30 minutes.
  6. When you’re ready to cook, oil or spray the surface of the grill and heat to medium heat.
  7. Brush the top of each patty with  a little more olive oil. Put burgers on the grill with oiled side facing down.
  8. For criss-cross grill marks, rotate the patties after about 4 minutes. (Lift an edge and see if the marks are showing to tell when it’s time to rotate.)  
  9. Grill the turkey burgers about 5-6 minutes per side, or until an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) reaches 165F/75C.
  10. Serve hot, inside low-carb pita bread, in lettuce wraps, on a hamburger bun, or just plain with the sauce. 
  11. We cut the patties in half and served them inside my favorite low-carb pita bread, which has 7 net carbs per whole pita.
  12. We loved the turkey burgers with Tzatziki Sauce with extra chopped mint and parsley sprinkled on.

What other types of sauce can you serve with Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers?

If you don’t want to make Tzatziki Sauce, you could also serve the turkey burgers with Creamy Cucumber SauceTartar Sauce, Homemade Ranch Dip, Easy Avocado Sauce, Green Goddess Salad Dressing or even Cafe Rio Salad Dressing. And if you don’t want to make a sauce or dressing, you can buy Tzatziki sauce, and I think purchased Ranch Dressing would taste pretty good on this too, especially if you added the extra chopped herbs.

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers inside pita bread with sauce and herbs

Make it a Meal:

I think Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers would taste great with Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt-Tahini Dressing or Cucumber and Yogurt Salad with Feta and Dill.

More Tasty Ideas with Ground Turkey

Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Curried Turkey Meatballs ~ The Perfect Pantry
Turkey Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Tomato-Avocado Salsa ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 7 minutes

These Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers are loaded with flavor and they're delicious served inside low-carb pita bread, in lettuce wraps, or just eaten plain with sauce!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt (I used fine sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (I used curly parsley, but either type will work)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (recipe called for 1 tsp., but I love cumin so I used a bit more)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. Aleppo pepper (recipe called for cayenne, and any type of ground red pepper would work)

Instructions

  1. Take the ground turkey out of the package and break into pieces in a bowl, then let it come to room temperature on the counter while you chop up a generous amount of fresh mint and parsley.
  2. Add garlic, salt, chopped mint, chopped parsley, olive oil, Sweet Hungarian Paprika (affiliate link), ground cumin (affiliate link), ground coriander (affiliate link), and Aleppo Pepper (affiliate link) or other spicy red pepper flakes to the bowl with the meat.
  3. Then mix with your hands, just enough to combine.
  4. Put a piece of cling-wrap on a baking sheet. Then divide the turkey mixture into six even portions, roll the turkey into a ball, and flatten to make a patty.
  5. Put another piece of cling wrap over the top or the patties, put baking sheet into the fridge, and chill the turkey at least 30 minutes (or at bit longer longer if you have plenty of time.)
  6. When you're ready to cook, oil or spray the surface of the grill and heat to medium heat. (If you don't have grilling spray, put some oil on a paper towel and rub on the grill grates before you heat the grill.)
  7. Brush the top of each patty with  a little more olive oil. Then put burgers on the grill, putting the side you brushed with oil facing down.
  8. If you're going for criss-cross grill marks, rotate the patties after about 4 minutes. (Lift the edge and see if the marks are showing to tell when it's time to rotate.)
  9. Grill the turkey burgers about 5-6 minutes per side, or until an Instant Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) reaches 165F/75C.
  10. Serve hot inside low-carb pita bread, in lettuce wraps, on a hamburger bun, or just plain with the sauce.
  11. We cut the patties in half and served them inside my favorite low-carb pita bread, which has 7 net carbs per whole pita.
  12. We loved the turkey burgers with Tzatziki Sauce with some extra chopped mint and parsley sprinkled on.
  13. You could also serve these with Creamy Cucumber SauceTartar Sauce, Homemade Ranch Dip, Easy Avocado Sauce, Green Goddess Salad Dressing or even Cafe Rio Salad Dressing. And if you don't want to make a sauce, you can buy Tzatziki Sauce or I think purchased Ranch Dressing would taste pretty good on this too, especially if you added the extra chopped herbs.

Notes

Nutritional information is for turkey burgers only. The low-carb pita bread I used has 9 carbs but 2 grams of fiber for 7 net carbs per serving. Tzatziki sauce has only four carbs in one-fourth cup, and all the other sauces recommended are very low in carbs.

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Grilling Volume 2.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 360Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 683mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 29g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

I'd love to see your pictures if you make this recipe. Share on social media with the hashtag #kalynskitchen so I can see how it turned out for you!

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers square image of finished turkey burgers in pita with sauce and herbs

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
If Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers are served plain or inside lettuce wraps with any of the sauces listed above, and these turkey burger patties would be low-carb and good for any phase of the South Beach Diet (and maybe even Keto since you’re adding extra oil to the meat and brushing them with olive oil.) Serving the burgers inside my favorite low-carb pita bread adds 7 net carbs, but this is still a pretty low-carb meal and also suitable for phase 2 or 3 of South Beach.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Turkey Recipes or Grilling to find more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe for Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers was first posted August 2009. The recipe was updated with better photos and slightly easier instructions June 2020.

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers Pinterest image

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    47 Comments on “Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers”

  1. Thanks for the quick response! Pics was thinking the same thing about the herbs. The crumble idea is good!

  2. Carebear, I'm not entirely sure what will happen to all the fresh herbs in the meat if it's browned like that (the herbs might burn or get over-cooked.) Also turkey often releases water when it's cooked on the stovetop (which doesn't happen on a grill.) I do like the sound of it, but truthfully I am just not sure how it will work. You could brown the patties and then break them apart when they're partly cooked; that might work better.

  3. Hi Kalyn! I was wondering if this meat recipe could be browned much like you would taco meat? You know, instead of making patties they could be more like Greek tacos and the meat is stuffed in a pita.

  4. So glad to hear you have been enjoying the recipe so much!

  5. I've loved this recipe, sometimes I've added some finely minced (almost pureed) onions, or switched the sweet paprika with smoked, but it's always great. I've even made these into meatballs and grilled them, they keep good in the freezer that way and then make a great quick protein addition to top a salad of spinach, tomatoes and feta that I can quickly throw together in the morning for a great work week lunch.

  6. ~M if you don't want dairy, I'd probably go with some type of salsa.

  7. These look awesome and I have access to ground kosher turkey. Do you have a recipe or recommendation for a non-dairy dip to serve with these burgers?

  8. Ellen, I buy low-fat ground turkey and I'm going by the general guideline to use meats that have less than 10% fat and 4.5% saturated fat, which is listed under beef in the newest book, South Beach Diet Supercharged. The ground turkey I buy (frozen packs at Costco) has 7 grams of fat and 2 grams saturated fat in 4 oz. turkey, so even if it's not 100% turkey breast, it's pretty low in fat.

    For turkey sausage, I buy Jenni O Turkey Italian Sausage"which is also under the limit.

    I do try to be careful to make a note in the recipe when it's a little higher in fat and consider those kinds of things to be a "once in a while treat". I admit, the fat guidelines are the hardest part of dieting for me, but I try try to be conscious of them.

  9. I can't figure out how this recipe & many others on your blog qualify as South Beach Phase 1. You are not allowed to use regular ground turkey (supposed to be ground turkey breast only). Also I've never seen "legal" turkey sausages. The packaged ones like Shady Brook Farms or The Turkey Store, that come in 5 link packages and are available in hot or sweet are also made with regular ground turkey (higher fat content) not ground turkey breast, and therefore aren't allowed on phase one.

  10. Nalene, you're welcome, happy to hear you liked it!

  11. I made this for dinner two nights ago, and it was so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  12. Robyn, thanks! That makes my day. I'm not exaggerating at all, I love every recipe I try from Fine Cooking and always mention it as my #1 food magazine!

  13. Thanks for loving us Kalyn. . .We love you too!
    – Robyn from http://www.FineCooking.com.

  14. Hard to say, but I'm guessing the leaner breast meat will cook a bit more quickly. Also maybe your patties were thinner? I wouldn't worry about it, I'd just eat then when they're cooked through.

  15. hi, they were great- but I am wondering about the done-ness temperature? I used only turkey breast meat, and they were cooked well before my thermometer reached that temp…?

  16. This has got to be an omen! I've been looking around on the web for something new and interesting to grill and your turkey burgers with yogart sauce is the 2nd such recipe I've run across. The other recipe called for the finished meat to be wrapped in lettuce leaves. Will most certainly try both versions. Thanks for the post.

    Lea Ann

  17. Those turkey burgers look good! Using turkey is always a nice change for burgers.

  18. Thanks everyone, do hope you will try it. I absolutely loved how this turned out. One of my neighbors has already tried it and liked it!

  19. saw this on photograzing. looks yummy.

  20. wow these look fantastic!