Turkey Cheeseburgers With Grilled Vidalia Onion Rings

No more dry patties. This recipe guarantees turkey burger success.

Turkey Cheeseburgers with Grilled Vidalia Onion Rings
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
35 mins
Chill Time:
30 mins
Stand Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins

The turkey burger can be a difficult beast to master—done the wrong way, you'll be left with a dry, flavorless patty. But don't worry: Our Test Kitchen has got your back. We're cluing you in on all the secrets of how to make a great turkey cheeseburger with our recipe for Turkey Cheeseburgers with Grilled Vidalia Onion Rings.

Turkey burgers are often known as a healthier alternative to traditional beef burgers; this burger provides all the moisture and fatty texture of a beef burger, but with the flavor and reduced fat of a turkey burger. Lean turkey meat can be dry, so we mixed in grated cold butter to make these burgers juicy. Not only is the burger super moist—thanks to the poultry seasoning, it tastes similar to a roasted turkey. The grilled Vidalia onions are tender and sweet with lots of char from the grill. Melted provolone, as well as tomato, lettuce, pickles, and mayo, add the final touches to the finished burgers.

Use a cast-iron griddle or skillet to cook the patties; the melting butter can cause flare-ups on the grill. Serve with crinkle-cut fries, potato chips, or tater tots.


  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey breast

  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

  • 1 large Vidalia onion, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds (individual rings not separated)

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 4 provolone cheese slices

  • 4 potato hamburger buns, toasted

  • Toppings: ketchup, pickles, green leaf lettuce, and mayonnaise


  1. Grate butter using largest holes on a box grater; transfer to a medium bowl. Add ground turkey and poultry seasoning; gently mix using your hands until well combined. Divide mixture into 4 (about 5-ounce) balls; shape each ball into a 4-inch-wide, ¾-inch-thick patty. Arrange patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover; chill at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

  2. Preheat a grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Sprinkle onion rounds evenly with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper, and drizzle evenly with oil. Place onion rounds on unoiled grates. Grill, uncovered, rotating rounds on grates often, until completely charred, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer grilled onions to a medium bowl, discarding outer blackened rings, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let onion rounds stand until completely tender, about 5 minutes.

  3. Place a cast-iron griddle plate or a large cast-iron skillet on grill grates, and preheat about 3 minutes. Remove patties from refrigerator; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Place patties on preheated unoiled griddle plate on grill. Cook, covered, until well seared and golden in color, about 5 minutes. Flip patties; cook, covered, 3 minutes. Top each patty with 1 cheese slice. Cook, covered, until cheese is melted and a thermometer inserted into thickest portion of patties registers 165°F, about 2 minutes. Serve patties on toasted buns with ketchup, pickles, grilled onions, lettuce, and mayonnaise.

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