Whether you are wondering what else you can do with cheap turkey meat around the holidays or you are trying to reduce the fat content from your meat consumption, we have the most delicious answer. Enjoy this juicy Air Fryer Turkey Burger your craving cries out for some burger goodness without the fat.
🍽️ Why This Works
Full of flavor. The shredded pepper jack cheese makes these turkey burgers next level. Add your favorite teriyaki sauce with pineapple slices and you’ll have the burger you crave on a plate.
Very little mess. Using the air fryer to fix up your burger contains the mess and doesn’t add a whole lot of heat to the kitchen. Throw the mixing bowl in the dishwasher, wipe out the air fryer basket and you are good to go.
Hands-off cooking. Flip once and focus on the other components of your meal while the air fryer does it job. No babysitting for this meal.
Crispy and juicy at the same time. If you thought the only way to get a nice crusty turkey burger without drying it out was impossible, think again. The air fryer makes it juicy.
📝 Ingredient Notes
Ground Turkey – Pick this up from your grocery store or make your own from raw turkey meat and a meat grinder. At the store, you might find the option to purchase ground turkey breast. This is lower in fat than mixed ground turkey and doesn’t taste as good or cook as nicely. Right before Thanksgiving is a great time to pick up some extra cheap turkey meat to use in a variety of ways such as this air fryer turkey burger recipe.
Pepper Jack Cheese – Shredded pepper jack adds a hint of spice and moisture from the fat.
Panko – These thin bread crumbs act as a binder with the egg while also improving the texture of the burger.
Egg – Hold it all together with an egg so your turkey burgers don’t turn into a crumbled mess.
Turkey Burger Toppings
- Pineapple rings. You can purchase these in a can (in syrup) or slice your own.
- Teriyaki Sauce. We used the Wicked Sticky Teriyaki Sauce but your favorite sauce will work. If you are in the market for a new favorite, try this one!
- Red Onion. Sweet onions would also work but we like the extra tang from a red onion.
- Colby Jack Cheese. Optional.
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Air Fryer. We like the Ninja Foodie, but any air fryer or convection oven will work for this recipe.
Mixing Bowl. Every kitchen needs a good set of mixing bowls! A basic glass set will work nicely for just about anything.
Step One: Combine all the ingredients into a bowl.
Step Two: Stir gently to combine. Make sure you get the bread crumbs evenly distributed, they are difficult to see in the turkey and don’t taste good clumped together in the final dish.
Step Three: Divide into four quarters. Oil hands and form four burger patties.
Step Four: Place burgers in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to set up. Remove the burgers for 10 minutes before cooking to bring down to room temperature.
Step Five: Set Air Fryer to 400°F and cook them for 6-8 minutes, flipping half way through or until internal temperature in 165ºF. Allow to set for 2-4 minutes to allow the juices to set and remain in the burger. Thickness and size will affect cooking time so check the temperature to be sure your burgers are thoroughly cooked.
Pro Tip: Add your desired cheese to the burger once it is finished cooking. Close the air fryer but do not turn it back on. Let the residual heat in the machine melt your cheese for a minute or so. Then plate your burger! Melted cheese ✅.
Step Six: Place a bun bottom on the plate, add on the turkey burger, red onion slices, pineapple slices and drizzle with teriyaki sauce.
Air Fryer Conversion Charts and Tips
|Air Fryer Conversion
|Air Fryer Tips
|Deep Fryer to Air Fryer
|Foil in Air Fryer
|Cooking Times Cheat Sheet
|Parchment in Air Fryer
|Oven to Air Fryer
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
Make sure you give your turkey burgers time to rest for at least couple of minutes so that the juices redistribute before serving.
Give some added yumminess, caramelize the pineapple rings in a hot skillet or George Foreman grill on medium heat while the turkey burgers cook.
Using a parchment liner for your air fryer helps contain the mess even more and makes clean up a breeze!
Don’t handle the meat too long and struggle with the process of forming burgers. This can toughen up the meat.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
Uncooked Turkey Burger patties can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days after purchase of the ground turkey. Store them in an airtight container. Set them out for ten minutes before cooking them.
Cooked leftover turkey burgers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days after they are cooked. Store them in an airtight container and reheat them using proper safe handling of poultry just like you would with chicken.
Cooked leftover turkey burgers or uncooked patties can also both be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container and either reheated or cooked from frozen. If you are cooking air fryer turkey burgers from frozen, just add 3-5 minutes to the cooking time.
Reheat refrigerated turkey burgers in the skillet or in an air fryer. Reheat frozen turkey burgers in a skillet on medium heat or thaw and cook as described in this post if frozen raw. Your turkey burger needs reheated to 165ºF to be safe.
Make up a big batch of turkey burger patties after Thanksgiving and freeze them for use over the next several months. This will save you time when you need a quick lunch or busy weeknight dinner.
Form the turkey burger patties and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Put this in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once frozen mostly solid, they can be transferred to any airtight container or a freezer-quality plastic bag and kept for up to three months.
Frozen turkey burgers are perfect to keep on hand when you have growing teens that need a fast afternoon snack that isn’t junk food! This is a recipe they can learn fast.
Additions and Substitutions
You can use any of your favorite burger toppings or topping combinations for air fryer turkey burgers and it will work great!
If pepper jack doesn’t fit with your chosen flavor profile of choice, substitute it with a different shredded cheese such as Monterey Jack, Colby jack, cheddar, mozzarella, provolone or Havarti.
Sneak a few veggies into your air fryer turkey burgers for picky kids. Adding ½ cup of shredded zucchini or yellow squash, or very finely chopped onions or celery would all add flavor and nutritional value.
If you love pineapple but don’t love teriyaki, try your favorite sweet BBQ sauce instead as we did in our Air Fryer Chicken Burgers.
Serve up your turkey burgers with a cold beer and and a couple of fast sides such as a creamy cucumber salad or chips with this black bean and corn salsa. You can also keep it easy with a bag of tater tots or a bag of chips.
❓ Recipe FAQ
6-8 minutes flipping halfway through the cooking process.
400ºF is the temperature we use on our air fryer. Some air fryers have limited options for temperature so just pick the closest setting on your machine and add or subtract time as needed.
Add 3-5 minutes cooking time to cook frozen turkey burgers in the air fryer for a total of 9-12 minutes at 400ºF.
Air fryers work because of the flow of air and whatever is touching the surface of the air fryer basket isn’t getting any air flow. To promote even cooking and browning, flip the turkey burgers once during the process.
This really is a loaded question and depends on your health goals. Turkey burgers have less saturated fat and a different combination of vitamins and minerals than what a beef burger contains.
While we do think grilling burgers is a great option, using the air fryer makes a fantastic burger without the need to go outside in the rain or cold. It’s the perfect year round solution when a grill is not practical.
Favorite Air Fryer Recipes
Frozen Waffle Fries (We made a charcuterie board using these!)
Air Fryer Turkey Burger
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- ¼ cup Pepper Jack Cheese shredded
- ¼ cup Panko
- 1 Egg
Turkey Burger Toppings
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Red Onion
- Combine all the ingredients into a bowl and stir gently to combine.
- Divide into 4 quarters. Oil hands and form 4 patties.
- Place burgers in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow to set up.
- Remove the burgers for 10 minutes before cooking to bring down to room temperature.
- Set Air Fryer to 400 degrees and cook turkey burgers for 6-8 minutes, flipping half way through or until internal temperature in 165 degrees. Allow to set for 2-4 minutes to allow the juices to set and remain in the burger.
- Place a bun bottom on the plate, add on the turkey burger, red onion slices, pineapple slices and drizzle with teriyaki sauce.
Ginny Collins is a passionate foodie and recipe creator of Savor and Savvy and Kitchenlaughter. Indoors she focuses on easy, quick recipes for busy families and kitchen basics. Outdoors, she focuses on backyard grilling and smoking to bring family and friends together. She is a lifelong learner who is always taking cooking classes on her travels overseas and stateside. Her work has been featured on MSN, Parade, Fox News, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many local news outlets. She lives in Florida where you will find her outside on the water in her kayak, riding her bike on trails, and planning her next overseas adventure.