Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

Guess what?

I pretty much make dinner 7 nights a week. For real. It’s not always fancy, or meaty, or exciting in the least. Sometimes it’s just whatever is wasting away in the crisper drawer combined with rice, sweet or regular potatoes, pasta, or tortillas. I just love a carb-y vehicle to drive the food home (in this case, home is my mouth).

I take the weekends as a cue to make something fun and exciting. I test out recipes I’ve had pinned, bookmarked, or have schemed up. A couple of weekends ago, it was rich and delicious chicken pot pie. The next weekend, fried chicken sandwiches with extra pickles. This past weekend, it was these amazeballs turkey burgers.

Yeah, man…they were amazeballs.  That wasn’t even a typo.

I mean, it’s a burger. We’re burger fanatics in this house. It doesn’t really matter what kind of patty it is…we’re totally into bean burgers, as well as the classic beef, and we’ve even been known to love a pork or chicken burger. Ground turkey is always a lean and easy to find option, but it can be dry and bland.

I try to jazz  up  turkey burgers with lots of herbs (sage & rosemary) and aromatics (onions & garlic), and ensure juiciness with a little greek yogurt. Then, there’s the bun and the toppings, which cannot be ignored. In this case it was my favorite Light Brioche bun, some soft goat cheese, lemony cranberry sauce, spinach (for some green), and some grainy mustard. It was pretty much Thanksgiving on a burger and it was love.

What kind of burger are you in love with?

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Goat Cheese and Cranberry Sauce

This burger is a meal in and of itself, but it’s totally appropriate to serve with a side of sweet potato fries.

Cranberry Sauce

12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries

1/2-3/4 cup sugar (to taste)

zest of 1 lemon

juice of one lemon

3/4 cup water

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and cook until cranberries burst, give off their juice, and thicken (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve if desired. Pour into a heatproof jar and allow to cool. Refrigerate. Will thicken as it cools.

Turkey Burger

1/2 medium onion, diced fine

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped, fresh sage

2 teaspoons minced, fresh rosemary

1 pound lean, ground turkey

1 egg

2 tablespoons greek yogurt

3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

goat cheese, grainy mustard, and spinach leaves to serve

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, sweat onions and garlic. Once onions become translucent, add sage and rosemary and saute another minute. Do not brown or the garlic may burn. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine ground turkey, egg, yogurt, breadcrumbs, and cooled onion/herb mixture. Mix gently to combine. Divide meat into 4 sections and shape into patties (about 1/4-1/2 inch thick), making a shallow well in the center. Refrigerate patties for 20 minutes to firm up.

Heat a heavy skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle patties liberally with salt and pepper, cook, flipping only once, for about 4 minutes on each side. Top with goat cheese, add a splash of water to the pan (1 tablespoon is good) and cover until liquid evaporates. This will soften the cheese, but not melt it since goat cheese doesn’t really melt. Place burgers on toasted buns with mustard and spinach, top with cranberry sauce.

Light Wheat Brioche Buns

I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat and regular whole wheat flour. You can use whatever you like or just use bread flour.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen


3/4 cup warm water

1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons warm milk

2 teaspoons dry yeast

2 tablespoons honey

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups bread flour

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

poppy seeds or sesame seeds for sprinkling

1 egg + i tablespoon cream for egg wash

Measure out warm water and milk into a glass measuring cup. Stir in honey and then yeast. Allow to rest 5 minutes until foamy.

Lightly beat the egg in a small dish and set aside.

In a stand mixer, whisk together flours and salt. Rub butter into flour mixture with your fingertips. Mix in the yeast and water mixture, as well as the egg. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough will pull from the sides of the bowl and form a ball, the dough ball should be tacky to the touch. Rise, covered with plastic for 1-2 hours until doubled in bulk.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place the dough portions on a parchemnet lined baking sheet and cover loosely, allow to rise another hour.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Whisk together egg and cream, brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds. Bake buns in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. The buns should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool on a cooling rack. Buns can be baked and frozen in a resealable plastic bag for use later.  Just defrost for 1-2 hours on the counter, or overnight in the refrigerator.







  1. says

    Wow, Cindy, I’ve never seen a turkey burger looking so good. When Marc and I see that Jennie-O turkey burger commercial, we say, “Yeah, right”. This, on the other hand, looks pretty darn great.

  2. says

    I saw these on foodgawker and thought, I’ve gotta click over and see who is responsible for this sultry deliciousness. Should have known! If I was going to choose a food blogger to cook for me, you’d be it.

  3. says

    After having eaten tons of hamburgers at gastropubs that used brioche buns, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making them myself. Yours look so glossy and pretty! I’m definitely going to try this very soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. says

    Ok, I don’t want to sound like a weirdo, but those buns look amazing! I was just discussing burgers/buns with my hubby yesterday and said I need to find a better burger bun. Looks like I have….I just have to make them. Thanks! :)

  5. says

    We made these for supper tonight. They were wonderful! I loved the burger with cranberry sauce and goat cheese. I made them a little smaller; I made 6 burgers out of 1.25 lbs of meat. They needed a little bit longer than 4 minutes per side. I will definitely make these again! Thank you for sharing!

  6. says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made them for our low-key Thanksgiving meal this year and couldn’t be happier with my decision to do so. I got all of the flavors of the holiday without slaving away in the kitchen for hours and figuring out what to do with the rest of a giant turkey. I love how moist they are and how much flavor is in one seemingly simple burger. I’ll admit I didn’t bother to make my own buns but look forward to trying that part of the recipe in the future.

  7. Daniel says

    Just gone eating this for dinner…completely AMAZING! (I didn’t make the bread though, lol) Anyway…awesome recipe for sure, thanks!

  8. Christine says

    I made these last week, and they were SIMPLY DELICIOUS, WOW! I did the turkey burgers and the brioches. I didnt make the cranberry sauce, but rather used canned cranberry sauce (cardinal sin?) and skipped the spinach leaf as well. I can’t say enough about this meal, we paired it with some sweet potato fries, and the next day, paired it with a salad. Thanks for the winner recipe

  9. erin says

    AMAZING flavor in this recipe. I made them tonight and we loved every single bite!!! I am sooo super glad i found this. The goat cheese really tops it off! Thank you for such a great recipe :)

  10. Kim Ryan says

    Making these turkey burgers for the husband. He asked me just the other day why I hadnt made something with cranberries yet since fall has hit. Yay… thanks for sharing.

  11. Kelly says

    These were SOOO good. I left out the rosemary but otherwise followed the burger/sauce recipe exactly. They were the best turkey burgers I have ever had. (I think the yogurt was genius!) I did create 4 patties but had to cook them more like 6 minutes on each side. The cranberry sauce was perfect too! Thanks for sharing this recipe!


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