Jalapeño Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers

If you’re craving big flavor, make these jalapeño pepper jack turkey burgers. These medium spicy burgers are bursting with flavor from cumin, smoked paprika, jalapeño pepper, garlic, cilantro, and pepper jack cheese and taste phenomenal hot off the grill. Turkey burgers often dry out, but these remain extra juicy and moist!

turkey burger on hamburger bun

Last summer, I published one of my favorite burger recipes. I eat meat, but black bean burgers are DEFINITELY one of my top choices. They’re big, thick, and hearty and meat eaters (plus non meat eaters!) around the world have raved about them. This summer, I’ve been playing around with turkey burger recipes and I’m confident I found the best combination of ingredients to make an absolutely divine burger. Meet my jalapeño pepper jack turkey burgers. We loved these.

Here’s What You’ll Love

  • Juicy (not dry)
  • Crazy flavorful
  • Thick and satisfying
  • Medium spicy, but you can adjust the heat
  • Relatively easy

Turkey burgers are leaner than beef burgers, so they definitely dry out quickly. We fix all that with today’s recipe. Shockingly good. Look how thick and hearty!

jalapeño turkey burger

Turkey Burger Ingredients

Ground turkey simply doesn’t contain the same flavor profile as ground beef, so it’s up to you to add extra flavor to the burgers. After playing around with different spices, binders, and herbs, I found the following list to be the real deal. Each ingredient adds a little something special and I encourage you to try the recipe as written. However, feel free to substitute your preferred flavors!

  1. Ground Turkey: The most important ingredient in turkey burgers is ground turkey. I usually use 94% lean ground turkey. The higher percentage of turkey, the leaner the meat and the drier the turkey burger. For best results, stick with around 94% lean. Remember, fat adds flavor.
  2. Egg: 1 egg binds the ingredients together.
  3. Pepper Jack Cheese: Adding pepper jack cheese directly to the turkey burger mixture supplies flavor, moisture, and– of course– spicy cheesiness!
  4. Onion: Adds flavor and moisture.
  5. Garlic: Adds flavor. Use either pre-minced garlic or mince 2 garlic cloves yourself.
  6. Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds flavor and pairs very well with the jalapeño. I didn’t think I’d love the cilantro IN the burger, but I was totally wrong. It’s fantastic.
  7. Jalapeño Pepper: Adds a delicious kick! Feel free to reduce or increase based on your spice tolerance. See more below.
  8. Worcestershire: Adds exceptional flavor and moisture.
  9. Salt & Pepper: Essential flavor!
  10. Smoked Paprika & Cumin: These are two excellent spices to pair with ground turkey. Smoked paprika’s sweet, rich, and smoky flavor enriches the burger’s flavor and cumin’s warm earthy taste is definitely a welcome addition.

If You Crave Big Flavor, Make These Jalapeño Pepper Turkey Burgers!

jalapeño turkey burger

How to Make Jalapeño Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers

  1. First step is to prep all of your ingredients. Finely chop the onion and jalapeño, mince the garlic, and get out all your spices.
  2. Mix everything except for the ground turkey together.
  3. Add the ground turkey and mix well. Honestly your hands are the best tool, but a wooden spoon or rubber spatula works just fine too.
  4. Form into 6 plump and compact patties. Each will be a heaping 1/2 cup of the turkey burger mixture. If you have a scale, each will weigh about 6 ounces.
  5. Chill. Place patties onto a lined baking pan or plate, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours. Starting with very cold patties is important because the colder the meat, the less likely the burgers will fall apart. Refrigerating the uncooked turkey burgers also gives the turkey a chance to absorb some of the awesome flavors.
  6. Grill the patties or sauté on the stove. I highly recommend grilling the turkey burgers because it really locks in all the moisture and adds the most wonderful grilled smoky flavor. Maybe it’s the winter and/or not everyone has access to a grill, so sautéing in a little oil on the stove is another option. See instructions for both in the recipe below. Add a slice of pepper jack on top as the burgers finish up.
  7. Add toppings. Serve your turkey burgers on a bun with spicy mayo, spicy ranch dressing, pickles, guacamole, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cilantro, or whatever else you’re craving.

You could also enjoy the turkey burger plain, on a salad, or chopped up in a wrap. These jalapeño pepper jack turkey burgers are crazy flavorful, so they truly don’t need any extras!

 

turkey burger mixture

grilling turkey burgers

Don’t Overcook

Cook the turkey burgers until a meat thermometer registers 165°F (74°C). Overcooking the turkey burgers will quickly dry them out, so keep a close eye on the grill or stove. They’ll cook in about 10 minutes on a high heat grill or medium-high stove. Keep the grill closed or place a lid over the skillet.

Are They Spicy?

The exact recipe below yields medium spicy turkey burgers. I don’t like super spicy foods, but loved these. If you don’t like spicy or are sensitive to spice, leave out the jalapeño pepper and substitute cheddar cheese for the pepper jack cheese. If you want a spicier kick, add another chopped jalapeño.

jalapeño turkey burger

jalapeño turkey burger

Making these for every cookout for the remainder of the summer. Let me know if you try them too!

More Cookout Favorites

Print
turkey burger on hamburger bun

Jalapeño Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 burgers
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These medium spicy turkey burgers are plump and juicy with mega flavor from a variety of spices and herbs. Refrigerate the patties for at least 30 minutes, then grill or sauté.


Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds 94% lean ground turkey*
  • optional: 6 slices pepper jack cheese
  • for serving: hamburger buns, jalapeño slices, spicy mayo or ranch dressing, guacamole, tomato, lettuce, etc

Instructions

  1. Whisk all of the first 11 ingredients together (not the 12th ingredient, the ground turkey) in a large bowl. Once completely combined, add the ground turkey and use your hands, a rubber spatula, or wooden spoon to thoroughly mix. Once completely combined, form the mixture into 6 plump and compact patties. The patties will weigh around 6 ounces each and be a heaping 1/2 cup each.
  2. Place the patties onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, baking pan, or plate. Cover tightly then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. This ensures the patties will hold their shape. You can also freeze the patties for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
  3. Clean the grill and grease with vegetable oil. Pour a little vegetable oil on a paper towel and carefully rub all over the grates. Preheat grill to high. Place cold turkey burgers on heated grill and cook for 5 minutes with the lid closed. Flip burgers over and cook covered for an additional 3 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F (74°C). If adding cheese, place a slice of cheese on the burger for the last 30 seconds. Overcooking the turkey burgers will quickly dry them out, so keep a close eye on them.
  4. Serve on hamburger bun with desired toppings.
  5. Store leftover turkey burgers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: You can shape the turkey burger patties up to 24 hours in advance, see step 2. You can also freeze the shaped patties for up to 3 months, see step 2. You can freeze the cooked turkey burgers as well. Cool completely, then wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or on the counter or defrost in the microwave. Heat up to your liking. I usually microwave for 30 seconds until warm throughout.
  2. The leaner the ground turkey, the higher the chance the burger has to dry out. I recommend around 94% lean.
  3. Stove Directions: Heat 1 Tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Hold your hand over the skillet and when you feel the heat rising up, the skillet is hot enough. Carefully place cold turkey burgers in heated skillet and cook for 5 minutes with a lid on top. Flip burgers over and cook covered for an additional 4-5 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 165°F (74°C). If adding cheese, place a slice of cheese on the burger for the last 30 seconds. If skillet isn’t large enough, cook in batches.

Keywords: turkey burgers, burger

65 Comments

  1. These were AMAZING! I made these tonight and my husband asked if they were the turkey burgers we usually buy from Costco (big compliment, they’re delicious lol). As someone else stated, I was worried these would be too spicy for my kids but I just used cheddar on the top but still had pepper jack inside and they were mild.
    Since I have younger kids, I did make 8 burgers out of this instead so they were a tad smaller but it definitely helped to weigh them around 5oz a piece and they were perfection.
    I used a cast iron skillet on my stove and didn’t have a lid to just placed a piece of foil over top as they cooked.
    Perfect and juicy and flavorful!
    Thanks for this recipe, Sally!!

  2. The recipe turned out DELICIOUS!! They were not dry at all! Added guacamole to the burger and it was perfect! Thanks Sally!

  3. Do you have a good recipe for the spicy mayo? Or even a good store bought brand?

  4. These are incredible! Turkey burgers are usually dry and lacking in flavor, but not these!! Super delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. This is my go to Turkey burger recipe!! My husband loves it also and says they are way better than his moms lol! Any idea of these would be considered keto friendly?

    1. These ARE keto friendly! 1g of net carbs maybe from the Worcestershire, skip the bun and use lettuce, make cloud bread, or eat by itself and girl you are good to go! This requires no flour or breadcrumbs or any added sugars – this is perfect for Keto, in my opinion ❤️

  6. Right in the money!! I normally make a recipe once and then make tweaks Most things don’t have enough flavor. These are absolutely perfect!!!!! Thanks for sharing

  7. Hi Sally!

    Do you have a recommendation for another choice of cheese that would compliment the burgers?

    1. Hi Cindy! Any kind of “harder” cheese would be delicious like cheddar or colby jack.

  8. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S-! I made these turkey burgers for dinner tonight and they were amazing, so easy to make and grill. My family loved them. My mom could not stop saying “this tastes like something you would get at a restaurant.” Seriously, she said it at least 5 times. I will definitely be making these again!

  9. LOVED this recipe. My boyfriend is a very picky eater, and this is one of his favorites.
    My only question is about the six-hour fridge limit. If I make a batch, can I leave raw burgers in the fridge until the next day? We’re only two people, so eating six burgers at once is tricky, and they weren’t as good when I cooked them from frozen. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Molly! I’m so glad that you love these. You can definitely extend the 6 hour time to 24 hours if needed. I’ve done that with regular burgers (not these though) and it’s never been a problem.

  10. These were sooooo good! I grilled them up last night with some corn on the cob. Super easy summer dinner. Delicious! Thanks Sally 🙂

1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe. Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×