California Turkey Burgers Pesto

California Turkey Burgers

  • Author: Lauren Kenson | Free Your Fork
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 burgers 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Cuisine: Fusion


Recipe for juicy California Turkey Burgers with an easy pesto spread. Pile these high with your favorite burger toppings (like fresh tomato or avocado!) for a protein-packed meal ready in under 30 mins.




  • 1 lb of lean ground turkey*
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 2 tbs dried onion
  • 2/33/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese (drain off any extra liquid)**
  • 12 tbs coconut oil


  • 2 tbs mayonnaise (or low-fat greek yogurt)
  • 1 tbs pesto


  • Fresh sliced tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Fresh greens (like spinach, arugula)
  • Burger buns
  • Romaine leaves


  1. MAKE THE BURGER PATTIES: Add all patty ingredients (except coconut oil) to a large bowl. Mix with your hands until just combined. The mixture will be very wet. Form mixture into 8 palm-sized patties and set aside.
  2. COOK THE BURGERS: Preheat a large pan over medium heat. Add 1 tbs of coconut oil and once melted, add patties to the hot pan. Cook the burgers in coconut oil for 4-6 minutes on the first side. Work in batches as needed and be careful not to crowd the pan. The burgers should not be touching. Once they have started to brown on one side and you see the meat beginning to cook on the sides of the patty, it is time to flip. Cook the burgers on the second side for another 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. If using a meat thermometer, final cooked temperature should read at least 165 degrees.
  3. MIX THE PESTO SPREAD: Mix together the ingredients for the pesto mayo in a small bowl and spread on burgers.
  4. STACK EM UP: Eat between toasted burger buns, inside of a pita or lavash bread, enjoy as a lettuce wrap, on top of a salad, or with hot vegetables on the side.


*Leave the turkey meat out on the counter for 10 minutes before forming burgers. This will make for more even cooking and more comfortable hand mixing.

**If you prefer meatier burgers go with 2/3 cup. If (like me) you prefer higher moisture content, cheesier burgers more towards the consistency of meat loaf then go with ¾ cup.

You can form the patties ahead of time and store in the fridge until ready to cook. Separate with square pieces of wax paper in between each patty for easy individual portions.

Since these are made with a very moist mixture, I would not recommend grilling these as they may not be able to hold up on grill grates.


  • Serving Size: 1 burger