| | | | | |

The Ultimate Healthy Turkey Burgers for Cilantro Lovers

These healthy turkey burgers are the ultimate for cilantro lovers! They are bursting with the flavors of garlic, lime and cilantro and have an easy but decadent creamy sauce.

Easy, lean, healthy and totally delicious.

turkey burger with cilantro lime burger sauce on top and the top half of the bun leaning on the side.

There are two types of people in this world.  Those who love cilantro and those who hate cilantro.  There’s no middle ground where cilantro is concerned. 

If you are not a fan of cilantro, you probably won’t like these and I feel bad for you… Its so good! Debbie and I are firmly in the “loves cilantro” category. Now if you don’t like cilantro, you can just omit it and replace it with basil and chives. They will still be delicious!

We happen love the super fresh taste of the cilantro, and mixed with a bite from the garlic and tang from the zesty lime, these turkey burgers are on point.

Tools You Will Need:

  1. Burger Press – make perfectly formed burgers of specific sizes with this tool.  Debbie’s got one and I need to get myself one.  I love hers.
  2. Lodge Cast Iron Griddle – I have this exact reversible grill pan.  Heats up like a hot damn and cleans like a breeze.  I love how it gets crispy bits all over the burgers when I use the flat side.  Way cheaper on Amazon than what I paid (just FYI).  I paid $75 for mine…
  3. Le Cruset Cast Iron Griddle – this is the grill pan we are coveting.  Its reversible too and also enameled.
  4. Cast Iron Scrapers – these tools are indispensable if you use cast iron regularly.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE mine.  The make clean up so much easier.

Ingredients You Need

For the Burgers

  • ground turkey
  • garlic
  • green onions
  • cilantro
  • lime
  • salt and pepper

For the Burger Sauce

  • mayo
  • garlic
  • lime juice
  • cilantro
  • salt
process pictures showing how to make turkey burgers

How to Make Turkey Burgers

Making these burger patties is super easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Chop your cilantro and then garlic. Make sure to mince the garlic good.
  • Add the turkey, garlic, green onions, cilantro, and lime to a large bowl.  Mix till combined, but don’t over mix it.
  • Shape the turkey mixture into equal sized balls for burgers.
  • Press the balls to shape into burgers. They should be around 1/2 an inch thick at least.  Or use a burger press like the one in the middle picture above. They work so great!
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.

How to Cook the Burgers

There are a couple ways to cook these burgers:

  1. in a cast iron pan or flat griddle – this is our favorite way
  2. on a grill or bbq

Either way, the method is the same:

  • get the pan or grill nice and hot
  • add oil to the pan or oil your grill
  • place the burgers on the hot surface
  • cook for about 4-6 mins and then flip them over and cook for 4-6 mins on the other side.

And your done!

We prefer cooking these on a flat surface rather than the grill because they get a delicious caramelized crust on the outside.

How to tell when turkey burgers are done?

There are a few ways to tell that your turkey burgers are done:

  • the best way: use a meat thermometer and cook until the temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  • you can feel the burger and if it feels more firm than soft, its likely done.
  • cut it open and look for pink. You don’t want any pink.

We prefer to use a meat thermometer because its accurate without cutting into the burger. Cutting into the burger causes the juices to run out.

Tips and Tricks for Juicy Burgers

  • don’t EVER push the burgers down when you cook them. This makes the juices run out.
  • don’t overcook the burgers – yet another reason to use a meat thermometer…
  • we always get juicy burgers following this recipe, however, if you find that your burgers get dry, you can try adding onion, zucchini, or some milk soaked oats or breadcrumbs. Just about 1/2 cup or so.
cilantro lime burger sauce

The Best Turkey Burger Sauce

This burger sauce MAKES these turkey burgers! It’s so good! Super flavorful and creamy. Exactly what you want your burger sauce to be.

The sauce for these cilantro turkey burgers is really simple.  Just a few ingredients mixed together, but the flavors of the burgers are mirrored in this bright and creamy sauce. After its mixed, let it sit in the fridge for 30 mins before you use it for the best flavor.

I could honestly just eat it with a spoon!

One thing about this sauce though, it doesn’t last too long.  I have had it in the fridge for a week, but the cilantro starts to get pretty wilty by then.  Its best used within a couple days.

Other Great Toppings

We kept it really simple with these turkey burgers. Just the burger patty, burger sauce, tomato and lettuce, but you could also use:

  • onions – raw or cooked
  • avocado
  • mustard might work
  • cheese – maybe a swiss cheese would be good
  • plain mayo if you don’t want to make the awesome burger sauce
a turkey burger cut in half to show the inside

The Best Burger Buns

In our opinion, the best burger bus are either brioche buns or pretzel buns. Its best to buy them as fresh as you can from your local bakery or you can try making them at home! Debbie made the ones we used and they were so good. Here are a couple recipes:

How We Eat These Burgers

When we make these turkey burgers, we like to make a bunch and then freeze some of them.  Then we can pull them out whenever we have a craving, whip up some sauce and put them in my belly.  

I also like to take a burger patty or two to work with me for lunch. Everyone asks me what I’m having because they smell so damn good when I heat them up!

Better yet, make them for a bbq party for a change from beef burgers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Turkey Burgers

Can I freeze the patties?

Definitely! Place them in an airtight container with some parchment or wax paper between each patty and they will keep for a few months in the freezer. We often freeze half of these when we make them.

Can I make the patties ahead of time?

Of course! You can make these up to 2 – 3 days ahead of time and keep them covered in the fridge. Or you can freeze them.

Is a turkey burger healthier than a hamburger?

Turkey burgers are quite a bit leaner than beef burgers so if you are watching your fat intake, turkey burgers are a better choice. However, both are a good source of protein.

Why do my turkey burgers fall apart?

We have not had any issues with these turkey burgers falling apart. But if you find this is an issue for you, try adding an egg and maybe some breadcrumbs which will likely help them stick together.

three burgers on a platter with some wedge fries

Other Burger Recipes You Might Like

If you’ve tried this turkey burger recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below.  We love hearing from you! 

We also love to see your creations!  Tag @Cookswithcocktails if you post a picture of this recipe on INSTAGRAM

The Ultimate Turkey Burgers for Cilantro Lovers

Turkey burgers and a decadent creamy sauce both bursting with the flavors of garlic, lime and cilantro. Easy, lean, healthy and totally delicious. 
3.80 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Burger
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: homemade burgers, turkey burgers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 burgers
Calories: 430kcal
Author: Julie & Debbie



  • 1 kg ground turkey
  • 4 cloves garlic , pressed
  • 1 bunch green onions , chopped fine
  • 1 bunch cilantro , chopped fine
  • 1 lime , juiced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 – 2 tbsp oil
  • 6 buns
  • whatever toppings you like


  • 1/2 cup light mayo
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 lime , juiced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro , chopped fine (you can put more if you like too)
  • 1/2 tsp salt



  • Make the sauce quickly first. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Cover and set aside.


  • Add the turkey, garlic, green onions, cilantro, and lime to a large bowl.  Mix till combined, but don’t over mix it. Its best to use clean hands for this.  Shape the turkey mixture into equal sized balls for burgers (or smaller ones for meat balls)
  • Press the balls to shape into burgers. They should be around 1/2 an inch thick at least.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
  • Heat a pan on medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and then the burgers to the pan.  Cook for about 4 – 6 mins on each side until the burgers are cooked through. Remove from pan.
  • Serve right away with the cilantro lime sauce, buns, and whatever toppings you like


If you don’t like cilantro, try taking the cilantro out of the burgers all together and replacing the cilantro in the sauce with basil and chives.


Serving: 1burger | Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g

Similar Posts


    1. Hi Lynn, thanks for the comment 🙂 Another burger-sans-bun person! Do people look at you weird when you eat your burger without the bun? I still get that. A lot. lol.

    1. So happy to hear you love it as much as we do! I have just updated the recipe with a nutrition label so now you can see how many calories are in the burgers. The calorie count is 1/6th of the recipe including the sauce.

Leave a Reply

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

Recipe Rating