A Fresh Take on the Burger: Grilled Beef and Turkey Burgers With Basil

Hamburgers cooking on grill
Tetra Images/Creative RF/Getty Images
  • 26 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins,
  • Cook: 14 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Ratings (5)

You may not have thought of doing it before, but combining ground beef and turkey in a burger patty creates a nice texture and flavor combination; the turkey keeps the burger juicy, adds a bit of healthy meat, and reduces the amount the cooked burger will shrink on the grill. This alone takes the typical burger up a notch, but then adding fresh basil to the mix brings an unexpected but delicious freshness to a favorite cookout dish. The sweet onion, Parmesan cheese, and garlic add a nice depth of flavor while dressing with the roasted red peppers brings a bit of color to the finished sandwich. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 8 hamburger buns (toasted)

How to Make It

  1. Combine egg, onion, basil, ketchup (if using), Parmesan cheese, garlic, pepper, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add ground turkey and ground beef to the bowl, mixing well. Shape into eight 3/4-inch-thick patties.
  3. Preheat grill to high heat.
  4. Place burgers on the grill and reduce heat to medium.
  5. Cook burgers for 10 to 14 minutes turning once half-way through.
  6. Remove burgers from grill and serve topped with sliced roasted red peppers on toasted hamburger buns. Offer condiments on the side.

    Tips and Variations

    When combining the burger ingredients, make sure not to overmix; if the raw meat is handled too much you will end up with a dense and heavy burger. If you can, let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for a while to allow the flavors to meld together. Also, wet your hands before forming the patties so the meat doesn't stick to them. If you are making the patties ahead of time, place them in layers separated by wax paper on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap, or in a zip-top bag.

    To avoid the burger from becoming too rounded on top, use your thumb to create an indentation in the top of the patty before placing on the grill. Some chefs even recommend freezing the patties before grilling to help them keep their shape and increase the moisture.

    Instead of the quintessential condiments—ketchup, mustard, mayo—serve these burgers with a "special sauce." Whip up a garlic aioli, use store-bought chipotle mayonnaise, combine pesto with mayo (a great complement to the basil inside the burger), or even use a tomato chutney.

    You can easily make these burgers even healthier by swapping out regular hamburger buns for whole wheat or multigrain—or make them open-top and serve only on the bottom bun. Add plenty of vegetables as toppings including fresh spinach leaves, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, and pickles.