Air Fryer Turkey Burgers

by Erin @ Food Doodles on May 23, 2021

These air fryer turkey burgers are so moist, flavorful and a family favorite! They can also be prepared ahead of time, frozen and air fried straight from the freezer. If you love juicy burgers, then you’re going to love these healthier turkey burgers.

I’m so excited to be sharing one of our family’s favorite recipes. I hadn’t tried turkey burgers until somewhat recently.

To be honest, I thought that the idea was ridiculous. “Why eat a turkey burger when you can have a real hamburger,” I thought.

turkey burger on piece of parchment paper


And the answer is – because they’re super delicious, even in a world where hamburgers exist. 😉

This is one of my kid’s favorite meals. I always make a big batch, form them into patties, and then freeze them for an instant main dish for dinner.

If you make them into log shapes, they’re also great wrapped up in a tortilla with some cheese and lettuce for the lunch box!

air fryer turkey burger with a bite taken out

Fresh versus frozen

Both work just as well!

But note, there’s often a bit of liquid at the bottom of the bag once the frozen ground turkey has thawed. You do not want to add that to the bowl!

I’ve been lazy multiple times, or have just forgotten, and it makes the mixture very sticky and difficult to work with. More liquid = a sticky mess.

ingredients for air fryer turkey burgers

Why use an air fryer?

If you haven’t heard me say it before, air frying is a quick and easy method that is energy efficient, healthy and will leave you with perfectly crisp and delicious food every time.

It takes seconds to pre-heat and won’t heat your house which makes it perfect for the summer months!

In the winter, it’s great not to have to stoke up the grill in freezing weather. And it won’t smoke you out of the house like it might if you fry these burgers on the stovetop. It’s an all-season alternative for quick family meals without sacrificing time or energy.

air fryer turkey burger ingredients in a mixing bowl

Air frying is also a healthier way to cook. Using an air fryer eliminates pan-frying where burgers will simmer in their own fat making them a little less healthy.

By using minimal oil, an air fryer is a healthy equivalent to grilling, but the juiciness and flavor from the air fryer just might be the front-runner if there were an actual competition.

Often poultry will dry out quickly before it’s actually done, creating a less desirable meal. The air fryer changed this by forcing air around the food which browns and crisps the crusty outside while it traps moisture to quickly cook the inside. The oven does the same only the air fryer does it faster and is more consistent.

forming patty for air fryer turkey burgers

What air fryers I used

The air fryer you see in the photos is the Ninja Max XL Air Fryer. It has a broil rack giving “meals or sides a crispy and bubbly finish”! But it delivers and has a big basket so you can make bigger batches. Plus, it has no mess, dishwasher-safe accessories that make life even easier.

I also have the Ninja SP101 Foodi 8-in-1 Digital Air Fry and it does it all. It air fries, roasts, broils, bakes, toasts, dehydrates and keeps food warm. It even has a bagel setting! It states it’s 60% faster than a traditional oven with air roast, and I know it’s easy to clean.

It’s sleek and modern and can be put away easily. I bought it, promising my husband that I’d put it up right away when I was done, but we both use it so often that it just sits on the counter like a challenge to make something new.

It preheats within a minute, really, and the only reason I turn on my oven now is if I can’t fit the pan in the Ninja.

I feel like I could be a salesperson for this machine.

raw turkey burger in air fryer

Can you pan-fry these?

Of course! Just add a little oil to a non-stick pan and let it get hot. Place the patties in the pan and fry them 5-6 minutes on each side until they’re fully cooked. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan.

They’re ready when the internal temperature reaches 165 °F (75 °C).

cooked turkey burger in air fryer

Extra tips:

  • Always check for doneness: check the guidelines to ensure the meat reaches the appropriate temperature. All air fryers are not the same, so read the manual for the best cooking times for that particular machine.
  • If the turkey is sticky and won’t hold a shape, you can place it in the fridge or freezer to help firm the meat before making patties. I like to also use parchment paper because I like an easier cleanup, and it helps form the burgers without it sticking to your hands.
  • If you don’t want your burgers to shrink too much, push your thumb into the middle of the pattie to make a little dent. It works!
  • If you like thick burgers, then you will need to cook them a little longer. The burgers are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165 °F (75 °C).
  • Turkey burgers are great for hiding veggies. You can use chopped mushrooms, tiny onions or a little shredded zucchini or carrots to give them an extra nutritional boost. But make sure the veggies aren’t too juicy (so use a paper towel to get rid of excess liquid). The raw meat mixture is already quite wet and adding wet veggies will make the meat mixture more difficult to handle.
  • As with any burger, seasoning is where it’s at! I made these with some parsley and garlic, but you can add whatever you like to make your best burger. Notice, I used cheese! Yep, I highly recommend cheese because well, it’s cheese! 😉

turkey burgers in air fryer basket

Can I freeze turkey burgers?

Yes, you can! If you can get fresh ground turkey, I recommend making a big batch, freezing them, and popping them into an air fryer whenever you want! It makes those busy weeks so much less stressful.

All you do is season the burgers, form them into patties, and put them on a lined cookie sheet. Make sure not to overcrowd them. Cover them with plastic wrap and freeze them for 1 or 2 hours. You want them firm but not totally frozen.

Use pattie-sized squares of parchment paper to separate each patty. If you don’t separate them, they’ll stick together in a large stack, and you’ll be eating burgers for days. The parchment paper in between patties allows you to take out as many as you like, and leave the rest for another day.

Then put them in a sealable plastic bag, and place them in the freezer.

You can thaw the patties in the fridge overnight, so they’re ready for a quick lunch or dinner. Or pop frozen patties straight into the air fryer. Easy peasy!

turkey burger with potatoe

What can I serve with these turkey burgers?

That’s it! I hope you love these turkey burgers! If you make these or any recipe you find here, I’d love to see it! Tag your pics with 📸 #fooddoodlesrecipes so I can easily find them!

air fryer turkey burgers on buns

5 from 2 votes
air fryer turkey burgers on parchment paper
Air Fryer Turkey Burgers
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
19 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer, turkey burgers
Servings: 3 large burgers
  • 1 pound (453 grams) ground turkey (ground chicken also works)
  • 1 large (50 grams), out of shell egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, refined coconut oil or unsalted butter
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients. I think using the hands is easier but you can use a fork if you prefer.

  2. Remove from the fridge and form into three 165-gram balls, being careful not to overwork the meat.

  3. Shape the balls into about 1" thick (and 1/2" wider than the hamburger buns) patties. You don't need to squash the meat together or overwork the meat, but the patties should have the same thickness.
  4. Use your thumb to make an indentation in the center of each patty, to prevent the patties from puffing up like meatballs.
  5. Preheat the air fryer to 360 °F (183 °C). Spray the air fryer basket with oil.
  6. Place the patties in the basket. They shouldn't be touching.
  7. Cook for 8 minutes, flip and fry another 8-11 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the middle of a patty is 165 °F (74 °C).
  8. Turn the heat off, put the cheese on and let it sit in the air fryer for a minute or two or until slightly melted.
  9. Add to the bun with the toppings.
  10. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

As you can see in the video, I didn't have issues with the meat being sticky or hard to handle. When using frozen ground turkey, I've accidentally dumped in the liquid from the bag. Then they were sticky. If they're sticky, place in the fridge for 2 hours (or freeze quickly) or overnight. If using butter or coconut oil, that will especially help firm them up.


Leave a Comment

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Moop Brown May 31, 2021 at 18:39

I love the way the air fryer was used for this recipe and the juiciest of these burgers has my mouth watering! I definitely want to try making this recipe this summer.


2 Amy Casey May 31, 2021 at 04:28

Thanks for the tip about freezing the turkey burgers and making them in the air fryer from frozen. Such a great idea!


3 Ramona May 31, 2021 at 01:13

These air fryer turkey burgers look stunning! my mouth is drooling just by looking at the pictures. Thank you for sharing this recipe, i cant wait to make this!


4 Jen May 31, 2021 at 01:06

I just got an air fryer and I’ve been trying new recipes like crazy! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe turkey burgers are a family favorite so I can’t wait to try this.


5 Uma S May 31, 2021 at 00:03

Recently I have started to use Air fryer. I never thought we can also make a burger patty. Looks easy!


6 Yang May 30, 2021 at 22:27

It’s amazing all these things we can make with air fryer! The egg makes the burger so yummy.


7 Leslie May 28, 2021 at 20:14

My husband and I LOVE to try new burger recipes…especially in the summer. This is such a great recipe!


8 Aditi Bahl May 28, 2021 at 10:53

The burgers in an Air fryer. I first thought the texture would not be so perfect. But it was delicious.


9 ChihYu May 27, 2021 at 03:26

So juicy and delicious! And so quick to make in the air fryer!


10 Donny May 26, 2021 at 18:03

They look so juicy and perfect! Thanks for all the tips.


11 veenaazmanov May 26, 2021 at 03:15

A meal my kids would feast on. I love your recipe and the Air Fryer cooking too. This Burgers looks super yum.


12 Heather May 26, 2021 at 01:53

I always make Turkey burgers and feel they are so dried out so I can’t wait to try this recipe in the air fryer! Look delicious!


13 Cathleen May 25, 2021 at 18:25

I have been using my air fryer for a lot of things lately, but for some reason I never thought of making burgers in it! This needs to happen in my house this long weekend, thanks so much for the recipe 🙂


14 Jean Choi May 25, 2021 at 02:03

So easy and juicy in the air fryer! I’m never cooking burgers any other way again.


15 tina May 25, 2021 at 01:48

Delicious and I love that I can make it in the air fryer so easy!


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