Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers Recipe

All the flavors of Thanksgiving on bun—turkey, sausage, roast veggies, herbs, sweet potato, cranberry, apple, gravy, and fried onions. Joshua Bousel

These turkey burgers deliver an entire Thanksgiving meal on a bun in the most delicious way possible. The patties are seasoned with onion, celery, sausage, sweet potato, sage, thyme, and garlic to create a fitting base that's built upon with apple-cranberry relish, gravy, spinach, and fried onions, completing the holiday equation.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using ground turkey thighs will result in the most flavorful and moist turkey burgers
  • Adding sweet potato to the ground turkey gives it a mellow sweetness and aids in moisture
  • Seasoning the turkey with softened onion and celery with sage, thyme, and garlic gives the patties a base Thanksgiving-like flavor
  • Cranberry-apple relish, gravy, spinach, and fried onions continue to build out the pieces of the Thanksgiving meal

Notes: The recipe is written for the grill, but these can be cooked using your favorite burger making method.

Recipe Facts

Active: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 small sweet potato (6 to 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (about 1 small stalk)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
  • 1 pound ground turkey thighs or 85% lean pre-packaged ground turkey
  • 1/3 pound loose pork breakfast or sage sausage
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 soft potato rolls such as Martin's
  • Cranberry-apple relish
  • All-purpose or Turkey gravy
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Fried Onions
  • Type of fire: Direct
  • Grill heat: medium-high


  1. Using the tines of a fork, poke holes in potato all over. Place potato on a plate and microwave on high until a paring knife can be inserted in middle of potato with no resistance, 9 to 12 minutes, checking and flipping the potato every 3 minutes. Alternatively, place potato in 425°F oven and cook until a paring knife can be inserted in middle of potato with no resistance, about 1 hour. Split potato open and allow to cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Using a spoon, scoop out flesh in a small bowl, discard skin.

  2. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in sage, thyme, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Place turkey, sausage, 1/4 cup sweet potato flesh, and vegetable mixture in a medium bowl and mix with hands until incorporated. Form mixture into 4 patties. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill burgers over direct heat until an instant read thermometer reads at least 145°F in the center of burger, but no more than 165°F.

  5. Lightly toast potato rolls on grill, about 30 seconds. Transfer to plate or tray and top each bun with a burger, cranberry-apple relish, gravy, spinach, and fried onions. Serve immediately.

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