Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers with Cranberries are the most unique and flavorful burgers to grace your dinner table. Each bite is packed with sweet and salty, along with the vibrant flavor of fresh basil. These are easy to make and the most delicious homemade turkey burgers you will ever have.
I've made versions of this recipe for years, first as a meatloaf. It is actually my husband's favorite meatloaf and one of my favorite recipes as well. It packs a ton of flavor and it gives a change to the Worcestershire sauce ketchup flavor that is present in so many traditional American meatloaves. I have since enjoyed making this as a burger. By reworking that meatloaf into burgers they cook faster and look prettier with bits of blue cheese, dried cranberries, and basil peeking through.
I first got the idea for this recipe from the Make It Fast Cook It Slow crockpot cookbook. Over the years I developed the recipe to make it low carb, sugar, and gluten-free. I now omit the bread crumbs, use unsweetened dried cranberries to replace the dried cherries, and occasionally use gorgonzola cheese instead of the blue.
Unsweetened Dried Cranberries - These cranberries absorb the juice from the turkey as it cooks. Not only do they provide a sweet flavor to the burger, but they also give a nice contrast of texture as you bite into it. They add a rich pop of color to the presentation. The cranberries also make this a perfect flavor for colder months and will fit right into a Thanksgiving holiday meal.
Ground turkey - There are some challenges with ground turkey. It is very lean and when cooking turkey burgers they can easily dry out if overcooked. It also doesn't have a ton of flavor on its own. The good news is that it is healthier than more fatty meats and packs a ton of protein. If you are using frozen turkey. Be sure to thaw it fully and drain any excess moisture from the container. If you don't have ground turkey, you can absolutely use ground beef or pork in this recipe. You can even combine these and mix some with the lean ground turkey if you want fattier meat.
Crumbled blue or gorgonzola cheese - I love blue cheese. I usually include it when we make charcuterie boards. My kids don't touch it plain, but they gobble up these turkey burgers. The cheese adds a ton of flavor, a creamy texture, and some moisture to the turkey burgers. I prefer to start with larger blue cheese crumbles because they fall apart as you mix the ingredients together. They also melt as you cook them. If you have a block of cheese, go ahead and chop some cubes up, it will crumble as you do that. I usually can't help snacking on blue cheese as I make this recipe. It is one of my favorites.
Garlic and Onion - Garlic and onion make it into a lot of the dishes in my house. Both of them are used to add a lot of flavor and sweetness to dishes. I like to use dried minced garlic and dried minced onion in this recipe for two simple reasons. First, I always have them available in my pantry, and second, I have less prep to deal with. Besides, I don't mind avoiding tears with the onions or having to scrub my hands like a surgeon to get the garlic scent off.
Fresh Basil - There is really nothing like fresh herbs to help flavor a dish. Whether it is rosemary, cilantro, or sweet basil like this recipe requires. I usually have it growing in my herb garden so it is easy to grab and add to a dish. I love the aroma as you chop it up. Fresh herbs easily take a dish to the next level.
Salt - You always want to season your food well. Seasoning raw meat gets a little tricky because you can't taste it before it cooks. A good rule of them is to start with ½ teaspoon per pound of ground meat. You can always add salt when serving if it needs a touch more, but there is no way back from over-salting your meat.
How to Make Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers
Step One: Combine all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and gently mix together. I recommend just diving in with your hands, making sure to incorporate all the ingredients evenly throughout. The mixture will be a bit sticky, you can wear food gloves if you want.
Step Two: Form them into patties. I make them into about 5-6oz patties. If you want to serve these as smaller sliders, you can easily do that. Sliders are usually about 2 oz in size. After you form the turkey patties, I recommend putting them directly into your skillet.
Step Three: Cook the blue cheese turkey burgers for about 7-8 minutes on each side. When you cook turkey burgers, you want to cook them until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
Can I Bake Turkey Burgers in the Oven?
How long to cook turkey burgers in the oven? It will be about 20 to 30 minutes. It will be determined by the size of the patties. I recommend using an instant-read meat thermometer to check the temperature. You want to make sure you do not overcook them.
I find turkey patties are sticky and fall apart easily before they are cooked. Baking them allows you to form the patties, set them on the roasting pan, cook them and they are done. The only downside of baking them is not getting that golden brown crust on the exterior.
What Other Ways Can I Cook Turkey Burgers?
We have covered turkey burgers in the oven and on the stovetop. Sometimes you don't want to turn the oven on and bake turkey burgers. On hot summer days, when the air conditioner is cranking, we tend to not want to fire up the oven. You can cook turkey burgers on the grill, in the smoker, or even in your air fryer.
If you aren't feeling like burgers, you can also make this into meatloaf or meatballs. Sear them on the stove and then bake in the oven or you could even accomplish them in your slow cooker. However you plan on making these, you must try this flavor combination. They are delicious!
What to serve with Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers
If your menu is gluten free, you aren't serving these on a bun, make this healthy and simple and serve them with a salad. Top with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions and mushrooms, raw red onions, arugula, or more bleu cheese!
Here are a few of my favorite salad recipes:
Some of my favorite side dish recipes to serve with burgers are:
- Keto Fries, you won't miss sweet potato fries. Cook this in your air fryer. Be sure to check out some of my other air fryer recipes.
- Jalapeno Poppers
Don't feel like burgers? Check out a few of my favorite ground turkey recipes:
Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and gently mix together. Shape 4 burgers with the meat mixture.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.
- Put the burgers into the skillet. Cook for 7-8 minutes per side, until the burgers are160 degrees when checked with a meat thermometer.
Originally Published June 19, 2018. Revised and Republished October 19, 2022.