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Greek Juicy Turkey Burgers. What’s your secret?

We’ve been eating burgers quite often, especially now that I am watching my diet.   That’s why whenever I make some burgers, I make a big batch and freeze them, especially now that it’s summer and we go to the beach, by the time we shower and prepare a salad they are ready and we still eat healthy food.

Before  the Mediterrenean Diet we used to eat more pork and veal, so I used to make them with minced pork or with ground veal.  However, the past year I’ve been experimenting with chicken or turkey to make healthier burgers.  I’ve tried all sorts of tricks to make them juicy and tender, by adding milk, olive oil, white wine or red wine, vinegar,  I even added, yoghurt and pesto in them.

Turkey or chicken breast have no fat to melt when cooking so the meat dries in the end so I also add some olive oil in the meat.   Instead of grilling them I also tried  to cover them with parchment paper and bake them in the oven.  They were not so dry but being covered they did not get much colour.

This time I tried a different approach.  I know that when cooking turkey, beer is added to make the meat tender as I do this quite often when cooking turkey,  so this gave me the idea to try adding beer.

I’ve also adjusted the seasing in the burgers by also adding chicken seasoning and tarragon as well which match better with poultry.

I think that these are by far the best turkey burgers I’ve made until now as although they were baked in the oven uncovered, they were still juicy and delicious.

What’s your secret for keeping burgers juicy?  I’d love to hear some new techniques.

Greek Turkey Burgers with Beer, Recipe by Ivy


Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes

Makes: 15 burgers (200 grams each)


  • 150 grams bread without the crust, soaked in beer
  • 1 can (0,33 l) beer
  • 2 kilos ground turkey
  • 2 medium onions, grated
  • 1 clove of garlic (optional)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ tsp tarragon
  • ½ tsp chicken seasoning carino
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs


Remove the crust from the bread and put it in a bowl with all the beer.  When it has soaked take a fork and mix.

Mince onion and garlic in a food processor together with the olive oil.

Put the minced meat, the bread together with all the beer in a large bowl.  Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Form burgers into 2 cm. thick patties.

You can grill or broil them for 4 – 5 minutes on each side but as my grill does not work any more I cook them in the oven. I place them on parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven to 180 degrees C for about 25 – 30 minutes, turning them once.

Tip:  For the remaining burgers, shape them, wrap each one separately in cling film and store in the deep freezer.


These burgers go to Reeni, of Cinnamon  Spice & Everything Nice, for her event Burger Club Free for all.

I’m also sending this to Joanne from Eats Well With Others host of Regional Recipes, featuring Greece this month.


Recipe adapted for Gallbladder Diet

Disclaimer:   I’m not a doctor, I’m not a surgeon and I’m not a dietician.  Each person may have different symptoms, so please consult your doctor before following this diet. 

Chicken Burgers for gallbladder

Preparation time:   15 minutes

Cooking time:   about 30 minutes

Makes:  5 burgers (250 grams each)


  • 150 grams bread without the crust, soaked in water
  • 1 kilo ground chicken breast
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced  
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly grated pepper, in moderation 
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano


Remove the crust from the bread and put it in a bowl with water to cover it.  When it has soaked squeeze out the water.

Mince onion and garlic in a food processor together with the one of the egg whites.  Add the bread and mince as well.

In a large bowl grate the courgette.

Add the minced meat, the bread, the other egg white, the vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper and oregano and mix well.

Form burgers into 2 cm. thick patties.

Bake as above.

Serve them with Light Mashed Potatoes and Pumpkin Puree. (see recipe)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!

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21 Responses

  1. Hi Ivy!

    I started making turkey burger a lot after my FIl had a quadruple by-pass. The beer idea sounds good. I think they key to keeping them soft is to remember they don't need cooking so long because of being low fat. I grill mine. I have the grill hot and grill them for about 7-10minutes on the first side and then only about 3 minutes the other side. ( this of course depends on hoe thick your burgers are, mine are not enormous) And of course they should be eaten fairly quickly because they don't re-heat so well.
    My recent post Monkey bread

    • Thanks Liz. Grilling them surely needs less time than baking them in the oven and I need to get a new grill as my old one has fallen apart.

  2. Lovely and healthy burgers! With the beer, they must taste wonderful. I guess grilling is the solution…


    My recent post ZWEISIMMEN – A CLOSER LOOK

  3. Am yet to try turkey burger at home, tempting burger Ivy..
    My recent post Barley Orangeade

  4. I always soaked the bread with milk, love the idea of doing with beer.
    My recent post Daring Bakers Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate mascarpone Mousse

  5. yum! Your burgers look so juicy! I guess the secret is adding the beer.
    Ivy, I can't find carino here in the UK can you please remind me the spices that it contains?

    My recent post Sweet mango chutney chicken with steamed rice

    • Myrto it says Pepper (without saying which kind of pepper) Paprika, onion, sugar and mustard seeds but I think that there's much more that they are not saying.

  6. What a great technique Ivy. I'd never think to put beer in them. I think cooking them in the oven def keeps them better and they look delicious!
    My recent post Redleaf-A South Coast Getaway

  7. Hi Ivy – beer sounds like a great idea to me!
    I like to use shredded zucchihi in my patties to keep them moist, and more healthful too.

    • Thanks Lori Lynn. Great idea to use zucchini as they contain a lot of water and that would help. Will definitely try this as well.

  8. Ivy, your turkey burger sure looks very juicy…and the beer in it must really give the burger an special flavor…yummie!

  9. What a creative idea to use beer Ivy! You spiced these up with flavor quite nicely too. So juicy and delicious! Thanks for sending it to my Burger Club!

  10. I am sure this burger and the black forest on your previous post taste absolutely great!
    My recent post Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

  11. That burger sounds and looks really good.. will try it 🙂
    My recent post Paletas de Coco con Bocadillo Coconut and Guava Paste Popsicles

  12. Cakelaw

    These burgers look delicious Ivy – I'd pop over for a burger at yours anytime.

  13. Beer-soaked bread, now that's a great tip! Thanks Ivy.

  14. I love turkey burgers and make all kinds of flavorful ones! I never add any fat to them. I think the best way to cook them is to quickly broil them (about 5 minutes per side) or pan-sear but cover with a lid – the steam generated helps to keep them moist but they still get plenty of color!

  15. I really enjoy turkey or chicken burgers. Unfortunately in Holland they don't sell minced chicken or turkey so I need to mince it myself which is quite hard without the proper equipment.
    My recent post Risky kitchen business

  16. Thanks so much for this regional recipes submission! I love a good turkey/chicken burger….they adapt to so many different flavors. If you're looking for another great burger recipe, I love adding salsa into my burgers. It adds moistness and flavor!

    The spices in here are delicious. I'm definitely going to have to give them a go!
    My recent post Cranberry Ginger Bars

  17. Toy Lady

    I love these! I soak my bread in milk also, and I like to add a good spoonful (or two!) of dijon mustard and some fresh chopped tarragon, then I either grill or pan-fry mine.

    I haven't made turkey burgers in far too long!

  18. These look great, Ivy. Interesting to add the beer! I sometimes add yogurt to my patties, or use a mix of chicken breast and thigh. The fat in the thighs (which isn't that much, especially when mixed with breast) provides a little extra moisture. I always grill or broil mine, so just about 4 minutes per side. Otherwise they overcook and turn into hockey pucks. 🙂