Turkey Burgers with Pineapple are so fun and delicious for casual summer entertaining, and they're easy enough for a busy weeknight dinner, too. Quick to whip up, you can make them ahead of time, to boot.
Sweet, smoky and a little bit spicy, pineapple turkey burgers have a Hawaiian vibe and they're scrumptious.
You can make and shape them ahead of time and then throw them on the grill, or in a skillet before serving.
There are two main elements to this incredible burger. Juicy turkey and sweet and smoky pineapple salsa (recipe link is below).
- ground turkey - I like to use about 85% lean. With a 15% fat content it will be nice and juicy.
- Kosher salt - I cook with Kosher salt because I like its larger flake size and it usually doesn't contain additives. If you use table salt, use half the amount.
- black pepper - Preferably freshly ground.
- Pepper Jack cheese - Though there are variations, Pepper Jack cheese is essentially Monterey Jack cheese, a cow's milk semi-soft cheese with the addition of spicy peppers, usually jalapeños, serranos and/or habañeros.
- avocado - Ripe avocados should yield to firm gentle pressure. They will feel slightly soft but not mushy to the touch.
- lettuce - I use Butter lettuce, but use what you like.
- hamburger buns - Use your favorite.
- Green Hatch Chile Pineapple Salsa
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
Substitutions and Variations
If I don't list an ingredient with a substitution, it means I think it's best not to substitute it.
- Ground turkey. You can substitute the turkey with chicken.
- Pepper Jack cheese. If you want less heat, use regular Monterey Jack cheese and go easy on the jalapeños. The burgers would be good with white cheddar cheese, too.
- Pineapple salsa. The burgers can be made with a store bought pineapple salsa to save time, and you can even use another fruit salsa, like Hatch Chile Peach Salsa or for a totally different flavor profile, the burgers would also be delicious with Roasted Poblano Salsa. If you want to use a mango salsa, don't include it in the burgers, just on top.
- I make these burgers in a cast iron skillet, but you can also use a grill. Just handle them carefully as they might be a bit more fragile than other burgers because of the salsa.
How to Make Them
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
- Make the pineapple salsa recipe (link above and below in the recipe card).
- Add the turkey to a large bowl, and mix in ⅔ cup of the salsa, and the salt and pepper.
- Shape into 4 burgers and place them on a large plate.
- Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the burgers. Sauté until the bottoms are nicely browned, about 3 minutes, then flip them and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking just until the turkey is cooked through, about another 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, distribute the slices of cheese between the burgers, cover the pan and let the cheese melt.
- Toast buns, add a lettuce leaf and the remaining salsa to the bottom buns and top it with a cheese-topped burger. Then divide the avocado slices between them and close the burger with the top of the bun.
Other Fantastic Burger Recipes
- Spicy Sriracha Burger
- Red Quinoa Burgers
- Grilled Mediterranean Burger
- Grilled Jalapeño Pepper Jack Turkey Burgers
- Salmon Burgers (Made with Fresh Salmon)
- Strawberry Turkey Burgers
Can you make them ahead?
- You can make the salsa up to two days ahead of time, keeping it in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
- They can be shaped the the night before you want to make them, and they are at their best when they're cooked as close to serving time as possible.
- Leftovers can be stored, wrapped well, in the refrigerator for a few days, and they can be frozen for up to a month.
I hope you love these turkey burgers with pineapple salsa as much as I do.
Turkey Burgers with Pineapple Recipe
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 cup Pineapple Salsa (click here for recipe), divided
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- a few turns freshly ground black pepper
- olive oil for the pan
- 4 of your favorite hamburger buns
- 8 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, thinly sliced
- 4 large leaves of lettuce (any variety), washed, dried
- 1 small ripe avocado, thinly sliced
- Make the pineapple salsa, if you haven't already.
- Make the turkey mixture. Add the turkey to a large mixing bowl, and mix in ⅔ cup of the salsa and the salt and pepper.
- Shape the burgers. Shape the turkey into 4 burgers and place them on a large plate. (Handle them carefully, as the mixture will be somewhat fragile.)
- Cook the burgers. Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat.When the pan is very hot, add the burgers. You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t -- wait! You won’t get a nice caramelization and “crust” on the burger if it’s not hot enough. Sauté until the bottoms are nicely browned, about 3 minutes, then flip them over and reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue cooking just until the turkey is cooked through, about another 5 minutes.
- Assemble. Turn off the heat, distribute the slices of cheese between the burgers, cover the pan and let the cheese melt.Toast buns.Add a lettuce leaf and evenly distribute the remaining ⅓ cup of salsa to the bottom buns and top them with a cheese-topped burger. Then divide the avocado slices between them and close the burger with the top of the bun and serve!
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