Ground turkey is not known for being flavorful. Whether cooked on the grill or in a skillet, turkey burgers are likely to be noticeably bland and dry if you don’t season them properly. The factor that you will have to consider most of all is the low-fat content.
The quality that makes turkey burgers a healthy option is the fact that they are low in fat. Since fat gives food flavor, the lack of it can make them less than flavorful unless you take appropriate steps to add flavor. While your cooking method plays a large role in creating flavor, the right seasonings are just as important. To help you get the most flavorful turkey burgers possible, we have a selection of the best ingredients to use.
Salt is the most important turkey burger seasoning. It will give ground turkey the savory quality that you want and it will enhance the other seasonings as well.
Since dryness is one of the big downsides of turkey burgers, you will want to add a little moisture along with your seasonings. Worcestershire sauce is an easy way to do this as it is highly flavorful and a liquid. Worcestershire sauce consists of tamarinds, garlic and other seasonings in a brine. It brings a tangy umami flavor that counters turkey burgers’ potential for dryness and blandness.
Soy sauce is another ingredient that can help to remedy both the dryness and blandness of turkey burgers. The glutamates it contains can help to add the umami note to turkey burgers. It has a secondary benefit in that it can give the burger patties a darker brown color that may make them more appetizing. Soy sauce also contains salt, which means that you can use it to add all of the salt in the burger or just some of it. Note that if you intend to add both salt and soy sauce, you will need to limit your use of both to keep from over-salting the meat.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
While MSG has gotten a bad rap in the past, it has made a comeback in recent years as people realize that it is not that bad for you. If you want to really send the umami note into overdrive, MSG is the way to go. Adding a little of it makes the meat more savory and will greatly improve the effects of other seasonings.
Garlic is another way to improve the savory note in a turkey burger. Garlic powder allows you to get the flavor of garlic in a powder form that can mix well with ground turkey if you are forming the patties yourself. It will also work well if you are cooking preformed patties since you can simply sprinkle it onto the patties.
Parmesan contains glutamates just like soy sauce and MSG. Adding a little to the ground turkey that you use to make your burgers can make it taste meatier and will complement the other spices that you use.
This is another classic savory seasoning that you should use whether you are serving your burgers with sliced fresh onions or not. Mixing onion powder with ground turkey before forming the patties allows the flavor to be distributed all through the meat.
When it comes to preparations like turkey burgers, Dijon mustard is preferred over yellow mustard. It is sharper and spicier, which can help its flavor to withstand cooking. Dijon’s tanginess and moisture can help to improve both the texture and flavor of ground turkey.