Caprese Turkey Burgers Will Be A Summer Cookout Smash Hit

We’ve Caprese-d everything from pasta salad to focaccia to stuffed peppers, but these Caprese turkey burgers are something special. Crowned with melty mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and basil, this fresh twist on America’s perennial favorite will be a smash hit at every backyard BBQ and cookout around.

The components:
When making any turkey burger, pumping up the flavor is key. A trio of garlic powder, Parmesan, and chopped basil infuses these burgers with freshness and increases the umami, all while tying in those Caprese flavors. The other crucial element to turkey burger success—cooking the patties through without drying them out—is best achieved by searing the burgers hard on one side, flipping them, and then covering the pan with a lid so the burgers steam as they finish cooking.

Top tips:
As with any Caprese salad, it’s important to use the freshest, ripest ingredients possible here. Gorgeous green basil is a must, as are juicy brilliant red tomatoes. Make your own pesto for the pesto mayo if possible; if you don’t have time, use the highest quality prepared version you can find.

Turkey burgers are best eaten fresh, but any cooked leftover patties can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 1 month. If you’re planning to only eat a few, I recommend leaving the cheese off the ones you’re planning to save for another meal. You can melt the cheese on top when you reheat them.

Made these? Let us know in the comments below.

Yields: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 35 mins


  • 1/3 c.


  • 3 tbsp.

    store-bought or homemade pesto

  • 1 lb.

    ground turkey (preferably 93% or 94% lean)

  • 1

    large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/4 c.

    finely chopped fresh basil, plus 12 large leaves

  • 1/2 oz.

    Parmesan, finely grated (about 1/4 c.)

  • 1 tsp.

    garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp.

    kosher salt, plus more

  • 1/4 tsp.

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more

  • 2 tbsp.

    neutral oil, divided

  • 4

    (1/2"-thick) slices fresh mozzarella (about 2 oz. each)

  • 4

    hamburger buns, toasted

  • 4

    large tomato slices

  • 4 tsp.

    balsamic glaze


  1. In a small bowl, stir mayonnaise and pesto until combined. Set aside.

  2. In a large bowl, using clean hands or a flexible spatula, mix turkey, egg, basil, Parmesan, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper just until combined. Divide mixture into 4 portions and shape into round patties about 1/2" thick.

  3. In a large metal or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Arrange 2 patties in skillet, spacing evenly apart, and cook until a browned crust forms on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip burgers, cover pan, and continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 155°, about 2 minutes more.

  4. Uncover pan and place 1 slice mozzarella on top of each burger. Cover and continue to cook until cheese is melty and burgers are cooked through (instant-read thermometer should register 165°), about 1 minute more. Transfer burgers to a plate. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, patties, and mozzarella.

  5. Spread pesto mayo across bottom buns. Top with a burger and tomato slice; generously season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and top with basil leaves. Close burgers with top buns.

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