Hawaiian Turkey Burgers

hawaiian turkey burgers
Photo: Christopher Testani
Total Time:
45 mins

Amp up the flavor of mild turkey patties with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and top them with buttery Havarti cheese and slivers of tangy pineapple hot off the grates. Sandwich the stack in a plush Hawaiian bun with lettuce, red onion, and a smear of kicky jalapeño mayo, and take a vacation without leaving your lanai.


  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferably dark meat)

  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece)

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 1 to 2 cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Vegetable oil, for grill

  • 8 thin slices pineapple (from ½ cored pineapple)

  • 4 King's Hawaiian Sweet hamburger buns or brioche buns

  • 2 ounces Havarti cheese, thinly sliced

  • cup mayonnaise

  • ½ jalapeño or serrano pepper, chopped (ribs and seeds removed for less heat, if desired)

  • Green-leaf lettuce, for serving


  1. Preheat grill to high (see cook's note if using charcoal). Cover onion with cold water and let stand 10 minutes; drain and pat dry. Mix together turkey, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Shape into four 4-ounce patties, then flatten each to 1 inch thick and season with salt. (Patties can be made a few hours ahead and refrigerated.)

  2. Brush grates with vegetable oil. Grill pineapple until lightly charred on both sides and softened, 4 to 5 minutes. If desired, grill split sides of buns until lightly charred, about 30 seconds.

  3. Grill patties until slightly charred and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes a side. In last minute of cooking, top each patty with cheese, cover grill, and let melt.

  4. Stir together mayonnaise and jalapeño. Spread buns with mayonnaise mixture and use to sandwich patties, pineapple, lettuce, and onion.

Cook's Notes

To heat a charcoal grill for high direct heat, light a full chimney of coals. Let burn down until top is glowing, then add to grill. Distribute evenly in grill. Let stand until covered with grey ash. A hand held over grill should feel too hot to keep there after about 6 seconds

Related Articles