Juicy Turkey Burgers with Onion Jam

Juicy Turkey Burgers with Onion Jam - Alex Guarnaschelli
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There are so many ways to make a hamburger and I don’t think we Americans ever get tired of the “research”…. I love a plain cooked burger but I also love adding extra flavor to the meat mix.


January 29, 2021

Some people like to mix butter into their burgers but I go back to one of my big childhood flavors: Worcestershire. You can use ground turkey breast or thigh meat here. The thigh meat is juicier by nature but less lean? Cooking them in stock yields a tender burger either way. What about cheese? I lived in France and enjoyed the finest goat cheeses from the Loire Valley and the tastiest cow’s milk “Tomme” from the French Alps. I also happen to love melted American cheese at the right time and place and this burger is that place…I always serve with Cornichon pickles (or bread and butter slices) on the burger along with the onion jam.

Juicy Turkey Burgers with Onion Jam - Alex Guarnaschelli

Juicy Turkey Burgers with Onion Jam

Course: Main Course
Serving Size: 4 burgers
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The onions:

  • 3 large red onions halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 tbsp Canola oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

The burger:

  • lbs ground turkey meat
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • cups chicken stock
  • 8 slices American cheese

Bun and toppings:

  • 4 seeded (potato) hamburger buns toasted
  • 10-12 Cornichons halved lengthwise


Prepare the onion jam:

  • Heat a large sauté pan; toss the onion slices with 2 tablespoons of the oil and a generous pinch of salt. Add the sugar and cook over medium heat until the onions are caramelized and tender, 20-25 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and a splash of pickle juice from the Cornichon jar and cook 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

Make the hamburger mix:

  • In a medium bowl, break up the meat and spread it up on the sides so that the seasoning really permeates the meat. Sprinkle with the Worcestershire and salt. Mix with your hands but do not over mix. The more you “work” the meat, the tougher the burger…Gingerly form the meat into four round patties, each about 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the burgers for 20 minutes.

Cook the burgers:

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet and add the remaining oil. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, arrange the burgers in a single layer in the pan at a distance from one another. Return the pan to the heat and cook, undisturbed, 3-5 minutes, until the bottom browns. Turn the burgers on their other side and let the bottom brown again, 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat add the stock to the pan and cover. Cook on low heat until the burgers are cooked through, 12-15 additional minutes. Remove the cover, shut off the heat under the pan and place two slices of American cheese on each burger. Let the burgers “rest” with the heat off.

The chicken stock:

  • Reduce the remaining liquid in the pan where you cooked the burgers and serve it on the side with the burgers. People can spoon this liquid over the burgers instead of or in addition to ketchup… you can also just add this liquid to the onion jam to enrich the flavor.

Assemble the burgers:

  • Arrange the bun “bottoms” on a flat surface. Spoon some of the onion jam on each and top with one of the burgers. Top with more jam and a few slices of pickle. Top with the “top” bun.

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