This BBQ Ranch Turkey Smash Burger is made by smashing the turkey burger patty on a hot pan to create a caramelized and crispy, yet juicy burger. The delicious turkey burger paired with the BBQ ranch, a toasted bun, and your favorite toppings makes for the best turkey burger!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
These turkey smash burgers pack great flavor with minimal preparation and cook time. While a lot of turkey burger recipes can come out tasting dry, these burgers stay juicy thanks to the smashing technique and the minced onion inside the patty. The BBQ Ranch sauce takes the flavor up a notch, and the addition of your favorite toppings add additional flavor and texture.
For the patties
- Lean ground turkey - we recommend using 93% or lower lean ground turkey for this recipe as a little fat is needed to help maintain moisture in the patty for a juicy burger and create the caramelized outer crust.
- Minced or grated onion - you can use any kind of onion here to help the patties bind together and provide additional flavor and moisture.
- Garlic powder, salt, black pepper, chili powder - all the spices necessary to create a great flavor for this burger.
- Avocado or olive oil, for frying
For the sauce
All you need is ranch dressing and BBQ sauce! If you have allergies or special dietary needs (such as dairy-free, gluten-free, etc.), make sure you choose an option that meets your needs. We have loved this ranch dressing and this dairy-free ranch dressing. You can use any BBQ sauce you prefer here, but if you are looking for a few ideas, we have liked both Stubbs and Primal Kitchen.
- Hamburger buns - homemade or store bought buns will work great, so take your pick! We highly recommend toasting them before assembling the burger.
- Favorite toppings of your choice, ideas include: tomato, avocado or guacamole, bacon, romaine or butter lettuce, red onion, caramelized onions, pickles, your favorite cheeses (havarti, pepperjack, cheddar, or American cheese, etc.), ketchup, regular or dijon mustard, or grilled jalapeños for a nice kick. There’s a variety of other toppings you can use– feel free to get creative and add your own twist to the burger.
See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and measurements.
Equipment You’ll Need
- Cast iron skillet or other large skillet
- Large mixing bowl
- A small mixing bowl (for the dressing)
- Large spatula
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board and knife for toppings
Step by Step Directions
For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
For the burgers:
In a large bowl, mix the turkey breast, minced onion, garlic powder, salt, and chili powder. Don’t over mix or the meat can become tough.
Divide the turkey mixture into 4 portions. Roll a portion into a turkey burger ball and form into a patty shape.
Preheat a large saucepan with the oil over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, place the turkey burger patties on the hot surface.
Use a greased spatula or burger smasher to press the patties into the pan. Don’t overdo the smash or you will have broken turkey burgers. Let the burgers cook for 2-3 minutes each side, until the turkey has a nice sear and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Mix the ranch and BBQ sauce in a small bowl.
Toast the buns (all burgers are better on a toasted bun in our book!). Assemble the turkey burgers on the toasted buns with the BBQ ranch sauce and any other toppings of choice.
Tips & Variations
- Don't smash the turkey burger patty too thin, or else the patties will get crumbly and break apart. Gently press the patty into the hot pan to slightly flatten it.
- If you aren't a fan of turkey burgers, you can swap the ground turkey for beef to make the classic smash beef burgers.
- If you don't have ground turkey or it isn't available, ground chicken for chicken burgers would also work.
You only need to cook each side of the turkey burger for a few minutes! The inside should be cooked all the way through and be completely brown with no pink. The internal temperature should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit. We highly recommend purchasing a meat thermometer to check the temperature to ensure it is safely cooked, but not overcooked and dry. I have used this meat thermometer and have really liked it! I appreciate that it has the temperatures for each type of meat on the thermometer for a quick reference.
If you make the full recipe but plan only to eat one burger that evening, these burgers freeze well for another meal. Place the raw patty between two pieces of parchment and seal it in a freezer bag or container. You could also wrap it in plastic wrap. Once you’re ready to use the patty, thaw the patty and cook according to the same instructions. I often double this recipe and freeze the extra batch for a quick meal in the future.
If you have leftover turkey burgers that you have already cooked, we recommend storing them in an airtight container and using within 3-4 days. Store the burgers, toppings, and buns separately. You can reheat the burgers in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
Yes you can cook these burgers on a grill, but we would recommend not smashing them unless you have aluminum foil underneath. Otherwise, the burger will fall through the grill when smashed. You will not get the same crispy sear that comes from smashing and cooking them in the skillet—that’s one thing that makes these so delicious!
If you find that the raw turkey is sticking to the spatula when you place the patty in the pan, smash it, or try to flip it, simply spray the spatula with non-stick spray or coat with a little oil to prevent sticking.
Yes, this recipe can be made gluten and dairy free. Ensure that the ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, and buns you choose are dairy and gluten-free. Using a “lettuce wrap” is also an option for the burger. Make sure to verify that each ingredient you use meets your dietary guidelines.
If you are looking for some side dishes to pair with these burgers, we would recommend:
If you make this turkey smash burgers recipe, please let us know how it turns out in the comments below and/or rate the recipe! Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram to show us your finished product—it makes our day every time we see you trying the recipes we love!
BBQ Ranch Turkey Smash Burgers
For the patties:
- 1 lb lean ground turkey breast
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil, for frying
For the burgers:
- 1/4 cup ranch dressing (dairy-free if needed)
- 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
- 4 hamburger buns (gluten-free if needed)
- Burger toppings of your choice: Avocado, bacon, lettuce, red onion, etc.
For the burgers:
- In a large bowl, mix the turkey breast, minced onion, garlic powder, salt, and chili powder. Don’t overmix or the meat can become tough.
- Divide the turkey mixture into 4 portions. Roll a portion into a ball and form into a patty shape.
- Preheat a large saucepan with the oil over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, place the patties in the pan. Use a greased spatula or burger smasher to press the patties into the pan. Don’t overdo the smash or you will have broken turkey burgers. Let the burgers cook for 2-3 minutes each side, until the turkey has a nice sear and reaches 165 degrees internally.
- Mix the ranch and BBQ sauce in a small bowl.
- Toast the buns. Assemble the turkey burgers on the toasted buns with the BBQ ranch sauce and any other toppings of choice.
- If you have leftover turkey burgers that you have already cooked, we recommend storing them in an airtight container and using within 3-4 days. Store the burgers, toppings, and buns separately. You can reheat the burgers in the microwave or in a pan on the stove.
- This recipe can be made gluten and dairy free. Ensure that the ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, and buns you choose are dairy and gluten-free. Using a “lettuce wrap” is also an option for the burger. Make sure to verify that each ingredient you use meets your dietary guidelines.
The recipe can be found on My Fitness Pal by searching "BWB Turkey Smash Burgers."
The nutrition content provided for each recipe is an estimate created through the My Fitness Pal database. Please be aware that the nutritional content of each recipe may vary based on the products you use, the precision of your measurements, and the source you use to obtain nutrition data. While we try to provide accurate information, we give no guarantee regarding the accuracy of the nutritional information provided.