orchard turkey burger topped with caramelized onions on a salad with sliced apples

Not only was last Saturday’s Farmer’s Market blissfully uncrowded, but a cool breeze and grey skies gave us a cozy preview of fall without having to actually go there. I’m not ready to say goodbye to summer just yet!

Ok, ok – I can’t say I wouldn’t have shrieked a little if I saw a precious pumpkin or gourd display, and I totally did a happy dance after spying some apple barrels that definitely weren’t there the last time we visited the market.

Apple picking is one of my all-time favorite fall activities, and the reminder that a U-pick trip can’t be more than a few weeks away inspired me to whip up a healthy, flavor-packed meal of Orchard Turkey Burgers!

orchard turkey burger topped with caramelized onions on a salad with sliced apples

Orchard Turkey Burgers with Brie & Caramelized Onions

Bunless turkey burgers are spiked with juicy grated apple then topped with melty brie cheese, sweet caramelized onions, and tangy Honey Mustard Vinaigrette over lettuce and sliced apples. This tasted like a dish you’d order at a restaurant!

Cheese and apples are absolutely dynamite together, and when you add caramelized onions into the mix it’s a total game changer. Turkey burgers have never tasted better.

juicy turkey burger topped with caramelized onions on a salad

How to Make This Recipe

Start by caramelizing onions that will sit perched on top of the turkey burgers. You’ll need 1 jumbo sweet onion, or 2 large ones, for 4 burgers. Trim off the ends, cut the onion in half, discard the outer peel, then thinly slice each half.


Next heat 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat and add the sliced onion. It’s important not to go above medium heat or the onions will sear instead of caramelize.

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Season the onions with salt and a little bit of pepper then let them slowly cook, stirring every now and again, until the onions are sticky and caramelized. The whole process will take 20-25 minutes.

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While the onions are working, get to work on the burger part of the Orchard Turkey Burgers, starting with 1lb 99% Fat Free Ground Turkey Breast. Sometimes I find 99% FFGTB to be dry, bland, and boring, but we’re going to spice it up and make it extra juicy with a few mix ins.


First the spices:

  • Dried thyme
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper


Then add 1 grated Granny Smith Apple. Oh yes. We’re putting apples IN our burgers to keep it nice and moist. It’s so good!


Use a box or flat grater to finely grate the apple, one side at a time.

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Add the grated apple to the ground turkey and spices, then mix well, and divide the mixture into 4 sections.

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Form each section into a patty, then brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil.


Slap the patties onto a skillet (or grill) over medium-heat then cook for 4-5 minute a side, or until they’re no longer pink in the center.


Next, bust out the brie. Triple Cream, muwahahaha! The lady at Whole Foods got me all excited about this Lincet Delice de Bourgogne (translation: freaking INSANE brie,) and for good reason. It is thick, creamy, and drippy. YUM!


Smear a bit of brie onto the tops of the burgers, then tent with foil (or lower the grill lid) and let the cheese melt – it won’t take long.


Pile each burger high with caramelized onions then serve on a bun or bed of spring mix lettuce lined with extra apple slices. Drizzle with honey mustard vinaigrette (directions in the recipe card below) and finish with a crack of black pepper. THE BEST!

a turkey burger on a salad with sliced apples and caramelized onions

Orchard Turkey Burgers

5/5 (1 REVIEW)


Orchard Turkey Burgers are spiked with grated apple. This is no boring turkey burger!


Serves 4

  • 1 jumbo sweet onion, cut in half then sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1lb 99% fat-free ground turkey breast
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, 1 finely grated, 1 sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 3-4oz brie cheese
  • 8 cups spring mix lettuce OR 4 buns
  • For the Honey Mustard Vinaigrette:
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • salt and pepper


  1. For the For the Honey Mustard Vinaigrette: Combine ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid, or in a bowl, then shake or whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt and a little bit of pepper, then cook, stirring every so often until onion reaches a dark caramel brown color, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, combine ground turkey with grated apple, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and lots of salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 patties then brush each side with extra virgin olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Top each burger with brie, then tent with foil to melt.
  4. Divide lettuce amongst plates then top with apple slices, burgers, and caramelized onions. Drizzle with honey mustard vinaigrette and serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of orchard turkey burgers