Why you’ll love them

Yes, you can make smash burgers at home! Proper smash burgers too – perfectly thin, crispy yet still juicy turkey smash burgers every single time. And you can use all the tips to make them with any mince – beef smash burgers, chicken smash burgers – the world is your burger!

  • Made with simple ingredients and kitchen tools – no fancy stuff required.
  • Turkey may be lighter but it’s also incredibly delicious — you won’t feel like you’re missing out on the classic beef burger.
  • Onions are cooked into the burgers as well which adds even more amazing flavour. 
  • Served with a tasty homemade turkey burger sauce.
  • Ready in just about 30 minutes, making this smash burgers recipe perfect for busy weekdays.

To put it simply, these are deeelicious! I think these are my favourite burgers ever. I thought they’d be dry, as I made them with turkey mince which is not particularly fatty, but they’re juicy and flavourful. I’ll share all the tips you need to get those perfect, super thin burgers that stay juicy but have the caramelisation that gives so much crisp and flavour.

Don’t forget to try my crispy chicken burgers too.

A turkey smash burger with all the filings.

What are smash burgers?

Smash burgers originated in the United States. The method involves “smashing” a ball of ground meat onto a hot flat-top grill or griddle before cooking. The results? A burger that’s seared and crispy on the outside and wonderfully juicy inside.

I have a bone to pick when it comes to many smash burger recipes. Many claim to be smash burgers but it’s really just a normal pattie and they’ve just pressed it down a little bit to make it slightly thinner. I’m sure they’re delicious burgers but they aren’t smash burgers.

A smash buger should be super thin – like 4-5mm / ⅙ inch or less. The whole point for making a smash burger is to get more meat in contact with the hot pan, putting into process the Maillard reaction (aka caramelising the meat) and getting rough, crispy edges.

You’d think with a burger pattie so thin, it would dry out but it doesn’t – pinky promise. You have to try it to believe it and every time I make these turkey smash burgers, I’m wowed all over again. They cook quickly and still stay juicy.

Each smash burger is comprised of two super thin patties so you still have just as much meat as a regular burger but it’s quicker and even more tasty than you can imagine.

Ingredients you’ll need

Ingredients for the burgers.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  • Turkey mince: Also called ground turkey, opt for cuts with at least 12-15% fat or the thigh and leg meat. Turkey breast is lighter but won’t have the fat content to give it the flavour and juiciness you want from a burger. You could also use this smash burgers recipe to make them with beef but be sure to add a little milk to the meat. Beef mince is firmer and drier than turkey mince, so adding a little moisture helps to make the meat a little looser when it comes to smashing them. Milk is a great tenderiser for beef too, so win, win. You can also use ground chicken with no added milk.
  • Chicken stock cube: I use a stock cube / bouillon cube to add flavour to the meat.
  • Red onion: Remember to add onion to the burger patties as they cook to create an even more complex flavour. Don’t skip it.
  • Cheddar cheese: Use proper cheddar slices — they’re so much better than the stuff in little plastic wrappers.
  • Buns: Feel free to use burger buns or brioche buns, depending on your preference.
  • Burger fillings: The usuals are all there: lettuce, tomato, and sliced pickles, as well as every Aussie’s favourite, beetroot. Try it if you haven’t already, so good!
  • Mayonnaise: The base of your homemade turkey smash burgers sauce.
  • Wholegrain mustard: Also needed for the sauce.
  • Sriracha: Sriracha is great for heat and flavour, so with one little addition, you’re adding chili, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. You can omit it if you don’t like the heat. You can also swap it for your favourite hot sauce.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Salty and tangy with a hint of umami and sweetness, Worcestershire is the final key component in the smashed turkey burgers sauce.

I season these burgers when they go into the pan with a little fine sea salt (kosher salt is great if that’s what you use) and some ground black pepper. Serve it all up with shoestring fries and you have yourself a delicious dinner.

How to make smash burgers (step-by-step)

Mixing the burger sauce.

Detailed quantities and instructions in the recipe card below.

  1. Smash burgers recipe prep: Turkey smash burgers cook super quickly! So make sure you have the burger buns loaded with all your toppings/fillings before you start.
  2. Make the sauce: Add the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and stir to combine (photo 1). Spread it on your buns.
  3. Onions: I also zap the onions in the microwave for a minute just to par-cook it. Microwaves get a bad rap but used correctly, they can be a great kitchen helper. If you don’t have one, just soften the onions in a pan with a dash of water for a minute or so before you begin cooking the burgers.
Rolling the turkey mince into balls.
  1. Form the burgers: Add the turkey mince to a medium-sized bowl and crumble the stock cube over it. Use your hands to form 4 equal portions. (photo 2). Roll them into balls, then cut each one in half and place it on a small square piece of greased parchment paper (photo 3). Heat the oil in your frying pan over medium-high for 3-4 minutes.
Showing how to flatten the burgers with a potato masher.
  1. Cook: Place the first patty in the pan (photo 4) and leaving the paper on top, press down with a potato masher until it’s very thin. Don’t worry if breaks and gets rough edges, that’s a perfect smash burger. Repeat with the second pattie (photo 5).
  2. Add the onions: Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on both patties. Add the red onions to one burger (photo 6).
  3. Cook for 1-2 minutes then flip – some of the onions won’t stick but don’t worry, just scoop them up and add them on top.
The burgers sandwiched with cheese.
  1. Add the cheese: Place a slice of cheddar cheese on the onion smash burger patty (photo 7).
  2. Finish cooking: Place the other burger patty on top of the cheese (photo 8) and let it cook for a few more seconds.
  3. Assemble the turkey smash burgers: Add the cooked smashed turkey burgers to your prepared buns and serve immediately. Enjoy!
A hand holding a burger.

Handy kitchen tools for making smash burgers

Perfect smash burgers at home are easy with just your simple kitchen tools: You’ll need a sturdy metal spatula, potato masher, baking paper, and a large stainless steel or cast iron skillet. It’s best to use one of these pans so we can get the “Maillard reaction,” which is what gives great caramelisation to meat.

Stainless steel skillet with lid.

A cast iron skillet or large stainless steel frying pan like this one is perfect for getting the gorgeous caramelisation that adds so much flavour to your smash burgers.

Potato masher.

A good old potato masher is all you need to smash those burgers!

A metal offset spatula with a wooden handle.

A good sturdy metal spatula is great for really scraping under that burger so that caramelisation stays attached to the burger and not the pan.

Tips and tricks

  • Don’t forget to give the baking paper a little spray with oil so that it slips right off the burger patties. Turkey mince is pretty sticky.
  • Use lightly wet hands to shape your burgers — again, turkey mince is sticky.
  • As soon as you add the burger patties to the pan with the paper side up, press down with the potato masher until it’s very thin.


Store leftover smashed turkey burgers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. I find that leftovers from this recipe for smash burgers reheat fairly well, though they will be a bit drier than when fresh. Still super tasty, though!


What keeps turkey burgers from falling apart?

Any burger pattie can fall apart if it’s dried out and since turkey is a drier meat to begin with (lower fat content) they can be prone to drying out quicker. I definitely recommend using the thigh or leg meat for turkey burgers, not the breast meat. It has a higher fat content (still much lower than ground beef) and they hold together perfectly in these smash burgers.

Can I freeze turkey smash burger patties?

Yes, you can. I recommend wrapping each patty individually in a few layers of cling wrap and aluminum foil before placing them in an airtight container in the freezer. They will keep for 2-3 months. Let the patties thaw in the fridge overnight before cooking and don’t smash them until you add them to the pan.

Should I season the burgers before cooking?

I find that a simple mixture of salt and pepper does the trick! You can experiment with your favorite spices and seasonings if you’d like to add an extra oomph. Garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and paprika are all popular choices.

What to serve with turkey smash burgers

I served mine here with shoestring fries but sweet potato fries or regular chips are great too. Try this no mayo potato salad for something a little quicker and lighter. On the burgers, I add classic lettuce with slices of beetroot (Aussie burger style) but some dill pickle is great too. Or try this Tomato chilli jam.

Two burgers on a platter with shoestring fries.

Did you try this turkey smash burger recipe?
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Closeup of a turkey smash burger.
5 from 5 ratings
These turkey smash burgers are loaded with flavour, crispy edges and gooey cheese. They're easy to make at home and sure to satisfy your burger craving.



  • 500 g turkey mince (ground turkey), at least 12-15% fat (~1lb) (notes 2)
  • 1 chicken stock cube / boullion cube
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 4 burger buns or brioche buns, use your fave
  • Burger fillings like lettuce, tomato, sliced pickles, and beetroot (for an Aussie burger)


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 3 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided



  • Have all your buns, condiments and toppings ready at the start as these cook quickly and are best served immediately.
  • For the burger sauce, just mix the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • OPTIONAL: For the onion, once it’s sliced, place it into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute on high. This is just to par-cook and soften it slightly.
  • In a medium bowl, crumble the stock cube over the turkey mince and mix really well. Form into 4 evenly sized round balls. Cut each of the balls in half, so you have two round patties from each one (totaling 8 round patties).
  • You’ll need to cook in batches to have space in the pan, unless you have a long cast iron griddle. Heat a little of the oil in a stainless steel or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until really hot.
  • Tear off two squares of baking paper and lightly grease them either rubbing with a tiny bit of oil or some oil spray. If you want to serve all your burgers at once, preheat the oven to warming temperature (70C/160F) and place a baking tray inside. Have some salt and pepper at the ready to sprinkle over the patties.
  • Place a pattie onto each of the squares of baking paper. Lower the first one into your pan, paper side up. Press down really firmly with a potato masher until it’s very thin (around 5mm/¼ inch) then peel away the paper (you can reuse for the rest). Repeat with the second pattie moving as quickly as possible.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper over each of the patties. Scatter a little of the onion over one of them only.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden and crisp underneath and nearly cooked through with just a thin layer of pink on top, then use a strong metal spatula to scrape underneath and turn each pattie over. You should have a nice crust. If the crust gets left behind, it just means you need to scrape pressing more firmly against the base of the pan or maybe you need to use a little more oil. You can scrape up the left behind crust and still add it to the burger – it’s too much flavour to waste.
  • Straight away, add the cheese to the top of the onion pattie. Give them another 20 seconds for the pink to cook through, then place the plain pattie on top of the cheese. Give them another few seconds for the cheese to melt a bit then set aside in the warm oven or just serve immediately. The heat in the burgers will continue melting the cheese.
  • Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.


  1. Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
  2. Turkey mince / ground turkey: Turkey is a very lean meat that can become dry easily, so when it comes to burgers and especially smash burgers that are very thin, the thigh meat is best. Just check the packaging; you’re after a mince with around 12-15% fat. If you want to grind the meat yourself, stick to the thigh or leg meat.
  3. Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information.
Have you tried this recipe?Don’t forget to leave a rating and comment below and let me know how it was! I love hearing from you. Nutrition information is approximate and derived from an online calculator. The brands you use may cause variations.
Nutrition Facts
Turkey Smash Burgers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 571 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 16g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 923mg40%
Potassium 555mg16%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 39g78%
Vitamin A 409IU8%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 206mg21%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.