If you don’t know what Mar-a-Lago is, then you obviously don’t watch enough Celebrity Apprentice. (On a side note, are you noticing how many of our recipes here on Our Best Bites have references to television shows?  We’ve got the Tim Riggins Brownie, the Nestor Carbonel Mojito, the take-your-pick-of-16-hot-cabana-boys Mango Colada, and don’t forget the Biggest Loser Salad and the Teen Mom Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars.  No, we never watch tv.  In case you were wondering.)  Mar-a-Lago is a private club in Palm Beach, Florida owned by the Trumpster, and it’s positively stunning.  Not that I’ve ever been there, but check out the photos.

Apparently they have amazing food too, or at least good enough to host birthday soirees for people like Maya Angelou, which is when Oprah tasted this turkey burger and brainwashed the multitudes into thinking they needed to eat it immediately or die launched it to stardom with her Midas touch.

I saw the recipe and was instantly intrigued.  I’m always looking for new recipes for ground turkey and burgers can be tricky because you have to balance flavor and texture, and often times you get one but fall flat on the other.  This burger had a few surprise ingredients and I figured if Oprah needs it, then I definitely need it.  Because we all know Oprah knows best.

Check out how this recipe starts- with sauteed celery and apples.  The recipe calls for diced apples, but I wanted them to really blend in with the meat (ie: not be noticeable for the toddler sized mouths that would inspect them) so I grated them with a cheese grater.

You’ll keep them in that pan until they’re nice and soft.  If you’re grating the apples like me, then you’ll want to put your celery in the pan first and give it a couple of minutes of a head start.  Then add the apples, and also some green onions, and saute everything until it’s soft and tender.  The apples add an amazing, yet subtle sweetness to the mix, and it keeps the burgers unbelievably moist.

The recipe calls for turkey breast, but my grocery store was out of 100% breast meat so I used naughty turkey.  It has more fat, and therefore a little more flavor and moisture than plain turkey breast.  Either works just fine.  If you use 100% breast, your burgers will turn out very lightly colored, where mine are quite a bit darker from the dark meat.

In goes yummy stuff like parsley, lemon zest and juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper,

and mango chutney, which adds a fantastic flavor.

If you’ve never used Major Grey Chutney, you can find it in the grocery store and it’s usually on the top shelf near the bbq sauces.  It’s consistency is like a jam, it’s very sweet and savory and has things like mango, curry, and all sorts of spices.  My Mom used it a lot in her cooking so I have a lot of recipes where I use it as well.  Buy it for this recipe (it can sometimes be a little pricey) and I’ll share with you my chicken salad recipe which uses it as the secret ingredient.  Okay, so not so secret anymore.  But trust me, it’s worth it.

Gently mix that meat up (using your hands is the best way to go!) and form it into patties.  The mixture is quite wet, so form them gently and them make sure to refrigerate for the time allotted; it helps to firm them up.

When you place them on the grill, do it very gently.  Turkey is much more fragile than beef and it’s easy to crumble the burgers right up.  Another key thing is to not flip the burgers too soon, or too often or they can also fall to pieces.  Let them cook completely on one side and then flip just once to finish cooking on the other side.  When you’re all done you’ll have beautiful burgers!

These didn’t disappoint; I loved them.  And my husband said they were dope.  And my kids ate them with ketchup.  Winner winner chicken turkey dinner.  It’s a beautiful combination of flavors from some ingredients you may not of thought to put together.  But that is why you are not a chef at the Mar-a-Lago, now isn’t it?  It’s okay, I’m not either!  I’m just happy they share 🙂

Also, we’re guest posting on two of our favorite blogs today!  Kate is hanging out with the Girls at eighteen25, and I’m over at Tidy Mom.  Check out both of those links and leave them some comment-love!


  1. 1
    Eric says:

    Yes; they were dope.

  2. 2
    Jennifer says:

    These are one of my summer staples. I LOVE them. My kids LOVE them. My husband…..well, this is pretty much the one thing I make that he will not touch with a 10 ft. pole. But that’s fine, more for me! I actually half this recipe and still get 8 good sized burgers out of it. Oh, and that chutney?! That right there makes the burger.

  3. 3
    Meagan N. says:

    I happened to be watching the show the day she announced that she loved this burger. So, I did what any Oprah-lover would do and made the burger. After all, Oprah does know best. They were so delicious. My whole family loved them. My husband said they were one of the best burgers ever. And that’s saying a lot. Totally different, but really good. Especially if you’re into turkey burgers. Because turkey burgers can be bad if you’re not careful, lol.

  4. 4

    I was just thinking about making turkey burgers when you posted this! Thanks, I can’t wait to make these:)

  5. 5
    Mrs G. says:

    Oh my goodness… This will be dinner tonight! We make turkey burgers a lot and it will be great to have some different flavors mixed in.

  6. 6
    dt says:

    nice and interesting and now certainly want to eat something

  7. 7
    Asia says:

    These look fabulous! I’m going to have to try them after my next grocery store trip.

  8. 8
    sally says:

    These are going on my dinner list this week! I actually get grossed out by beef hamburgers but recently discovered that I don’t mind turkey burgers.

  9. 9

    I remember these burgers from that Oprah episode and wondered if they really tasted as good as Oprah said. I have had them on my rather lengthy ‘recipes to make list’ ever since but since my bf usually makes the burgers when we have them I have not made these yet. I guess I need to kick him off the grill so that I can finally make these!

  10. 10
    Hillary says:

    I too saw these on Oprah and had to make them. I thought they were great. I just didn’t like the lemon flavor so I omit the lemon. I would love the chicken recipe you were talking about so that I can use up some of the jar of chutney that I have. I also made the Maralago Key Lime pie. Which was so easy and so amazing. I have 3 go to Turkey Burger recipes that I make regularly and this is one of them.

  11. 11

    Ahh! I am an Oprah FREAK, and watched the show with the turkey burger and it left me drooling over that burger. It looked SO good! I can’t believe I forgot about it (until now). After seeing your post, I WILL be making these! Can’t wait! Thanks for sharing!

  12. 12
    Karen Albro says:

    Thanks for reminding me about these. I saw on the Oprah show, don’t watch the apprentice thing. Will put in the rotation!

  13. 13
    Janet says:

    I will be making these this week! Can’t wait they look delish!

  14. 14
    Lisa Mathews says:

    I saw and advertisement for your cookbook on the site Eighteen 25. I love your recipes. We are supposed to mention this on your site. Thanks for all your wonderful food stuffs.

  15. 15
    Rivki Locker says:

    What an innovative recipe. Apples, celery. Wow! Your husband’s compliment cracked me up. Turkey burgers that are dope? Now that sounds pretty good.

  16. 16

    The burgers sound great as does the sound of a trip to Mar-a-lago right about now 🙂

  17. 17
    Stephanie says:

    The first time I made these for my family, they loved them. Now they are one of those special requests for dinner. I was hesitant to make them at first because of the price of the chutney (because I have a family that I have to double every recipe I make!) If you have a Middle Eastern food market, shop there. I found all varieties of chutneys for about half the price I was paying for it at the supermarket!

  18. 18
    Krista Golden says:

    Deeelish! Made these last night for dinner and EVERYONE loved them! I especially loved the chutney/mayo.

  19. 19
    Kelly K. says:

    I have picky kids who wouldn’t eat turkey burgers or anything with onions or “stuff” in them. But your recipe reminds me of making meatloaf. Do you think this recipe would translate into a meatloaf preparation? Though my kids wouldn’t eat it, my hubby and I would.

    • 19.1
      sara says:

      You know, I’m not sure Kelly. You’d have to experiment with that one. I can see a chutney glaze though…that would probably be good!

  20. 20

    I’ve been looking for a good turkey burger recipe! I had some ground turkey meat the other weekend and had no idea what it needed with it to be a decent burger! Can’t wait to try this!

  21. 21
    Jacqueline says:

    “Naughty Turkey” – You crack me up! These look great!

  22. 22
    Aggie says:

    This is my all time favorite turkey burger! I saw it on an Oprah episode years ago and have made it so often since, isn’t it delicious?! I’ve actually used the idea of sauteeing the veggies first to flavor up other turkey burgers and it’s awesome! Love your photos!!

  23. 23
    Heather K. says:

    So, I don’t know anything about the turkey burgers, but my husband and I were lucky enough to get a behind the scenes tour of the Donald’s (as we feel we can call him now :)) private club from his former butler. The food was divine but the club was above and beyond anything that you can ever imagine. From seeing where Baron sleeps while there to the private pool and beach and ballroom to the amazing history and stories we were privy too, it was truly surreal and a once in a lifetime event.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Andrea says:

    Can I just say something? I checked out your book at the library this week, because if I’m thinking about buying a book, I like to check it out first–especially if it’s a cookbook. Usually I love browsing and looking at a cookbook’s pretty pictures; but if I’m honest with myself I realize that I’d probably ever only make a handful of the recipes in the whole book. With your cookbook, however, I could see myself making almost every one of those recipes. So guess who’s heading to Costco to pick up a Best Bites cookbook of her very own? Woo-hoo! Thanks for that.

    This recipe looks amazing, by the way. I’ve been looking for a good turkey burger recipe.

  26. 26
    Megan says:

    Sara, so just to clarify…I have a 20 oz package of ground turkey like you used, so should I just half all of the other ingredients? When you made them, did that throw off the ratio of turkey to the other ingredients (since half of the recipe should really be 2 lbs of turkey)? Or did you actually do a little less than half? For example, one apple rather than 1 1/2 apples?

    • 26.1
      sara says:

      I calculated all of the ingredients to match the 20 ounces of turkey exactly. It takes a pen and a calculator! 🙂

  27. 27

    I made these a while back after Oprah told me to. I do everything Oprah says..
    AND I loved them as well…I do have to say that you guys might second Oprah in the smart department, because I had forgotten about these lovelies! Thanks 🙂

  28. 28
    tasha says:

    my husband and i LOVED these, the 2 yr old was only interested in his pasta but that’s okay, we didn’t really want to share. 🙂 fyi… if you don’t follow directions well, like me, and mix the chutney IN to the turkey mix, it’s still TOTALLY awesome!

  29. 29
    Analese says:

    I have the same question as Megan regarding cutting the recipe in half using only 20 oz of turkey. Do we just half the other ingredients…?

  30. 30
    Carie says:

    I made these tonight and they were amazing! I didn’t think my husband would care for them, but he loved them too. Made the 50/50 chutney and mayo to go on top. It was great. Burgers were really moist with tons of flavor. I made the sweet potato fries and honey lime sauce to go with them. Yummy!!!

  31. 31
    Crystal West says:

    I want to try this but have been unsuccessful in finding the Mango Chutney.. I’ve checked our local grocery stores, Target and Walmart. Im not sure where else to look..

  32. 32

    Loved this recipe. We are on a 90 Day Body Challenge and only eating one meal a day with two meals of shake replacements. This is absolutely our favorite choice of our one meal of the day! I have your cookbook and love it as well!

  33. 33
    amy says:

    BEST Turkey Burgers EVER!! LOVED them!

  34. 34
    tish says:

    Love these burgers. I also used the ground turkey meat and 1/2 the recipe except for the salt but my accident, so they were a tad on the salty side but not enough to run the recipe. My husband & all 3 little ones loved them as well.

  35. 35
    tish says:

    Forgot to add in previous post but what other recipes do you use the Chutney in?

    Thank you.

  36. 36
    Nicole says:

    Is the refrigeration for 2 hours absolutely necessary?

    • 36.1
      sara says:

      They definitely need to be refrigerated, you might be able to get away with a little less time, but they do need it in order to set up.

  37. 37
    Bree says:

    @ Crystal West-
    I’m in the process of making these, but I wanted to respond to where to find the chutney. I found mine at Whole Foods, but not with the BBQ sauce like Sara said. It was in the section with the Thai and Indian food.

  38. 38
    Crystal West says:

    @Bree – Thank you! I shall look there.. =)

  39. 39
    Kelli says:

    When I saw what was in these burgers I was a little worried that they would be on the fruity side, but they weren’t at all. They were delicious and had a great flavor. Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  40. 40
    Amelia says:

    I made these tonight and they were great! I basically quartered the recipe since I had only a 1.25 package of Jennie O ground turkey breast. I didn’t let the recipe sit for 2 hours in the fridge. They still had a ton of flavor. I was able to find the chutney in the grocery store nearby the BBQ sauce.

  41. 41
    Caitlin Benjamin says:

    We didn’t follow this recipe to the T because we only had one pound of ground turkey and no lemons but it was still great! Even my husband (who hates pretty much anything healthy) said they were AWESOME! Can’t wait to make these again!

  42. 42
    Andrea says:

    I have loved every recipe I have tried on your site! I think I will try these tonight, do you think they freeze well? I am always looking for a good freezer meal that I can pull out individually. I don’t have Mar-a-Lego, but do have Mango jam. Would that work?

    • 42.1
      sara says:

      I’ve never frozen these, but I imagine they’d freeze great. And yes, you could use mango jam. It’s just missing the spices of a chutney so you might want to add in a tiny pinch of ginger, garlic, and cloves.

    • 42.2
      Andrea says:

      I used the mango jam and added a bit of curry to it. They were terrific!

  43. 43
    Carrie M. says:

    Made these last night and they were delish! I used 2 pkgs of ground turkey and made 11 big burgers. My husband really liked them but the kids were split down the middle. Some really loved them and others, not so much. I plan on making them again and would love to try the chutney Oprah suggests for the spread.

  44. 44
    Amy says:

    These burgers are delightful. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’m not a fan of Oprah or Major Grey Chutney, so I was skeptical about this recipe. I’m also allergic to beef (tragic!), so I’m always on the look-out for respectable turkey burger recipes. These are rapidly becoming a staple in our house. We love them. They freeze VERY well, and they go nicely on the Deli Flats (for those of us counting calories).

  45. 45

    I was so excited to make these….and they exceeded my expectations tonight! Thank you for sharing this…I can now have hamburgers without feeling extremely guilty!

  46. 46
    meredith says:

    I loved these on the grill, but January in Utah might not be ideal for grilling. Any other suggestions on how these can be cooked indoors? Thanks … ready to use up that Mango Chutney that’s been in the fridge since last time I made them. I guess I can wait for spring if I need to 🙂

  47. 47
    Kristen says:

    Oh my goodness! These were such a hit tonight! You guys have taken over my kitchen and my family is LOVING you for it!
    I used ground chicken instead of turkey. Mainly because that is what I had, but also because in general, I have found ground turkey to be more dry than the chicken. I used 2 1/3 pounds of meat and was able to make 11- 5 to 6 ounce burgers. My husband always uses extra spices and hot sauce on the food I make, but he didnt use ANY tonight! Even with no bun or cheese! Everyone loved them.
    Thank you again! Off to our next yummy recipe tomorrow night!

  48. 48
    Kameron says:

    I inadvertently left out the Tabasco, but they were delicious! There are only 4 of us, so I I used one package of turkey and basically cut the recipe almost in 1/4 and it worked out perfectly. I ended up chopping the apple really small and no one even noticed. The family usually balks when I make the hamburger’s inferior cousin, the turkey burger, but not this time! Thanks!

  49. 49
    Ashlee says:

    OMG these were delicious!!!!

  50. 50
    Sarah says:

    Made these tonight, loved them!

  51. 51
    Shelly says:

    Made these yesterday and loved them so much, made them again today! Yesterday’s version did not include the chutney/mayo spread, but today’s did, and OMG, that really made the burgers more special.
    I varied the burger recipe a little by adding less salt (the two tablespoons scared me, but I think it would have been fine), and I only used the juice from half the lemon (which I will do again). I followed the rest of the recipe exactly. I love these burgers! Thanks for such an awesome recipe!

  52. 52
    Mary says:

    Where do you find Chutney? I cant find it anywhere

    • 52.1
      sara says:

      It’s usually on the top shelf near the jams and jellies, but sometimes it’s by the bbq sauces- if you have trouble, just ask a grocery store manager. Sometimes they put it in funny places!

  53. 53
    Maureen says:

    Just noticed this recipe on OBB…have been making it since seeing it on Oprah years ago. Wondering if you’ve ever tried the amazing Pear Chutney that goes on top? We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it all together! You’re missing yet another layer of amazingness if you leave it out!
    1 Anjou pear, peeled and diced
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1 tsp. sea salt
    1 1/2 cups Major Grey’s Chutney
    1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
    Preheat oven to 350°.
    Toss the diced pears with the cinnamon and salt. Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
    Cool and mix with the chutney and currants or raisins.

  54. 54
  55. 55

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  56. 56
    jenny says:

    I read all the reviews and was excited to make these burgers, and spent $5.50 for the chutney at Safeway. What a very big disapointment !! I came back to this website just to make sure i did not miss any ingredients, and i didn’t. I don’t know what the fuss is about these very bland turkey burgers…Does Oprah own stock in the chutney sauce ?

  57. 57
    Renee says:

    So where’s the chicken salad recipe that uses the Major Grey’s? That sounds really good!

  58. 58
    Dean says:

    These sound quite delicious. I will have to give these a try and see how they taste. Will report back on how they work out. Thanks!

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