Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers

These unique turkey burgers are based on the recipe shared from the executive chef at the Mar-a-Lago Resort in Florida.  Oprah once listed them as one of her favorite things from Donald Trump’s famous resort restaurant and shared the recipe.  They’ve become a family favorite for us.  Don’t be scared by a unique ingredient in the patties (apples!).  These burgers have an amazing sweet and savory flavor combo and an easy sauce takes them over the top.  They’re great for a casual dinner at at home, and fun to serve to dinner guests, too!  Try them with a great side salad and some sweet potato fries on the side for the perfect summer dinner.

turkey burger with greens and cheese

Ingredient Notes

  • Butter – for sautéing
  • Celery – I realize it sounds like a strange thing in a burger, but trust!
  • Apples – The original recipe calls for Granny Smith apples and I like to stick to that. Granny Smith are a more tart apple.  You can substitute another variety of apple, and it would just add a little more sweetness, but still be delicious.
  • Green Onions
  • Ground turkey breast – Feel free to use lean ground turkey breast, or if you prefer, ground turkey (not 100% breast) works great, too. 100% breast is leaner and generally not as juicy or flavorful, but it works in this recipe combined with so many other great things. I personally like the added fat and flavor from ground turkey with dark meat (85/15).
  • Tabasco sauce – This doesn’t make the burgers too spicy, but you can also leave it out, I often do.  Feel free to add a little more if you like your food with a kick.
  • Parsley – Opt for flat leaf Italian style parsley (as opposed to the curly leaf style you see used as garnish).
  • Lemon
  • Major Grey’s Chutney – You can find this in the grocery store near the BBQ sauces, often on the top shelf.  It’s a delicious sweet and savory jam made with mangoes and seasonings.
  • Buns – A good quality hamburger bun is a must, I prefer brioche buns.
  • Additional toppings: as desired, like lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc.

How to Make Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers

  1. Sauté celery, apples, and onions. Apples and celery not only add really great flavor here, but they also keep the burgers nice and moist- which is helpful as turkey has a tendency to dry out on the grill.
  2. Next, combine the sautéed apple mixture with ground turkey,  Major Grey’s Chutney, the zest and juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper, and a splash of Tabasco. Form that into patties.
  3. Grill. 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!
  4. Add Mango Chutney sauce. I’m a huge fan of mango chutney, and one of my favorite things to do is make a burger spread to go along with these burgers with simply mango chutney + mayo.  It brings all the flavors together and is great on other burgers as well.
turkey burger with greens and cheese

Serving Suggestions

I love pairing these burgers with a side of  Baked Sweet Potato Fries. You could also try these Oven Steak Fries , or even Grilled Corn on the Cob.

If you love mango chutney, and have some to use up, I highly recommend this Chicken Salad With Mango Chutney Dressing!

Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t find mango chutney, can I use anything else?

While I have not personally tested any substitutes, apricot or peach jam may make a great substitute. Feel free to try it if necessary, just remember that chutney is quite thick, so a thinner jam may not hold up as well when forming patties.

Can these be made ahead of time? 

Absolutely! If you have a crowd to feed, go ahead and mix everything up a day ahead of time and store in the fridge, either all together in an airtight container, or pre-formed into patties and separated by a piece of parchment between each one.

I don’t have a grill, how should I cook these?

You can absolutely cook them indoors on a grill pan or large skillet.

turkey burger with greens and cheese

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers

5 from 9 votes
This recipe makes 8 large burgers.  Feel free to cut in half and make 4 large or 6 smaller burgers.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings8 half-pound burgers

Ingredients

Burger Patties

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples peeled and very finely diced or shredded
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 4 pounds ground turkey breast or 85/15 turkey
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons tabasco sauce
  • ½ lemon zested then juiced
  • ½ bunch parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup Major Grey’s Chutney
  • BURGER SPREAD
  • ¾ cup mayo
  • 4 tablespoons Major Grey’s Chutney

For Assembly

  • 8 good quality hamburger buns
  • additional toppings as desired lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc.

Instructions

  • In a saute pan over medium-low heat, sauté the celery, apples, and green onions in butter until tender.  Let cool.  Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl.  Add sauteed items and the remaining ingredients.  Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers.  Refrigerate for 2 hours to firm.
  • To make burger spread, combine mayo and chutney and whisk until smooth,  Feel free to add more chutney as desired.
  • Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper.  Place on preheated, lightly oiled grill.  Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165℉.  Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • To serve, toast buns if desired and spread with sauce.  Add toppings as desired like greens, onion and tomato.
  • Try it with a side of Sweet Potato Fries, or some Grilled Corn on the Cob for a great (and healthy!) summer meal.

Notes

This meat mixture is on the “wet” side.  Handle carefully.  If preferred, you can also cook these burgers in a skillet. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger, Calories: 612kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 58g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 141mg, Sodium: 2264mg, Potassium: 845mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 231IU, Vitamin C: 9mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 4mg
Calories: 612kcal
Author: Jeff O’Niell, Mar-a-Lago Club
Cost: 30
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. 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!!!

  2. 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…?

    1. I calculated all of the ingredients to the 20 oz of turkey- you just have to bust out your math skills!

  3. 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!

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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?

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

  6. 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.

  7. looks yummy–and healthy–what about that bun pictured there that you served it on was that homemade? can I get the recipe? my daughter loves a recipe you gave once a while back for hotdog/and or hamburgar buns–but I’m not seeming to fing it
    thanks lynda at [email protected]

  8. 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.

  9. 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!!

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

    1. 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!

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

  13. 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!

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

  15. 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. 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.

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

    1. I totally agree about turkey burgers being bad if you’re not careful! These are so good, aren’t they?? Glad you like them too!

  25. 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.