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 sauces 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 lettuce on a plate

Ingredient Notes

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.

Ground turkey breast – Feel free to use lean ground turkey breast, or if you prefer, ground turkey (not 100% breast) works great, too.

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).

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. Brioche, potato, or pretzel buns would all be good options here.

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.

Onions, celery, and parsley in a sauté pan

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 Tobasco. Form that into patties.

ground turkey, bread crumbs, mango chutney in a bowl

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!

Turkey burger on a plate

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.

Major Grey's Mango Chutney in a jar

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!


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.

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, and then come back and give this recipe a rating!

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Turkey Burger with lettuce on a plate

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers


This recipe makes 8 large burgers.  Feel free to cut in half and make 4 large or 6 smaller burgers. I’ve omitted the lemon quite often and they’re terrific without it, just FYI!


2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and very finely diced or shredded
1/4 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
1/2 lemon, zested then juiced
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey’s Chutney

3/4 cup mayo
4 tablespoons Major Grey’s Chutney

46 good quality hamburger buns
additional toppings as desired (lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, etc.)


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 degrees.  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.


  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…?

  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

  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!!

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