Macro Recipes and Meal Ideas

Turkey Burgers with Savory Homemade Warm Relish

By Ted KallmyerUpdated November 13, 2021
turkey burgers

Ground turkey is a tasty way to up your protein intake, but reduce the fat amount usually found in ground beef.

Here’s one of my favorite ways to use ground turkey and I make this recipe often because my homemade warm relish makes these turkey burgers absolutely delicious as well as highly nutritious.

I also ditch the bun because who needs it since its only job is to hold in the good stuff anyway. Leafy lettuce can do this job with virtually no calories.

I usually eat two of these as my complete meal, but others may want some sides especially if making this recipe for 4 people.
Oven baked sweet potato fries are a great compliment to this recipe

Bunless Turkey Burgers with Savory Warm Relish

Here’s how to make this recipe and from start to finish it usually takes about 45 minutes to prepare these turkey burgers.

Turkey Burger with Relish

Turkey Burgers with Savory Warm Relish

Ground turkey is a tasty way to up your protein intake, but reduce the fat amount usually found in ground beef. This great recipe has half the calories of a beef burger.
Servings 4
Calories 258 kcal


  • Ground turkey (¼ pound patties, 93% lean) seasoned with a little salt & pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 3 cups red cabbage shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 4 large leafs of lettuce (romaine, red leaf, or green leaf)


  • Wash and dry the lettuce leaves.
  • In a large skillet sauté the onion, pepper, and red cabbage with the olive oil until soft.
  • Add the garlic salt and balsamic vinegar and allow to simmer until the vinegar and veggies are shiny and caramelized. Stir often. (Most of the liquid will have cooked off).
  • Keep this relish warm.
  • Grill or pan fry 4 quarter pound turkey burgers until just done. (Cooking them too long will make them dry) Usually 4 minutes on each side on a hot grill is sufficient, but a little longer if you are using the frozen type.
  • Now place a turkey burger on the stem end of the lettuce leaf, top with a generous portion of the warm relish.
  • Serve! Feeds 4 with other sides or 2 as a complete meal.


Calories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 23gFat: 13gFiber: 3g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What’s great about these turkey burgers is that they don’t need any other condiments since the savory relish provides so much flavor as well as the moisture that high calorie condiments like mayo usually provide.

An average quarter pound beef burger with a bun, mayo, ketchup, onion, lettuce, and tomato would be around 500 calories or more.

Ted Kallmyer is an ISSA certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, author, and macros coach. He has helped hundreds of clients reach their body transformation goals.


  • Devena Smith

    So the macro count for these burgers, is two 1/4 # patties per serving?

    • Ted Kallmyer (Certified Macro Coach)

      No, a serving would be one burger. However, you could double the serving and have two burgers which would also double the listed macro counts.

  • Jamiemcs

    Why are you on a low carb diet? Sorry for the question, I am just new to IIFYM and from what I am learning carbs are not the enemy. Just curious, I love your site! Thank you for everything

    • Ted

      I’m not but sometimes your carbs might be close to your limit for the day before dinner, so this is an option for a meal that won’t put you over the limit. If you need carbs you could easily put these in a wrap or on a whole grain bun.

  • spectra311

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve really cut back on the beef we buy because my husband is trying to eat less red meat and beef is also getting very expensive. I generally grind my own turkey. I buy raw turkey legs and skin them and grind just the meat in the food processor. I’m not sure what the % leanness would be for that, but I’m not using any of the skin, so it’s probably not too bad.

    • Ted

      you’re welcome and you are so resourceful, that’s a great idea to save some $.

  • sweetonnh

    love this!