The Best Ground Turkey Burgers
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Nilva's Ground Turkey Burgers

NIlva's Ground Turkey Burgers



Our family is blessed to have the greatest caregiver of all time. Nilva is family and most days I don't know how I could pull off anything without her. I may be pretty proficient in the kitchen, but occasionally things get really crazy and I need help preparing a meal. Even during those weeks when our food supply drops to dangerously low levels and I can't make it to the supermarket, I never stress because Nilva has the incredible gift of being able to create the most amazing meal from a bare refrigerator and pantry.

That's why I always try to keep a bunch of simple foods in the freezer like shrimp, vegetables, and meat, so at the very least we can quickly defrost something to have for dinner. The night Nilva first unveiled this turkey burger recipe I had been expecting to eat with the kids when I got home but was informed upon my arrival that they had already eaten everything without me. Considering the fact that Kenya seems naturally inclined towards being a vegetarian, I knew Nilva must have made something that night that tasted magical.

Weeks later I asked Nilva for her recipe -- which uses oatmeal for added nutrition -- and I made it for dinner. I put out lots of toppings so everyone could jazz up their burger as they pleased. While I like my mine with tons of pickles, Chloe prefers sauerkraut, Kenya desires a dip of ketchup, and hubby likes his simple and unadorned. But however you enjoy them these burgers are a no brainer for last minute, healthy, weeknight meal!

Nilva's Turkey Burgers  (makes 8 mini patties)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 6 mins,
  • Rating:
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Our family is blessed to have the greatest caregiver of all time. Nilva is family and most days I don't know how I could pull off anything without her. I may be pretty proficient in the kitchen, but occasionally things get really crazy and I need help...


  • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. 1. Grind the oats in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
  2. 2. In a bowl, mix together the oats, turkey, egg, garlic powder, onion powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
  3. 3. Divide the mixture into 8 equal pieces and form into patties.
  4. 4. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook the patties for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Accompaniments: ketchup, mustard, sauerkraut, mayonaise, pickles, lettuce, tomato, sliced onion

Nilva's Turkey Burgers

Nutrition Information

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  1. Adianez

    February 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Can’t wait to try this, but are three minutes sufficient to cook the patties thoroughly? Im a bit paranoid when cooking for our little one, and I think I tend to over cook stuff, but just curious if 3 min is long enough.

  2. J. Schoner

    January 8, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I have tried several turkey burger recipes over the years and generally receive a lukewarm reaction from my family. Last night, I tried Nilva’s recipe. Everyone loved them! Even my 7 year old ate the whole burger! This recipe is a keeper!

  3. Jennifer Sullivan

    April 13, 2015 at 11:41 am

    These look great! Can you grill them instead of sautéing?

  4. Pingback: Gluten Free Grain Guide | One Good Thing by Jillee

  5. NG

    June 5, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Made these tonight and they were a huge hit. I used quick cooking oats and didn’t grind them up. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. shalbert

    August 28, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Do you think I could substitute quinoa for the oats? We can’t eat oats. Then I’m not sure if they should be ground or not since they’re already so small. Thanks!

    • catherine

      August 29, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Yes, I think ground quinoa would work!

  7. menlow

    July 5, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I’m having a hard time forming these into patties. The mixture is wet, and sticks to my hands. Any suggestions?

    • catherine

      July 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Wet your hands with a little water!

  8. Sue

    June 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I used my bullet to pulverize the oats!!! Simple and delicious!!

  9. Allison Reed

    May 26, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Any suggestions for egg substitute? I’m thinking it’s binding everything together so can I just leave it out?

  10. Lisa | With Style and Grace

    May 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

    love how simple these are!

  11. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste

    May 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Love these little bite-size snacks!

    • Nanang

      February 3, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      Percebo cada vez mais que, ser parecido com Deus c3a9 ser um spemlis humano!c389 comovente a solidariedade da Dona Nilva, (e de tantos outros como o Zc3a9 Barbosa) que ao invc3a9s de se vender ao capitalismo selvagem, foi sensc3advel com a dor do prc3b3ximo e se deu como sacrifc3adcio vivo.Parabc3a9ns pelo post!Abrac3a7c3a3o ..WezzA encarnac3a7c3a3o continua

  12. Gaby

    May 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Looks like my kinda turkey burger!

  13. Tracy

    May 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Can you defrost the ground meat more quickly than letting it sit in the fridge overnight? Thanks for the recipe!

  14. Emily Maron

    May 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    I make almost this very same receipe, but I always just throw the oats in as they are. I love the idea of grinding them up first. Thanks!

  15. Grace Gilroy

    May 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Wow…. This is awsome! Nothing like Simple and Delicious! ! I wonder what other recipes she’s got under her sleeve… Come on Nilva, give us more…

  16. Mrs D

    May 13, 2013 at 11:41 am

    This is perfect since I just defrosted ground Turkey from our Saturday Farmer’s market! Great timing.

    The other night I had nothing in the house and had to make dinner in a pinch. I remembered that in my broke 20’s I used to love bean and cheese burritos. So I made a simple meal of bean and cheese burritos – rice and veggies on the side (left-overs). The burritos were so delicious and nobody complained about the lack of meat.

  17. Nicole Roth

    May 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

    I have two young boys and love a lot of your ideas for feeding young kids. I just thought I would point out a recent health scare with ground turkey – 90% of ground turkey was found to have dangerous amounts of bacteria. Also, since you said your daughter seems naturally inclined to be a vegetarian, what about trying “Meatless Mondays?” Businesses and schools around the country are cutting out meat on Mondays in order to provide more nutritious meals, help the environment, and animals. Here are some ideas:

    • catherine

      May 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Also, I strongly suggest (and do so for my family) buying organic, antibiotic-free meats and eggs! Foods raised in a more natural and healthy way tend to have far less dangers of bacteria and other food borne illnesses than things grown with pesticides and antibiotics!

    • catherine

      May 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Thank you so much for your comments and suggestion! I LOVE meatless Mondays and often participate. We don’t eat a ton of meat in our house anyway. This is a recipe that’s been on my mind for a while now and I just couldn’t wait to share it!