These Jerk Turkey Burgers is complete with spicy jerk BBQ sauce, dairy-free garlic sauce and crispy candied bacon for a totally crowd-pleasing burger for weeknights or entertaining.
There's something so satisfying about grilling up smoky, juicy burgers in the summer. Whether you're outside on the grill or inside with a griddle pan, everyone loves the smell of burger night---these Jerk Turkey Burgers with Candied Bacon are truly legit!
Of course, I'm not one to stick to the same-old classic burger. I love to take my hamburgers over the top with flavor, toppings and texture without weighing you down. This recipe for jerk turkey burgers is just that:
Lean, light turkey meat flavored with intense Jamaican jerk seasonings
Crispy candied bacon for crunch and extra smokiness on top
Spicy, herby jerk BBQ sauce to infuse the burgers with more flavor
Creamy vegan garlic sauce for extra moisture and allium flavor
Toasted buns and your favorite toppings to round things out
Hungry yet? Let's dig into the meat of this recipe.
How to Make Jerk Turkey Burgers
This recipe has a few different components. I recommend making things in the following order:
Candied bacon in the oven
BBQ jerk sauce on the stove
Seasoning and shaping the jerk turkey burgers
Finally, whip up the dairy-free garlic sauce
Making Candied Bacon
First things first, do not leave out the candied bacon. The smoky, sweet flavors are the perfect complement to the heat in the jerk sauce and burgers.
Plus, candied bacon is a three-ingredient recipe. The candied bacon is done when it's caramelized all over. As it cools, it will crisp up nicely.
Best Burger Toppings
Everyone is different when it comes to burger toppings in general, which is why I love using a variety of ingredients. However, for these Jerk Turkey Burgers with Candied Bacon, I like to add ingredients that compliment the bold flavor of the "jerk".
This is a great opportunity to teach children about what they like, how much to add, and helps to develop their palate—which is what I try to do with my son. Plus, maybe they’ll try something new on their own—who knows?!
Some of the most popular burger toppings in my house for these Turkey Burgers are:
This jerk sauce starts with homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce. Then you'll add the traditional Jamaican jerk flavor with some key spices. Yes, the list is a bit long. But if yo have a stocked spice cabinet, you probably have everything you need on hand right now.
FOR THE HOMEMADE JERK SEASONING (DRY RUB):
To make your own jerk seasoning dry rub, you'll need the following. Just double or triple ingredients for a bigger batch to store overtime:
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
By the way, you can go ahead and make a double or triple batch of this sauce. Save it in an airtight container rin the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up three months.
You can use it to make all kinds of delicious jerk dishes, like:
If you have leftover turkey burgers, you can store them for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge. For even longer storage, you can season and shape the burgers ahead of time. Then pop them into the freezer for up to four months.
When you're ready to serve, them let the burgers thaw in the fridge overnight. Then cook them as described in the recipe and serve with toppings.
Pile your juicy turkey burgers with your favorite toppings, including:
Make the BBQ Jerk sauce by adding all ingredients into a small bowl and mixing it all together until well combined. Set aside.
TO MAKE THE TURKEY PATTIES:
Add all of the burger ingredients (except for the buns + butter) to a large bowl, massaging everything together with your hands until well combined.
Form the turkey mixture into medium-sized patties with your hands, gently pressing down until semi-flat and perfectly round (about ½-inches thick), ensuring that everything sticks together well. Repeat until all patties are formed, about 4.
Heat a medium-sized (about 11-inch) non-stick grilled pan over medium-high heat and add vegan butter until melted. Add formed patties, about 1 inch apart and cook on each side until golden brown with grill marks, about 4-5 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer grilled pan with burger patties into preheated oven and bake until patties are cooked through and juices run clear, about 10-15 minutes. Spoon BBQ Jerk sauce atop each patty and let bake for another 5 minutes until sauce becomes "cooked on".
DAIRY-FREE GARLIC SAUCE:
To make this this Lemon Garlic Sauce, see my recipe! You can omit the lemon so that it's entirely garlic-flavored!
To assemble, prepare your burger buns, top with turkey patties, sliced onions, bacon strips, and the DF garlic sauce. Serve with your favorite side----fries, sweet potato fries, salad, or whatever.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Leftovers can be stored for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. And if you're all about making your own burgers for months in advance, then you can freeze them for 3-4 months. Defrost adding them to the refrigerator overnight and then reheating them in the oven until heated through.
MAKE AHEAD: You can make your patties and plastic wrap them individually before placing them in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate them for up to 5 days.