Juicy and flavorful, these jalapeño cheddar turkey burgers are incredible! Don’t let the jalapeños scare you. They add tons of flavor (leave out the seeds for less heat!). 

Favorite recipe alert! These jalapeño cheddar turkey burgers are at the top, top, top of meals I could eat for the rest of forever. 

The flavor is incredible. They are fast and easy to make. And they get rave reviews from my entire family every time they magically appear at dinner. 

Jalapeno turkey burger with guacamole, tomato, and lettuce on a white plate.

I’ve actually never met a burger more flavorful and more delicious than these. They are one of a kind and crazy delicious.

Ingredients for jalapeno cheddar turkey burgers in glass bowl before combining.

Let’s Talk About Ground Turkey

These are, after all, a turkey burger. BUT, you could also make them with ground chicken or even try ground beef. The flavors won’t be as pronounced if you use ground beef, but they will probably still be pretty delicious.

All ground turkey is not created equal. I highly recommend staying away from the ground turkey in the plastic shrink wrapped tubes. In my unfortunate experience, the texture and consistency are very, very wrong.

I prefer buying ground turkey in the trays, and I like using the 85/15 for this recipe for better flavor (but you can use 90/10, too – just make sure to oil the grates of the grill well so the burgers don’t stick). 

Glass bowl with mixed ground turkey for turkey burgers.

The ground turkey mixture for these burgers is stickier and a bit harder to work with than burgers made with ground beef (which is a little sturdier than ground turkey). 

Lightly greasing your hands with cooking spray before forming the ground turkey into rounds can help. If the ground turkey mixture is soft that it’s hard to work with, you can add bread crumbs or finely crushed crackers (like saltines) to help bind the meat mixture together. 

If it’s just a little bit soft, persevere even if it’s a bit messy. The texture and flavor will be amazing!

Two jalapeno cheddar turkey burger patties stacked on each other.

Jalapeños: flavor or spice?

Don’t let the jalapeños in the ingredients list or title scare you off. They add an incredible amount of flavor and are critical to the success of these yummy burgers. A couple of tips:

  • remove the seeds and membranes for less heat
  • chop the jalapeños really finely
  • start with half of a jalapeño if you’re still worried (but don’t leave them out completely!

Of course if you are a heat warrior, consider doubling the jalapeño and add the seeds as well. 

Bite taken out of jalapeno cheddar turkey burger on white plate.

Once grilled, we serve these juicy turkey burgers on buns with guacamole (not even optional, not here), tomatoes, lettuce, and sometimes a couple extra slices of cheddar cheese. 

Although the jalapeño turkey burgers are super tasty on their own, adding the guacamole takes them waaaay over the top. 

If you haven’t made these burgers yet, it’s your time! They’ve been a favorite of ours for years, and so many of you already love them, too: 

Nicole: These burgers are the most delicious turkey burgers I’ve ever had! SERIOUSLY! This will be my 2nd time making them as I just discovered this recipe a month or so ago. Its definitely a go to recipe now! Thank you so much!

Vanessa: These are the best turkey burgers we have ever made! We’ve made these many times. Our 4 and 5 year old each had seconds. All the extra ingredients give such great flavor and prevent a dry, bland turkey burger. 

What to Serve With This

One Year Ago: Teriyaki Turkey Burgers with Grilled Pineapple 
Two Years Ago: S’Mores Chocolate Chip Cookies 
Three Years Ago: The Best Zucchini Muffins {Whole Grain} 
Four Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting {Egg-free}
Five Years Ago: Chocolate Chip Applesauce Snack Cake 
Six Years Ago: Spinach and Cheese Enchiladas 
Seven Years Ago: Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry {30-Minute Meal} 
Eight Years Ago: Dirt Pudding Cups {Homemade Version} 

jalapeno cheddar turkey burger with guacamole, tomato, and lettuce on white plate

Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers

4.79 stars (132 ratings)



  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • ½ cup finely diced onion, white, red or yellow
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 medium jalapeño seeded and finely chopped (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, about 1/2 tablespoon or so
  • ½ to 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For Serving:

  • 6 soft hamburger buns
  • Guacamole
  • Sliced cheddar or Monterey Jack
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce


  • Heat a charcoal, gas or pellet grill to medium-high. If needed, oil the grates to keep the burgers from sticking.
  • In a large bowl, mix all of the burger ingredients together until well combined.
  • Shape the meat mixture into about 6 burger patties (you can do more or less than this depending on what size you want them and/or how big the buns are that you’ll be serving them with).
  • Grill the turkey burgers for 5 to 6 minutes per side until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the burgers reads 165 degrees F.
  • Remove from the grill, tent with foil, and let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. Serve on buns with guacamole, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese slices, etc.


Jalapeno: if you want more heat, leave the seeds and membrane in the jalapeno while chopping and add it to the meat mixture. Without the seeds and membranes, the jalapeno imparts great flavor but very little heat (my kids eat these with no problem).
Guacamole: for homemade guac, I dump about 2 diced avocados in a bowl and mash with the juice of half a lime, salt and pepper and a dash of garlic powder or a minced clove of fresh garlic, all of which can be adjusted to taste.
Calories: 216kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 38g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 525mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe that Fran from Fran’s Favs directed me to (by way of Smells Like Home who got it from What’s Gaby Cooking)

Recipe originally published August 2013; updated July 2020 with new photos, recipe notes, etc.

A jalapeno cheddar burger topped with guacamole and tomato slices on a white plate.