Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Burgers

These leftover Thanksgiving turkey burgers are the perfect way to use up those leftovers. The patty is made with shredded turkey topped with cranberry sauce, crispy bacon, melted cheese and caramelized onions. A perfect way to enjoy some of your favorite Thanksgiving meal items.

While Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for a ton of reasons, one of my favorites is the leftovers. You can find me munching on mac and cheese for several days later. However, making a turkey burger with the leftover turkey has got to be second on the list. The other thing is who doesn’t love a good burger.

In this recipe

To make the patty there are only a few ingredients. The rest is for the burger toppings. The rest is all gravy.

Turkey: you can use any part of the turkey that you want however you will want to make sure it is shredded nicely.

Cranberry sauce: adds some sweetness as well as tartness and compliments the turkey well.

Caramelized onions: will add some sweetness but they just taste good with the turkey.

Ingredients for turkey burgers on a wooden cutting board
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Shredding the turkey

One of the fastest ways that I have found to shred turkey, or any protein for that matter is by using my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. You will want to start at a slow speed and gradually speed it up. If you have a shield for the bowl, then I would suggest you use it. Keep blending until you reach a speed that starts shredding the turkey and continue until everything is evenly shredded. This is also great for meat that is still hot.

Caramelized onions in a skillet
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Turkey patty ingredients combined in a mixing bowl
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Four formed turkey patties
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Four cooked turkey patties in a skillet
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Making the turkey burgers

The eggs, mayonnaise, and breadcrumbs are the perfect binding for the turkey burgers. The mayonnaise and eggs will help prevent the patty from becoming too dry. This will ensure a nice juicy burger and let the flavor of the turkey shine through. When you cook them, you will want to cook them for 3-4 minutes per side. This should get them nice and browned and cook the patty all the way through.

A wood platter with three turkey burgers
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Choose your own toppings

One of my favorite parts of this burger is that you can customize the flavors. While bacon and caramelized onions are some of my favorites, here are some other suggestions.

Toppings: Lettuce, avocado, tomato, sauteed mushrooms

Cheese: Provolone, Swiss, Havarti, Jarlsberg, cheddar, blue cheese or pepper Jack

Bun: Dressing waffles, leftover dinner rolls, sweet potato rolls

Three turkey burgers on a wood platter
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Looking for other burger recipes?

A close up of a turkey burger on a platter
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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Burger

A flavorful burger made with leftover turkey and cranberry sauce, topped with melted cheese, crispy bacon, and caramelized onions.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine American
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 1078 kcal


  • Skillet
  • Plate
  • Spatula
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Stand mixer with paddle attachment optional
  • Food processor or immersion blender optional


  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1 pound cooked turkey shredded
  • cups onions thinly sliced
  • ½ pound bacon
  • 1 cup cranberry sauce
  • ½ cup butter
  • cup mayonnaise
  • cup breadcrumbs
  • 4 ounces gruyere cheese sliced or another cheese
  • 2 eggs


  • In a skillet cook the bacon to your preferred doneness. Set aside on a paper towel to catch the grease.

Caramelizing the onions

  • Remove the grease and heat ¼ cup of butter over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Place the caramelized onions into a bowl and set aside.

Making the turkey burgers

  • In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, mayonnaise, turkey, and breadcrumbs. Mix until everything is combined. Form into 4 equal sized patties.
  • Heat the remaining butter in the skillet over medium high heat. Add all 4 of the patties to the pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Flip the burgers one more time and add the cheese, cook for another minute.


  • Spread the cranberry sauce on the bottom bun, add the burger, then top with bacon, and caramelized onions. Spread a little more cranberry sauce on the top bun.


If your cranberry sauce is chunky, you can blitz it in the food processor, blender or immersion blender to make it smoother.
If you are using a whole piece of turkey easily shred the turkey in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.


Serving: 1burgerCalories: 1078kcalCarbohydrates: 63gProtein: 63gFat: 64gSaturated Fat: 29gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 309mgSodium: 1755mgPotassium: 812mgFiber: 4gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 1195IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 400mgIron: 5mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Hamburger, Leftovers, Thanksgiving, Turkey
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Turkey burger Pinterest pin
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