Delicious Ground Turkey Burger Recipe – Easy and Quick

Welcome to my favorite recipe for a Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (or Burger)! I’m excited to share this easy and tasty recipe that will surely become a staple in your kitchen.

As a cuisine enthusiast, I love discovering new ways to transform everyday ingredients into delicious meals. This recipe offers the perfect balance of flavors and textures that are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Whether you’re having a big family gathering, hosting a party or looking for a quick lunch option, this recipe will make you feel like a professional chef.

But before we dive into the details, let me tell you why this recipe is so special. It all starts with the main ingredient – ground turkey. Unlike other meat sandwich recipes that use ground beef, this one is made with ground turkey which is leaner and healthier for you. The result is a lighter and fresher taste that won’t leave you feeling bloated or weighed down.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s versatile. You can choose to serve it as a sandwich or burger depending on the occasion or personal preference. The beauty of the loose meat sandwich is that it’s easy to customize and make your own by using different toppings and bread choices.

So get ready to impress your family and friends with this Midwestern Loose Meat Sandwich inspired by “Maid Rite” – an American classic fast-food restaurant chain known for its delicious sandwiches. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll want to make it over and over again!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (Or Burger)
Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (Or Burger)

Attention all sandwich and burger enthusiasts! I am here to introduce you to one of the most delicious and versatile recipes out there – The Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (or Burger) Recipe. This recipe is perfect for anyone who enjoys mouth-watering, juicy sandwiches and burgers that will make your taste buds dance with joy. Whether you’re a meat lover or just looking to switch up your lunch routine, this recipe will satisfy all your cravings in one bite.

One of the reasons why you’ll love this recipe is its ease of preparation. You don’t have to be a culinary expert to make it; it only requires a few simple ingredients and steps which can be followed by anyone. All you need is ground turkey or ground beef, garlic, onion, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.

Another reason why you’ll love this recipe is its versatility. This recipe allows for both sandwiches and burgers which makes it perfect for any occasion whether you are looking for a quick lunch at home or a family dinner. And if you’re looking for something specific, the recipe can be customized to meet your individual preferences.

The Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich Recipe is also ideal for those who are health-conscious, as turkey breast can easily be substituted for ground beef to create a leaner version. Additionally, the ingredients used in this recipe contain essential nutrients that are vital for our bodies such as vitamin C from the celery and vitamin A from the carrots.

Not only is this recipe delicious but it also has historical roots dating back to the 1920s when it was first introduced by a man named Fred Angell as the “Maid-Rite” sandwich. It was popularized in Midwestern America as a “loose meat” sandwich due to its ground meat filling which distinguished it from traditional burgers.

In conclusion, whether you prefer Sloppy Joes or Maid Rites, Tavern or Big Mac sandwiches, or even Pulled Pork sandwiches with cheese…the Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (or Burger) Recipe has got you covered! With its simplicity, versatility and rich history; this recipe is sure to be an instant favorite at any mealtime or event.

Ingredient List

 Juicy ground turkey meat piled high on a toasted bun.
Juicy ground turkey meat piled high on a toasted bun.

Here’s what you’ll need for this Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (Or Burger) recipe.


  • 1 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups water

These ingredients are perfect for creating the midwestern loose meat sandwich or also known as the maid rite sandwich recipe. If you prefer turkey meat, ground turkey breast can also be used and maybe even healthier compared to the fatty content of ground beef. With these ingredients, get ready to experience a hearty and filling meal that will satisfy your hunger cravings!

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect mess: a ground turkey loose meat sandwich.
The perfect mess: a ground turkey loose meat sandwich.

Step 1: Preparing the Vegetables

  1. Peel and chop 1 onion
  2. Cut 2 celery stalks into small pieces
  3. Peel and slice 2 carrots
  4. Peel and mince 1 garlic clove

Step 2: Brown the Meat

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Once it is hot, add the vegetables from Step 1 and stir until they are slightly soft and fragrant.
  4. Add 1 pound of ground turkey or beef to the skillet, break it up with a wooden spoon, and cook for about 5 minutes until it is browned.
  5. Drain off any excess fat.

Step 3: Adding Liquid and Flavor

  1. Stir in 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of ketchup, and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to the skillet.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons of salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes until it has thickened.
  4. Don’t forget to taste-test for seasoning!

Step 4: Making Sandwiches or Burgers

  1. Prepare your favorite bread or hamburger buns
  2. Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into each sandwich/bun/roll, creating your own version of classic midwestern loose meat sandwiches, a variation on Sloppy Joes known as Maid-Rites, or sticking with tradition-topping–laden Big Macs
  3. Add extra toppings such as cheese, pickles, onions, or homemade turkey sloppy Joes sauce

Enjoy your homemade Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich or Burger!

Substitutions and Variations

 This simple and tasty burger will satisfy any craving.
This simple and tasty burger will satisfy any craving.

Making substitutions and variations to recipes can infuse different flavors and give uniqueness to dishes. A subtle change in an ingredient can enhance or alter an entire recipe. The Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (Or Burger) Recipe incorporates a homely twist with the midwestern loose meat sandwich concept, and there are a few ways to make it your own.

If you’re feeling bold, switch out ground turkey with ground beef for a hearty and classic burger vibe. On the other hand, if you’re looking to make this sandwich healthier, try using ground turkey breast instead of traditional ground turkey. Consider creating a hybrid by combining both turkey and beef for the ultimate taste experience.

Spice up the basic ingredients list by adding flavor boosters like diced bell peppers, chopped jalapeño, fresh herbs like basil or parsley, or canned beans like black beans or chickpeas for texture. You could also explore sauce options to switch things up – sriracha, BBQ sauce, or even Thousand Island dressing (for a classic “Big Mac” type of flavor) would all impart their unique tastes.

If you’re looking for inspiration, there are many variations of the original loose meat sandwich such as the infamous Maid-Rite (popular in Iowa), Tavern Sandwiches (profoundly found in Indiana), or even the pulled pork version coined as “Roseanne Loose Meat Sandwich” (inspired from the TV show Roseanne).

The options are vast, so don’t be afraid to get creative with this recipe!

Serving and Pairing

 A classic sandwich made with lean ground turkey.
A classic sandwich made with lean ground turkey.

As a versatile sandwich recipe, the Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (or Burger) can be served in various ways. You can pair it with your favorite side dishes, toppings, and condiments according to your preferences. Here are some serving suggestions that will elevate your loose meat sandwich experience.

When it comes to sides, you can’t go wrong with classic french fries or potato chips. For a healthier option, roasted vegetables or a mixed green salad complement the savory meat of the sandwich. If you’re feeling adventurous, try sweet potato fries for a sweet and salty contrast.

For toppings and condiments, you have endless possibilities. Classic options include diced onions, pickles, and ketchup. Mustard adds a tangy flavor, while mayonnaise provides creaminess. Cheese lovers can melt their favorite cheese on top of the meat.

If you’re looking for some regional inspiration, consider pairing your loose meat sandwich recipe with a Maid-Rite style sauce or topping like Roseanne’s Tavern Sandwich. For more southern flavors, pulled pork is an excellent accompaniment.

But what about drinks? Cold drinks like lemonade or iced tea will quench your thirst and balance the hearty flavors of the meal. For an indulgent treat, you can’t beat a milkshake or soda float.

Ultimately, how you serve your Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich is up to you! Experiment with different toppings and sides to find your perfect pairing. Regardless of how you serve it, this Midwestern classic is sure to satisfy any hunger pang!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Bite into the deliciousness of this turkey burger.
Bite into the deliciousness of this turkey burger.

Preparing a tasty sandwich should be fun and convenient. The great thing about the Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich recipe is that you can prepare it ahead of time and store it for later. This recipe is perfect for meal prep, which means you can prepare several servings to have during the week.

Once you have made your meat, let it cool down to room temperature before storing it. Then, put it in an airtight container or in sealed plastic bags, making sure that you remove all the air to avoid freezer burn. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to three months.

To reheat, thaw the meat overnight in the refrigerator if frozen or simply microwave it from its refrigerated state. Reheat the meat slowly over low heat to maintain its original texture and flavor. You can add a bit of water or gravy to keep your meat moist during reheating.

You do not need to worry about losing the quality of taste when reheating. The Ground Turkey Loose Meat sandwich is known for its ability to retain its quality after a few days in storage.

Finally, always make sure that your sandwiches are heated evenly before serving to avoid any risks of illness. With this recipe, you can save time and effort while enjoying your delicious homemade turkey sandwiches at any time of day!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate comfort food with a healthy twist.
The ultimate comfort food with a healthy twist.

To ensure that your ground turkey loose meat sandwich or burger comes out tasting flavorful and juicy, consider these tips for perfect results.

First and foremost, be sure to season the recipe with salt and pepper to taste, as well as one garlic clove or more if you prefer a more pungent flavor. The garlic should be minced or grated before being added to the mixture.

Secondly, for a sweeter and aromatic taste, dice up onion, celery and carrots finely and add them to the skillet together with the ground turkey or beef. This will add depth of flavor to the recipe.

It is also important to use lean ground turkey or beef in this recipe for best results. Avoid using meat with high fat content as it can create an oily and greasy result.

Additionally, make sure to cook the meat properly over medium heat until it is fully cooked through but not overcooked, which could dry out the meat. Overcooking will result in an unpleasant texture.

Another tip is to avoid adding too much water when cooking, as this can create a soupy consistency. Start with 1/2 cup of water, and add more as needed gradually.

To amplify the savory taste of your loose meat sandwich, you can also try adding 1-2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of a good bun! Whether you’re serving your loose meat as a sandwich or a burger, choosing the right bread is key. Homemade turkey buns work great with loose meat sandwiches while hamburger buns work fine for burgers.

By following these tips, you can achieve a perfect midwestern loose meat sandwich or burger that will rival even the iconic homemade Maid-Rites or Roseanne Tavern sandwiches.


As we shared every little detail about making the perfect Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich, you may still have some remaining questions in mind. Thus, we compiled a few frequently asked questions to make it easier for you to attain the most flavorsome and tender results possible. So, without any further ado, let’s dive into the queries that our audience has raised so far.

How do you bind ground turkey for burgers?

If you want your turkey burgers to hold their shape and not fall apart on the grill, you can use the same trick as you would for a classic meatloaf. Simply mix in some dry breadcrumbs into the turkey mixture before forming the patties. As the breadcrumbs absorb the moisture, they will work as a binding agent along with the egg, essentially serving as glue for your burgers. This will make sure they stay intact while grilling and not crumble into pieces.

Can ground turkey be substituted for ground beef?

Ground chicken and ground turkey are great alternatives to ground beef. These poultry options have a comparable texture to beef but may look a bit paler. However, the difference in appearance won’t affect the taste of your dishes, as both options are equally delicious. Keep this in mind when choosing which type of meat to use in your recipes.

How do you make ground turkey taste better?

I’ve got some wonderful seasoning suggestions that will take your ground turkey recipe to the next level. A delectable blend of chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and pepper mix impeccably with the turkey. For a more flavorful blend, herbs such as paprika, dried oregano, basil, and rosemary can be added. As a bonus, we also have a few other ground turkey recipes that are absolute must-tries.

Should I mix ground beef and ground turkey together?

When it comes to cooking, blending ground turkey and ground beef is a completely acceptable and even a beneficial option. The combination of these two meats offers more than just a delicious and meaty flavor, it can also reduce the overall amount of saturated fat in your dish. Not only that, but when the right balance is achieved, the blend can create a sophisticated and tasty flavor profile that will leave your guests craving more. So, don’t hesitate to try this out next time you’re preparing a meat-based dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re tired of the same old hamburger or pulled pork sandwich, why not try something different? The ground turkey loose meat sandwich, also known as the maid rite or tavern sandwich, is a delicious and easy-to-make alternative that won’t disappoint. With its succulent flavors and simple yet satisfying recipe, this iconic Midwest classic is a surefire hit with friends and family alike.

By using fresh and wholesome ingredients such as ground turkey, celery, carrots, onion, garlic clove, and Worcestershire sauce, you can create a mouthwatering sandwich that will leave everyone asking for seconds. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations and substitutions to suit your own personal taste preferences.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out in the kitchen, the ground turkey loose meat sandwich is a versatile and flavorful option that’s easy to prepare. So why not give it a try today? You won’t regret it!

Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (Or Burger)

Ground Turkey Loose Meat Sandwich (Or Burger) Recipe

An easy loose meat filling for sandwiches.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 30 Mins, Easy, Kid-Friendly, Lunch, Meat, Poultry, Very Low Carbs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories: 187.6kcal


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base
  • 3/4 cup water (or use chicken broth for base and water)
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • bun


  • Brown ground turkey.
  • Add vegetables with turkey and cook until tender.
  • Add water and chicken base.
  • Simmer 5-10 minutes.
  • Can sit on med-low 10 minutes.
  • Serve on buns.
  • Also good served over pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • To make burgers finely chop vegetables. Mix egg, meat and veggies, omitting water, and make into patties. Cook on grill, under broiler or on stove top.

Your own notes


Serving: 214g | Calories: 187.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.5g | Protein: 22.8g | Fat: 8.8g | Saturated Fat: 2.3g | Cholesterol: 78.3mg | Sodium: 101.8mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.2g