Teriyaki Turkey Burgers and Homemade BBQ Sauce

Burgers, Grilled Meats, Grilling, Main Dish, Poultry, Sandwiches, Seasonal Recipes, Summer Recipes | 22 comments

When I mentioned that I had a craving for grilling and the desire for burgers the other day in my Homemade Whole Wheat Brioche Hamburger Buns post, these are the burgers I was talking about - Teriyaki Turkey Burgers and some Homemade Teriyaki BBQ Sauce.

teriyaki bbq sauce and grilled turkey burger

I’m kind of sad to be writing about this delicious warm, weather grilled meal today because the weather has been kind of nasty all week. Windy, cloudy, and cool. Not cold enough to feel like winter but cool enough that I feel like shouting to the sun, “Hello? Where have you gone?”

I’ve not been a regular user of ground turkey in the past, but when I saw a package at Costco a month or so ago I thought that it might be a nice change to give it a try.

These turkey burgers turned out so moist and flavorful, but you could certainly use ground beef too if that’s what you prefer. But I think I’ll be using ground turkey more often than I used to!

homemade hamburger bun recipe

I’ve never made my own barbecue sauce before, and not that I had anything against it. We just don’t really use barbecue sauce very often. This time I new I wanted a more specific flavor to my BBQ sauce and set out to try for a tangy teriyaki flavor to add to these yummy grilled burgers.

I found that it is really quite simple to make homemade barbecue sauce, and I’m glad to have yet another recipe for a Homemade Pantry Staple in my arsenal. Homemade barbecue sauce goes great alongside homemade turkey burgers and Homemade Whole Wheat Brioche Hamburger Buns.

With school winding down for the summer next week, I am longing for the weather to be more predictably pleasant so I can spend more time outside grilling.

Although it feels somewhat strange that school only has a few days left until “summer” is here, because it doesn’t really feel like summer heat yet, and I’m grateful for that.

Last year our summer was so hot so early and really unenjoyable. We hardly spent any time in our backyard, and that made me sad. I love spring and summertime grilling, the smell of the food cooking outdoors and the sounds of the kids playing (when they’re playing nicely) outside.

homemade teriyaki barbecue sauce recipe bbq sauce

What are you most looking forward to now that summer is almost here? Do you have anything special planned for Memorial Day?

More Recipes for Summer Barbecues:


Grilled Meats



A quick note – I’m going to be taking a few weeks off to spend with my kids now that school is just about over. I’ve got some great guest posters lined up to inspire you with delicious recipes and photos. I love seeing what they’ve cooked up and I know you will too!

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers and Homemade BBQ Sauce

makes 6 burgers and enough BBQ sauce for serving, plus extra.

Print Save Recipe


For the Turkey Burgers

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 of a small onion, finely diced
3 - 4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 teaspoons sugar

For the Honey Teriyaki BBQ Sauce

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 cup diced onion
2 clove garlic, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated on a microplane
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 ounces tomato paste
5 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup tablespoons pineapple juice
3 tablespoons water
1-3 teaspoons cornstarch
1 - 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

For Serving:
Homemade Whole Wheat Brioche Hamburger Buns
Grilled Pineapple
Grilled Onions
Fresh Spinach or Lettuce Leaves
Teriyaki BBQ Sauce


For the Turkey Burgers

Heat the oil in a small saute pan. Saute the diced onion until tender, about 3-5 minutes, over medium heat. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, soy sauce, pepper, ginger and apricot preserves. Add the ground turkey, working with your hands to evenly distribute the ingredients.

Divide into six 1/4 lb. patties. Set aside until ready to grill.

Grill over medium-high heat, 3-5 minutes per side - or until cooked through. At the same time, grill sliced fresh pineapple and onion slices.

Serve on Homemade Whole Wheat Brioche Hamburger Buns with grilled pineapple, grilled onion, fresh spinach or lettuce and Teriyaki BBQ Sauce.

For the Honey Teriyaki BBQ Sauce

In a medium sauce pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for an additional minute, until fragrant.

Stir in the pepper, soy sauce, tomato paste, and honey. Whisk until well mixed. Combine the pineapple juice and water. Whisk in the cornstarch. Pour this mixture into the BBQ sauce, whisking to combine.

Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Then, puree the mixture in a food processor until smooth. Stir in sesame seeds if desired and serve. Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Lisa - May 20, 2011 @ 5:31 am

    Wow, this sounds awesome. Finally the sun is shining over where I live, this would be perfect for tontights dinner. :)


  • 2
    Amy - May 20, 2011 @ 6:14 am

    That sounds great! Do you think the sauce would work well with shredded chicken – like a “pulled chicken” BBQ sandwich?


  • 3
    Erin - May 20, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    My mom used to make pineapple stuffed burgers with a BBQ/Teriyaki sauce growing up. This reminds me of a fancier version and I must try it!


  • 4
    Tessa - May 20, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

    These burgers look great. I love, love grilling pineapple. Thanks for all the BBQ recipes too!


  • 5
    Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} - May 20, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

    Wow these look fantastic! Homemade BBQ sauce is so much better than store bought.


  • 6
    Karen (Cooking with Karen) - May 20, 2011 @ 8:42 pm

    I have been looking for a good BBQ sauce recipe and this one looks fantastic! The teriyaki burgers and homemade buns look great too!


  • 7
    Karly - May 21, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    That BBQ sauce looks so thick and perfect! Yum!

    We’ve been on a turkey kick lately and I was just thinking I needed a good turkey burger recipe! I’ll give this one a shot this weekend. :)


  • 8
    Helene - May 21, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    I find that homemade BBQ sauce makes a big difference in taste. Looks delicious.


  • 9
    Nancy @SensitivePantry - May 21, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    OK, Katie, you’ve got my mouth watering. Love the idea of teriyaki bbq sauce. I’m a big fan of turkey burgers and we grill them all summer long. This will be a really nice way to kick them up a notch.


  • 10
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - May 21, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

    Homemade bbq sauce and homemade roll? You’ve outdone yourself! These look incredibly delicious.


  • 11
    Amanda - May 21, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    Looks fantastic… and great shots as always!


  • 12
    Stoich91 - May 22, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    How did I *just* find this website, when it’s obvs. been pumping out such fabulous food for so long! LOVE! I will subscribe.


  • 13
    Gwen~healthymamma - May 22, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    I do remember you talking about these burgers. ;) I am not a big fan of BBQ sauce either, much to my husband and 3 boys dismay. I did make my own BBQ sauce last summer and it was excellent, much better than jarred and healthier too. I am very impressed and excited that this recipe doesn’t call for any sugar! Yay You! ;} love the ginger addition as well. Aaaaaand I’ve been wanting to make my own buns so I’m excited for that as well. Thank you!


  • 14
    Gwen~healthymamma - May 22, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

    Oh, I wanted to tell you that in case you’re eating ground turkey for health reasons (as opposed to ground beef) it’s only healthier if the package says “Ground Turkey Breast”, which I’m pretty sure Costco’s isn’t cuz I used to buy it too. Believe it or not, if it’s regular ground turkey then it contains more sodium than ground beef, just as much fat and LESS protein. Just a FYI.


  • 15
    TheGourmetCoffeeGuy - May 22, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    Our family enjoys eating burgers but we like to use different meats to vary them. I like your Teriyaki Turkey Burger recipe very much and plan to use it soon, cooking the burger patties on the outdoor grill, our favorite cooking style.
    Your BBQ sauce ingredients sound great, quite sure the sauce will taste very good. Thank you for the post and nice photos.


  • 16
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum - May 22, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    I love BBQ sauce and I love turkey burgers! Now if only I could get a few of your homemade hamburger buns. :)


  • 17
    Christi - May 23, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    I made these for dinner on Saturday. My 11 year old niece helped me. Delicious!! This made HUGE burgers and I still have a ton of meat leftover. I am turning them into meatloaf muffins topped with the BBQ sauce for dinner tonight! Will definitely make this recipe again.


  • 18
    Aggie - May 24, 2011 @ 6:25 am

    Those buns look perfect! This is such a cool burger. I love grilling season. But I agree, our “season” gets so hot, thankfully we have a pool, b/c the backyard gets no play in summer!


  • 19
    Mike@The Culinary Lens - May 24, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

    Excellent very tasty I am sure and I envy your photography. I am learning slowly and looking at stuff like this helps a lot.


  • 20
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - June 03, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    These look amazing! Teriyaki burgers are one of my favorites :)


  • 21
    Kevin (Closet Cooking) - May 23, 2012 @ 4:49 am

    Those burgers sure look tasty!


  • 22
    Melanie - May 23, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    We love turkey burgers and I’m always looking for a new recipe. Thanks for sharing!


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