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Teriyaki Turkey Burgers and Homemade BBQ Sauce

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 bbq sauce and grilled turkey burger

Teriyaki Turkey Burgers and Homemade BBQ Sauce

Yield: makes 6 burgers and enough BBQ sauce for serving, plus extra.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

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!


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 the Turkey Burgers

  1. 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.
  2. Divide into six 1/4 lb. patties. Set aside until ready to grill.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. In a medium saucepan, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 490Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 17gCholesterol 120mgSodium 1867mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 2gSugar 26gProtein 33g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!


Wednesday 23rd of May 2012

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

Kevin (Closet Cooking)

Wednesday 23rd of May 2012

Those burgers sure look tasty!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

Friday 3rd of June 2011

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

Mike@The Culinary Lens

Tuesday 24th of May 2011

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


Tuesday 24th of May 2011

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!

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