Skillet Turkey Reuben Burgers with Sauerkraut

Skillet turkey Reuben burgers are moist, tasty, and easy to prepare. Shredded onions are mixed with lean ground turkey and then finished with tangy sauerkraut and cheese and a smear of Russian dressing on top. It is a flavorful, juicy burger recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights and is sure to please everyone in the family.

Turkey burger topped with sauerkraut and melted swiss cheese on rye bread with a pickle on the side.

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Juicy reuben burgers are a great substitute for a traditional reuben sandwich, and they’re so easy to make at home. I love a good reuben, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood for all that heavy corned beef. That’s where these homemade turkey burgers come in – they have all the classic reuben flavors, but in a lighter, juicier burger form. And when you use homemade sauerkraut, you will get the health benefits of fermented sauerkraut

Why you will love these reuben burgers

  • Easy to make – These tasty burgers use simple ingredients and instructions. They’re perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends.
  • Healthier option – Ground turkey is lean and a healthier choice.
  • Versatile – There are so many ways to serve Reuben burgers; see the variations below.
The burger ingredients: sauerkraut, ground turkey, onions in separate bowls

Here is what you will need

This is a brief summary of the ingredients needed to make this delicious recipe and a convenient shopping list from my Instacart affiliate link. For a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card section.

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  • Olive Oil
  • Ground turkey
  • Onions
  • Sea salt & black pepper (optional to season the burgers)
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Fermeted sauerkraut, here is my homemade recipe for sauerkraut
  • Rye bread or rye buns
  • Russian Dressing or Thousand Island Dressing (optional)


How to make this delicious Reuben burger recipe

Prepare the ingredients: Shred the onions with a box grater. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

process shot of ground turkey and onions in a bowl

STEP 1: Place the shredded onions into a bowl and add the ground turkey.

STEP 2: Use a wooden spoon or your hands to combine ground turkey and onions. Form the meat mixture into patties.

Process shot of ground turkey and onions mixed together
process shot of turkey burgers cooking in a pan

STEP 3: Place patties into a heated (medium high heat) cast iron skillet and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes and flip them over.

STEP 4: Cook the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Check the temperature of the burgers at this point, it should be at least 150 degrees. Reduce the heat to medium-low heat.

process shot of turkey burgers cooking in pan after being flipped over
process of turkey burgers cooking in a pan with cheese and sauerkraut

STEP 6: Place a scoop of sauerkraut and a slice of cheese on top of each burger. Cover large non-stick skillet, and cook until the cheese melts and the internal temperature of the burger reaches 165 degrees f.

Ingredient notes and substitutions

The full list of ingredients to make this delicious burger recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients, along with ideas for substitutes.

Turkey – You can use either ground turkey breast or a blend of dark and white meat. Ground turkey breast is the leanest cut, but the addition of the onions to the meat, not only adds flavor to mild tasting turkey, but enough moisture so that the burger is not too dry for a lean turkey burger.

Ground turkey can be substituted with an equal amount of ground beef or ground chicken.

Sauerkraut – If you don’t have homemade sauerkraut on hand to make this recipe, look for sauerkraut that is fermented, and not the typical canned Sauerkraut that is on the supermarket shelves which has been pasteurized.

Fermented sauerkraut can usually be found in the refrigerator section of the supermarket. Fermented sauerkraut has more health benefits such as probiotics which are not in the pasteurized versions.

Onions – All-purpose yellow onion, sweet Vidalia onion or red onion are the best onions to use in this recipe. The recipe does not contain a lot of onions, but they add just the right flavor.

When the onions are shredded with a hand grater, they almost liquefy and add moisture and flavor to the burger. If you don’t have a hand grater, mince the onions as small as you can or chop them in a food processor.

Onions can be substituted with 1/4 teaspoon of onion powder.

cooked turkey burgers in a cast iron pan sauerkraut and cheese on top

Serving suggestions

Serve these healthy turkey burgers with a little bit of homemade Russian dressing smeared on slices of rye bread or a rye bun.

These juicy turkey burgers also taste great with a side of spinach salad, buffalo cauliflower bites, and homemade zucchini pickles or sweet and spicy refrigerator pickles.

Make-ahead instructions

These delicious turkey burgers are easy to make ahead of time. Mix the ingredients, shape at them into patties, and refrigerate for one day or freeze for up to three months. Cook from frozen or thaw in the refrigerator overnight before cooking them.

How to store leftovers

Leftover turkey burgers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days in an airtight container.

Reheat leftover burgers in a skillet, oven, or microwave, and add the sauerkraut and cheese.

Recipe variations

These flavorful turkey burgers are so versatile, feel free to adjust the ingredients to make your own version of tasty turkey reuben patty melts!

Open-faced burgers – Make a lower-carb version and serve them on top of a bun or bread without the top layer of bread.

Turkey Reuben sliders – Make the patties smaller and serve them on slider buns with a bit of dressing for a fun appetizer or party snack.

Turkey Reuben lettuce wraps – Go low carb and gluten-free; wrap your burger in lettuce leaves.

Spicy – Add a touch of heat and lots of flavor by mixing some chopped jalapenos or a dash of hot sauce into the patties before cooking them.

Quesadillas – Layer cooked ground turkey, onions, sauerkraut and swiss cheese between two tortillas and cook in a skillet until the cheese melts.

Caramelized onions – Add a spoonful of caramelized onions to the burgers with the sauerkraut and cheese.


  • Don’t overmix and form the burgers gently to keep them from becoming tough.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the burgers are fully cooked.
  • Allow the burgers to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • To get the full health benefits from sauerkraut, you can also top the burgers with a cheese slice and add the kraut after the cheese melts.
Can I make these burgers without sauerkraut?

Yes, you can easily leave the sauerkraut off or substitute it with a different topping of choice such as caramelized onions, sauteed sliced mushrooms, cole slaw or pickles.

Can I use a different type of cheese to make Rueben burgers?

You, even though swiss cheese is traditionally used in Reuben sandwiches, you can use any kind of cheese you prefer. A slice of mozzarella cheese, gouda, cheddar, and provolone are all good tasty options.

Can I cook these turkey burgers on a grill instead of a skillet?

Yes, you can easily make a grilled reuben burger by placing the burgers onto a heated grill and cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes on each side until they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees f.

a turkey burger on a roll on a white plate with a bowl of salad in the background

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turkey burger on a roll with sauerkraut and melting cheese on a white plate

Easy Skillet Turkey Burgers with sauerkraut

Easy skillet burgers are flavored with onions and sauerkraut
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Reuben Burger
Servings: 4 Burgers
Calories: 401kcal
Author: Anne Lawton


Scale this Recipe 4 Burgers


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 4 tablespoons sauerkraut
  • 4 thin slices organic swiss cheese
  • 5 slices Rye bread or your favorite rolls


  • Shred the onions using a hand grater or mince them with a knife and place them into a mixing bowl with the ground turkey.
  • Combine the  onion and meat together and form into four 1/4 pound patties
  • Pre-heat the oil in a pan over medium – high heat
  • Once the pan is hot, add the burgers to the pan and cook for about 7 minutes until they begin to turn brown
  • flip the burgers over and cook for three minutes longer, top with sauerkraut and cheese
  • cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes more until the cheese has melted and the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees f
  • Serve the burgers on toasted rye, or sourdough or your favorite burger roll


Ground turkey can be replaced with ground, chicken, beef or pork. 
Store leftover burgers in the refrigerator for up to three days. 
See article above for tips, serving suggestions and more!


Serving: 1burger | Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 455mg | Potassium: 457mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 268IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 298mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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  1. The Reuben is my absolute favorite sandwich of all time! I would have to put a generous amount of thousand island dressing on mine too. 🙂

  2. This burger sure is mouth watering! If I used some garlic with the turkey to make the patty do you think it was alter the flavor of the recipe too much? Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to make this at home!