Masala Turkey Burgers with Tandoori Onions & “Crack Sauce”

Hey guys! I’ve been M.I.A. for a long time (sorry!) but I am back and so excited to share with you one of my favorite recipes! I make these burgers a few times a month and they are saucy, yummy goodness! I use ground turkey for the patty but you could also use ground chicken if you prefer. DO NOT skip the tandoori onions, they are my greatest creation! If I’m bbq-ing I make extra onions and put them on hot dogs– SOO GOOD!! Also, the title “crack sauce” comes from my husband and his love for this sauce on basically everything! Its just a cilantro jalapeño sauce thats perfectly cooling against the smokiness of the burger and tandoori onions in this recipe! I make the burgers on a cast iron skillet, but its summer time so you could definitely grill these outdoors and if you’re cooking for a crowd, instead of making giant burgers- make smaller burger patties and serve them as sliders! I also like to make the sauce two days ahead of time and keep it in one of those squeeze bottles so it makes life easy if I’m serving these to a lot of guests. If you want to do like ZERO work but still have amazing burgers, you can also just use frozen burger patties but still make the tandoori onions and the crack sauce which adds so much flavor that you won’t even miss the homemade patty! Enjoy! As always, if you have questions about this recipe, comment below this post and I will get back to you asap! Thank You <3

Masala Turkey Burgers with Tandoori Onions & Crack Sauce




Yield 8 Sliders


  • 16 oz. ground turkey 
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro 

Tandoori Onions:

  • 1 Red Onion, Sliced 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Swad Tandoori Masala

Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce aka "Crack Sauce"


  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the ground turkey meat and the rest of the ingredients until combined .
  2. Oil your hands lightly and make patties that are about 1/2 inch thick and about 4-5 inches in diameter (this will differ based on the size of bun you are using). Make sure the patties are leveled so they cook evenly.
  3. Place the burger patties in an oiled pan on medium high heat and cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side and until the meat is no longer pink and the burgers are browned on both sides.
  4. Melt cheese on the burgers before removing from pan and placing on buns.

Tandoori Onions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium low heat and continue to cook, stirring often,  until the onions are cooked down and softened, about 15-20 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat and place 1-2 spoonfuls of onions on each burger patty.


  1. Spread the crack sauce on both buns and assemble the burger with lettuce, tomato, tandoori onions and drizzle some extra sauce right on top!


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  • I only have the tandoori paste. Don’t have the powder. Do you think the paste is ok for the onions. Should i put the paste in yogurt first? Thanks!

    • Hi Smita! Unfortunately Im not sure how the paste will hold up being cooked with onions and butter, especially the texture because many tandoori pastes can be chalky. Adding yogurt might make the onions too tart as well. I recommend the Swad brand of powder specifically because of its taste and delicate smokiness when combined with butter and onions- its worth the trouble to go get! I believe you can order it online through various places as well 🙂

  • I have tried this recipe and it’s amazing. How would you suggest keeping everything warm if I am bringing this to a potluck?

    • Hey!

      Potluck sounds like fun! 🙂

      Option One: You could keep the burger patties warm in the oven by just setting the temp to WARM if thats an option, or the lowest heat setting which is usually 200degrees. The onions could also be placed in a foil tray, covered in the oven a long with the burgers.

      Option Two: If you want to make this a self serve/ assemble burger station than you can plug in a large electric countertop skillet and place all the patties on there and the onions could be put in a plugged in crock pot or warmer on just the “keep warm” setting.

      For the Crack sauce- I usually just bottle it in one of those squeeze bottles so its easy to transport and for people to assemble their burgers. Let me know if you need more suggestions! Hope this helps! Enjoy your potluck!

  • Hi Palak, could you give some do’s & don’ts for using a cast iron skillet. Never used one before & I have a flat electric stove. Will that make a difference?

    • Hi Shital! So cast iron skillets are great and versatile but just requires a little love and care! Step one is to always “season” your pan which literally just means oiling it all over and baking it in an oven for an hour. Oils and fats absorb into the porous surface of the pan, keeping its non stick surface in good condition. You should also NEVER put a hot pan of any sort under cool water. When cleaning, you want to make sure you cool the pan down completely, and use just a small amount of soap and just hot water to clean the pan. Then completely dry it out and re oil it and put it away. I hope these small tips help! 🙂

  • This is such a simple but delicious recipe – sans bun, makes for a great low carb meal with a lot of flavour!

  • Hi there! I am thinking about making these burgers this weekend but swapping the turkey meat for ground beef. Do you think that will work? Also, do you make your own garam masala or store bought? If store bought, which brand? If you make your own, do you mind sharing the recipe?

    I made your spicy shrimp scampi a few weeks ago and it was a HUGE hit! Definitely going to make those again. Thank you!!

  • Hey,
    I was trying this recipe without onions, just wandering we add salt in the turkey.. now am confused a little if I should add or not and I don’t know if ur gonna see my question right away….😜😐😐

  • HI – so excited to try this recipe!! Is there a particular brand of garam masala you recommend? or do you make your own? Also – for the “crack sauce” – what are your thoughts on swapping out the mayo for greek yogurt? I’m not a big mayo fan 🙁

    • Hey! These are great to freeze and air fryers are different so I would follow the specific directions for yours. I believe I cooked mine for about 14 minutes (frozen patty) at about 360 degrees.