Super moist ground chicken burgers are delicious but easy and ready only in about 20 minutes. Cook them on the grill or stovetop for the perfect weeknight dinner.
Chicken burgers are a great healthier alternative to beef. But there is almost no fat, but if cooked wrong, you have dry, tasteless patties.
I'm keeping this simple for an easy, quick, and tasty dinner with just a few pantry ingredients. You can get very complicated with some recipes suggesting 20 ingredients.
Start with a panade to add and keep moisture. A panade can also be used to add some taste but let's keep it simple.
Cook on the grill or stovetop, garnish and serve to your liking.
👨🍳How to make this recipe
Assembly of the chicken patties
Start by mixing the panade and the meat in a large bowl. Get it all mixed equally but do not over-mix.
Divide into 3 to 4 parts per pound. Flatten the mixture into patties about ⅜ inch thick and about 3 ½ inch diameter with a center dimple about quarter size one-third of the thickness. These can fall apart easily, so it is helpful to use wax paper or parchment paper.
Cooking on the grill
I generally grill chicken at medium to medium-high grill temperature—about 450°. But here, since the patties are thin, grilling over high heat makes sense since the center will cook quickly.
If you make very thick patties, go with the lower grill temperature, it will take a bit longer, but the center will get done before the outside is burnt.
You should always cook to the final internal temperature and never by time alone. You must use a meat thermometer to get this right.
Cooking on the stovetop
Add a bit of vegetable oil to a large skillet (non-stick preferred). Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook for about 5 minutes per side until the internal temperature is 165°.
A grill pan will give you some excellent grill marks if you have one.
Use ground chicken or ground turkey. The turkey will have a slightly different taste, but the instructions are the same.
You can make your own, but who does that? Regular bread crumbs will work but will have a smooth texture. I suggest Panko-type breadcrumbs that will add a little texture.
You can get your Panko breadcrumbs in various flavors, so choose what you like. I suggest the cheese-flavored crumbs.
Chicken takes flavor well, so your possibilities for seasoning and topping are endless. Make it Italian with some basil and Italian bread crumbs. Make it Southwest with some salsa, guacamole or avocado, and jalapenos. Maybe a bit of your favorite BBQ sauce. Or even blue cheese and buffalo sauce.
❓FAQs and troubleshooting
All chicken, including ground chicken, must be 165° to be safe. You must use a thermometer. Undercooked is not safe, but overcooked will become dry rapidly.
They are delicate, but you will be OK with a bit of care.
1) The panade needs to be thick and pasty. If it has too much liquid, it will tend to fall apart.
2) Don't make the patties too thin. ⅜ is the minimum.
3) Make up the patties on wax paper or parchment paper to help when you move them to the grill or pan.
4) Oil everything, like grill grates or pans well.
5) Do not flip too much.
Yes, for most people. Chicken is inherently low in fat and has a good nutrition profile, but how you prepare and cook chicken combined with your nutritional needs will determine the answer for you.
A panade is a mixture of starch (like breadcrumbs) and liquid that can coat the ground meat particles with starch and keep moisture.
Milk is used in things like meatloaf. But I chose mayo for this recipe, but you could use egg or even sour cheese—just something liquid-like to help bind.
If you want to know more about panades, check out Panade: The Secret to Keeping Ground Meat Tender at JessicaGavin.com.
❄️Serving and Storage
How to serve Chicken Burgers?
Generally, serve on a bun with the same toppings you would use for a beef burger. Commonly used are leaf lettuce, sliced tomato, onion, and some salt and black pepper. I also like a slice of co-jack or cheddar cheese.
If it is a cookout, the typical cookout dishes like potato salad, Homemade Macaroni Salad, or Grilled Corn on the Cob. I find Fresh Spinach Salad a compelling side dish.
For stovetop, all the above and perhaps Crispy Baked French Fries or Microwave Corn on the Cob.
Storage of Chicken Burgers
These patties can be stored either before or after cooking.
Refrigerator: For 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Freezer: You can store airtight in a freezer for 2-3 months. Be sure to thaw completely in the refrigerator before cooking or reheating.
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This recipe is listed in these categories. See them for more similar recipes.
🖼️Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Preheat the grill to high if grilling.
Mix 1 pound of ground chicken with ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise or milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. A clove of crushed garlic or a couple of tablespoons of minced onion is a nice addition here. I usually use my All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2 instead.
Use ¼ to ⅓ pounds of meat per burger pattie. Form into ⅜ to ½ inch thick and about 3 ½ to 4-inch diameter patties. Add a slight "dimple" about the size of a quarter and ⅛ inch deep in the center. This helps prevent the puffing up you sometimes get with grilling a burger.
For Grilling: Clean and oil grill on a preheated grill. Grill over high heat for 4 minutes on the first side and 3-4 minutes on the second side until an internal temperature of 165°. This is ground meat. PLEASE use a meat thermometer.
For Stovetop: In a large skillet (non-stick preferred), add a bit of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook about 5 minutes per side until the internal temperature is 165°.
Serve on a bun topped with tomato, lettuce, and onion. Or use the topping of your choice.
Easy Ground Chicken Burgers
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise - or milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 clove crushed garlic - optional
- 2 tablespoons minced onion - optional
- Preheat grill on high if grilling.
- Mix 1 pound of ground chicken with ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise or milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. A clove of crushed garlic or a couple of tablespoons of minced onion is a nice addition here. I usually use my All Purpose Seasoning - 7:2:1 and 7:2:2 instead.
- Use ¼ to ⅓ pound of meat per burger pattie. Form into ⅜ to ½ inch thick and about 3 ½ to 4 inch diameter patties. Add a slight "dimple" about the size of a quarter and ⅛ inch deep in the center. This helps prevent the puffing up you sometimes get with grilling a burger.
- Grilling: Clean and oil grill on a preheated grill. Grill over high heat for 4 minutes on the first side and 3-4 minutes on the second side until an internal temperature of 165°. This is ground meat PLEASE use a meat thermometer.Stovetop: In a large skillet (non-stick preferred) add a bit of vegetable oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook about 5 minutes per side until internal temperature is 165°.
- Serve on a bun topped with tomato, lettuce, and onion. Or use the topping of your choice.
Your Own Private Notes
- Adjust to the number of chicken burgers you want.
- I suggest panko bread crumbs. Use the flavor you have. You can also use other starches like crackers.
- I like the mayo here but use milk if you prefer.
- Ground chicken needs to cook to 165° for safety but do not overcook or they will dry.
- The dimple in the middle of the burger needs to be there to prevent it from puffing up and becoming harder to get to the correct temperature.
- This recipe will work with a wide variety of grill temperatures. Just be sure to cook to the right final internal temperature.
- If cooking on a stovetop, a grill pan provides a nice touch of grill marks.
- Chicken burgers are more "tender" than beef. So handle with care or they may fall apart.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Originally Published May 7, 2015. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.
Can they be cooked on a charcoal grill?
Dan Mikesell AKA DrDan
Welcome to the blog.
This should do well on a charcoal grill. They are cooked on high heat which is a good fit for charcoal. But, as always, cook to the final internal temperature and never by time alone.
We made these into chicken sliders, added a little fresh garlic and a lemon pepper rib rub combo. Outstanding,super moist and great flavor.
These sound good but one question. I am a type 1 diabetic so counting carbs is critical for me. I see in nutrishinal info that one burger has 15 he of carbs. Is that all from the bread crumbs? I usually count 1 tbs as 5 grams.
I just check the database I connect to and a couple of other references. The breadcrumbs are about 5gm (plus a fraction) per tablespoon (2 per serving here) and the mayo is about 4 gms. There are some fractions in there so it rounds to 15 per serving. If you want, cut the breadcrumbs in half and you will still be very good.
Have you ever made these ahead or frozen them? Would the patties keep in the fridge for a few days before cooking?
I would say 48 hours max on the fridge and they should freeze well for a couple of months.
What is 7:2:2 seasoning? I'd really like to make these chicken burgers.
The 7:2:2 is a homemade seasoning 7 parts kosher salt and 2 parts each course pepper and granular garlic. It is in the FAQs. And in instruction #2 there is a substitute suggestion.
Excellent and fits into my eating plan easily. Thanks very much!