Delicious and moist Ground Chicken Burgers are easy to cook on the grill or stovetop—the perfect quick and healthy weeknight dinner recipe.
- 👨🍳How to Cook Ground Chicken Burgers
- 🌡️When are chicken burgers done?
- 🥣Substitutions and options
- ✔️Pro Tips
- Making chicken patties ahead
- How to prevent chicken burgers from falling apart?
- 🍴How to serve Chicken Burgers?
- ❄️Storage of leftover chicken patties
- Safety Tips
- Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
- 📖 Recipe
Chicken burgers are a great healthier alternative to beef. There is almost no fat, and if cooked wrong, you have dry, tasteless patties.
This ground chicken burger recipe uses a panade to keep the chicken patties moist and tender. The chicken will pick up flavors from your favorite seasons to make a perfectly delicious meal.
You can easily make turkey burgers with the same recipe or make the patties gluten-free with your choice of bread crumbs.
For that BBQ cookout, check out these other burger recipes like Grilled Hamburger Tutorial, Juicy Lucy Burger, or Smokehouse Burgers. And for healthy options, see Healthy Low Fat Burgers, Grilled Chicken Sandwich, or Grilled Portobello Mushrooms.
- Ground chicken—or turkey
- Mayonnaise—full-fat or low-fat. Plain yogurt or milk may be used.
- Bread crumbs—Panko preferred
- Seasoning—your choice but salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (optional) are recommended. I use my All-Purpose Seasoning
👨🍳How to Cook Ground Chicken Burgers
- Mix ground chicken with Panko bread crumbs, mayonnaise, and seasoning.
- Form into ¼ to ⅓ pound patties about 3 ½ to 4-inch diameter with a slight "dimple."
- Cook over high heat on the grill or in a skillet with some oil over medium-high heat. Flip every 4-5 minutes until an internal temperature of 165°—about 10 minutes.
🌡️When are chicken burgers done?
All chicken, including ground chicken, must be 165° to be safe. You must use an instant-read thermometer. Under-cooked chicken patties are not safe, but over-cooked will become dry rapidly.
🥣Substitutions and options
- Ground chicken can be either lean from breast meat or fuller fat from chicken thighs. The breast meat will tend to dry easier, while the fat in dark meat can lead to juicier results.
- Ground turkey may also be used with this recipe to make turkey burgers.
- Panko breadcrumbs will give more meat texture, while regular bread crumbs will be smoother. You may use gluten-free bread crumbs.
- Panko breadcrumbs come in various flavors, so choose what you like. I suggest cheese-flavored or Italian bread crumbs.
- The mayonnaise adds flavor and moisture to the panade—use either full-fat or low-fat mayonnaise. Plain Greek yogurt can be used, or even milk.
- A teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce will add a deeper flavor to make the chicken taste more beef-like.
- Seasoning: 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.
- Don't over-mix—like meatloaf, if you over-mix, the final results will be firmer, and you may have hockey pucks. Also, form the patties gently by hand, not with a press.
- Make the chicken patties on parchment or wax paper to help transport them without falling apart.
- Be sure the grill is preheated, or if using the stovetop, the oil is simmering hot.
- Don't skip the dimple in the middle of the patties—it prevents puffing and will help even with cooking.
Making chicken patties ahead
You can make these chicken patties and store them airtight and refrigerated for three days or freeze them for three months.
How to prevent chicken burgers from falling apart?
They are delicate, but you can have excellent results with some care.
- The panade needs to be thick and pasty. If it has too much liquid, it will tend to fall apart.
- Don't make the patties too thin. ⅜ is the minimum.
- Make the patties on wax paper or parchment paper to help when you move them to the grill or pan.
- Keep the patties cool, work fast, and refrigerate if delayed.
- Oil everything well, like grill grates or pans.
- If cooking on the stovetop, use a non-stick or cast iron skillet.
- Do not flip too much.
- If all else fails, mix in an egg next time.
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 your answer.
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.
To learn more about panades, check out Panade: The Secret to Keeping Ground Meat Tender.
🍴How to serve Chicken Burgers?
Serve on a hamburger bun like a beef burger, and add cheese of your choice and condiments like ketchup and mustard. Then top with lettuce, sliced tomato, red onion, and maybe a slice of avocado.
❄️Storage of leftover chicken patties
Store leftovers for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or a freezer for three months. See the CDC for Chicken Safety Tips.
Cook the chicken patties to 165° internal temperature measured with an instant-read thermometer—do not guess.
Store all raw poultry separately from other foods and use a separate cutting board. Wash all instruments and surfaces that touch raw poultry with appropriate disinfectants.
Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after touching raw poultry.
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Step-by-Step Photo Instructions
Use the seasoning of your choice. You may use ground turkey instead.
Mix 1 pound of ground chicken with ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Add seasoning of your choice. I use All-Purpose Seasoning or use ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Do not over-mix.
Use ¼ to ⅓ pounds of meat per burger patty and 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.
Preheat a well-oiled grill on high heat. Or on the stovetop, preheat a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium.-high heat with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil until shimmering.
Cook for about 5 minutes per side until the internal temperature is 165°.
Ground Chicken Burgers
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder - optional
- Use the seasoning of your choice. You may use ground turkey instead.
- Mix 1 pound of ground chicken with ½ cup Panko bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Add seasoning of your choice. I use All-Purpose Seasoning or use ½ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Do not over-mix.
- Use ¼ to ⅓ pounds of meat per burger patty and 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.
- Preheat a well-oiled grill on high heat. Or on the stovetop, preheat a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium.-high heat with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil until shimmering.
- Cook for about 5 minutes per side until the internal temperature is 165°.
Your Own Private Notes
- Adjust 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 or plain yogurt 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 them with care, or they may fall apart.
- Seasoning and cooking tips in the recipe post.
- Nutrition is calculated using lean ground chicken breasts and low fat mayo.
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.