The best chicken burger recipe comes with juiciness and tons of flavor! It’s easy, adaptable, and will change your mind about chicken burgers. 

Chicken burger with melted cheese on a serving platter.

A Juicy and Tender Ground Chicken Burger Recipe You’ll Actually Enjoy.

Ground chicken, much like ground turkey, doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to burgers. I’m so happy my turkey burger recipe has exploded over the last few months, and that led me to hitting the drawing board and coming up with a ground chicken equal. It absolutely is possible to snub red meat and opt for leaner and healthier choices without sacrificing texture and flavor. It’s all about using the right ingredients. (And, of course, enough spices!)

What You’ll Need to Make a Flavorful Chicken Burger.

Unlike fatty red meats, ground chicken is dense and lacks the flavor that fat offers. So it’s important to add ingredients that break up the density and bring tenderness to your patties so you can enjoy your burger. Because nothing is more sad than a shitty burger. Here are a few key additions:

  1. Fat. The point of eating ground chicken burgers in the first place is to avoid extra fattiness, I get it. But you do need some fat in order to have good texture and flavor. Luckily there are some not-so-bad ways to do this; full fat Greek yogurt does the trick. I also add an egg. Using egg in beef burgers has become a little controversial—purists will rage! But in my experience it’s a must for ground chicken or ground turkey. Not only does it act as a binder, but it adds tenderness and helps to break up that density I mentioned above.
  2. Binders. Egg, as mentioned above, acts as a great binder and offers up moisture. Another important ingredient that acts as a binder and helps to soften ground chicken is panko breadcrumbs. These two ingredients are my go-to binders. 
  3. Flavor. My favorite part, because you don’t have to be shy with seasonings when it comes to ground chicken. I go for fresh herbs when I can, but you can do dry. I also like to add a dollop of whole grain old style mustard—it adds a subtle tanginess. And last but not least, liquid smoke! This will really give you that charbroiled flavor we all love in a burger. If you don’t have liquid smoke, use Worcestershire sauce or low-sodium soy sauce. It won’t give you smokiness, but it’ll add a lovely umami flavor nonetheless. Last but not least, salt! One teaspoon of it, no more, and definitely no less.

Here’s the full ingredient list for my recipe:

  • Ground chicken
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • White onion
  • Liquid smoke
  • Plain full fat Greek yogurt
  • Whole grain old style mustard
  • Egg
  • Panko breadcrumbs

Left: Bowl of raw burger ingredients; Right: Sheet pan with cooked burgers, two with melted cheese.

Finally, Here’s How to Make the Best Chicken Burger!

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and give it a good mixing with your bare hands until the mixture is well blended.
  2. Lightly oil your hand with a smidgen of olive oil; this will help keep the mixture from sticking to your hands because the mixture is a little sticky. Then, one at a time, create four patties out of the mixture, placing each one onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Press your thumb into the center of each patty to make a divot. This prevents the meat from seizing up once it hits the grill.
  3. Pop the patties into the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes to set. When you’re ready, heat the grill to medium-high heat. You’ll want to lightly oil the grate so the chicken patties don’t stick. Simply bring a small dish of canola oil out to the grill along with some tongs and a wad of paper towel, and dip the paper towel into the oil. Then lightly drag the paper towel over the grate to create a slick surface.
  4. Place the patties onto the grill, close the lid, and let the patties cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Carefully flip the patties, close the lid, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the patties reach an internal temperature of 165º F. About a minute before the patties are ready, you can top them with a slice of cheese to get a nice melty cheeseburger.
  6. When the patties are done, transfer them to a clean plate or serving platter. Then pop the patties onto some buns and dress your burgers to your liking.

Serving platter with two cooked chicken cheeseburgers and buns with tomatoes and onions.

Useful Tools for This Recipe:

Recipe Tips + Tricks.

  1. You can swap out the liquid smoke for Worcestershire sauce or low-sodium soy sauce. You won’t get the smoky flavor with the latter two, but you’ll get a great punch of umami.
  2. Using dry herbs in place of fresh herbs is totally okay.
  3. If you aren’t a fan of Greek yogurt and don’t want to buy a container of it just for this recipe, you could use sour cream or mayonnaise instead!
  4. The mustard is optional, and you could definitely use a nice spicy brown mustard or Dijon instead.
  5. Press your thumb into the center of each patty to keep the patties from seizing up and shrinking on the grill.
  6. Always chill your patties in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so they can set.

Chicken burger with melted cheese on a serving platter.

Have You Made This Recipe?

If you enjoyed this recipe, please consider leaving a STAR rating & commenting below with feedback!

You can also show off your creations on Instagram by tagging @killing__thyme

Be Sure to Try These Other Ground Chicken or Turkey Recipes:

Chicken burger with melted cheese on a serving platter.

Get the Recipe:

Best Chicken Burger Recipe

The best chicken burger recipe comes with juiciness and tons of flavor! It's easy, adaptable, and will change your mind about chicken burgers. 
5 from 10 votes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • A few cranks of cracked black pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic, grate to a paste or minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 TBSP liquid smoke
  • 1 heaping TBSP full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP Whole grain old style mustard
  • 1 egg, ligtly beaten
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions 

  • Place parchment paper over a baking sheet.
  • Put all of the chicken burger patty ingredients into a large mixing bowl and, with clean hands, mix until well blended.
  • Lightly oil your hands with some olive oil to help keep the mixture from sticking to your hands. One at a time, form four patties out of the mixture, and place each one onto the parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Gently press your thumb into the center of each patty to make a divot; this prevents the meat from shrinking over high heat.
  • Put the patties in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes so that they can set.
  • When you're ready, heat the grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil the grate dipping a wad of paper towel into some canola oil and then, with tongs, lightly dragging the paper towel over the grate to create a slick surface. This will keep the patties from sticking to the hot grates.
  • Place the patties onto the grill, close the lid, and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully flip the patties, close the lid, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the patties reach an internal temperature of 165º F. About a minute before the patties are ready, you can top them with a slice of cheese to get a nice melty cheeseburger.
  • Once the patties are done, transfer them to a clean plate or serving platter.
  • Put the patties onto some buns and dress your burgers to your liking!