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August 4, 2022

Chicken Burgers

Lighten things up a bit with these beautiful, juicy, ground chicken burgers! Slathered in basil mayo and topped with jalapeños, they’re spicy and so delicious!


chicken burger with basil mayo, avocado spread, candied jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, lettuce and tomato on a cutting board
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Ground Chicken Burgers: Actually Much More Delicious Than You’d Ever Imagine!

Burger night can be as indulgent as you want—we’re all for indulgence!—but sometimes you want to satisfy your burger craving and still feel like you ate and served up a healthy meal, too. We’ve leaned into our spicier side for this chicken burger recipe, topping them with homemade candied jalapeños—easier to make than you’d think—and spicy Pepper Jack cheese. They’re healthy and unbelievably satisfying. Yes, you’ll still be needing a million napkins on hand when you’re eating these, which is how we know we’ve made a great burger recipe. This is not the mystery-bird chicken sandwich you remember from the school cafeteria—and thank goodness for that. Heat up a skillet (or fire up the grill) and let’s make the best darn chicken burger you’ve ever had.

ground chicken, spices, mayo, jalapeños, avocado, lettuce, tomato, pepper jack, basil in bowls for making chicken burgers
sliced jalapeño, sugar and lemon zest in a pot for making candied jalapeños for chicken burgers
sliced jalapeños, sugar, lemon zest, water and apple cider vinegar being stirred in a pot to make candied jalapeños
ground chicken, breadcrumbs, Basil, garlic, parmesan, paprika, salt, pepper, & mustard powder in a bowl for burger patties

What Are Chicken Burgers Made Of?

Homemade chicken burgers are healthier than their beefy counterparts, but they can still be super delicious! As with most any chicken breast recipe—and we’re using ground chicken breast here—the best way to end up with a super flavorful chicken burger is to add lots of seasonings. And that’s exactly what we did here! Breadcrumbs help to bind the ground chicken and help it to hold on to all of the delicious things that we’re seasoning it with. Things like:

  • Breadcrumbs

  • Basil

  • Garlic

  • Parmesan cheese

  • Paprika

  • Salt

  • Black pepper

  • Mustard powder

mayo, basil, lemon juice, garlic and paprika in a glass bowl to make basil mayo for chicken burgers
basil mayo in a glass bowl made with mayo, basil, lemon juice, garlic and paprika for chicken burgers

How Do You Take a Ground Chicken Burger From Tasty to Transcendent? TOPPINGS!

We went a little crazy with toppings for this chicken burger recipe, but every burger lover knows that the toppings are make-or-break! While you can’t go wrong with good old ketchup-mustard-mayo triumvirate, to make a chicken burger truly memorable you’ll want to step it up a little. Also, it’s good to take things in a slightly different direction—this is not a chicken burger in disguise as a beef burger! It is its own glorious thing, and these toppings really make it come to life! Here’s what we top our super yummy ground chicken burger with:

  • Candied jalapeños

  • Smashed avocado

  • Pepper Jack cheese

  • Basil mayo

chicken burger patties on a parchment lined baking sheet made with ground chicken, breadcrumbs, basil, parmesan and spices
homemade chick burger patties being fried in a skillet with pepper jack cheese slices on the counter beside it
homemade chick burger patties being fried in a skillet with pepper jack cheese slices melting on top
chicken patties with pepper jack in a skillet next to all the fixing include basil mayo, avocado spread and candied jalapeños

How to Make The Best Chicken Burger Ever

  1. Make the candied jalapeños! This sounds fussy but only takes about 10 minutes, and the payoff is big! Also, you can make them ahead of time to use when you’re ready! They’ll keep in the fridge for three months, so one batch will last you all summer.

  2. Make the smashed avocado! Literally just smash an avocado! The lemon juice is mostly just to keep the avocado from browning. Plus it tastes good.

  3. Mix up those ground chicken burger patties! Just like with our beloved meatballs, making burger patties benefits from a gentle touch—mix with your hands, and stop when things begin to come together.

  4. Make the basil mayo! You’ve already got fresh basil and garlic for the chicken burgers, might as well use some to make a yummy mayo to top them with! Use a microplane grater to grate the garlic—it’ll almost melt when you do—and it’ll mix easily into the mayo.

  5. Cook the chicken burgers! No rare burgers here, please—you want that chicken thoroughly cooked through. Top them with cheese after you flip ‘em, and then when the cheese is melty and the burgers are cooked through, it’ll be time to load them up and dig in!

chicken burger with pepper jack, basil mayo, avocado spread and candied jalapeños with a knife in it next to potato chips

More Ground Chicken Recipes to Try

Tools You’ll Need

chicken burger on a bread board with a knife sticking in it surrounded by potato chips and a glass of beer

Don’t Be Chicken! Try These Burgers!

You might love these more than beef burgers—no kidding! These chicken burgers are spicy and herby and juicy and messy and cheesy! They’re all the things! Plus, they’re easier on the old ticker than their (delicious) beefy cousins. And that’s always nice. So anyway, give them a spin! Let us know how you like ‘em! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Chicken Burgers

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 778


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 slices Pepper Jack cheese

Basil Mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

Avocado Spread

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

Candied Jalapeños (optional)

  • 1/2 pound jalapeños, cut into 1/4-inch slices (see note)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

For Serving

  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted, for serving
  • 4 butter lettuce leaves, for serving
  • 1 large tomato sliced, for serving


  1. Make the candied jalapeños. In a small pot, combine the jalapeños, sugar, vinegar, water, and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook until the sugar has dissolved and the jalapeños have softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeños to a jar along with the liquid. Seal the jar.

  2. Make the Chicken Patties. In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, basil, garlic, Parmesan, paprika, sea salt, pepper, and mustard powder. Mix well, then with wet hands, form 4 equal-sized patties (about ¾-inch thick).

  3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook until golden browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and top each patty with a slice of cheese. Cook until browned, about 4 minutes more.

  4. Meanwhile, make the Avocado Spread. In a small bowl, mash the avocado with these salt and lemon juice until smooth.

  5. Make the Basil Mayo. In a separate small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, basil, lemon juice, garlic and paprika.

  6. Spread the Basil Mayo on the inside of the top buns and spread the Avocado Spread on the inside of the bottom buns. Fill with the chicken patties, cheese-sides up, lettuce, candied jalapeños, and tomato.

Note 1: Using gloves for this step will save you from having stinging hands or having to wash many times.

Note 2: Alternatively you can roughly chop the garlic clove and leave the basil leaves whole and add all of the ingredients to the base of a food processor. Pulse until blended and smooth.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories778
  • Protein35 g
  • Carbohydrates53 g
  • Total Fat47 g
  • Dietary Fiber6 g
  • Cholesterol127 mg
  • sodium854 mg
  • Total Sugars22 g

Chicken Burgers

Questions & Reviews

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  • Libby

    The candied jalapeños, basil Mayo and smashed avocado make these chicken burgers so delicious!! Definitely recommend 🔥

    Thank you Libby, we are so glad you loved these! We are big fans of these ones as well!

  • Laura

    YUM. These are the real deal. Cast iron gave a brilliant finish. They were so, so good. I could take or leave a beef burger, but I loved this.
    (I dislike when people review recipes with THEIR substitutions, BUT I will say I did substitute with gluten free bread crumbs, no problems!)

    Thanks Laura! So glad you loved these and happy to hear gluten free bread crumbs worked out!

  • Noel

    These chicken burgers were amazing! Everyone in the family fell in love with the flavor combination. The candied jalapeños took it over the top!

    Thanks Noel! We are so glad the entire family enjoyed these!