Table of contents
- Seriously the BEST Juicy & Easy-to-Make Grilled Chicken Burgers!
- Grilled Chicken Burgers Recipe Highlights
- Key Ingredients
- Prepping Perfect Chicken Burger Patties
- How to Cook Chicken Burgers on the Grill – Tips & Tricks
- Alternate Cooking Methods
- Simple Serving Suggestions & Easy Recipe Variations
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
Seriously the BEST Juicy & Easy-to-Make Grilled Chicken Burgers!
A classic burger is my ideal summertime dinner, so there’s nothing I love more than sharing deliciously satisfying burger recipes once peak grilling season rolls around. This Grilled Chicken Burger recipe is our newest burger night obsession.
These grilled chicken burgers are a quick adaptation of our majorly popular Best-Ever Grilled Turkey Burgers. Earlier this summer, I wondered if an approach similar to our turkey burgers would work on grilled chicken burger patties, too. So! I gave it a try. Fortunately for all of our sakes, the answer is yes, YES, 100x yes!
The thing I really love about this particular recipe is that it creates a deliciously classic chicken burger – there are no bells & whistles or extra ingredients doing the heavy lifting for flavor. It’s the perfect recipe to make whenever you crave a juicy grilled burger that just so happens to be made out of poultry.
Grilled Chicken Burgers Recipe Highlights
I have a feeling this is about to be your new go-to recipe for chicken burgers. It’s…
MADE WITH JUST 5 INGREDIENTS. All of which are probably already in your pantry! 🙌🏼
WHOLESOME & NUTRITIOUS. Chargrilled lean protein is the perfect feel-good summer dinner!
ENDLESSLY ADAPTABLE. Use this grilled chicken burger recipe as a base & get as creative as you like. We’ve listed out a few easy variations below to get you started!
SERIOUSLY EASY TO MAKE. Grilling chicken burgers can be a little tricky. Since chicken is so much leaner than beef or pork, it has a tendency to stick to the grill or fall apart when it cooks. That’s not the case with this particular grilled chicken burgers recipe, though – it’s tried & true, tested to perfection. I’m confident you’re going to be just as obsessed with it as we are!
Absolutely perfect, every single time! ♡ Read on to learn more about these Best-Ever Grilled Chicken Burgers, or jump straight to the recipe & get grilling!
Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.
You need just 5 ingredients to make absolutely stellar ground chicken burger patties, & they’re all super simple staples that you probably already have in your kitchen…
- Ground chicken – Of course! The secret to an irresistibly juicy grilled chicken burger is using the right ground chicken. It needs a decent fat content, otherwise, the burgers will dry out. Look for at most 93% lean ground chicken, though if you can find 90-92%, that’s even better! If purchasing from your grocery store’s butcher counter, ask for ground chicken thigh or dark meat. Skip breast meat – it’s too lean!
- Fresh aromatics – I like to grate the onion & garlic into fine pieces that mix throughout the chicken patties evenly without disrupting the overall texture. Grated aromatics mix into ground chicken seamlessly, whereas larger diced pieces can lead to crumbling or falling apart on the grill.
- Mayonnaise – The littlest bit of mayo is the secret to an insanely juicy & flavorful chicken burger. Don’t skip it, but if you’d like to swap it with something you might already have on hand, an equal amount of sour cream or full-fat yogurt also works well.
- Worcestershire sauce – My favorite little umami bomb for adding tons of rich flavor to burgers.
Prepping Perfect Chicken Burger Patties
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Grate the onion. The only prep work involved in making this easy chicken burger recipe is grating an onion. Simply run the onion along the side of a box grater, then blot the grated bits with paper towel to eliminate excess moisture. Doing so helps make the ground chicken burger patties a little easier to handle. Tip! ⇢ Save yourself some tears by freezing the onion for about 30 minutes before grating. Double up on the protection by grating it under a kitchen vent!
Combine the chicken burger mixture. Add the ground chicken to a large bowl with the grated onion, garlic, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, & a little bit of S&P. Use your hands to mix until just combined. Why? ⇢ Overworking compacts the meat, resulting in tough, chewy burgers – take care not to overmix!
Form the chicken burger patties. Form the mixture into 4 hearty burger patties, about ⅓ pound or 6 ounces each. The mixture will be very wet, so don’t fuss over making them look perfect just yet. Tip! ⇢ Spritz a little bit of olive oil or nonstick cooking spray on your hands to make handling the chicken burger patties a bit easier.
Chill before you grill. Set the roughly formed chicken burger patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet & set in the freezer to chill for at least 20 minutes. Why? ⇢ A quick stint in the freezer helps the burgers bind together, which makes them much easier to handle & helps them cook more evenly. It’s a simple yet crucial step to the absolute best grilled chicken burgers – do not skip!
Make-Ahead Chicken Burgers
Make burger night even easier by forming the chicken burger patties ahead of time. Skip chilling in the freezer altogether, & instead separate the patties with wax paper to prevent sticking & store in the fridge for up to 3 days. At dinnertime, all you have to do is preheat the grill & get cooking – easy! Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more storage & meal prep guidance.
How to Cook Chicken Burgers on the Grill – Tips & Tricks
Once the chicken burger patties are prepped & chilled, all that’s left to do is fire up the grill & toss ’em on! Grilling poultry burgers can be a little daunting. Since they’re so much leaner than beef burgers, they’re prone to sticking, drying out, or even crumbling on the grill. BUT! There are a few tricks that will help you grill up the perfect chicken burgers every time – & they’re super simple!
Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.
Grill prep. Preheat the grill for medium-high direct heat cooking. Once it’s hot, be sure to clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. A few more quick tips to keep in mind before you grill…
Best grill temperature for chicken burgers? ⇢ In my experience, it’s best to grill turkey or chicken burgers with medium-high direct heat, 450-500 degrees F. Once the grill reaches cooking temperature, let it sit for 5-10 minutes before grilling. This simple step ensures the grill grates get nice & hot, which helps to prevent sticking. For more information, be sure to check out our step-by-step How to Light A Grill guide, which walks through everything you need to know to start both gas & charcoal grills.
Oil the grates. This is the secret of how to grill chicken burgers without falling apart! Whatever you do, don’t skip this step – it’s absolutely essential. Just before you place the chicken burger patties on the grill, use grilling tongs to run a wad of generously oiled paper towels directly over the grill grates. Since the grill grates are super hot, it’s best to use a high smoke point oil, such as grapeseed or avocado. I like to use an avocado oil cooking spray, as it’s a little easier to coat the paper towel.
Grill the chicken burgers. Finish forming the chicken burger patties into 1-inch thick patties. Pop ’em on the grates & grill the chicken burgers for 6-7 minutes per side, or until they’re cooked through. Some burger night tips to keep in mind as you’re grilling…
Flip with a grill spatula. To keep chicken burgers from falling apart on the grill, flip them with a grill spatula, using a single, swift motion to slide under the patties. If the grates are well-oiled, the spatula should slide right under with no trouble.
Don’t press down on the burgers as they cook! The temptation is real, but pressing down on burger patties with a spatula as they grill is a serious no-no! Doing so pushes out all their juices & almost guarantees you’ll end up with a dry, crumbly chicken burger – no good!
Check doneness with an instant-read thermometer. Ever wonder how can you tell when a chicken burger is done? Because poultry burgers dry out so easily, it’s best to take the guesswork out of the equation – use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness. Chicken burgers are ready to pull from the grill once they register an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
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Alternate Cooking Methods
Stovetop Chicken Burgers
If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also cook these chicken burgers on the stovetop. Rather than using a grill pan, I suggest using a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Be sure to work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pan. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for full stovetop cooking directions.
Simple Serving Suggestions & Easy Recipe Variations
Easy chicken burger toppings. ⇢ We keep burger night pretty classic here at the PWWB House, most often serving our grilled chicken burgers with a platter of crisp lettuce, juicy summer tomatoes, & sliced onions. Feel free to kick it up a notch with grilled onions or whatever condiments you love most – ketchup, mustard, aioli, etc.
Hamburger buns. ⇢ I always go for brioche burger buns. Brioche is pillowy soft but super sturdy, so it stands up to as many burger toppings as your heart desires! (ALDI sells great brioche buns, & they’re so affordable!) Take your buns to the next level with a quick toast on the grill. Lightly spritz with cooking spray, then place them directly on the grill grates. Keep a close eye on them – they get nice & toasty in under a minute!
Simple summer sides. ⇢ I always like to keep a simple summery salad in my fridge during the warm months as an easy add-on for any grilled meal. Try our Healthy Broccoli Salad, Greek Farro Salad, Falafel-ish Quinoa Salad, or Greek Orzo Pasta Salad. Since the grill is already lit, it’s also easy to throw together a grilled veggie platter.
Feel Free To Customize! Easy Chicken Burger Variations
Buffalo Chicken Burgers. Once flipped, lightly brush the surface of the chicken burger patties with your favorite buffalo sauce. About 2 minutes before they’re done grilling, load ’em up with a good handful of blue cheese. Bonus points if you top it off with a thinly sliced celery salad!
Teriyaki Chicken Burgers. Replace yellow onion with finely sliced green onions & swap Worcestershire with teriyaki sauce for built in savory-sweetness. As the burgers grill, glaze them with more teriyaki sauce & serve with lettuce, tomato, & a little bit of mayo – a plate lunch-style treat that’ll transport you right to Hawaii!
Barbecue Chicken Burgers. Dust the chicken burgers with BBQ dry rub, then baste them with your favorite BBQ sauce as they grill. Top with your favorite slaw & serve with grilled corn – delicious!
Chicken Caesar Burgers. Swap out mayo with your favorite Caesar dressing. Serve topped with a big Caesar salad with plenty of ground black pepper & shaved parmesan!
Greek Chicken Burgers. Add a heaping teaspoon of dried oregano to the chicken burger mixture, & double the garlic while you’re at it. If you have a lemon, add in some zest, too. Serve the Greek chicken burgers with a quick tzatziki & Greek-style salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onion, & feta.
Guacamole Chicken Burgers. A personal favorite! Add a couple of finely-chopped chipotle peppers to the chicken burger patties or use a chipotle aioli in place of the mayonnaise. Melt pepper jack cheese overtop & serve with a hefty dollop of guacamole. Yum!
Other Frequently Asked Questions
How to make chicken burgers that are juicy, not dry?
The secret to creating a flavorful & juicy chicken burger is a carefully crafted ingredients list. Avoid extra-lean ground chicken & opt instead for 90-93% lean or dark meat, then fortify it with the littlest bit of mayonnaise, sour cream, or full-fat yogurt for extra juiciness & flavor.
What is the best chicken burger seasoning?
We keep it pretty simple: salt, pepper, & Worcestershire sauce. That said, there’s an infinite number of ways you can season your chicken burgers, so free to get creative! Be sure to check out the Variations section, above, for inspiration to get you started.
Can I make chicken burger patties ahead of time?
Yep! You can prep the chicken burger patties up to 3 days in advance & keep them in the fridge. Chicken burger patties are also a great freezer staple! Once grilled, store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more meal prep & storage guidance.
How to grill chicken burgers without falling apart?
Preheat your grill, then let it sit at its cooking temperature for 5-10 minutes so the grill grates are nice & hot. This helps ensure the burgers sizzle when they hit the grill, rather than stick. From there, generously oil a wad of paper towel & run it over the grill grates using grilling tongs just before placing the burgers on the grill. Since the grill grates are super hot, it’s best to use a high smoke point oil here – avocado, grapeseed, etc.
How can you tell when a chicken burger is done?
Since they’re on the thicker side, these chicken burgers grill up in about 6 minutes per side. Because poultry burgers dry out so easily, it’s best to take the guesswork out of the equation – the best way to determine doneness is with an instant-read thermometer. The chicken burgers are ready to pull from the grill as soon as the meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
I can’t wait for you to try this Best-Ever Grilled Chicken Burgers recipe! We’re 100% obsessed, & I know that they’ll quickly become a summer staple in your grilling menus too!
If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy grilling!
More Recipes Like This:
Grilled Chicken Dinners
It’s time to kiss dry, crumbly, & bland poultry burgers goodbye – for good! – because this Grilled Chicken Burger recipe is truly the BEST. It’s based on our extremely popular Best-Ever Turkey Burgers, a recipe that’s been made & loved by thousands since first published. With a couple of quick adjustments, it yields absolutely perfect chicken burgers, too. They’re super flavorful & seriously juicy, never crumbly & never, ever dry – you are going to be obsessed!
The secret? A well-crafted ingredients list. The burger patties are made with ground chicken & a handful of flavor-boosting pantry staples that you probably always keep on hand. Whatever you do, don’t skip the mayo! Just the littlest bit fortifies the chicken burgers with richness that helps keep them incredibly tender & moist. If you’re not a fan of mayo, sour cream & full-fat yogurt create a similar effect.
Grilling these chicken burgers is a straight-forward process, but be sure to read through the recipe & don’t skip any of the steps – chilling the burgers, heating the grill to just the right temperature, & oiling the grates are all small details that help ensure the chicken burgers don’t crumble or fall apart on the grill.
The fun part of this recipe is that it’s a great base recipe that you can adjust to create whatever chicken burgers you happen to crave – Buffalo Chicken Burgers, Chicken Caesar Burgers, Guacamole Burgers, & so much more. Be sure to check out the Blog Post, above, for more inspiration to get you started.
Happy Grilling! ♡
- 1 ⅓ pounds 93% lean ground chicken
- ½ medium yellow onion, finely grated & squeezed of excess moisture (about ¼ cup grated)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (see Recipe Notes)
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
- nonstick cooking spray
- for serving, as desired: burger buns, cheese of choice, toppings of choice (e.g. lettuce, tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, pickles, etc.), condiments of choice (e.g. mustard, ketchup, etc.)
- Prep: Line a small baking sheet or large plate with parchment paper or foil & set aside. Gather & prep all ingredients according to Ingredients List, above. To grate the onion, arrange a few paper towels on a cutting board, set a box mixer on top, & run the onion along the sides of the box mixer to grate it into fine, shredded pieces. Once grated, use the paper towel to soak up excess moisture from the onion. Too much moisture will make the chicken burger mixture very difficult to handle, so do not skip the extra 30 seconds it takes to blot the moisture from the grated onion. If your onion seems very wet, you can also wrap it in paper towels & wring out the moisture over the sink. Set aside.
- Mix the chicken burgers: Add the ground chicken, grated onion, garlic, mayonnaise, & Worcestershire sauce to a large bowl. Season with 1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Use your hands to mix until just combined – overworking the chicken burger mixture leads to tough burgers; take care not to overmix.
- Form the chicken burger patties & chill: Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions, forming each into a 1-inch thick burger patty. If needed or desired, spritz a little bit of olive oil on your hands to make handling the burger patties easier. The mixture will be very wet – this is expected & intended! There’s no need to fuss over making them look perfect at this point – just aim for forming them into the general shape & size you’re after. Set them on the prepared baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet with the chicken burger patties to the freezer. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
- Grill prep: Meanwhile, as the chicken burger patties chill, prep the grill. Prepare the grill for medium-high direct heat grilling, about 450-500 degrees F. Once preheated, clean the cooking surface by firmly brushing a wire brush over the grates. Just before placing the burgers on the grill, generously spritz a wad of paper towel with nonstick cooking spray. Use grill tongs to run the oiled paper towel over the grill grates, generously oiling the grates to prevent sticking.
- Grill the chicken burgers: Remove the chicken burger patties from the freezer. At this point they should be quite a bit easier to handle; finish forming them into 1-inch thick patties, using your thumb to create an indent in the center of each patty. Press each chicken burger patty down onto the prepared grill grates. Grill the chicken burgers for 6-7 minutes per side, or until a thermometer inserted in the center of the chicken burgers registers 165 degrees F. If you’d like to add cheese to your chicken burgers, do so when there are 2 minutes left of grilling time.
- Serve: Build your chicken burgers as desired. Here at the PWWB house, we like toasty brioche buns, leafy lettuce, juicy summer tomatoes, & a drizzle of mustard, ketchup, or aioli. Enjoy!
- Ingredient Notes:
- Ground chicken: The secret to an irresistibly juicy grilled chicken burger is using the right ground chicken. The chicken needs a decent fat content, otherwise the burgers will dry out. Look for at least 93% lean ground chicken, though if you can find 90-92%, that’s even better! If you’re purchasing from your grocery store’s butcher counter, ask for ground chicken thigh or dark meat.
- Mayonnaise swaps: The littlest bit of mayonnaise is the other secret to an insanely juicy & flavorful chicken burger. Don’t skip it, but if you’d like to swap it with something you might already have on hand, an equal amount of sour cream or full-fat yogurt will work well.
- Quick variations:
- Stovetop chicken burgers: If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also cook these chicken burgers on the stovetop. Rather than using a grill pan, I suggest using a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken burgers, working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, & cook according to Step 5 of Recipe Directions, above.
- Flavor variations: Craving a buffalo chicken burger, Caesar chicken burger, or other creative chicken burgers? Check the blog post, above, for plenty of inspiration!
- 15-Minute Meal Prep (make-ahead chicken burgers!): Chicken burger patties can be mixed & formed up to 3 days in advance. Follow Steps 2-3 of Recipe Directions above. Rather than placing the formed patties on a baking sheet & freezing to chill, transfer the formed patties to an airtight container, separating them with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. When you’d like to make your chicken burgers, simply preheat the grill & get cooking – easy!
- Storage & Reheating: Store leftover grilled chicken burgers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through & enjoy as desired.
Keywords: grilled chicken burgers, chicken burger patties, poultry burgers, juicy, moist, tender, flavorful, weeknight, summer BBQ, healthy
Recipe & Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.