This recipe for BBQ Chicken Burger is the juiciest, tastiest chicken burger you will ever have! Studded with cheese, basted in barbecue sauce, and topped with creamy coleslaw, this ground chicken burger is anything but boring or dry!
Chicken burgers, compared to classic hamburgers, have the reputation of being dry and flavorless.
But when seasoned and cooked correctly, a flavorful, juicy chicken burger is possible and easy to achieve at home.
This recipe is made with ground chicken that is seasoned to perfection, stuffed with cheese, and basted in barbecue sauce for an unforgettable chicken burger you will want to make again and again.
What You Need to Make Chicken Burgers
- Ground Chicken: A blend of dark and white meat, all-dark meat, or all-white meat chicken can be used for these BBQ Burgers. Use purchased ground chicken or see my tip below to make your own ground chicken at home to save money.
- Cheddar Cheese: Instead of topping the burgers with cheese, diced or shredded cheese is added right to the ground chicken, which helps to keep every bite juicy and flavorful.
- Seasonings: Chicken can be pretty bland on its own. By adding in a mixture similar to a homemade dry rub, that is made with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and paprika, the chicken will be incredibly flavorful.
- Barbecue Sauce: Use your favorite store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce. The barbecue sauce helps to add moisture and flavor to the chicken, helping to prevent a dry burger.
- Coleslaw: While optional, topping these Chicken Burgers with homemade coleslaw, adds additional moisture and texture to this recipe.
How to Make Chicken Burgers
- Gently combine the ground chicken with the diced cheddar cheese, seasonings, and a bit of barbecue sauce in a large mixing bowl. Remember to NOT over-mix your burger ingredients--this will make your burgers become tough!
- Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions and shape each portion into patties that are slightly larger than a hamburger bun.
- Place a thumbprint into the middle of each patty. This will help to prevent shrinkage and allow for even cooking.
- Preheat a grill, grill pan, or nonstick skillet to medium-high heat.
- Place the prepared chicken burgers onto the heated grill or pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Flip the burgers and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
- Remove the burgers from the grill and brush with the reserved barbecue sauce on both sides. This will really finish the burgers off with incredible flavor.
- Tent the burgers with foil and allow the burgers to rest for 10 minutes, which will allow the temperature to come to 165 degrees F and the juices to evenly distribute through the chicken, keeping the burgers moist.
- Serve the chicken burgers with creamy coleslaw and additional barbecue sauce on a bun of your choice.
Yes! Preheat a smoker to 300 degrees F. Cook the chicken burgers until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, about 45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking.
Chicken must be cooked to 165 degrees F to be considered safe to eat. Remove the burgers from the heat when they reach 160 degrees F, as they will rise about 5 degrees while they rest. It is crucial to use a digital thermometer to determine that the burgers reach the correct temperature, as undercooked burgers are not safe to eat and overcooked chicken burgers will be dried out.
NO! If you like coleslaw on your pulled pork, you will love coleslaw on these chicken burgers. It adds flavor, texture, and moisture, but these chicken burgers don't need it to still be delicious.
Chicken Burgers are best if consumed immediately after preparation. If you happen to have leftover chicken burgers, allow them to cool and then store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat over low heat in a dry skillet and then brush with additional BBQ sauce.
How to Make Homemade Ground Chicken
A huge money-saving tip is to grind your own chicken to make ground chicken. And it is quite easy to do. You just need a food processor and either boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs.
To make ground chicken, place one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into large chunks, into a food processor, and pulse until chicken is broken down enough to form into patties--this is only 5-7 quick pulses in my food processor. Be sure that the chicken is cold when processing--it will work a lot better.
Side Dishes for Chicken Burgers
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I hope you enjoy these juicy chicken burgers as much as my family does. Be sure to leave a comment and review below sharing your experience.
BBQ Chicken Burger
- Heat grill to medium-high heat. Alternatively, heat a nonstick skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the grill grates or pan with oil to keep the burgers from sticking.
- Place the ground chicken into a large mixing bowl and add the salt, pepper, garlic powder, ¼ cup barbecue sauce, and diced cheese. Mix together until just combined and ingredients are evenly distributed, being careful to not overmix the chicken.
- Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions and shape it into patties that are slightly larger than the bottom of a hamburger bun. Place a thumbprint into the middle of each burger, to help prevent shrinkage and even cooking.
- Grill or cook for 5 minutes. Flip the burgers, and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the chicken burgers reach 160 degrees F.
- Remove the burgers to a plate and brush with additional barbecue sauce. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will allow the burgers to reach 165 degrees F.
- Serve the burgers on buns with coleslaw or as desired.
This recipe was orginally published in 2017 but updated with a new video and pictures in 2021.