Juicy Healthy Ground Chicken Burgers with chicken breast just like my Ukrainian grandma used to make. Serve traditionally on a bun or low carb with a healthy salad recipe.
Table of contents
This healthy ground chicken burgers recipe will knock your family’s socks off! Growing up in Ukraine my grandma made the best ground chicken patties.
We used to say they are like Spitz, roasted sunflower seeds, highly addictive! Pureed onion makes otherwise dry ground chicken breast meat juicy and adds a lot of flavor.
They are super easy to make in your blender or food processor. Then shape into 24 smaller or 12 larger chicken burgers.
No matter what you do, it will be the best chicken burgers you have ever tried!
A slice of bread soaked in water for a few seconds and then squeezed helps to hold the lean, low sodium chicken burger patties together. Either for the grill or they can be pan fried year round.
My absolute favorite way to enjoy these homemade healthy chicken burgers is “naked” style with leftover noodles from chicken and whole wheat spaghetti recipe and ketchup. They also taste great cold.
My family loves these and I can guarantee yours will too!
Ingredients and Substitutions
This ground chicken burgers recipe contains literally 5 main ingredients. Remember, grandma was cooking very simple dinner recipes back in the 80’s-90’s.
- Chicken: I am using 2 lbs of chicken breasts because I always have them. You can save time (not money) and buy ground chicken. Chicken thighs work, not more juicy because grandma used secret ingredient to keep even breast juicy. Keep on reading.
- Bread: I used a slice of sprouted whole grain bread, white or gluten free bread works too. Alternately, use about 1/2 cup bread crumbs or quick oats.
- Egg: Egg is a binder. If you add bread and have an egg allergy or are out of egg, your burger should still stay together or you could learn how to make a flax egg.
- Onion: Grated onion is grandma’s secret to juicy healthy chicken burgers, not to mention flavorful.
- Garlic: To also flavor your ground chicken burgers!
- Salt and pepper: To season and taste.
How to Make Ground Chicken Burgers
Here is quick overview how to make ground chicken burgers:
Grind chicken: Add cubed chicken breast in a food processor or high speed blender until it resembles ground chicken. Work in batches and then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Process egg, onion, garlic, soaked and squeezed bread, salt and pepper until well combined. Grandma would have loved that we can pulverize onion, garlic, egg and bread in seconds!
Mix everything together: To the bowl with ground chicken add pulverized mixture of egg, bread and veggies and using your hands, mix well. It will smell heavenly!
Toast the buns: Brush a bit of olive oil or butter on each cut side of the burger bun and fry for about 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove onto a plate.
Now we can pan fry the patties.
Pan fry patties or grill for about 4-5 minutes per side: Form the size of a tennis ball and flatten into a patty. It is time to flip when white edges appear and burger is brown on the bottom.
Your second and third batches will take less time to cook as the skillet or grill gets hotter.
How to Enjoy Healthy Chicken Burgers?
Topping wise you can top chicken burgers the same way you would a regular burger! Classic toppings like lettuce, tomato, and red onion.
How Long to Cook These on the Grill?
Grilling time depends on the grill and thickness of chicken patties.
On our gas BBQ, they take about 5 minutes per side (covered) on medium grill heat, which is between 300-400 degrees F.
Chicken is ready when internal meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F with condition that you remove them on a platter, cover tightly with foil and let rest for 5 minutes (same method I use for healthy grilled chicken recipe).
Residual heat will finish cooking them to 165 F degrees without over drying the meat and resulting in juicy chicken burgers!
Can You Prep These Ahead of Time?
You can prepare chicken burger mixture in a bowl, cover tightly with wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
You can also freeze uncooked chicken patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Then transfer into a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen following the recipe plus 5 minutes.
Can I Freeze These?
Cooked chicken burgers freeze amazing-ly!! Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Thaw on a counter in under a few hours or in the fridge overnight. You could reheat them from frozen by using same skillet method above, just will take twice longer.
Yes. To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees F, place burgers on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes.
Preheat your skillet first to medium heat and then add your oil. You can check if your skillet is hot enough by dropping a splash of water into the skillet, if it sizzles it is ready. Swirl oil in skillet, then add your burgers. Alternately, spray or rub grill grates with oil before preheating.
Cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes before flipping. They should release easily from the pan or grill.
Yes, this is particularly great if you are short on time. I use this timesaver in ground chicken stuffed peppers.
Smoked paprika would give it a smoky taste, while red pepper flakes a bit of spicy heat. Parsley and oregano would also taste nice!
Storage and Reheating
To store leftovers: You can refrigerate chicken patties for up to 5 days.
Cold patties taste amazing! That is when we ate them like Spitz, meaning quickly and many. I honestly think also due to the lack of a microwave.
To reheat, place on a hot skillet, add a splash of water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. This way patties heat through and do not dry out like in the oven.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes
- Chicken and peppers
- Roasted chicken thighs and potatoes
- Ukrainian baked chicken thighs
- Healthy chicken stew
Do you ever make healthy burger recipes with ground chicken? I hope you will give this healthy ground chicken burger recipe a try!
Healthy Ground Chicken Burgers
- In a food processor or high speed blender, add chicken and process until ground. Work in batches and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Return blender to its base, add egg, onion and garlic.
- Quickly soak bread in water, squeeze well and add to the blender along with salt and pepper. Process until well combined and add to the bowl with ground chicken meat. Using your hands, mix well.
- Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet or grill on medium heat and swirl some oil to coat (spray the grill).
- Form into a ball size of a tennis ball for a burger or somewhere between golf and tennis size for “naked” patty, then flatten.
- Pan fry or grill for about 4-5 minutes per side (grills vary). It is time to flip when white edges appear and patty is brown on the bottom. Please note that second and third batches will take less time to cook as the skillet (grill) will be hotter.
- Serve hot assembled in a burger or with a side grain + salad.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat place burgers in a hot skillet with a splash of water, cover and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Freeze: Cook, cool and freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Reheat with above directions, will take longer.
- Meal prep: Freeze uncooked burgers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then transfer to a large Ziploc bag. Cook from frozen following recipe’s instructions + 5 minutes.
- Chicken: I use 2 lbs of chicken breasts because I always have them. You can save time (not money) and buy ground chicken. Chicken thighs also work.
- Bread: I used a slice of sprouted whole grain bread. White or gluten free bread works too.
- Egg: Egg is a binder. If you add bread and have an egg allergy or are out of egg, you should be good.
- Onion and garlic: Grated onion is grandma’s secret to juicy healthy chicken burgers, not to mention flavorful. I do not recommend to use onion powder instead.