Don’t run away from ground chicken burgers! With the right helping hand – and key ingredients like fresh avocado, zesty green onion, and homemade ranch seasoning – lean ground chicken magically transforms into an amazingly good Avocado Ranch Chicken Burger. Adding healthy fat and flavor is the key to making these patties into crowd-pleasers the whole family will love. Burger + Bun = Happiness. Burger + Bun + Avocado + Ranch = Joy.
The great composer/lyricist/high-school-musical-nightmare-maker Stephen Sondheim once posited the following in his (arguably) most famous musical: “Careful the things you say, children will listen.” And when/if you have kids or are ever around kids for more than 10 seconds you will posit back: “Truer words were never spoken, you silver-tongued sage!”
So when I hear someone pooh-pooh chicken burgers, I know they came from a home where ground chicken fell lowest on the totem pole of ground meats, and though they’ve probably never even tried ground chicken, they grew up hearing that “real burgers” were simply better and more flavorful than anything else.
But hear me out – and please, don’t take this as a slight on your mama – but your mama wasn’t doing it right. But it’s not your mama’s fault! I am old enough to remember when turkey burgers became the “it” healthy alternative to ground beef, and people choked them down with a forced smile proclaiming “Mif iv gwate,” with a mouth full of dry, crumbly turkey meat. Because this was supposed to be a lean alternative, everyone basically ran away screaming from fat, and had no concept of healthy fat, and that fat was good for you, and that if you just paid attention to the things you were putting in your body, it was ok to have fat. Dark times.
Fat was a dirty word for a lot of people, for a long time, and so it got repeated (along with many other food myths) in front of children. It was repeated often enough that Sondheim wrote an entire musical about it. At least I think that’s what it was about. There was a lot going on. Something with beans. (See? Healthy fats!)
Bottom line: ground chicken is leaner and “healthier” than ground beef, but it also needs some extra loving to not taste like a bland sponge, so put in the effort and you will be rewarded. Not like that guy who stole the Witch’s beans. (That was a thing, right?)
Avocado Ranch Chicken Burger Ingredients
- Ground Chicken: most ground chicken is made from breast meat, but don’t shy away if you find pre-packaged mince with thigh meat – it will actually add moisture and flavor. If you’re grinding your own, go nuts and add a thigh or two to the mix.
- Avocado: choose a ripe but still firm avocado so it holds up to mixing and cooking.
- Breadcrumbs: using panko breadcrumbs is key. Because of their (literal) flaky texture they won’t absorb as much oil and steal precious moisture from the ground chicken.
- Egg: our favorite binder for burgers, meatballs, and more.
- Parmesan Cheese: if you can, shred your own. Pre-shredded cheese typically has a waxy coating (to prevent molding) which makes it harder to melt, and you need the fat from the cheese to distribute moisture quickly and evenly to the burger patty.
- Green Onions: if you’re onion averse, these are the onions for you. They’re mild, but still add a flavor boost.
- Ranch Seasoning: make your own homemade ranch seasoning – it’s worth it! We love this base recipe from Gimme Some Oven and use it all the time. We do omit the buttermilk powder, but it’s still delicious and quite useful.
How to Make Chicken Burgers
Prove the ground poultry naysayers wrong with fast, kid-friendly Avocado Ranch Chicken Burgers. Prep your ground chicken patties by mixing first with key flavors from parmesan, green onion, and zippy ranch seasoning, then gently fold in fresh avocado and cook in a cast iron skillet with olive or avocado oil for a blast of healthy fat. Serve up warm on a toasty bun for dinner, or even enjoy leftovers straight out of the fridge the next day. These puppies hold up great!
- Combine the ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, green onions, ranch seasoning, and salt in a large bowl. Mixing using your (clean) hands until well combined, but not over-mixed.
- Add the avocado and fold in gently with your fingers.
- Divide the mixture into four equal portions, then form into patties that are roughly 4″ in diameter.
- Pan fry in olive oil over medium high 5-6 minutes per side.
- Serve on brioche buns or in lettuce wraps (for fewer carbs) with a dollop of ranch dressing.
Can I Grill Chicken Burgers?
I mean, you can… but just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. First, you need the added fat in the skillet to keep the patties from drying out; second, because of the lower natural fat content in ground chicken there is so much less grease cleanup in the skillet, which kind of makes it a perfect indoor burger. If going the grilling route, be sure to thoroughly grease the grill grates if you want to keep your chicken burgers intact.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- Do not cut corners on either your fat or your seasoning. Again, if you didn’t hear me, DO NOT cut corners or skimp on either your fat or your seasoning.
- Rub your hands with a bit of olive oil before forming the patties – this will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands too much and sneak in a bit of extra bonus moisture.
- Check the internal temperature using an instant read thermometer to be sure the chicken is cooked to 165°F.
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Did you make these Avocado Ranch Chicken Burgers? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- ½ c panko style bread crumbs
- ⅓ c shredded parmesan cheese
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp ranch seasoning, see notes
- 1 avocado, diced small
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 brioche buns
- Ranch Dressing
- Sliced avocado
- Red onion
- Combine ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, green onions, salt, and ranch seasoning in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with your (clean) hands, but be mindful not to over-mix. Add the avocado last, and just barely fold into the mixture.
- Divide into four equal portions and form into patties 4" in diameter.
- Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and heat until it shimmers. Pan fry 5-6 minutes per side, or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F using an instant read thermometer.
- Serve with ranch dressing, in buns or lettuce wraps.
- Rub your hands with a bit of olive oil before forming the patties to help prevent the mixture from stick, and to sneak in another boost of fat and moisture.
- We make our homemade ranch seasoning and so should you! We use this recipe from Gimme Some Oven, but omit the buttermilk powder.
- Nutritional information represents 1 chicken patty only.
- Nutritional information for a full burger with (1) patty, (1) brioche bun, and (1) tbsp ranch dressing:
- Calories: 689
- Carbs: 52g
- Fiber: 5g
- Fat: 40g