It’s time for your periodic reminder to not sleep on ground chicken! Caprese Chicken Burgers are loaded with flavor – inside and on top. Think ripe summer tomato, double basil and fresh mozzarella layered with a perfectly seasoned ground chicken burger. With options for stovetop and grill, we’ve added lots of tips for keeping this recipe for chicken burgers easy and your patties tender and juicy!
Do you ever have those moments when you make something and then kick yourself for feeling like “Oh my gosh! This is so great…why isn’t this on the menu all the time??”
That’s ground chicken for me. I have to assume it’s because I came of age during the era of the turkey burger when everyone was on a LOW FAT! LOW CALORIE! STOP THE INSANITY! diet. So, despite ground chicken and ground turkey being nearly indistinguishable, ground turkey is wired as my default.
Once you learn the secrets of lean ground poultry, it truly is magical. You can coax out a lot of flavor and keep in a lot of moisture with the right ingredients and preparation method. (see avocado ranch chicken burgers, chicken shawarma meatballs, and chicken meatball pesto pasta for the proof!). The days of dry, dense hockey puck burgers are long past.
So give these chicken caprese burgers a go while the tomatoes and basil are super fresh and just see if you don’t reach for ground chicken more often.
Are Chicken Burgers Healthy?
I’m going to assume that anyone asking this question is asking relative to other burgers. And since we’re talking relativity, we should be clear that whether or not some ground meat is healthier than others usually depends on the fat content.
Typically, for burger patties, you’d use lean ground chicken, turkey or beef. I’m sure you’ve seen that you can get super lean ground beef (90-93%), which has fat levels comparable to ground turkey and chicken, but it does not make for a good burger – 85% lean ground beef is the max you’d want, leaving you with 13+ grams of fat per 3 oz serving.
So, taking ground beef out of the equation, and compare ground turkey (usually sold as 85% lean) and ground chicken (usually sold as 92% lean), and, well, the numbers don’t lie…
Ground chicken edges out ground turkey (just barely) as being a bit lower in fat (9 vs. 10 grams) and calories (170 vs. 180). They both boast the same amount of protein (a whopping 22 grams worth for a 3 oz serving!) and other vitamins and minerals.
So short answer is yes… and so is the longer answer. Homemade chicken burgers are healthy.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Chicken Burgers?
It depends on your cooking method! If you’re using the stovetop, plan on 5-6 minutes per side, plus another minute to melt the cheese. On the grill, cook chicken burgers 4-5 minutes per side, plus another minute for cheese. Baking takes much longer – 18-20 minutes, with one flip at the halfway mark, and another 3-5 minutes to melt the cheese.
How to Make Caprese Chicken Burgers
Add these Chicken Burgers to your list of favorite caprese recipes. It’s got all your caprese faves – tomato, mozzarella and 2x the basil! Chicken burger patties are simple to prep and cook, but with ground chicken, take extra care to follow the recipe and instructions for the best taste and texture.
- Combine ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, fresh basil, seasonings, and olive oil in a large bowl. Mix well with your clean hands until just barely combined.
- Divide the mixture into four equal portions and form into round patties that about 1″ thick and 4″ in diameter.
- Pan fry in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes per side, or until the patties are golden brown and reach an internal temperature of about 160°F.
- Top each burger with fresh mozzarella cheese, cover, and cook 1 minute more to melt the cheese. By this time, the internal temperature should reach safe eating standards of 165°F.
- Place each burger onto bottom half of bun. Top with 2 tablespoons pesto, 1-2 tomato slices, and 3-4 fresh basil leaves. Place lids on buns and enjoy.
Can I Grill Chicken Burgers?
Very lean proteins tend to get very dry, very quickly, especially on a grill. In a skillet or a baking sheet, the surface helps to trap in some of the juices and fat. But on a grill grate? It’s all coming out, baby.
That being said, you can absolutely grill ground chicken burgers, but keep these tips in mind:
- Grill with the lid CLOSED to create a convection-type environment that traps heat (for quick cooking) and moisture (for tender burgers).
- Don’t overcook. That’s really the key, along with a healthy combination of vigilance and diligence – keep a watchful eye on your burgers, and get ’em the heck outta there as soon as they’re done.
How to Grill Ground Chicken Burgers
- Heat a grill to medium high heat (375-400°F).
- Lightly grease the grates if desired, or rub the grates with a starchy white potato to create a non-stick surface.
- Place the patties on the grill and close the lid. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Top each burger with mozzarella cheese; close the lid and grill 1 minute more to melt cheese and bring the internal temperature to 165°F.
Can These Be Made in the Oven?
Yes, definitely! Arrange the burgers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes, depending on thickness, or until the internal temperature registers 160°F using an instant read thermometer. Flip the burgers once halfway through cooking if you’d like them to brown evenly. Top the burgers with the mozzarella cheese and pop them back in the oven for 3-5 minutes more to allow the cheese to melt and the chicken to fully cook through to 165°F.
- Do not over-blend the raw chicken burger mixture – it will result in a tight, dense burger that won’t hold the juices properly.
- Grill with the lid CLOSED to create the best environment for moist and tender burgers (they’ll also cook faster!).
- Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature They should be 160°F before melting the cheese and 165°F when done cooking.
- Like all good caprese chicken recipe variations, use fresh mozzarella cheese and choose tomatoes and basil at their peak.
- Good quality jarred pesto is one of our favorite cooking “hacks”. We love DeLallo brand.
- When it comes to lean poultry, don’t overcook and don’t under-season.
What to Serve with Chicken Burgers?
Don’t skimp on the flavor just because caprese packs in so much flavor on its own! Ground chicken burgers call for fun, flavorful sides.
You can’t go wrong with fries – especially since you’re already gonna be eating with your hands. Try oven-baked basil fries, air fryer potato wedges or grilled sweet potato wedges. For a non-fry potato pairing, we love classic Italian potato salad.
Can Chicken Burgers be Frozen?
Yes! To freeze chicken burgers, we like the “flash freeze” method. Place raw or cooked chicken burger patties on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving a bit of room in-between each burger. Do not cover.
Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and freeze until the burgers are firm (1-2 hours). Place the frozen patties into a resealable bag, press out the air to prevent freezer burn, then store in the fridge for up 3 months. You can also wrap each individual burger in saran wrap to help prevent freezer burn.
Burgers can be cooked from frozen; raw chicken burgers will require a longer cook time, while fully cooked but frozen burgers will cook through more quickly. Be sure to grease the skillet, grill grates, or baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
Did you make these caprese chicken burgers? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Caprese-Style Ground Chicken BurgersPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 large egg
- 10 tbsp panko bread crumbs, ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- ½ c basil pesto
- 8-12 fresh basil leaves
- 4 brioche buns
- Combine the ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, fresh basil, salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, ground pepper, and olive oil in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with your (clean) hands, but be mindful not to over-mix.
- Divide into four equal portions and form into patties roughly 4″ in diameter and 1” thick.
- To Pan Sear. 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 around 160°F using an instant read thermometer. Top each burger with mozzarella cheese, then cover for 1 minute more to melt the cheese and bring the internal temperature to 165°F.
- To grill. Heat a grill to medium high heat (375-400°F). Grill 4-5 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F using an instant read thermometer. Top each burger with mozzarella cheese, then close the lid and grill for 1 minute more to melt the cheese and bring the internal temperature to 165°F.
- Place each burger onto the bottom half of the bun. Top with 2 tablespoons of pesto, 1-2 tomato slices, and 3-4 fresh basil leaves. Place the lids on the buns and enjoy.