Want to make chicken smash burgers on the griddle with ground chicken? If you love smash burgers but you want a leaner meat option, this smashed ground chicken burger recipe is for you!
If you have a Blackstone griddle, a Pit Boss griddle, or another flat top grill, chances are good that you’ve made a smash burger. Chances are also good that you think they’re fantastic. We get asked all the time if a smash burger really lives up to the hype… it’s just ground beef, so what makes it so much better than a regular homemade burger?
But something about smashing the ground meat down on the griddle so that it gets that nice crispy, flavorful crust and then steaming a bun in the leftover grease just puts regular burgers to shame.
But what if you love the taste of a smash burger but you don’t want to eat that much red meat?
That’s where the ground chicken smash burger comes in…
This ground chicken burger recipe eats like a smash burger but feels so much “lighter”. Here’s how to make it:
Ingredients for Smashed Ground Chicken Burgers
- ground chicken – We used a 92% lean ground chicken. The grocery store also had a 99% lean chicken, but we wanted the extra fat since ground chicken is naturally so bland. If your store carries ground dark meat chicken, I would highly suggest that for chicken smashburgers.
- diced white onion
- diced poblano pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- minced garlic
- spicy mustard – Or you can use dijon mustard instead.
- bacon – Optional, but everything is better with bacon, right?!
- your favorite seasoning – For this chicken burger recipe, we used Heath Riles Garlic Jalapeno Rub for some extra kick.
- pepper jack cheese – We like to use a spicier cheese for chicken burgers because the ground chicken is leaner and, therefore, less flavorful than beef.
- your favorite hamburger toppings – We used lettuce, tomato, pickle, and avocado slices.
How to Make a Chicken Smash Burger
Step 1: Start cooking bacon and sautéing vegetables.
Add some bacon to the griddle so that it can start cooking. Bacon typically takes the longest time to cook, so if I’m making a recipe with bacon in it, I usually add it to the griddle first. Also, you can use the leftover bacon grease to cook your other foods, adding flavor and saving yourself some oil or butter.
While the bacon is cooking, go ahead and start sautéing your diced peppers and onions also. You’ll notice that the burger recipe calls for a very small amount of white onion and poblano pepper. That’s because they will be mixed into the ground chicken burger meat, and we were only making two burgers. If you want to add some extra sautéed onions and peppers as a topping to your finished burger, go for it!
Step 2: Mix your ground chicken burger meat.
While your bacon is finishing up, go ahead and make your ground chicken burger balls.
Just add the chicken to a large bowl, and then add panko, the sauteed peppers and onions, cilantro, Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic, mustard, and mayonnaise. Use your hands to mix all of the ingredients together, just like you would for a meatloaf.
For this recipe, we’re not necessarily using the panko as a binder to hold the burger patties together, but more so to help with keeping the fat, flavor, and moisture inside the burger meat. The panko helps to absorb all of the flavors that you’re adding to the ground chicken.
When the burger meat is mixed, divide it into 4-6 equally sized balls. When we made these chicken smash burgers on our YouTube channel recently, we only divided the mixture into 4 burger balls, but our patties were very large after we smashed them down on the griddle, so 6 balls would probably work best. Once the meat is portioned out, just use your hands to shape it into balls.
Step 3: Cook the chicken smash burgers on the griddle.
The rest of this recipe is very similar to a regular smash burger, except that with chicken burgers you’re not necessarily as concerned with the mallard reaction that occurs on the griddle to give your burger that nice crust… it’s more about making sure that your chicken burgers are cooked all the way through and don’t fall apart on the griddle.
But we were still able to achieve a great crust also!
To cook the smash burgers, add the ground chicken burger balls to the preheated griddle, making sure that you space them far enough apart to have plenty of room to smash them down and then flip them. We also used our spatula to direct some of the residual bacon grease into the area that we were going to cook the smash burgers.
Then, set a large square of parchment paper on top of the first burger ball and use a bacon press or other heavy press to press down evenly on the meat. The parchment paper helps the meat not stick to your press, and it’s pretty much a necessity when making griddle smashburgers.
Here’s what your chicken smash burgers should look like at this point:
Once the burgers are smashed, sprinkle on your favorite seasoning and allow them to cook on the first side untouched.
Then, when the chicken burgers are about 75% cooked through, flip them to the second side, allow them to cook for another minute or so, and then add your sliced cheese of choice. As you’re flipping them, be sure that you use your spatula to scrape under the patties so that the burger crust stays attached to the burger. If not, all of that extra flavor will be left behind on your griddle.
Your chicken smash burgers are done when they reach an internal temp of 165 degrees.
Step 4: Toast the burger buns and build your chicken smash burger.
While the burgers are finishing up on the griddle, go ahead and dab the cut side of your burger buns in the leftover grease on the griddle surface. Then toast the buns until they’re nice and golden brown.
When the chicken burgers are done cooking, stack two patties just like you would for a smash burger and remove them from the griddle. Then it’s almost dinner time!
To assemble our chicken smash burgers, we added mayonnaise to the bottom toasted bun and then topped that with lettuce so that the buns didn’t get too soggy. Then, set the double chicken burger on top of that. We topped our burgers with sliced avocado, bacon, tomato, and pickle. Ranch dressing would also be a great condiment for these chicken burgers.
And to be honest, these dang chicken smash burgers were so good that we didn’t even miss the beef! All of the extra flavors like the cilantro and sautéed onions and peppers in the burger patty really help to jazz up the plain ground chicken.
Ground Chicken Smash Burger Recipe
Want to make these awesome ground chicken burgers on your griddle or flat top grill? Just print the recipe card below and add it to your list of griddle burgers to make when you want something different than a plain ol’ smash burger!
And if you have some ground chicken leftover, then try these Ground Chicken Asian Lettuce Wraps next!
Ground Chicken Smash Burgers with Pepper Jack Cheese
- 4 slices bacon
- 3 tablespoons white onion diced
- 2 tablespoons poblano pepper diced
- 1 pound ground chicken 92% lean or dark meat preferred
- 2 tablespoons panko
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon spicy mustard or substitute dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- your favorite seasoning like a garlic pepper or citrus seasoning
- 4 slices pepper jack cheese
- 2 hamburger buns
- burger toppings like sliced avocado, tomato, pickle, mayo, etc
- Preheat griddle on low.
- Add bacon to the preheated griddle and cook until done. Once cooked to your liking, remove from the griddle and allow to drain.
- While the bacon is cooking, saute white onion and poblano pepper in a bit of your favorite cooking oil. You can also scrape the bacon grease on the griddle towards the vegetables for extra flavor. When vegetables are done cooking, remove from the griddle.
- In a large bowl, add ground chicken, sautéed onion and pepper, panko, cilantro, Worcestershire, garlic, mustard, and mayonnaise. Use your hands to mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Separate ground chicken mixture into 4 balls. For smaller patties, separate mixture into 6 balls. Use hands to shape meat into balls, just like you would for smash burgers.
- Place burger balls on the griddle, making sure to space them far enough apart to be able to smash the meat and flip it.
- Place a large square of parchment paper on top of the first burger ball, then use a press to evenly smash the burger meat down. The chicken smash burgers should be slightly thicker than a regular beef smash burger. Repeat until all chicken burgers are smashed. Sprinkle the top of the burger patties with your favorite seasoning.
- Allow the burgers to cook on the first side untouched until meat is about 75% cooked through. Then flip to the second side. Be sure to use your spatula to get under the burger crust as you're flipping, so that the crust stays on the patty.
- Allow the burgers to cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes before adding one slice of cheese to each burger. Continue to cook burgers until the internal temperature of each patty reaches 165 degrees.
- When the chicken burgers are almost done cooking, dab the cut side of your hamburger buns in the leftover grease and toast on the griddle until done to your liking.
- When buns are toasted and chicken smash burgers are cooked through, remove them from the griddle and build your burgers. Enjoy!
- Be sure to cook chicken burgers until the internal temperature of each patty is 165 degrees.
- Top with your favorite burger toppings, or try avocado slices and ranch dressing for a fun twist.
- Substitute the poblano pepper for fresh diced jalapeno pepper for extra spice.
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