These juicy and caramelized chicken smash burgers are made with melty cheddar cheese, sliced jalapeño, chopped green onion and a hint of dijon mustard. Serve them inside a pillowy-soft brioche bun with all your favorite toppings and you’ve just found your new favorite burger recipe!
Chicken (and turkey) burgers have a reputation for being a bit dry, bland and kind of boring honestly. Luckily that couldn’t be further from the case for these juicy and flavorful chicken smash burgers!
These homemade burgers bring big flavor with help from sharp cheddar cheese that’s grated and folded directly into the burger mix along with sliced jalapeño, green onion and dijon mustard. The jalapeño adds a ton of flavor and a bit of heat, but wont light your whole mouth on fire. My boyfriend has a pretty low spice tolerance and even he devoured these burgers.
The “smash burger” technique is super simple. Pressing the burger into a thin patty as soon as it hits the pan allows the burger to cook quickly and evenly and creates crispy charred, uneven edges while maintaining the patty’s juiciness. The grated cheese in the burger melts naturally as the burger cooks creating even more crispy caramelized edges and bits.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make these homemade chicken burgers you’ll need: ground chicken (white or dark meat), grated sharp white cheddar cheese, jalapeño, green onion, dijon mustard, brioche burger buns and all your favorite burger toppings like; lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, mustard etc.
*See recipe card for additional notes and ingredient substitutions.*
What is a Smash Burger? Smash burgers are burgers that are pressed into very thin irregularly shaped patties with crispy, caramelized edges. They’re made by forming the burger mix (aka burger farce) into balls then placing them onto a hot griddle and immediately pressing or “smashing” them with the back of a spatula into a thin patty. This technique maximizes the points of contact with the pan, creating a thin patty with a salty, caramelized crust and crispy scraggly edges. Because smash burgers are so thin they cook quickly and evenly. Less time in the pan leaves means less time to dry out.
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Make and Shape the Burgers
Place all of the burger ingredients into a large bowl and mix well until thoroughly combined. Divide the mixture into four portions then gently shape each portion into pucks that are about 1-inch thick and 4-inches wide.
Step 2. Smash and Sear
The goal of smashing is to develop a nice, deeply browned crust. It’s important that you use a heavy skillet, griddle or or cast iron pan and have a sturdy metal spatula handy. Note: smash burgers cannot be made on a grill.
Preheat your pan thoroughly over high heat. Cook the burgers two at a time so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Add a splash of neutral oil, just enough to create a thin layer across the surface of the pan. When the oil glistens and starts to smoke, place a patty into the skillet then use the back of a sturdy metal spatula to flatten the burger into the pan until it’s about ½-inch thick. Once the burger has developed a nice golden brown crust, about 2-3 minutes, flip it to the second side and finish cooking for another 1-2 minutes then transfer to a plate or baking tray to rest.
Step 3. Serve
Transfer the burgers to toasted brioche buns and finish them off with all your favorite burger toppings. Serve right away!
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Jalapeño-Cheddar Chicken Smash Burgers
- 1 lb ground chicken white or dark meat
- ⅔ cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 1 jalapeño thinly sliced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 tsp neutral oil for searing the burgers
- 4 brioche buns
- bibb lettuce
- sliced onion and/or tomato
- Place all of the chicken burger ingredients (except the oil) into a large bowl then use clean hands to mix all the ingredients together until evenly combined. Don’t over mix.
- Divide the burger mixuture into four portions then shape each portion into a puck shape, about 1-inch thick by 3-inches wide.
- Pre-heat a large skillet, cast iron pan or griddle over high heat.
- Add a splash of neutral oil to the pan just enough to create a thin layer across the surface. When the oil glistens and starts to smoke, place a patty into the skillet then use the back of a sturdy metal spatula to flatten the burger into the pan until it’s about ½-inch thick. Cook the burgers 2 at a time so that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Once the burger has developed a nice golden brown crust, about 2-3 minutes, flip it to the second side and finish cooking for another 1-2 minutes then transfer to a plate or baking tray to rest. Repeat this step until all of the burgers are cooked.
- While the burgers are cooking toast the brioche buns in a dry pan until lightly golden brown. Slather each bun with a bit of mayo then top with a few pieces of lettuce, thinly sliced onion and/or tomato then the burger patty. Serve right away.
- Ground Chicken: You can use white or dark meat chicken for these burgers. Ground turkey also works.
- Cheddar Cheese: I really like a high-quality sharp white cheddar cheese for these burgers. It adds a ton of flavor any saltiness. For the best results grate the cheese yourself. Pre-grated cheese has a starchy coating that doesn’t alway melt properly.
- Jalapeño: Jalapeños vary greatly in spice levels. If you happen to get a really spicy one you can tone down the heat by rinsing the sliced pepper under cold water and discarding as many of the seeds as possible.
- Brioche Buns: you can really use any burger buns you like. Potato buns, sesame, or even gluten-free buns.
- Leftover Chicken Burgers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Re-heat in a hot cast iron pan, in the microwave or in a preheated 350F oven.
- Follow steps 1-4 in the recipe steps then line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the cooked burgers in a single layer on the tray.
- Place the tray into the freezer for 1 hour, or until the burgers are frozen solid.
- Once frozen wrap each burger individually in plastic wrap then place the wrapped burgers in a freezer-safe container and keep for up to one month.
- To re-heat: Remove the burgers from the plastic wrap and place on a baking sheet, cover with foil and bake in a 300-degree oven for 15 minutes, or until heated through.