Healthy Grilled Chicken Burgers

Healthy chicken burger with caramelized onions on a black plate with wine and more patties in the background

With Caramelized Onions

Grilled chicken burgers are great any time of year! This homemade grilled chicken burger is a combination of chicken breasts, thighs, caramelized onions and a bit of spice and cheese. You can make the ground chicken patties up ahead of time and grill them right before dinner.

The inspiration for this juicy chicken burger recipe came to me years ago from Nordstrom Cafe. They had the best grilled chicken burger I had ever tasted. It was so decadent! It had caramelized onions, garlic aioli and roasted mushrooms. Sadly the restaurant closed so I decided to come up with my own healthy version.

Healthy chicken burgers on a black plate
The secret to this moist and juicy healthy chicken burger recipe is the combination of using chicken thighs and breasts.

Do you need a grill?

No, you can actually cook these chicken burgers in a pan on the stove if you don’t have a grill.

I do like them best when my husband grills them on the Big Green Egg or Kamado Joe (paid link) but if he’s not around or I want to do them myself, I use my Baby Weber (paid link). It’s a small gas grill that is easy and fast and I can use by myself without anyone’s help.

What makes this chicken burger special?

The secret to this moist and juicy chicken burger is the combination of using chicken thighs and breasts as well as incorporating caramelized onions. Grilled chicken burgers made only with breasts tend to be on the drier side but adding the chicken thighs and onions makes a world of difference!


Tips on how to make grilled chicken burgers in pictures:

Start caramelizing the onions first:

Caramelized onions in a pan with a spatula

Spray a stainless steel skillet (paid link) with olive oil spray (paid link). Then add butter and heat. Add onions and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook while you’re working on the next step for 20 more minutes.

Chill the meat before grinding it in the food processor:

raw chicken on a white cutting board with knife, scale in the background on a granite counter top

First of all, cut the chicken in small pieces, then freeze for 15 minutes. Next, use the food processor (paid link) or meat grinder to grind up the chicken. Freezing the meat for a short time makes it easier to chop so it doesn’t just become mush.

Use the food processor (or a meat grinder) to grind the chicken

Raw chicken processed in a food processor

After chicken is chilled, place in food processor (paid link) -do it in 2 batches and process on pulse until chicken is ground (or you can use a meat grinder if you have one).

Make the chicken patties uniform in size:

Chicken burger ingredients in a large Polish pottery bowl with spatula

Mix the ground chicken, spices, cheese and 1/2 c. of the caramelized onions.

Baking sheet with raw chicken patties, large bowl with chicken mixture and spatula

These chicken burgers are slider size. When making the patties, use a dry 1/4 c. measuring cup (paid link) to scoop out the chicken. This keeps the patties uniform in size so that they cook evenly. After the patties have been made, place them on a piece of parchment on a baking sheet (paid link).

Chill again:

Chill the patties for at least 20 minutes before grilling. This is so they don’t fall apart on the grill.

Only flip once:

Chicken burgers on a grill

Allow the burgers to cook on the grill (medium heat) for about 5 minutes before flipping. Only turn them once. Always check the temperature with a food thermometer (paid link). Chicken should be at least 165°.

How to serve:

Healthy chicken burger on a black plate with wine and more patties in the background

Place burgers on King’s Hawaiian Rolls or my 2 point slider buns. Top with caramelized onions and cheese if desired. Serve with a side salad. Chicken burgers are also great cut into small pieces over a big salad.

Homemade Slider buns on a board

If you want to make your own slider buns, try my 2 point Slider Bun Recipe.

Chicken Burgers

Amy Lawrence
This homemade chicken burger is a combination of chicken breasts, thighs, caramelized onions and a bit of spice and cheese. You can make the ground chicken patties up ahead of time and grill them right before dinner. 
Weight Watchers Points: Blue: 4 Smart Points with roll and burger (1 point for burger only); Green: 5 Smart Points with roll, (2 points for burger only); Purple: 4 Smart Points with roll, (1 points for burger only)
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 19 hrs 45 mins
Total Time 19 hrs 45 mins
Course Main/Appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 12 sliders
Calories 172 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb boneless skinless, chicken breasts
  • 1 lb boneless skinless, chicken thighs
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 T. unsalted butter
  • olive oil spray
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 T. kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 12 King's Hawaiian Rolls Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls or Slider Buns subtract 1 ww point
  • 12 T. shredded swiss cheese optional, add 1 point to total if used

Instructions
 

  • To caramelize onions, spray a stainless steel skillet with olive oil spray, add butter and heat on medium until hot.  (You can use a nonstick skillet but the onions won't caramelize as well).
  • Add onions and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring as needed so they don't burn. Use more olive oil spray if needed. After onions are starting to brown, turn heat to low and continue cooking while you work on the next step stirring occasionally and cooking for another 20 minutes until brown and sticky. 
  • While waiting for onions to cook, cut chicken breasts and thighs into bite size pieces. Place in freezer for 10 minutes. (When onions are finished, turn off heat and allow to cool.)
  • After chicken is chilled, place in food processor in 2 batches and chop until chicken is ground (or you can use a meat grinder if you have one).
  • Place ground chicken in a large bowl. Add garlic, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and 1/2 c. of the caramelized onions. (Reserve rest of onions to top on burgers). Mix chicken mixture well with hands or spoon.
  • Use about 1/4 c. of the chicken mixture to make each slider. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. After forming, chill burgers for at least 20 minutes in the refrigerator. (You can leave them in the refrigerator up to 3 days).
  • When ready to cook, heat the grill to medium high heat (about 350°). Add the burgers. Cook for at least 5 minutes on one side before flipping the burger. Cook an additional few minutes until temperature of the chicken burger reaches at least 165°. (Or you can pan fry in a nonstick skillet. Fry for 5 minutes before flipping them. Make sure they reach 165° before serving them.
  • Split Hawaiian rolls in half and place in broiler (or toast for a bit on the grill) until slightly brown. On the bottom half place a chicken slider, top with reserved caramelized onions and 1 T. shredded swiss cheese (if desired).

Nutrition

Serving: 1chicken slider including Hawaiian rollCalories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 15.1gProtein: 16.4gFat: 5.2gSaturated Fat: 2.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1.1gCholesterol: 66.4mgSodium: 230.1mgPotassium: 210.5mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 4.9gVitamin A: 17.4IUVitamin C: 1.8mgCalcium: 43.3mgIron: 1mg
Keyword healthy chicken burgers
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Amy Lawrence

Amy Lawrence is passionate about good food, losing and maintaining weight. She has combined her talents and love of cooking to produce delicious healthy recipes to help her followers stay on track. A military brat who has lived all over the U.S and Germany is an example for women who have had many successful careers in life, including special ed teacher, tea room owner, cookbook author, and publisher.

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