Mouthwatering Chicken Smash Burgers

Meeghan Aimone
by Meeghan Aimone
4-6 Servings
20 min


These mouthwatering chicken smash burgers are about to become one of your favorite recipes of the summer. Hard to believe? Once you try them, you’ll understand why I’m so confident.

Find the full recipe at the end of this post.

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My recipe for mouthwatering chicken smash burgers calls for tender chicken mixed with red pepper, green onions, and a touch of garlic, salt, and pepper. Combined, these ingredients create an incredibly healthy, flavorful, and absolutely mouthwatering chicken patty. Cook the patties on a hot griddle or in a cast iron skillet. Add some melted cheese of your choice, smashed avocado, and pickled red onions on top. Then serve them on a toasted Brioche bun with a touch of Sriracha mayo and you will instantly understand why I call these chicken smash burgers mouthwatering.

What is a Smash Burger?

I’m not sure what it is about summer and burgers, but they are a match made in heaven. This summer I created a new healthier burger recipe made with chicken breast. Although I love a good grilled hamburger, recently I’ve fallen in love with the smash burger. You may be asking yourself, “What is a smash burger?”… Thank you for asking!

A smash burger is a burger that is cooked on a very hot surface, like a griddle or a cast iron skillet. When burgers are cooked on an extremely hot surface, a reaction is achieved. This reaction is called The Maillard Reaction. Basically, it’s a nonenzymatic reaction between sugars and proteins that occurs upon heating. It produces that browned, charred, toasty, and delicious flavor of some foods, such as meat.

When it comes to burgers, this reaction only happens at the surface of the patty, because the proteins need to be in direct contact with the heat. When you smash burgers, they flatten. A flatter patty means more contact area for a tastier – Maillard Reaction – burger.

Juicy Burgers are the Best Burgers

Some people say that pressing down on a burger while it’s cooking is bad because it releases all the juices creating a less juicy burger. No one likes a dry burger. However, if a burger is smashed correctly, none of the juiciness inside is lost. Smashing the burger within the first 30 seconds of it hitting the griddle or cast iron skillet will allow the juices to lock in the burger and not drip out. I highly recommend using a cast iron flat grill press to achieve the perfect smash. Smashing a burger makes the meat (or chicken) taste like a proper diner burger. I’m telling you, it’s mouthwatering!

* Cook chicken to the temperature recommended by FDA (165°F). Check out my absolute favorite instant-read meat thermometer here.

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Simple Ingredients Create a Mouthwatering Chicken Smash Burger

There is nothing I love more than a recipe that uses simple and healthy ingredients. Add in the fact that all the ingredients are staples in my pantry and fridge and I’m sold! Here is everything you need to make these mouthwatering chicken smash burgers:

  • Chicken breast
  • Red pepper
  • Green onions
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cheese (I use American or Pepper Jack slices.)
  • Brioche buns

I cannot be alone when I say it’s the “fixins” that go on burgers that truly make them extraordinary. These chicken smash burgers are no exception when it comes to accouterments. Here is what I love to put on mine, but you can add or omit whatever you want:

  • Pickled Red Onions
  • Avocado
  • Sriracha Mayo (Recipe can be found below.)
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Pickle slices
  • Crispy bacon
  • Fried Egg

Chopped Chicken vs. Ground Chicken

Using store-bought ground chicken can be an alternative to finely chopped chicken breast. However, I can tell you from experience that store-bought ground chicken doesn’t make the juiciest and best chicken smash burger. I’m not sure why, but after trying it once in hopes of a possible shortcut, I decided that taking the time to chop the chicken breast was definitely worth the extra time (which honestly doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes).

Mouthwatering Chicken Smash Burger Serving Suggestions

You can also make smash burgers with ground beef, bison, and pork. I’ve even seen someone make them with finely chopped bacon to serve with lettuce, tomato, and mayo for the ultimate BLT.

When I serve these burgers at the farm, I typically serve them with all the fixins, thin-cut (restaurant style) fries or potato chips, Grilled Sweet Corn Summer Salad with Pickled Blueberries, and Peach Cobbler with Bourbon Cream. Talk about the perfect summer supper!

I hope you enjoy these mouthwatering chicken smash burgers as much as we do. For more delicious recipes, easy DIYs, home decor sources, styling tips, and more, join me on Pinterest and Instagram too. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Mouthwatering Chicken Smash Burgers
Recipe details
  • 4-6  Servings
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 5 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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  • 1-1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, finely chopped
  • 1/2 of a red pepper, chopped
  • 4-6 green onions, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Sriracha Mayo
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt to taste

Heat the griddle to 400-425 degrees or heat a cast iron skillet on the stove over medium-high heat.
In a large bowl add the finely chopped chicken breast, red pepper, green onions, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Scoop out some chicken mixture and form 6-8 3-inch balls. Place them on a plate or cutting board.
Spray the hot cooking surface with non-stick spray and have some parchment paper sheets ready near where you are cooking.
Once the cooking surface starts to smoke, add 3-4 chicken balls on the griddle or 1-2 chicken balls in the skillet. Immediately place a sheet of parchment over the chicken balls and using a cast iron grill press or a metal spatula, smash the chicken balls flat into patties. Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes and then flip them to the other side and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
If you are adding cheese to your chicken smash burgers, place a slice on top of each patty, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan or griddle surface, and cover the patties with a lid to allow the steam to melt the cheese.
Remove the chicken smash burgers and repeat the same cooking process for the remainder of the chicken balls.
Before serving, be sure the chicken burgers register 165 degrees after cooking.
For the Sriracha Mayo
Add all the ingredients to a bowl and whisk until combined.
Serve these mouthwatering chicken smash burgers on a toasted Brioche bun slathered in Sriracha mayo with your favorite burger fixins.
  • These mouthwatering chicken smash burgers are delicious when served with Pickled Red Onions, smashed avocado, Sriracha Mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, a fried egg, or anything else you love on a burger.
Meeghan Aimone
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  • Arline Kay Arline Kay on Aug 03, 2023

    In step 5, the patties are cooked WITH the heavy weight on top? Sounds peculiar, but you don't mention removing it.