Best California-Style Chicken Burger Recipe

The trick to making a good chicken burger? Thin patties.

Chicken burger on bun with tomato
Christopher Testani

Lean chicken burgers make a delicious and mellow backdrop for assorted salad like toppings, such as tomato and avocado. But because chicken burgers need to be fully cooked (as opposed to beef, lamb, or seafood burgers), thinner West Coast–style patties are ideal. (When you’re grilling, make sure the outside doesn’t dry out before the middle cooks through.)

Serve layered in two patties, In-N-Out Burger–style, with a ton of fresh ingredients on nutrient-rich whole-grain buns (to play up the California health-food vibe).

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Prep time

10 min.

Cook time

6 min.

  • 1 1/2 lbs freshly ground chicken (preferably from thighs)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp minced onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 avocados

In a bowl, add chicken, Dijon, onion, oil, and bread crumbs and mix with your hands. Form into patties about 1⁄2-inch thick, slightly indenting the centers. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm them up. Just before cooking, generously salt and pepper both sides of each burger. On a hot grill, or a lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high heat, cook until the middles are opaque, about 3 minutes per side. In a bowl, mash avocados with salt to taste. Smear avocado puree on both bun halves and layer the patties and any vegetable toppings, 2 patties per burger.

Add toppings. Our favorites are thinly sliced cucumber, tomato, iceberg lettuce, and alfalfa sprouts.