Switch up your summertime burger routine with these Caribbean-inspired chicken burgers. These burgers are an easy way to enjoy all the flavor of classic jerk chicken without having to wait overnight for the chicken to marinate.
I am a heat seeker and love spicy food, so I usually use 2 Scotch bonnet peppers in this recipe (veins and seeds removed). If you want a less spicy version, use one pepper. The yogurt sauce and the cabbage slaw help balance the heat and cool the mouth.
Note: If you don’t feel like pulling out the grill, you can also cook these inside on a grill pan or in a cast iron skillet. Cook the burgers for about 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. —Asha Loupy
Test Kitchen Notes
I love jerk anything so I was anxious try a recipe that packs that flavor with less work. I made the burgers with skinless chicken thighs. They turned out well and the jerk spices and heat were well represented. I might put a glaze of some kind on them the next time. The bitter slaw was a creamy counterpoint to the sweetish spice of the burgers —Annie stader
For the burgers
1 to 2
Scotch bonnet peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
small shallots, roughly chopped
low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons
fresh thyme leaves
dark brown sugar
dried bay leaf, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper
panko bread crumbs, plus more, if necessary
1 1/4 pounds
For the toppings & the buns
red or green cabbage, shredded
medium carrot, grated
extra virgin olive oil
labneh, or full-fat Greek yogurt
cilantro, finely chopped
green onions, finely chopped
good burger buns, toasted
In This Recipe
Place all the burger ingredients except for the ground chicken and the breadcrumbs in the bowl of a food processor. Blend into a fine paste, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the jerk mixture into a large bowl and add the ground chicken and the breadcrumbs. Mix until combined (if you are using your hands to mix the burgers, make sure to wear gloves or wash your hands well after mixing). If the mixture seems too wet, add more breadcrumbs little by little until you reach the desired consistency. Refrigerate the jerk chicken burger mixture for 30 minutes to an hour in the refrigerator.
While the chicken is marinating, light the grill (about 30 to 40 minutes before you want to cook your burgers).
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 10 minutes before you want to cook them and let the mixture come to room temperature. Divide the burger mixture into 4 equal parts and form into patties. Grill on medium high heat until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate, loosely cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
While the burgers are resting, make the toppings: For the cabbage slaw, toss the cabbage and carrots in a medium bowl with one tablespoon lime juice and the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.
For the yogurt sauce, mix together the labneh or Greek Yogurt, cilantro, green onions, remaining tablespoon of lime juice and lime zest in a small bowl and season with salt, to taste.
To assemble, spread both sides of the bun with the herbed yogurt sauce. Place the burger on the bottom half of the bun and top with a generous amount of the cabbage slaw and finish with the top bun.