Jerk Chicken Burgers

July 12, 2016
1 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Makes 4 burgers
Author Notes

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

What You'll Need
  • For the burgers
  • 1 to 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled & finely chopped
  • 2 small shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 dried bay leaf, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more, if necessary
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground chicken
  • For the toppings & the buns
  • 2 cups red or green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup labneh, or full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 good burger buns, toasted
  1. 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.
  2. While the chicken is marinating, light the grill (about 30 to 40 minutes before you want to cook your burgers).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Annie stader
    Annie stader
  • Asha Loupy
    Asha Loupy

2 Reviews

Annie S. August 1, 2016
I must confess I do not like to grill outside. These burgers sounded so good I decided to fire it up! We really enjoyed them and I even ate one cold the next day. :)
Asha L. August 1, 2016
I'm so glad you enjoyed them! And I have definitely eaten them cold the next day too. I love the flavor that grilling them imparts, but I've also cooked them in a cast iron skillet on the stove to good avail. Cheers!