Not your standard burger – BETTER! This fun twist on a burger includes everything you want from a chicken Caesar salad including a tender chicken patty sandwiched between a burger bun and accompanied with fresh lettuce, crisp red onion, sharp Parmesan, and creamy Caesar dressing. It’s perfection!
I can’t imagine coming to work during the summer if I DIDN’T love my job. I told someone last week that we “summer hard” and that’s fact. I get straight-up unpleasant when I could be at the beach or pool and I’m not. Yesterday we went boating and I was in the water, going off the slide and enjoying to the max. This week looks HOT for the Midwest, especially Michigan. This weekend also kicks off a series of lots of weekends where we have guests. We tend to do less cooking on the weekends, but if there’s an opportunity to grill, it will be these burgers that immediately come to mind. Not only are they easy to make, but they’re unique and absolutely delicious!
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Grill Masters: Grilling chicken can be a bit tricky and I must admit, I’m not a grill master. I actually made these burgers on my electric grill/griddle and they turned our beautifully. I also hear more and more about Blackstones and if you’re someone fortunate enough to have one of those babies on hand, lucky you! So however you grill or “grill” – there’s a version of this preparation that will fit your available tools and cookware!
- Chicken Lovers: A lot of people choose chicken over beef (me!) and not just for health-related reasons. That said, chicken can get a bit…boring, and it can certainly get dry and lose flavor quickly. These burgers use a creative mix in the burger patties to ensure a juicy burger (never dry!) that is packed with flavor!
- Caesar Salad Fans: A Caesar salad is staple. It’s like the food equivalent of a little black dress – classic, always perfect. I know it’s not just me 😉 Flavors of a classic Caesar salad are always in-season and always a great choice, why not in burger form!?
- Fast Food: Ready in under 30 minutes? Heck yes! This meal is summer-ready and ideal for even the busiest of evenings!
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Ground Chicken Breast: There is very, very little fat in ground chicken breast so while it tends to get dried out and lack flavor, the small amount of cheese and mayonnaise makes dryness a non-issue! If you prefer to use ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground turkey breast, those all work great!
- Garlic: Feel free to omit or swap in 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Fresh garlic cloves are always the best, but jarred, chopped garlic or garlic paste works too (1 teaspoon per clove of garlic).
- Worcestershire Sauce: No matter what kind of burger I’m serving up, I always include just a bit of Worcestershire. Comprised of vinegar, molasses, anchovies, garlic, tamarind extract, chili pepper extract, sugar, and salt, Worcestershire is a most unique flavor! Feel free to omit if you don’t have it on hand or don’t love its flavor.
- Mayonnaise: Lower in sugar and less processed that Miracle Whip, I’m a fan of mayonnaise. There are also TONS of mayonnaise options that have a base of an largely unsaturated fat like canola oil or avocado oil, while being lower in calories than oil or butter itself. Does mayonnaise belong in ALL burger patties? No. But in ground chicken breast, it adds moisture and enough fat to keep moist, tender, and from sticking to grill grates!
- Dijon Mustard: A bit of flavor and moisture (along with sodium) is offered up in the Dijon – feel free to add, subtract, or omit! I would NOT recommend a yellow, honey, or whole grain mustard – swap in mayonnaise for the Dijon or omit if you don’t have it available.
- Liquid Smoke: As its name indicates, this liquid flavoring provides taste and fragrance that mimics that of charcoal grilling. It is extremely low in calories (10 calories per serving) and low in sodium. If you’re looking to reduce exposure to the carcinogens products when grilling, including liquid smoke is a great option to add great flavor with less “risk” from a health perspective. That said, it can be left out or increased, as desired.
- Parmesan Cheese: If you don’t go with a high quality Parmesan, Parmigiana-Reggiano would be delicious, as would mozzarella pearls or another variety of fresh mozzarella cheese. I used a wedge of cheese and thinly sliced off the cheese however Parmesan shavings would be beautiful and melt more easily.
- Buns: I lean towards a brioche bun always, but most especially because burgers can be messy and hard to get your mouth around! The airy, light brioche bun just seems easier to eat, however you can choose any bun or go without entirely – you choose!
- Lettuce: A tender, curly green lettuce is not only attractive but tender a bit less crunchy than Romaine lettuce. Any lettuce or green is perfect!
- Red Onion: Use or omit, as you prefer! I like the tender crunch, color contrast, and flavor…but the onion represents the burger versus the Caesar salad, so if it’s not your thing…omit! Alternatively or in addition to, you can include slices of fresh tomato.
- Caesar Dressing: Homemade or store-bought, whatever you prefer. With or without sardines, you do you! I went with a store-bought, shelf-stable version however you can find refrigerated brands that are slightly less processed or of course, whip up your own!
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- To reheat these burgers you can microwave the chicken patties in a moist paper towel on a plate until hot.
- If you want to add different flavors to the burger patties (raw), consider lemon zest, a touch of lemon juice, or bread crumbs (they do great to keep moisture in) – a few tablespoons would work! There’s no right or wrong to make these easy chicken Caesar burgers!
- Adding a smear of Caesar dressing to the top bun, bottom bun, and overtop the burger or lettuce ensures lots of flavor with every bite!
How do you keep chicken from drying out?
You need fat when you’re cooking chicken with a dry heat method of cooking, such as grilling. Things are a bit more forgiving when cooking on a griddle pan or electric griddle. By starting with an ultra-lean protein source and adding the fat in, you can choose healthier, unsaturated fat sources as has been done with this recipe. Use a meat thermometer to assess the internal temperature of the chicken burgers, ensuring safe cooking while not over-cooking the meat.
What’s your favorite store-bought Caesar salad dressing? Or do you recommend homemade?
I love Ken’s Creamy Caesar dressing for a store-bought option. This homemade Caesar dressing is also delicious! Each Caesar dressing flavor can be a bit different, so use what you like!
What do you serve with these burgers?
For a light meal, the sandwich alone works with perhaps some raw veggies or fresh fruit to accompany. If you want a true side dish, this Baby Potato Salad or Creamy Cucumber Salad would be perfect! Anything with fresh ingredients and on the lighter side is a great idea and perfect for summertime!
How do you grease a grill grate to avoid sticking?
Clean a cool grill with a Nylon bristle brush to remove any debris or food. While grill is cool and NOT on, spray with nonstick spray (olive oil or avocado oil) or use a rag or paper towel that has been coated in oil to brush the grates with oil. Preheat the grill as you normally would and the patties to the prepared, hot grill.
How do you keep your chicken burgers from falling apart?
If you’re cooking on a traditional grill, be sure to follow the tips above on greasing grill grates if you’re unfamiliar with the process. Additionally, it is helpful to prepare the patties and place on a baking tray (on individual pieces of parchment or plastic wrap) and place into the freezer for 15-20 minutes (do NOT freeze through). This process helps hold together the patties together before adding to the grill. I don’t find this step necessary with clean, greased grates or griddle cooking, but it doesn’t hurt!
- These burgers are lower in saturated fat – you can use less Caesar (or lite) or omit the cheese to further reduce the saturated fat content.
- If you’d like to increase the fiber of this recipe, use whole grain hamburger buns. You can find tasty ones with several grams of fiber!
- With 37 grams of protein, this burger offers big staying power and a lovely balance of carbohydrate (30 grams), fat (17.5 grams), and protein (37 grams)
- This recipe can easily be made gluten-free by choosing a gluten-free bun
- 1 lb ground chicken breast
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil-based mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
- 2 Tbsp (1/2 oz) Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 brioche hamburger buns
- 2 oz Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced or shaved
- 8 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried
- 4 sliced red onion rings (about 1/4 onion)
- 4 Tbsp prepared Caesar dressing
- Preheat grill, grill pan, or electric griddle to 350-400 degrees F (medium-high heat).
- Combine the chicken, garlic, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, mustard, liquid smoke, shredded Parmesan, and black pepper in a medium bowl. Use your hands to combine well.
- Form chicken mixture into 4 round patties about 5 inches in diameter; place onto parchment paper squares,
- If using a grill, be sure to oil the grates to avoid sticking (see note below).
- Place burger patties on the grill, grill pan, or griddle; cook about 5 minutes per side until nice char lines appear and internal temperature is 160 degrees F.
- Serve burgers on buns with lettuce, 1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, red onion, and 1 tablespoon Caesar dressing. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 prepared burger
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 432Total Fat: 17.5gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 746mgCarbohydrates: 30.8gFiber: 1.5gSugar: 8.0gProtein: 37.0g
Burger fan? Check out lots of ways to enjoy!
- Black Bean and Quinoa Veggie Burgers
- Fajita Chicken Burgers
- Open-Faced Fire Roasted Red Pepper and Turkey Burgers
- Avocado Burgers
- Chicken Marsala Burgers
- Ultimate Sriracha Burger
- Pizza Burgers