BBQ Chicken Burgers



Barbecue sauce and I have a bit of a sordid past. I started out not really liking it at all. I can’t tell you the first time I ever ate barbecue sauce by choice, but it was definitely in my twenties. Eventually I started coming around, first with my love for Sweet Baby Ray’s and then making my own when I discovered that one had HFCS.

When I got pregnant with Zachary, I had exactly two food aversions: barbecue sauce and ginger (which is weird, because ginger is supposed to ease nausea). When I was approximately 30 seconds (unknowingly) pregnant with Ian, I walked into my office suite to smell someone reheating barbecue sauce and I instantly felt nauseous. Who needs EPT when you have barbecue sauce?

I’m telling you all of this as an excuse for why it took me a while to make these burgers. I need to REALLY be in the mood for barbecue sauce or for some reason, it still makes me queasy. I have no idea why, and I can only wish I had similar feelings toward things like cake and nachos.

It’s no secret I love making chicken burgers. Ground chicken is a blank canvas, as far as flavors are concerned, and they can generally be kept pretty lean, too. I’m always looking for new versions, and this one fits the bill. The burgers are flavored with paprika, garlic, mustard, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce. They’re topped with more sauce and some sharp cheddar, which  I have always loved with BBQ sauce. Josie added leftover pulled pork to hers, which would no doubt be awesome, but we didn’t have any, unfortunately. I did decided to put these on yeasted cornbread buns, because who doesn’t like cornbread with BBQ? I was just thinking that these would be pretty awesome on biscuits, too. Because – biscuits.

BBQ Chicken Burgers

  • 5 minutes
  • 10-15 minutes
  • 4 servings


  • 1.25 lbs. ground chicken (I like a combination of breasts and thighs)
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbsp. barbecue sauce, bottled or homemade, divided + additional for serving if desired
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 burger buns or yeasted cornbread buns
  • a little oil


  1. Lightly mix together the chicken, cornmeal, scallions, paprika, garlic powder, mustard, cayenne, brown sugar, salt, and 3 tablespoons of the BBQ sauce. Form the mixture into four patties.
  2. Brush the grates of the grill with oil and grill the burgers and onions for about 5 minutes. Flip the burgers and brush each with some of the reserved barbecue sauce. Cook for an additional 4-5 minutes before brushing with the rest of the sauce. Top each burger with a slice of cheese.
  3. Brush the buns with oil and place them cut-side down on the grill. Close the grill to let the cheese melt and buns toast. Place a burger and some grilled red onion on each bun. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.
Adapted from Pink Parsley

4 thoughts on “BBQ Chicken Burgers

  1. I have definitely been on the fence about bbq sauce for most of my life! But lately I can enjoy it on veggie burgers…so long as it’s a really good bbq sauce! 😛

  2. You are right. Chicken is a blank canvas. It’s pretty boring if you don’t add a little color. I think you did a great job in seasoning this burger. The photo made me want to bite the screen. So I pinned it.

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