I’ve used pesto meatballs for spaghetti and soup before, so it should come as no shock that I’ve made burgers using similar ingredients. The ingredients in this burger remind me of a toasted sub I used to get from a brick oven pizzeria many years back with grilled chicken, pesto, provolone, and tomatoes. It was fantastic. We’ve had a variation of this burger a few times and it’s one of my favorite healthy-ish burgers. The pesto adds a lot of flavor to otherwise pretty bland chicken, and the oil in the pesto also lends a little fat to a leaner meat, making the burgers more tender than a standard turkey/chicken patty. This time around I had an extra roasted red pepper and threw it into the mix. It was not a bad idea.
Like most burgers, these come together pretty quickly. I already had pesto on hand but if you don’t, it’s simple and quick enough to make the same night. We technically made 6 patties from the recipe below, but 2 of them were kid-sized, so it’s probably a closer equivalent to 5. Theoretically 6 (4 oz.) adult sized burgers can easily be made, but we had large buns to fill. 😉
(As was evidenced by my eldest hopping right into my picture-taking spot to say, “Oh hey mom, why is that such a GIANT burger?”)
Pesto and Red Pepper Chicken Burgers with Provolone and Balsamic Tomatoes
- 10 minutes
- 15 minutes
- 4-6 servings
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 small pinch sugar
- 1.5 lbs. ground chicken
- 1/3 cup finely diced roasted red pepper
- 1 shallot, minced
- 3 Tbsp. bread crumbs
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup pesto
- olive oil (optional)
- 4-6 slices provolone
- 4-6 toasted rolls/hamburger buns
- Place the tomato slices, balsamic vinegar, and small pinch of sugar in a bowl, tossing a couple times, and set aside.
- Gently mix together the chicken, red pepper, shallot, bread crumbs, salt (3/4-1.5 tsp, depending on the saltiness of your pesto), ground black pepper, and pesto. Form into 4-6 patties.
- Cook the patties in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet, under a broiler, on a greased grill until thoroughly cooked (4-6 minutes per side, depending on thickness and cooking method). With a minute or two left of the cook time, add a slice of provolone to each burger.
Place a handful of arugula on the bottom of a toasted bun and top with the burger and a couple slices of balsamic tomatoes.