Pesto and Red Pepper Chicken Burgers with Provolone and Balsamic Tomatoes


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
  • arugula
  • 4-6 toasted rolls/hamburger buns


  1. Place the tomato slices, balsamic vinegar, and small pinch of sugar in a bowl, tossing a couple times, and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

  4. Place a handful of arugula on the bottom of a toasted bun and top with the burger and a couple slices of balsamic tomatoes.
Elly Says Opa!

One thought on “Pesto and Red Pepper Chicken Burgers with Provolone and Balsamic Tomatoes

  1. So tasty! Why don’t I make burgers more often?! Infinitely adaptable and easy to make healthy—or not, depending on the day. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *