Pesto and Red Pepper Chicken Burgers with Provolone and Balsamic Tomatoes

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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