White Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Caramelized Onions
Caramelized Onions White Cheddar Chicken Burgers will be a hit at your next cookout or on a weeknight for the family! The chicken patties are loaded with caramelized onions, lots of cubed cheddar cheese, and a few pantry staple seasonings. You can even swap the ground chicken for turkey and watch how quickly this becomes your favorite burger recipe!
I’m not sure I’ll ever want any burger other than this from here on out.
Caramelized onions and aged white cheddar cheese all stuffed into a slightly spicy grilled chicken patty in a brioche bun with smashed avocados and greens? Please and thank you.
I kept this one extra simple with mostly pantry staple ingredients, and you won’t find any fillers with bread crumbs in my recipe. If you happen to be one of those people that keep caramelized onions stashed away in the back of your freezer, first of all, I aim to be you. And secondly, it’s going to be super quick for you to put this together. Don’t worry; if you’ve never caramelized onions before, it’s super easy to do, and once you make it for these burgers, you can also try my caramelized onion bites, onion dip, and French onion chicken meatballs.
And if you aren’t a fan of ground chicken or can’t find it easily in your area, you can swap it for ground turkey and make turkey burgers loaded with sweet onions and all the cheese your heart desires.
Ingredients for chicken burger patties:
- Ground chicken breast: I use lean ground chicken, which is basically just ground-up chicken breasts. You can also use ground chicken thighs; those will probably yield better results for those that like dark meat chicken.
- Caramelized onions: These are onions that are sweated down in a skillet with a knob of butter until they’re tender and sweet. Don’t worry; I’ll include directions on how to make these in the recipe.
- White Cheddar: adding the cheese right into the burger patty makes these the best chicken burgers you’ll have! I like to do a fine dice on these so that you get some in each bite.
- Seasonings: These are all mostly pantry staples like kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
- Calabrian chili paste: If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a chili paste kick lately. See here and here for proof. If this isn’t an ingredient that you keep on hand, feel free to swap it for sambal oelek, or sriracha would work too.
- Burger ingredients: This is just your hamburger buns and condiments. I like to use brioche buns for this. You’ll also want mayo, lettuce or arugula, smashed or slices of avocado, and dijon mustard if that’s your thing. I usually make these really simple with just some mayo, smashed avocados, and arugula.
How to make this easy chicken burger recipe:
- Make the burger patties: Add the ground beef, caramelized onions, cubes of white cheddar, and all the seasonings to a bowl. Use a fork or your hands to combine without overmixing. Over mixing will create tough patties. When you see that the seasonings are dispersed, stop mixing. Divide the mixture into 4 equal patties. I use a patty press lined with plastic wrap and just pack the meat in and press gently. This makes it easier to grill because, essentially, all the patties cook in about the same amount of time. Once the patties are formed, I usually transfer them to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or wax paper and allow them to cool for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. The patties usually firm up that way, and I find it much easier to grill when they’re cold.
- Grill them up! Clean the grill grates with a grill brush and oil the grates by dipping a paper towel in high-heat oil (such as vegetable oil or avocado oil.) This helps keep the burger patties from sticking. Grill the chicken burgers for about 4-6 minutes per side or until the center of the burger reaches 155ºF on a meat thermometer. Transfer the patties to a plate and loosely tent with foil so that the burger patties can cook to 165ºF with carry-over cooking. Cooking them to 165ºF on the grill will result in a tougher burger patty, so I usually cook them through on a loosely tented plate.
- Make burgers! Toast the buns or don’t – your call. Then spread mayonnaise, burger sauce, lettuce or arugula, smashed avocados, and any other condiments that you like. Top with a prepared patty and serve these with fries, grilled veggies, or potato chips.
FAQs about this recipe
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt a knob of butter with a drizzle of oil. Add a large sliced sweet or yellow onion and sauté for 5 mins. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add a pinch of sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Do this so that the onions don’t brown too quickly or stick to the pan. When golden and soft, remove from heat. Let cool before using in burgers. This can also be done a few days in advance. The onions keep well in an airtight container for 4 days in the refrigerator or even longer in the freezer.
You can opt to use bib or iceberg lettuce as the ‘bun’ instead of using actual buns. Sandwich thins are also a great alternative to hamburger buns for this recipe.
Serving suggestions for homemade chicken burgers:
If you’re serving these for memorial day, labor day, or any other summer picnic or bbq, here are a few serving suggestions:
- Traditional salads: macaroni salad, potato salad, pasta salad
- Other salads: kale caesar salad, strawberry watermelon feta salad, cucumber melon salad, grilled zucchini salad
- Cooked sides: southern baked beans, sauteed broccolini, air fryer fried pickles, extra crispy roasted potatoes
- Dips: cowboy caviar, extra smooth hummus, greek whipped feta dip, Mexican corn dip
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Rockin’ Sweet Onion Mushroom Swiss Burgers
- Banh Mi Burgers
- Easy Sloppy Joes
- Shrimp Burgers with Jalapeno Lime Slaw
- Salmon Burgers with Cajun Remoulade Sauce
- 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey
- ½ cup prepared caramelized onions (see notes)
- 5 ounces white cheddar, ¼ inch dice
- 1 teaspoon EACH: kosher salt AND Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon EACH: garlic powder AND black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons Calabrian chili paste (or sambal)
- burger burns, smashed avocados, arugula, etc.
- PATTIES: Heat the grill to 475ºF. Add the ground chicken and caramelized onions, cubed cheddar, salt, garlic powder, and peppers to a bowl. Using your hands, combine the mixture. Do not overwork, or the chicken patties will be tough. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions or use a burger press to form equal patties and place them on a sheet pan as they form. I like to refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes so they solidify, and it’s easier to grill them. But you can also grill them immediately.
- GRILL: Clean grill grates and oil them using a paper towel drenched in high-heat oil. This will keep the burger patties from sticking. Grill chicken patties for roughly 4-6 minutes per side until the center of each burger reaches 155ºF. Allow the burgers to carry over cook for a few minutes on a plate loosely tented with foil while you toast the buns.
- SERVE: Top buns with mayo, lettuce or arugula, smashed avocados, and any other condiments of choice. Top with burger patties and serve with fries, potato chips, or grilled veggies on the side.
- Caramelized onions: In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter with a drizzle of oil. Add 1 large sliced sweet or yellow onion and sauté for 5 mins. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add ½ tsp of sugar and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. When golden and soft, remove from heat. Let cool before using in burgers. This can also be done a few days in advance.