Southwest Chicken Burgers

I spent this week in Fort Worth, TX where the temperature reached 86º F the same day I boarded my plane to head back to Seattle and return to the mid-30’s and cloud cover. It’s a depressing transition when you’re someone who thrives in the sunshine (Learn more about me in my my Beginnings post!).

I spent last night dreaming of tacos and queso and missing Texas and woke up ready to bring a little flavor of the south into my dreary Seattle day with some Southwest Chicken Burgers.

These burgers are quick to make and gluten-free for all my GF friends and family out there! Best when grilled, these can also be pan-fried OR baked, which make them great pick-me-ups during the winter when all you need is a little taste of summer.

I prefer these burgers bun-less solely for the fact that the ingredients used are strong in flavor and I want to taste them all; sometimes the extra density from bread takes away from taste (but that’s just my opinion!). I serve these simply with my Erin’s Sweet & Spicy BBQ and guacamole or Mexican rice for a complete dinner. Plates are clean and stomachs full, so I take it as a good sign.


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1 lb ground chicken
1 oz chopped red onion
1 oz cilantro, finely chopped
1/8 c. black beans, roughly chopped or  1 pulse in food processor
1/8 c. sweetened yellow corn, roughly chopped or 1 pulse in food processor
1/4 c. shredded cheese (I prefer Mexican blend or sharp cheddar)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

Parchment or Wax paper, cut into 4×4 squares (4 pieces)

Optional: Finely diced jalapeno (1 small) for a little kick!

Instructions (for grilling)

In a large mixing bowl, add the ground chicken and season with salt, pepper, cayenne & garlic powders and red pepper flakes.

Prepare 4 pieces of parchment or wax paper by cutting 4 – 4×4 pieces and setting aside. Ground chicken is STICKY – I prefer only having to touch the raw meat once, so using squares of parchment or wax paper helps me transport the patties from mixing to grill without much stickiness or mess.

Chop red onion, cilantro, black beans and corn and add to the mixing bowl (if opting in for jalapeno, also dice and add now).Add shredded cheese and mix by hand until combined. *FYI – ground chicken is STICKY. If you’re not a fan of raw meat, I highly advise wearing gloves for this step.

Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into patties. Using the parchment or wax paper, place a patty on top of the paper and onto a plate for each. Refrigerate if not immediately cooking.

Heat grill to high heat (400º) then add patties. Cook each side 8 minutes or until fully cooked.

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