Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers

Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualified sales. Click here to read my full disclosure.

These Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers pair low fat ground chicken with a blend of dried peppers and spices to create juicy, flavorful burgers you’d never expect to be healthy. They are super easy to make and can be on the table in about 20 minutes. 

Unlike traditional hot chicken that’s breaded and fried, these chicken burgers have zero carbs, leaving you plenty of room for a great tasting bun and your favorite sides. But we’ll get to that in a minute. 

A simple 20-minute recipe for spicy chicken burgers that have 150 calories, 24g of protein, zero carbs, and 1 SmartPoint each! Even with a bun, each one of these Nashville Hot chicken burgers has just 280 calories and 5 SmartPoints.

How to Make Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers

If you’ve made my chicken breakfast sausage or biscuits and sausage gravy, these chicken burgers are very similar. All you need to do is mix a blend of spices together, sprinkle over the ground chicken, and cook the burgers a few minutes per side in a tablespoon of olive oil. 

This creates a crisp, flavorful outer layer with a juicy and tender center.  

Ingredients for Nashville Hot Seasoning

  • cayenne pepper
  • chili powder
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • brown sugar 

There’s plenty of wiggle room with this blend. These chicken burgers are definitely on the spicy side, but they’re not unbearable like some Nashville hot chicken recipes. 

If you’re spice sensitive and want to give these chicken burgers a go, you might cut the amount of cayenne pepper in half and omit the crushed red pepper flakes. And since the acidity from the pickles will help balance the heat, reduce the spices if you plan to omit pickles. 

Note: In case you want something a bit more mild, check out my chipotle ranch ground chicken burgers with ranch slaw. You could also add a creamy spread like the low fat ranch spread from my honey chipotle crockpot chicken or tangy mustard sauce from my crispy chicken sandwich recipes to reduce the spice level post-cooking. 

Other Important Recipe Notes

You’re welcome to use another meat like ground turkey if that’s all you have on hand. The recipe calls for 96% lean ground chicken so if you use a fattier cut of meat, you might be able to reduce the amount of olive oil they’re cooked in. But I’d highly encourage using a small amount to let the magic happen with the spices. 

chicken burgers in a 12-inch cast iron skillet

I mention this in the recipe card below, but I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet. You can see in the recipe photos that the chicken burgers took up most of the pan. 

If you use a smaller pan, you probably won’t be able to smash them as flat and will have thicker burgers. In that case, be sure to give the chicken burgers a bit more time to cook through.

The only other notes I’d add would be to let the chicken burgers rest after cooking and avoid cutting into them if possible. This will keep the burgers super juicy and prevent any drying out. And as always, don’t overcook them!

inside the chicken burgers

What to Serve with Your Chicken Burgers

Since each chicken burger has just 280 calories, you might have room for some extra fixin’s. Here’s a handful of my favorites: 

Okay, you should be ready to roll. If you have a recipe question I missed, drop a comment at the bottom of this post. Hope you enjoy!

Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers

Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers

Yield: 4 burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Spicy ground chicken burgers with a thick, peppery sauce topped with pickles on potato buns.

Ingredients

Chicken Burgers

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken, I used 97/3
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp (24g) Swerve Brown Sugar, or light brown sugar
  • 1-2 Tbsp Hot Sauce of your choice

Buns and Toppings

  • 12 Dill Pickle Slices
  • 4 Potato Buns (or your choice of bun)

Instructions

  1. Mix the dry spices together in a small bowl. Divide the chicken into 4 pieces and generously sprinkle the spices on top of each piece.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat before adding the olive oil. Cast iron or stainless steel is ideal for searing the burgers. (Important: Turn the ventilation on high as the spices will create strong aromas and a bit of smoke as they bloom in the oil. Don't stand directly over the pan.)
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces to the skillet spice side down. Season the top side of the chicken, saving about 1/3 of the spices for the sauce.
  4. Use a spatula to press the chicken burgers flat, smash burger style. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes to develop a good sear with lotsa color before flipping.
  5. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes until juices run clear and the burgers reach an internal temp of 165F. (I used a 12-inch skillet so if you're using a smaller skillet and have thicker burgers due to lack of pan space, the burgers may take longer to cook through.)
  6. Transfer the cooked burgers to a plate and add the remaining oil/juices to the remaining spices. Add the hot sauce to the spices and stir until thick. Add the sauce to the top of the burgers.
  7. Toast your buns in the skillet, top with pickles, and dig in!

Notes

  • Each chicken burger has 5 Smart Points with the bun and pickles.
  • Nutrition info for chicken burger patties only: 150 calories, 26g protein, 0g carbs, 7g fat, 1 Smart Point each 
  • If you're using a stainless steel skillet, you can use a bit of vinegar to deglaze the pan (loosen all the crispy bits on the pan) before adding to the remaining spices to make the sauce. This will add some great flavor to the sauce. 
  • You can find the cast iron skillet, Swerve Brown, and all my other recommended tools and products I use on my Amazon list.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Chicken Burgers Serving Size: 1 Burger
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 34g
A simple 20-minute recipe for spicy chicken burgers that have 150 calories, 24g of protein, zero carbs, and 1 SmartPoint each! Even with a bun, each one of these Nashville Hot chicken burgers has just 280 calories and 5 SmartPoints.



32 thoughts on “Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers”

  • 5 stars
    These chicken burgers were so good! Even my partner said they were delicious, and he’s not on WW. I’m new to WW, and it’s recipes like this that convince me I can stick with it. Thank you!

  • 5 stars
    These burgers were just perfect! It took me less than 30 minutes from start to finish. These will definitely be going into the regular dinner rotation. It takes alot of heat to satisfy my husband, and this recipe fit the bill. Thanks for another great recipe, Mason! I look forward to trying more!

  • 5 stars
    I’ve made these 4 or 5 times in the last few weeks and they’re always amazing. They’re super quick and easy to make and I’ve pre-made a large batch of the spice blend to keep on deck for the next time I make these.

  • Absolutely loved making these chicken burgers! They were super easy to make, and tasted awesome! They went great with Mason’s coleslaw recipe!!

  • 5 stars
    Simple recipe and quick to make. I had to cut back on the spices a ton for my burger though, my mouth cannot handle it all even with the brown sugar. I lightly used the seasoning on mine (compared to my boyfriend’s, who can breathe fire) and it came out perfectly spicy for me.

  • 5 stars
    Can you say AMAZING! You can smell the heat from these burgers as soon as you start cooking them. The combination of spices/flavors is incredible! These will become a regular in our household. Another great recipe by Mason!! Thank you!!

  • 5 stars
    This is my favorite main dish recipe. Make it with chicken or even turkey. Both my husband and I love this one and feel like you are eating out! I actually hand this recipe out a lot at work.

  • 5 stars
    This recipe is so good and easy. I’m a wimp with spicy so I didn’t use the red pepper flakes and I used about 1/3 of the cayenne pepper it and was the perfect spiciness for me.

  • 5 stars
    I’m making these again tonight! I add a bit more red pepper chili flakes because I am a spice fiend. It is important to start on a medium heat as stated in the instructions because my first time making these, I did not. The spices on the patty burned pretty badly which in my case was overwhelming because I thought I was going to burn my whole apartment complex down 😂 if you follow the instructions-they are hard to mess up. And always delicious.

  • 5 stars
    These are next level good! Some would dare say better than Popeyes! So easy and a much healthier option. I love having these with coleslaw!!!

  • 5 stars
    Go make these. Now. The recipe is perfect as is. These do have a fair amount of heat, but the pickles really help (I was doubtful of the pickles but they really help the whole flavor). I served these with coleslaw and roasted broccoli.

  • 3 stars
    I made these on the grill and wasn’t a huge fan. I think I lost some of the seasoning or maybe I’m just not a ground chicken fan. I wonder what it would be like with ground turkey instead.

  • 5 stars
    PICKY BOYFRIEND APPROVED ✔️ I actually followed the directions to the tee and really wouldn’t change anything. I didn’t use all the sauce at the end but it was still good. I added mayo to mine to cool it down, and used sweet Hawaiian buns.

  • 5 stars
    Made these the other day for my picky brother and he was obsessed. I ended up subbing turkey for chicken since it was cheaper (couldn’t really tell) and I doubled the amount of spices and made extra sauce with the leftovers after coating the turkey patties (which I’m glad I did because my brother put it on his sandwich and on everything else he ate for the next couple days!) I made this with the protein coleslaw (Mason’s recipe of course) and ended up putting it on my sandwich and it was amazing!

  • 5 stars
    I cut the cayenne in half and also cut the brown sugar, and they were STILL delicious! I am for sure making this again. A dab of mayo on the bun along with pickles, a huge romaine lettuce leaf and tomato.. tasted better than a fast food spicy chicken sandwich- and without the stomachache. 😃

  • I made these the other night for me and my boyfriend. I followed the recipe exactly and loved it all. It was spicy with some sweetness. I made the extra sauce but didn’t use it on the burgers. I had some left over Mac and cheese so I put the sauce in that and had a delicious lunch for the next day! These will be made on the regular in our house!

  • 5 stars
    We loved these…they definitely have the Mason kick I love, so if you don’t like spice, you’ll want to cut back or add something like a Greek yogurt based ranch to dip in to help cut the heat. My 10 year old even loved them as is, though! 😊

  • 5 stars
    Happy to find a healthy version of one of my favorite comfort meals. I would suggest making double the sauce to really coat the chicken burgers! Great idea for a cheat meal that’s not really a cheat meal. Thanks for helping my reach my goals.

  • 5 stars
    These are my favorite! It’s quick and easy. The chicken comes out extremely juicy with so much flavor. I used mission low carb tortillas (45cal per tortilla) as the bun and added reduced fat fiesta blend cheese.

  • Great, simple burgers! I made these as a breakfast sandwich filling, so just used cheddar cheese instead of the hot sauce. Put them on Mason’s Greek yogurt biscuits, and it was a filling and healthy first meal of the day!

  • 5 stars
    I make these at least twice a month they are so good! I usually split the seasoning in half and use half to really mix into the meat and the other half I spread on both sides after making the patties. 100% would recommend. So easy too!

  • 5 stars
    This recipe is not for those who cannot handle heat! I cleared out my sinsuses pretty well while making these. That being said – they are absolutely delicious! They pair nicely with a toasted bun and some provolone!

  • 5 stars
    The first time I made these I followed the directions exactly and I really liked them. I like spicy foods, but my husband doesn’t like it as spicy as I do. This time I used ground deer meat we have in the freezer and I halved the spices and mixed them in with the meat. I think Ilike them better this way. They were spicy enough for me and while my husband noticed the spiciness he said it wasn’t too spicy. Also, the cooking/clean up was so much easier and that’s always a plus.

  • 5 stars
    Would it be dramatic to say this recipe revolutionized boring chicken burgers for me? Maybe. Would it be wrong? Nope! They are just so good. Definitely spicy so back down on the spices if you need to. They go great with air fried sweet potato fries!

  • 5 stars
    My husband and I love these burgers! So easy and really delicious!
    I have subbed in Hawaiian buns with similar carbs instead of the potato bun…I love the sweet and spicy mix. I also have used ground turkey when my grocery pickup doesn’t have ground chicken. These always turn out amazing and reheat well!

  • Hands down I would eat this every day! It’s so easy to make and so filled with flavor! Made it exactly to recipe, only thing I changed was adding a little ranch to the spice/hot sauce mixture.

  • Omg these are amazing. I could eat them for every meal I swear. So excited to try different condiments on these! Pro tip these as sliders are tasty too. I’ll be making these for the Super Bowl this weekend!

  • Made these the other night and they are DELICIOUS!! Will be making them again- no doubt. I omitted the red chili flakes and half the cayenne as suggested and they still had plenty of heat. A hit at our house. And the pickles add the perfect crunch!

  • I made these with ground turkey and ground beef. I didn’t eat the beef. My husband did and he liked them, commented they were spicy (he likes spicy). I ate the ground turkey and liked them. I made extra and froze them for lunches. I still like them, but they are a little dry after being frozen. I just put them with avocado or some cheese and it is good!

Leave a Reply

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