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Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers

These Nashville Hot chicken burgers pair lean 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 burgers barely have any carbs, leaving you plenty of room for a real bun and your favorite sides. But we’ll get to that in a minute. 

How to Make Nashville Hot Ground Chicken Burgers

If you’ve made my chicken breakfast sausage or biscuits and sausage gravy, these spicy chicken burgers are very similar. All you need to do is mix a blend of spices together, season a pound of ground chicken, form burger patties, and cook 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
seasoning ground chicken burgers with a Nashville Hot seasoning blend

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

If you are sensitive to spice 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.

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 97% 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. 

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. 

cooking spicy ground chicken burgers in a cast iron skillet

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!

finished spicy chicken patties on a rack with buns

What to Serve with Your Spicy Chicken Burgers

Since each chicken burger has just 290 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 Chicken Burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Spicy ground chicken burgers with a hot sauce glaze topped with pickles on potato buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Ground Chicken (97/3)
  • 1 Tablespoon (16g) Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper*
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

For the Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Water
  • 1 Tablespoon (12g) Dark Brown Sugar**

Buns and Toppings

  • 4 Potato Rolls (or your choice of buns)
  • 12 Dill Pickle Slices

Instructions

  1. Lightly toast your buns in a skillet and set aside. Mix the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Mix the dry spices together in a small bowl. Season both sides of the ground chicken with the spice blend before dividing into 4 pieces, weighing about 4 oz each. Gently work the spices into the chicken while forming burger patties slightly larger than your buns.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat before adding the olive oil. Cast iron or stainless steel pans are 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.)
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken burgers to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes until nicely browned. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until both sides are browned.
  5. Pour the sauce in the skillet around the burgers. As it thickens, flip the burgers, coating them in the sauce. Continue cooking until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.
  6. Serve on the toasted buns with pickles. Optional: Top with a drizzle of your favorite chili oil or chili crisp.

Notes

*These chicken burgers are spicy, but you can increase the heat with more cayenne or hotter varieties of dried chiles.

**Using Swerve Brown saves 3g of carbs per burger patty. Nutrition facts listed are with real brown sugar.

Each burger patty has 160 calories, 26g of protein, 3g of carbs, and 7g of fat, in case you want to make a double like you see pictured in the post.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Chicken Burgers Serving Size: 1 Burger
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 290Total Fat: 9gCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 32g

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Courtney

Monday 21st of March 2022

These are sooooo good!! I saw them on Instagram and they did not disappoint!

Melissa

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

Could I use this recipe for chix meatloaf?

Mason Woodruff

Friday 4th of February 2022

That's an interesting idea. I'm sure you could by adding the usual eggs and breadcrumbs. You might omit the water from the sauce ingredients and substitute with something like traditional ketchup to thicken. My only concern would be using extra lean ground chicken for a thicker meatloaf runs the risk of being a little dry.

Brittany Marcella

Tuesday 25th of January 2022

I haven't made these yet, but I certainly plan to with how amazing the picture looks! Question: can you air fry the chicken burgers instead of pan fry?

Mason Woodruff

Wednesday 26th of January 2022

Yes, I think you could air fry them. Omit the water from the sauce and brush it on for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. I'm not sure on time/temp so let me know once you try it out!

Melissa

Monday 29th of November 2021

I didn't even know what Nashville Hot was the first time I tried this. You'd better like HOT, but if you do you'll love it. When I finally tried Nashville hot chicken at a restaurant I was actually a little disappointed it wasn't as tasty as this dish, just greasier.

Jennifer LePage

Monday 29th of November 2021

I cooked in the air fryer and they turned out beautifully! Keep some in the freezer for when the craving strikes again. Simple and delicious.

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