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healthy nashville hot chicken burgers recipe

Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers

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

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword burgers, ground chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 burgers
Calories 280 kcal
Author Mason Woodruff


Chicken Burgers

  • 1 lb Ground Chicken I used 96/4 from HEB
  • 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 your choice

Buns and Toppings

  • 12 Dill Pickle Slices
  • 4 Potato Buns I like Martin's Potato Rolls


  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.

    ground chicken patties with nashville hot spices on top
  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.)

    chicken burgers in the skillet with spices on top
  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.

    chicken burgers after smashing flat
  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.

    chicken burgers on a plate with sauce spread on top
  7. Toast your buns in the skillet, top with pickles, and dig in!

    buns in the skillet toasting

Recipe 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 Facts
Nashville Hot Chicken Burgers
Amount Per Serving (1 burger)
Calories 280 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Protein 34g68%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.