Let’s make Healthy Buffalo Chicken Burgers! Lean chicken burgers with grated zucchini and a buffalo kick make a fresh, easy dinner any time! (Paleo & Whole30-Friendly)
I love this time of year! Grilling season and hot weather make me crave light, fresh dinners, and these Buffalo Chicken Burgers are one of our favorites for summer.
We use an easy technique to make them tender and juicy, then top them with a mix of creamy ranch and tangy, spicy buffalo sauce, and a few fresh toppings. SO GOOD!
Here’s what you’ll need to make our buffalo chicken burgers…
HERE’S WHAT GOES INTO OUR BUFFALO CHICKEN BURGER RECIPE:
- Ground Chicken. Ground chicken forms the base of our buffalo chicken burgers. I usually use ground chicken in the 93-96% lean range rather than 98-99% lean. It’ll have better flavor and hold together better.
- Grated Zucchini (Squeezed!). To keep your chicken burgers from falling apart, it’s fairly common to use some kind of a binder. Often, this is breadcrumbs, grated cheese, or an egg. I use a little grated zucchini, like I do for my chicken zucchini poppers. It’s not much (and my zucchini-averse husband doesn’t mind one bit!), but the zucchini helps hold your buffalo chicken burgers together beautifully. The trick is to squeeze out the excess liquid from the zucchini before adding it to your burgers. (See the recipe card for a how-to!)
- Green Onion. To season the burgers and add layer upon layer of flavor to every bite, I add a few extra things to the mix. First up is a little green onion. It’s mild onion flavor works beautifully and lets the other flavors shine.
- Cilantro. Next up, is a little cilantro (or parlsey if you’re not a cilantro fan!). I love the note of freshness!
- Buffalo Sauce or Frank’s Red Hot. For the signature kick and flavor, you’ll need some Buffalo Sauce or hot sauce. Tessemae’s and Noble Made are two paleo/Whole30-approved buffalo sauce options, or you can use straight up Frank’s Red Hot (original recipe) or a homemade buffalo sauce (it’s easy to make!).
- Garlic Powder. Then, you’ll add a little garlic powder (I find it distributes better in the burgers than minced garlic).
- Plenty Of Salt. And, finally, salt. Make sure you season these generously!
3 WAYS TO SERVE THESE YUMMY CHICKEN BURGERS:
ON A BUN OR GLUTEN-FREE BUN. The most classic way to serve buffalo chicken burgers is tucked into a bun or a gluten-free bun. When I’m in the mood for a bun, the Trader Joe’s gluten-free hamburger buns (pictured) and Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free burger buns are our favorite. (I get the Canyon Bakehouse buns at Target or many chain grocers.) Or, you can make these keto hamburger buns with almond flour!
IN A LETTUCE WRAP. For paleo & Whole30 eaters, a lettuce wrap is a great option! I do this a lot–I LOVE the crunch of a lettuce-wrapped burger! (This video walks you through how to do this easily–I like wrapping them in parchment paper afterward to keep them together.)
AS A BURGER SALAD OR BURGER BOWL. I’ve been REALLY into our burger bowls with special sauce lately, and these buffalo chicken burgers can totally work as burger bowls! Add a bed of lettuce, some sliced tomato, and maybe a little cucumber (or other things like pickles or carrots!), then add your buffalo chicken burger on top. Drizzle with a blend of our ranch dressing + some more buffalo sauce and you’ve got an incredible buffalo chicken burger bowl!
THE BEST TOPPINGS FOR BUFFALO CHICKEN BURGERS:
- A BUN. Naturally! This is a great way to keep your buffalo chicken burger together. Scroll up to the section above to see our favorite GF burger buns!
- LETTUCE. Add some lettuce (or make a lettuce wrap!). I love green leaf lettuce for burgers on buns, while iceberg works well for lettuce wraps. Green leaf & romaine are my favorites for burger bowls.
- RANCH. I LOVE serving my buffalo chicken burgers with ranch. The ranch helps temper the buffalo kick and gives them a gorgeous creamy note without needing any cheese. (Try our famous Homemade Ranch! It’s naturally paleo & Whole30-approved!)
- BUFFALO SAUCE. To give our buffalo chicken burgers a sumptuous, luxurious feel, I like drizzling on a little buffalo sauce along with the ranch. It’s creamy, spicy, tangy, delicious!
- FRESH TOMATO SLICES. My favorite! I love thick slices of tomato on my buffalo chicken burgers. They’re fresh, juicy, and a perfect complement to the other flavors going on.
- AVOCADO. Since buffalo sauce can run a bit spicy, some cool, creamy avocado can help you strike the perfect balance if you’re not into ranch.
- RED ONIONS. If you like onions on burgers, a few rings of red onion won’t go astray.
FAQ + TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE BEST BUFFALO CHICKEN BURGERS:
MAKE SURE TO SQUEEZE YOUR ZUCCHINI! As with our chicken zucchini poppers recipe, it’s important to squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the grated zucchini before adding it to your buffalo chicken burger mixture. Zucchini will add moisture to the recipe (in place of things like breadcrumbs or egg), but you don’t want it *wet* or your burgers may not hold together. Be sure not to skip the squeezing step!
TRY NOT TO GO TOO LEAN. One thing that’s important with ground chicken is not going *too* lean. Sometimes, that can lead to a more dry chicken burger. We’ve been fine with most ground chicken and ground chicken breast, but if you see something labeled 99% fat free, that’s probably a little more lean than will work best here. (93-96% tends to be our sweet spot)
FLIP + FLIP + FLIP. Depending on what kind of pan you’re using to cook your chicken burgers, you may find it’s better to flip them several times rather than just once during cooking. This helps keep the sides from burning/browning too quickly. (Cast iron will brown more quickly than nonstick or ceramic.)
CAN I MAKE BUFFALO BURGERS WITH TURKEY INSTEAD? I believe it would work, though I haven’t specifically tried it that way. (I have a weird aversion to the flavor of ground turkey.)
PALEO OR WHOLE30? READ THIS! Our Buffalo Chicken Burger recipe is 100% paleo & whole30-approved if you use compliant buffalo sauce (like Tessemae’s or Noble Made) or stick with straight Frank’s Red Hot (original). You can even make your own homemade buffalo sauce (it’s easy to make!). Then, you’ll just need to serve your burgers without the bun. I recommend a lettuce wrap or our burger salad option! (Scroll up to see how we do that!)
LOVE THIS DINNER? YOU MIGHT ALSO LOVE:
- Chicken Zucchini Poppers
- Burger Bowls With Special Sauce
- Honey Lime Chicken Tacos
- Buffalo Deviled Eggs (Amazing!)