Store-Bought Chicken Burgers Ranked Worst To Best

If you want to shake things up a bit at your next summer picnic, you might consider making chicken burgers instead of ham and cheese. But before you do, you'll need to ensure you're picking up the best brand available. A trip to the supermarket will reveal there's a wide variety of chicken burgers. Unfortunately, not all of them are worth spending money on, so choose wisely. Some come pre-cooked while others are raw. There are the frozen kind, but also a few refrigerated ones. Most chicken patties come with breading, but some don't. These burgers also range in flavor from Italian to Hawaiian to Southwestern. There are a few you can make on the grill or stovetop, but most packaging recommends using the oven, microwave or air fryer.

A taste test is the only way to sort through so much variety. So, I turned the oven on to 400 degrees and got out some paper and a pen. I wrote a list of what I wanted to judge about each product: taste, texture, the crispiness of the breading, size, ingredients, and price. If you'd like to know more about this process or how I selected the products for review, please read the methodology section at the end. The prices mentioned here are from my local grocery stores and a few from supermarket websites, so these may vary depending on location or date of purchase. Read on to find out more about the store-bought chicken burgers I tried, ranked from worst to best.

11. Perdue Chicken Breast Patties

A combination of a tinny taste and mushy interior texture put Perdue's chicken burgers last in this ranking. The breading is thicker than necessary while there is only a thin layer of chicken inside. When baked, the breading detaches in large flakes and is floppier than it is crispy. Anyone planning to eat one of these chicken burgers without a bun will have trouble cutting it and keeping the breading attached. If you prepare your patty in the microwave instead, the breading becomes an irritating combination of hard and chewy. Either way, the meat feels like it just came out of a grinder and seems more like mashed chicken or paste than a chicken patty.

A bag of Perdue Chicken Brest Patties costs about $7.50 at Walmart and contains around nine patties. That means the price per unit comes out to just over $.80. Each burger weighs a bit more than three ounces and has 230 calories. This a convenient size for kids, but seems on the small side for some adults who might prefer a double serving. The ingredients are one of the best things about these patties since you can find most of them in your home kitchen — chicken, water, wheat flour, and onion powder. The exceptions are guar gum and dextrose. The first is commonly used in fried foods and processed meat since it reduces oil absorption and controls liquid. The latter is a sweetener and preservative that enhances flavor and browning.

10. Banquet Chicken Breast Patties

Banquet's Chicken Breast Patties appear low on this list because of their small size and funky taste. Each one of these breaded chicken burgers weighs just under 2.5 ounces which is a smaller portion size than most of the products included here. The taste is metallic and extremely salty. The breading has an orangish hue and black specks — likely pepper. Young, picky eaters may accuse you of serving them patties with dirt on them, though.

A bag of Banquet patties costs about $5 and contains 10 patties, a total of 24 ounces. The per-unit price comes out to around $.50 — one of the cheapest, but don't forget that these patties are also the smallest. That makes them better for kids if they can overlook the black speck and gives them a faster prep time than some other patties on this list. They taste best when baked in the oven, but even so the breading won't get crisp. It comes out about the same as when you zap this product in the microwave for a minute. A bit soggy, but never tough or chewy.

9. Tyson Chicken Patties

Tyson's Chicken Patties are run-of-the-mill with nothing to make them stand out in the crowd. They cost about the same as other chicken burgers, and are about the same size. The dark breading makes them look similar to Perdue's product. In other words, the biggest problem with these burgers is that they're about the same as the competition, but have no obvious positive characteristics. There aren't any glaringly negative attributes either. The flavor isn't obviously tinny, and yet these patties taste worse than other brands like Great Value, On-Cor, Meijer, and Applegate. 

You can buy a 26-ounce bag of these patties for around $6.50 at Walmart. The package contains 10 patties. Each burger, then, weighs about 2.5 ounces and costs $.65. That's a good deal, but not for something that you won't enjoy eating that much. There are other better burgers you can buy with that same price tag, so skip this product.

8. Kirkwood Roma Style Chicken Patties

Kirkwood's Italian-inspired burgers are unpleasant to eat because of the grainy texture of the ground chicken and the strong taste. This is a let-down because the box looks fantastic. It promises asiago and fontina cheeses, and sun-dried tomatoes. When you bite into one of these patties, though, the flavor is jarring and acidic. It doesn't go well with lettuce and tomato or mayonnaise. Worse, the chicken meat has the texture of a thick mealy paste. There are a few good things about these burgers, though. For example, they don't have any breading on them so you can grill them if you want and gluten-free diners can eat them. If only the product tasted better, it would be a perfect alternative to offer beef-eschewing guests at a barbecue.

A box of six patties costs around $9 at Aldi — Kirkwood is one of the store brands there. Each burger weighs a third of a pound and with a price of about $1.50. That makes this serving size larger than the competition. Keep in mind, though, that this product is raw while most other companies pre-cook their patties. That means that when you prepare these, they'll lose some of that weight.

7. Kirkwood Hawaiian Brand Chicken Patties

Kirkwood Hawaiian-style chicken burgers taste delicious with notes of pineapple and teriyaki, but have an unfortunate texture. The ground chicken in these ends up grainy and dry after you cook them, so much so it's hard to swallow. If you want to make these, do something to disguise that texture. For example, serve them with rice and a thick sauce, melt cheese on top, or put plenty of mayonnaise on your bun. Like the Italian-inspired patties, these burgers have no breading and are raw, so you'll need to toss them onto a grill or into a frying pan to prepare them. That can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive than simply pushing a tray into the oven. That's another point against this product.

If you want to try them, purchase a box of Kirkwood six ⅓ pound patties for around $9, meaning each piece costs $1.50. It would be worth spending that amount if only these burgers didn't have such a terrible texture.

6. Great Value Breaded Chicken Breast Patties

Walmart's store brand, Great Value, offers peppery chicken patties. Blander breaded patties tended to rank higher on this list and more flavorful options, like these, got lower rankings. That's because breaded chicken burgers are a food that's usually kid friendly, perhaps even designed with children in mind — they're basically a giant chicken nugget. Unfortunately, these Great Value patties had enough flavor to get my kids complaining and that worked against them. You take a bite of one of these patties and you'll feel the slightest sting about 30 seconds later. It's not a huge deal and some adults likely find it attractive. Picky kids, on the other hand, won't take a second bite. The substantial amount of chicken meat in these burgers — about half an inch — is a positive point. The breading is also thinner than some brands, which gives this product a great meat-to-breading ratio.

A bag of Great Value patties, weighing 23.8 ounces, sells for under $6 and provides nine burgers. That means each one is about 2.5 ounces and costs about $.65. That's one of the lowest prices you'll find, so if you don't care about them being peppery, and like a meatier chicken burger, this is a great deal.

5. On-Cor Chicken Breast Patties

On-Cor Chicken Breast Patties are about halfway up the ranking, and that's because there's not much remarkable about them. However, there's nothing wrong with them, either. If you're trying to get your littles to eat something with protein — but they refuse to eat plain meat or chicken — these may get the job done. They aren't strongly flavored — no spicy pepper here — and the texture is passable. The breading could be crispier, but is otherwise acceptable. Most kids would probably eat this if it came in a bun with some ketchup.

The flimsy packaging could make you question your choice if you pick a bag of On-Cor out of the freezer at Meijer, but don't let it put you off. These are the best of the breaded chicken burgers with additives and preservatives and have a low price tag too. A pack costs about $5 and contains 11 patties weighing 2.5 ounces each. The per-unit price is $.45, and the cheapest of all the chicken burgers in this ranking.

4. Amylu Caramelized Onion and Aged White Cheddar Chicken Burgers

The chickeny taste and texture are the best things about Amylu Caramelized Onion and Aged White Cheddar burgers. Some other burgers on this list didn't taste much like chicken or even seem like meat because of their texture, so these burgers stood out in that sense. Additionally, there's no breading on them or wheat in the ingredients, so people on a gluten-free diet can indulge. Unfortunately, Amylu added dairy to this recipe, so the same cannot be said of those who need to avoid dairy products. Like most other chicken burgers, these come pre-cooked, but unlike the competition, Amylu does not freeze its product. This may be one of the reasons these burgers have superior taste and texture. It also makes them easy to prepare whether it's on the stovetop or a grill for a backyard barbecue.

You can purchase this product at Costco for about $15. These patties come in a pack of eight quarter-pounders, and each piece costs just under $2 making this one of the most expensive products on this list. Although they taste great, you may prefer a different product from the same company even more.

3. Amylu Elote Recipe Chicken Burger

Amylu's Elote Recipe is probably the best-tasting product on this list, but it took third place because it's not what you'd expect from a chicken burger and it isn't kid-friendly. This is a meal for mature tastebuds and brave children only. These refrigerated (not frozen) patties come pre-cooked with no breading on the outside. Heating them is as easy as plopping them in the frying pan and giving them a quick flip. That means they'd be easy to take on a camping trip. Take a bite and you'll notice bits of jalapeño and corn mixed in. They aren't overly spicy, though. The kick is just enough to wake up your tastebuds. They taste especially delicious with some mashed avocado on top.

You'll find a 10-ounce 10-pack of Amylu's Elote chicken burgers at Costco for about $15. Each burger weighs 4 ounces and costs $1.50 each. That's a larger size and price tag than many other products ranked in this article, however the taste is worth paying a little more for. If you want to try these, you may have to do it soon. The Costco employee who helped me find them in the open fridges near the deli mentioned it's a seasonal product only and shows up for mid-summer before disappearing. 

2. Meijer Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Patties

Meijer's store brand patties took second place in this ranking because of their lower price and satisfyingly crunchy breading. The chicken in these tastes bland, but that's hard to notice when all your attention goes to the extra crispy breading on the outside. That could be off-putting to some people, so if you like a chicken burger where you can taste the meat, pick a different variety. If the breading is your jam, though, you'll like these. Try adding a slice of provolone cheese after you've flipped them for the last few minutes they're in the oven. The gooeyness of the cheese combined with the crunch of the breading is mind blowing.

A bag of Meijer chicken burgers weighs 26 ounces and contains 10 pieces for $6. That means each patty is 2.6 ounces and costs about $.60. So, this isn't the cheapest chicken burger out there, but it's about the same as Tyson and Great Value. The difference is this is a superior-tasting product. That more alluring flavor may have to do with how the companies manufacture the burgers. In this case, the ingredients on the back of the package are easy to understand and you could probably find most of them in your home kitchen. There are no additives or preservatives and that seems to shine through when you take a bite.

1: Applegate Chicken Patties

Applegate's patties stand out from all the rest simply because they taste like chicken — something that doesn't seem like a lot to ask from a chicken patty! They are moist and tender and their flavor is pleasant, but not strong. There are no invasive spice mixes added in — the ingredients list only garlic and onion powder. That makes them more appealing to kids than other patties with more complex profiles. The breading is thin and there is plenty of meat inside. This product tastes wonderful as a part of a burger with a bun, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Even the look of the breading seems superior to other brands — this patty is a lighter color where the others were jarringly orange. Crispier breading is the only thing that could improve this product, but most cooks could achieve that by preparing it in an air fryer instead of the oven.

Kroger sells Applegate burgers in a 12-ounce box of four for about $8. Each patty weighs 3 ounces and costs $2. That's one of the most expensive prices for breaded chicken burgers — well over twice that of other name brands like Tyson or Perdue. This product has far fewer calories — at 160 per serving — than other breaded patties of the same size and the ingredient list is free of additives. The company also only buys meat from chicken farms with certification from the Global Animal Partnership and Certified Humane. So, this product is well worth spending more on as long as your grocery budget allows for it.


This review of chicken burgers started with a quest to find every variety I could. To do this, I visited Walmart, Kroger, Meijer, Costco, and Aldi. It also meant a suspicious glance from a shelf stocker when I exclaimed excitedly over finding Banquet patties at Kroger. That was probably the first time he'd ever seen anyone that thrilled to be buying chicken patties! I'd seen the product listed on Meijer's website, but hadn't found it in that store's freezer and was sadly preparing to write this article without it. Fortunately, Kroger stepped up. There were a few other brands, though, that I did miss out on reviewing. I couldn't get a hold of Kroger's store-brand chicken patties, and the same shelf stocker told me my local store doesn't sell them. Then, I chose to skip Kirkwood's breaded burgers in favor of trying the flavored Hawaiian and Italian. Staying within budget means making hard choices sometimes. With those two exceptions, I was able to try every chicken burger available at my local grocery stores.

I prepared the burgers in two waves for taste testing. First, I baked the seven breaded burgers in the oven. That was tricky because cook times ranged from 12 to 20 minutes depending on the size and brand. I set the oven at 400 degrees. I was careful to flip each patty halfway through and take each out at the time its packaging recommended. There was some complex timer maneuvering going on in my kitchen, but everything worked out for the best. Then, I made the Amylu and Kirkwood burgers on the stovetop in a frying pan as per the directions on their packaging. Eleven patties are a lot for one person to eat, so I took a bite or two of each and compared the experience. I paid attention to the texture of the breading and the chicken. The flavor was also an important point. I noted how thick the chicken patties were in comparison to the breading on the outside. Finally, I ranked each burger according to how likely I was to buy it again. Of course, there were still quite a few burgers hanging out in my freezer after the taste test. My family got to eat them a couple of times for lunch over the week I was writing this ranking and my children's reactions to some of the products added extra insight to some of the descriptions here.