Rachael Ray's Chicken Burger With A Twist Recipe

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't at least heard of Rachael Ray. From her wildly popular cooking show to her wide array of recipes, ranging from vegetarian to beef (and everything in between), there's no denying that the woman who often calls extra-virgin olive oil "EVOO" has left her mark in the cooking industry. But even the best recipes can always be given a new spin, which is just what recipe developer Stephanie Rapone has done with Rachael's chicken burger. Besides using oregano instead of rosemary and lemon instead of orange, Rapone's added a big twist to this dish: tzatziki sauce. 

"Tzatziki complements chicken naturally and the sauce is very cooling, which plays well with the crushed red pepper and warmth from the allspice in the burger ingredients" she explains. Plus, with just 20 minutes of prep and six minutes of cook time, this chicken burger is a perfect meal for the whole family.

"It's a lighter take on burgers, and kiddos usually love chicken, so this is a fun alternative for a summer night," Rapone says. 

Gather your chicken burger ingredients

To make your Rachael Ray's chicken burger with a twist you'll need, one lemon, fresh springs of oregano, garlic cloves, fennel seeds, an English cucumber, Greek yogurt, dried dill, kosher salt, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino Romano cheese, ground allspice, fresh ground black pepper, buns or crusty rolls, and (of course) ground chicken. Rapone also recommends using 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, depending on how spicy you want your chicken burgers. In addition, you'll need vegetable or canola oil for oiling the grill.

And, of course, no burger (chicken or otherwise) is complete without toppings, so Rapone recommends tomato, lettuce, and pickled banana peppers, depending on your personal taste.

Prepare your grill and chicken burger toppings

To begin your recipe, heat your grill on high heat. Once hot, clean it with a grill brush, then reduce heat to low. Pro tip: while your grill is heating, it's the perfect time to prep your toppings. For example, you can wash and slice the tomato and rinse and dry the lettuce.

In addition, you'll want to use this prep time to wash the lemon and zest it. Once you've finished, put the zest in a medium-large bowl. And don't forget to wash and finely chop the oregano and grate the cloves of garlic on a micrograter before adding both to the bowl with the lemon zest

Finally, place a small dry skillet on the grill. Add the fennel seeds and toast for 3-4 minutes, until they start to turn light golden brown. When your seeds are sufficiently toasted, add them to the bowl with the lemon zest and oregano and set it aside for later.

Make your tzatziki

To make your tzatziki, wash, peel, and grate the English cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap in a kitchen towel or strong paper towel and squeeze out the extra water before adding the grated cucumber to the Greek yogurt. Afterward, add in the garlic powder, dried dill, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and the juice from half of the lemon that you zested earlier. Combine well, cover, and let rest in the refrigerator for the flavors to marry.

Rapone recommends using English cucumbers for this recipe because "the smaller seeds make them much easier to grate and make the texture more consistent." She also has found that English cucumbers "have less excess water in them, so they work better in tzatziki because they don't water it down."

Form your chicken burger patties

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, parmesan, crushed red pepper, allspice, fresh ground black pepper, and ground chicken to the bowl with the lemon zest, oregano, garlic, and fennel seeds. Gently combine and form into four equal patties, about ½ inch thick. 

Although technically just about any cheese could be used in this recipe, Rapone recommends either Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino Romano cheese since either will "add an umami flavor that really helps the chicken taste more 'meaty.'" And to make sure your patties keep their shape, Rapone has a quick pro tip: "I prefer to put the patties on individual pieces of parchment or wax paper to make it easier to pick them up and put them on the grill."

It's time to start grilling those chicken burgers

Have you ever made burgers and found that they get stuck to the grill? Well, no worries because Rapone has you covered. Before putting your chicken patties on the grill, take a paper towel, wad it up, and hold it with tongs. Dip it in vegetable oil and oil the grill grates. This simple trick will help prevent your chicken burgers from sticking.

Once your grill is oiled, place the burgers on the grill, over medium heat, and close the lid. Cook them for 1 ½ minutes then use a spatula to rotate the burgers about one-quarter turn (but still cooking on the same side). Close the lid and cook them for another 1 ½ minutes. And if you can't easily slide your spatula under your burgers because they're still sticking a bit to the grill, let them cook for another 30 seconds and try again.

Pro tip for the perfect chicken burger

After the burgers have cooked for a total of three minutes on the first side, flip them and repeat the process (cooking for another three minutes total, rotating a quarter-turn after 1 ½ minutes). When it comes to any chicken dish, it can be tricky to hit that sweet spot between undercooking and overcooking your meal. To avoid this problem, Rapone strongly recommends that you avoid guesstimating if your burgers are done.

"Definitely use a timer (don't estimate), and then check with a probe-style thermometer," she says. Remember, chicken needs to cook to 165 F, so keep that magic number in mind when you do check the temperature on your burgers to ensure they have cooked through.

Rest your burgers before serving

When you finish grilling your burgers, you want to let them rest off the grill for 5 minutes before serving. Once your burgers have rested, it's time to start adding your toppings. Of course, you'll want to add the tzatziki, as well as any combination of the tomato, lettuce, and pickled banana peppers you desire. Don't forget, this is your chicken burger, so make it exactly the way you want.

If you're wondering which type of lettuce would work best with this recipe, Rapone says romaine is a good choice, but she personally really likes butter lettuce. 

"I like something that has some crunch to it, but doesn't have a strong flavor," she explains. "I know Rachael Ray's recipe calls for a mix of pretty bitter greens. For some reason, I'm just one of those people that the bitterness of those greens is overpowering. Also, butter lettuce just looks so good on a burger."

Rachael Ray's Chicken Burger With A Twist Recipe
4.9 from 11 ratings
Looking for a burger that is anything but ordinary? Try this Greek-inspired twist on Rachael Ray's chicken burgers, complete with fresh tzatziki sauce.
Prep Time
20
minutes
Cook Time
6
minutes
Servings
4
burgers
Close up of a hand holding a Rachael Ray's chicken burger with a twist
Total time: 26 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fennel seeds
  • English cucumber (about 6" length cut from a whole cucumber)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino Romano cheese
  • ½-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (depending on spice level preference)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 - 1 ¼ lbs ground chicken
  • vegetable or canola oil for oiling the grill
  • 4 buns or crusty rolls
Optional Ingredients
  • tomato
  • lettuce
  • pickled banana peppers
Directions
  1. Heat grill to low heat and prep your toppings: wash and slice the tomato, rinse and dry the lettuce. Set aside.
  2. Wash the lemon and zest it. put the zest in a medium-large bowl.
  3. Wash and finely chop the oregano. There should be about 2 tablespoons of oregano once chopped. Add to the same bowl as the lemon zest. Grate the 2 cloves of garlic on a micrograter and add to the same bowl.
  4. Place a small dry skillet on the grill. Add the fennel seeds and toast for 3-4 minutes, until they start to turn light golden brown. Add them to the bowl with the lemon zest and oregano.
  5. Make the tzatziki: wash, peel, and grate the cucumber on the large holes of a box grater. Wrap in a kitchen towel or strong paper towel and squeeze out the extra water. Add the grated cucumber to the Greek yogurt. Add in the garlic powder, dried dill, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and the juice from half of the lemon that you zested earlier. Combine well, cover, and let rest in the refrigerator for the flavors to marry.
  6. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt, parmesan, crushed red pepper, allspice, fresh ground black pepper, and ground chicken to the bowl with the lemon zest, oregano, garlic, and fennel seeds. Gently combine and form into 4 equal patties, about ½ inch thick.
  7. Take a paper towel, wad it up, and hold with tongs. Dip it in vegetable oil and oil the grill grates to help prevent the burgers from sticking.
  8. Place the burgers on the grill, over medium heat, and close the lid. Cook for 1 ½ minutes. Then, use a spatula to rotate the burgers about one-quarter turn and close the lid to cook for another 1 ½ minutes.
  9. After the burgers have cooked for a total of 3 minutes on the first side, flip them and repeat the process (cooking for another 3 minutes total, rotating a quarter-turn after 1 ½ minutes).
  10. Check the burger temperature to ensure the chicken is cooked to 165. Remove burgers and allow them to rest off the grill for 5 minutes before serving.
  11. Build your burgers to your preference, using the tomato, lettuce, and pickled banana peppers, and top with the tzatziki.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 507
Total Fat 21.9 g
Saturated Fat 8.8 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 131.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.3 g
Total Sugars 4.0 g
Sodium 688.3 mg
Protein 40.7 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe