Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

OK, here’s a first for me—posting a recipe with a title containing the word jalapeño in it, and it’s the title’s first word no less.  Jalapeño as one of the ingredients in a recipe normally makes me pause because I’m a wuss when it comes to hot and spicy food.  I honestly don’t know what made me even read through the recipe once I saw the title, but I’m so glad I did!

As I read the comments on the original post and those of others who had made it, it was clear that this burger had knocked their socks off.  Here are a few of the comments:

“one of the best meals…”

“freaking outstanding”

“I’m obsessed with these burgers.”

“It was bonkers.”

“Stop what you are doing and go put these burgers on your menu.”

Let me add my voice to the chorus.  These burgers were amazing—absolutely frantastic!  They were so moist and juicy and so flavorful beyond what I imagined they would be.  It was definitely a southwestern flavor party in my mouth without being overly spicy.  If you are a fan of hot and spicy, you can easily amp up the heat.

I used 93% lean ground turkey to make my burgers, and I think the addition of the lime and shredded cheddar cheese did something magical to the turkey mixture which made these so moist as to be almost illegal.  Adding a layer of guacamole to the bottom bun was pure genius, and you shouldn’t leave it out.  Roger made the guacamole while I made the burgers; and, since we were using several of the same ingredients, we had it all made up lickety split.

Thank goodness we had some burgers left over because our son John visited the next day, and he always brings his appetite with him.  He scarfed down two burgers almost faster than you could say jalapeño. Then my chocoholic son polished things off with a good-sized bowl of green tea ice cream.  When I asked him how he liked the green tea ice cream, John replied, “It’s not chocolate.”  But it was ice cream, and that’s not a bad thing to John.  Before the visit was over, I made a batch of chocolate malted milk shakes—it was National Ice Cream Day after all, and John was one happy chocoholic.

But back to the burgers—you’ll be missing out BIG time if you don’t make them!  Trust me on this.

One year ago:  Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie Clone

Two years ago:  Swedish Pancakes

Jalapeño Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

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Ingredients for the Burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken (I used 93% lean ground turkey)
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed (to tone down the heat if desired), chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Ingredients for Serving

  • Burger buns
  • Your favorite guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Extra cheddar cheese (melt on the burgers before removing from them the grill)*

*I think topping the burger with Pepper Jack cheese would liven things up for anyone who wants a little more spice in their burger.  Monterey Jack would also be nice but not as spicy.

Obviously, any of the above ingredients for serving are optional—but please don’t skip the guacamole which totally makes the burger and elevates it to outrageously delicious!


Heat the grill to medium-high heat.  Oil the grates with vegetable oil to prevent the burgers from sticking.

Add the chicken to a large bowl and toss in the onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, paprika, lime juice, cheddar, salt and pepper.

With a fork, lightly stir the ingredients into the chicken until the mixture is well-blended.  Shape the chicken mixture into six 1/2-inch patties.

Grill the patties for 3 to 4 minutes per side, flipping once.  A few minutes before the burgers are finished cooking, top with sliced cheddar, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese (if desired). Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160˚ F.  Remove the burgers to a plate and let rest a few minutes before serving.

Top the buns with guacamole and the burger with desired toppings.

Fran’s Notes

My supermarket was out of ground chicken, so I subbed ground turkey with great success.  I also made six patties rather than four.  I thought the six patties were a good size, and they totally covered the hamburger bun.  The burgers reheat exceptionally well.

The meat mixture is gluten free–the traditional hamburger bun is obviously not GF.

Source:  Adapted from a Smells Like Home recipe

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