I was feeling the need for a change in the burger area, I went with a Greek chicken burger and it was yummy! The zesty tzatziki and the hint of feta are a nod to Greek flavors that we all enjoy and doing it in a chicken burger is just so simple and healthy. These burgers could easily be made with ground turkey if it’s what you have in the house, but the mellow flavor of the chicken was a prefect canvas for the fresh herbs so give the chicken a chance.
I had originally planed on putting these burgers on the grill but a torrential rain storm and husband scared of putting a burger with visible chunks of cheese inside the grill changed my plan, these guys were oven baked. Baking burgers in the oven is the way to go for a number of reasons: first no bugs on the patio by the grill, and second no need to fry them on the stove top with the added fat and additional clean up. Baking a turkey or chicken burger is my go to option on many week nights. Do invest in a good instant read thermometer it will help you stop over cooking/undercooking these burgers and a million other things.
Turkey and chicken burgers keep popping up on menus everywhere and at about $12 a person in restaurant they are no bargain. My whole pound and half fresh ground chicken at Whole Foods was only $11 and I made 6 nice size burgers. It is really hard to want to pay over $50 for our family to have this same meal at the restaurant in the mall parking lot when at home it was such an easy and inexpensive meal. Plus I still had leftovers. One burger was my lunch on a bed of arugula with diced tomatoes and cucumbers the next day while I wrote up this recipe.
Greek Chicken Souvlaki Burgers with Tzatziki
For the Sauce
- 1 small cucumber with seeds removed and peeled
- 1 tbs fresh mint diced
- 1 tbs fresh dill diced
- 1 tbs fresh parsley diced
- Zest and juice of half a lemon
- 1 clove of garlic micro planed
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
For the Chicken Burgers
- 1.5 lbs of ground white meat chicken
- 2 tbs fresh mint diced
- 2 tbs fresh dill diced
- 2 tbs fresh parsley diced
- 1 tbs fresh oregano diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 2-4 shallots diced
- 2 ribs of celery diced
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- Zest of half lemon
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Lots of fresh ground black pepper
The Tzatziki Sauce
Start by grating the peeled and seeded cucumber (if you buy an English cucumber you don’t need to seed it) then wring out the grated cucumber getting out as much liquid as you can. I just squeeze it in handfuls over the sink, but you can also use cheese cloth to help with this process. Mix the cucumber together with the fresh herbs and yogurt. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper as needed. The sauce can be made ahead of time and kept for a day or so in the refrigerator.
The Souvlaki Burger
Mix all the ingredients together but be careful not to over work the meat. If the burger is feeling like its crumbly add more breadcrumb and olive oil to bind. Shape into about 6 medium burgers. Salt and pepper the outside of the burgers.
I cooked my burgers in the oven because it was raining sideways and there was no way we were going to be using the grill. In the oven at 350 on convection they took about 35 minutes to reach 165 degrees internal temperature. You could cook them in a frying pan or on the grill, just cook until the inside temperature is 165 degrees, use an instant read thermometer, we don’t want anyone getting salmonella.
I served the burgers on nice fluffy white buns with tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, cucumber, and some arugula. One of my stepdaughters opted for mayo and mustard over the tzatziki, oh well. The rest of the dinner was sweet potato fries and steamed broccoli, everyone left the table fat and happy! Nice and easy dinner for any week night with a little Greek flair.