A Juicy chicken burger with a spicy sauce of fire-roasted red bell peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant with grilled balsamic and herb-marinated portabellos mushrooms, jalapeños, and onions.
Chicken Burgers, Anyone?
I had such success with my juicy turkey meatball recipe in the air fryer I had to try making a chicken burger recipe. Undoubtedly, chicken burgers taste way better than turkey burgers. I, of course, still had some harissa sauce from a previous recipe and a love for Ajvar. Consequently, the ajvar sauce inspires this delectable harissa eggplant sauce. Furthermore, I wanted to create a quick and easy sauce idea using what we already had on hand.
In addition, using the oh-so-delicious ciabatta bread, you can't go wrong. What is better than grilled vegetables on a spicy chicken burger? Hence, there is no need for lettuce, sliced tomatoes, or cheese. Yes, we love these as toppings. But let’s try something new! Indeed, you'll want to share these with your friends and family or eat them all yourself. No shame here!
Recipes on Speed Dial
As a result, you must also try the Arugula Chicken Pita, like the chicken burger pattie recipe, which uses ground chicken. This recipe also uses the Quick Harissa Sauce and Quick Zhug Sauce recipes, two great sauces to have on hand for spicy food lovers and the primary flavors of this recipe.
If you love harissa, check out the Air Fryer Roasted Harissa Salmon with Paprika Potatoes, and for a warm bowl of deliciousness, try the Spicy Chicken Vegetable Stew with Harissa Tomato Sauce. But it doesn't have to stop there. The next time you make a pita sandwich or rice bowl, add some Harissa Carrot Salad.
The ciabatta bread soaks up the burger sauces so well. Its crisp exterior and warm, soft interior were perfect for soaking up all the spicy harissa eggplant and chicken burger juices. Undoubtedly, the grilled vegetables added the extra oomph, creating an exciting exploration of textures in your mouth. I'm not going to lie, but my hubby and I said the combination of flavors reminded us of spicy chicken parmesan.
Homemade Spicy Sauce Recipe
With my quick spicy harissa sauce, you could make this sauce easily and quickly at home if you cannot find it at your local market. Consequently, I have used this sauce in my spicy chicken burger and my harissa salmon recipe, carrot salad, and eggs for breakfast. The possibilities are endless. To sum up, his recipe is inspired by ingredients you can find in North America, and it stores well in an air-tight glass container for up to a week.
Ingredients and Instructions
Marinate the sliced eggplant, portabella mushrooms, onion, and jalapenos in balsamic vinegar and avocado oil. Then, make patties by combining ground chicken with bread crumbs, zhug sauce, egg, salt, and pepper. Next, while the vegetables and patties cook in the air fryer, make the burger sauce by combining the harissa with eggplant in the food processor. To plate, assemble toasted ciabatta bread, chicken burger, harissa eggplant sauce, and roasted vegetables.
See the spicy chicken burger with harissa recipe card for quantities.
Busy Folks: Become a better home cook with tips to help you cook more efficiently on Cook's Notebook tab. You'll also find more detailed steps for the instructions above. Learn tips on how to prepare and cook with mushrooms.
- Harissa & Zhug - You might find it already made at your local market or online. I've been lucky to find these sauces in the US at Trader Joe's. As a result, this will speed up the prep time for the spicy chicken burger recipe.
- Ground Chicken - Try using ground beef or turkey.
- Portobello Mushrooms - Use sliced brown or white button mushrooms.
- Jalapeno Pepper - For less heat, try poblano peppers.
Change Heat Level - Modify the recipe's heat level to your liking and learn more about the Scoville Scale and Chili Pairings.
- Cooking on the Grill - Use a grill basket for the vegetables; be careful not to pour the marinade into the basket. If you do this, especially over an open flame, this may cause a sudden rise in fire due to the marinade's oil content. Cook the spicy chicken burgers directly on the grill grate for 12 minutes, flipping halfway. Ensure the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit when the burgers are done.
- Roast in the Oven - Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a sheet pan with a rack. Place parchment paper on the sheet pan. Then, lay marinated vegetables on parchment paper, place a sheet pan on top, and place the burger patties and roast in the oven.
- Cook in the Skillet - Use a large cast iron skillet to brown vegetables without the marinade. Sear and cook patties. Toast the bread. Make the Sauce and assemble.
Air Fryer - This spicy chicken burger recipe was developed using the Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill. If you do not have an air fryer, you can try roasting in the oven. Furthermore, you have two options with different results: a sheet pan with parchment paper or a sheet pan with a sheet pan rack.
The parchment paper will produce vegetables roasted in their juices and caramelization at the bottom. In contrast, the sheet pan rack will result in just roasting around the vegetables due to the hot air flowing around the vegetables. Now, the trick is not to overcrowd in whatever method you choose, but if this happens, toss in between cooking.
Kitchen Must Haves - Find other tools I use here.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, place the burgers and vegetable mixture in a 2-inch shallow container to cool down quickly. Then, store the burger, vegetables, and sauces in an air-tight sealing container and jars. The meal will last up to four days.
- Freezer - First, follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then, you can place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container.
Air Tight Food Containers - I use Glass Food Storage Containers with a plastic clipping lid to store food. For example, I always suggest glass storage containers since you can microwave them and hold food without staining the container, and the glass keeps them at a more stable temperature, which keeps the food fresher longer.
Resting Meat Before Cutting or Eating - You will notice when you cook fish or other meats, some of the content inside seeps out. That's because animal protein is made up mostly of water, just like us. When the protein is heated, it changes state and becomes firmer, releasing water and small amounts of other contents. Therefore, this is why it is essential that you never cut meat right after cooking it. Let it rest for at least five minutes, resulting in moist, spicy chicken burgers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Harissa is a common sauce from the Meghrab that comprises Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. In addition, harissa, a red bell pepper paste with chili peppers, is a popular sauce for various dishes, from couscous meats to stews. Originally made with Baklouti peppers, this dish is seasoned with garlic, cumin, olive oil, and other spices. It's the perfect spicy sauce recipe for chicken.
Now let's head to Southeastern Europe, where ajvar is a favorite made from eggplants and fire-roasted sweet red bell peppers. The Ajvar recipe can also vary by region; even a green version out there looks interesting.
These oils can withstand high heat at 400 degrees or more before releasing smoke. I recommend Avocado or Canola Oils, especially in the air fryer or grill. Learn more about high smoke point oils.
Room-temperature oils move more freely when poured into a heated pan. There is a layer that separates the oil from the hot pan. This is an advantage when wanting to create a non-stick surface for food. But my pan is non-stick: Another reason you don't cook in cold oil is that cold oil is absorbed more into the food, and you don't want that.
Resting meat after cooking allows the heated juices inside the meat to settle back into the protein to maintain their moisture so that it does not seep out when cutting, which will result in dry meat.
Air Fryer Recipes
Looking for other air fryer recipes like this? Try these:
Looking for other poultry recipes like this? Try these:
- Cook chicken to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat to prevent food bourne illness from contaminated uncooked meats.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Most importantly, don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods; this can breed bacteria.
- Never leave cooking food unattended to prevent burns and fires.
- Use oils with a high smoke point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
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