Chicken/ Recipes

Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers

Let’s be honest. I love a good burger.

Recently, I admitted to Adam that I frequent the In n’ Out drive-through once a week every once in a while. He asked if that was my biggest secret in life and I said yes. Then he laughed at me for about five minutes straight. Umm…I can’t stand their fries but love their cheeseburgers! So when I go, I get my cheeseburger and large iced tea and then sit in the quiet of my car for ten minutes relishing every bite. If you’ve never tried In n’ Out therapy, I highly recommend it. It could change your life…or your week.

But when I’m not stuffing my face with hamburgers in secret, I make slightly healthier (okay, a lot healthier) burgers at home. These lean chicken burgers are packed with delicious Indian flavor from jalapenos, ginger, garam masala and cilantro! So good. And SO easy! You can have this dinner on the table in fifteen minutes if you hustle — a food processor helps the process get going but isn’t mandatory.

If chicken isn’t your thing, use turkey…or beef!

I’d like to work on developing a vegan variation of this recipe just because the flavors are so great — I would hate anyone to miss out on these.

And if spice ain’t your thang, don’t fret. Despite using the entire jalapeno, they really aren’t all that spicy.

The real spice in jalapenos comes from the pith (the white inner membrane of the pepper) and, of course, the seeds. Removing both of those helps cut down on the heat factor. But, if you’re like me and a total spicy freak, you’ll load your burger down with sriracha sauce anyway.

For ultimate burger therapy, eat alone in your car with the music blasting and a tall iced tea.

Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers

makes 4 large burgers

Print this Recipe!


1 lb ground chicken

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1/4 cup fresh cilantro (small handful)

1 inch knob fresh ginger

1/4 of a large yellow onion,

3 tsp garam masala

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

buns for serving


Place the seeded jalapeno, cilantro, ginger and onion in the bowl of a small food processor and pulse till finely minced. Alternatively, you could mince everything by hand.

Add the ground chicken, egg, panko, salt and garam masala to the vegetable mixture and mix well to combine.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat on the stove. Form patties out of the meat mixture and place in the skillet. Cook for about 6 minutes per side, or until juices run clear.

Serve chicken burgers on toasted whole grain buns with ketchup, pickles and lettuce.


15 minutes

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  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    February 20, 2013 at 3:38 am

    I love your In ‘N Out story and car therapy 🙂 I don’t eat burgers but do love garam masala, ginger, and cilantro and it sounds so flavorful. I bet even as like a tofu marinade it could be great!

  • Trey
    February 20, 2013 at 4:02 am

    I love chicken burgers and can’t wait to try this! Think I’ll throw mine on the grill!

  • Anne
    February 20, 2013 at 4:17 am

    Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum!
    I love a good burger, but I also love a GOOD chicken or turkey burger! It is supposed so be icy, rain and plain ole icky here in North Carolina this weekend, this looks like the perfect Friday night in meal!

  • Amy Walters, A DESIGN DOCK
    February 20, 2013 at 4:59 am

    Delightful recipe, Jenna! I have been on a bit of a burger kick myself. These just might fix that craving of mine. Thank you ; )

  • Joelle ( on a pink typewriter)
    February 20, 2013 at 5:06 am

    In’n’Out therapy- yes!! I miss thy place daily while living on the east coast.

  • Molly @ RDexposed
    February 20, 2013 at 5:07 am

    I lost the In n Out magic during my last 2 trips. I just don’t get it anymore.

  • catherine (FOOD SNOB)
    February 20, 2013 at 5:12 am

    These flavors might transition well to either a white bean or chickpea patty, as chicken is pretty neutral in taste, too. 🙂 Sounds delicious!

  • Annie @ What's Annie Making?
    February 20, 2013 at 5:16 am

    These look so delicious! I love the spice combination in here and can totally see it working in bean burger form.

  • Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    February 20, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Those spices are calling for a white bean burger mix. Going to experiment too!

  • Jenna
    February 20, 2013 at 5:39 am

    I’ve always been scared of ground chicken but this burger looks so good i might need to try it soon. I live that you secretly go to n and out… Fun!

  • Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats
    February 20, 2013 at 5:55 am

    Ahhh, if we had an In ‘n Out nearby I guarantee you I’d be doing the same exact thing every week….er, once in a while. 😉 Their burgers are one of my favorite treats to eat whenever I’m out west – YUM. Your chicken burgers look awesome, too. I’m always looking for ways to jazz up plain old burgers, and my bottle of garam masala has seen far too little action lately. Happy Wednesday!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks
    February 20, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Favorite. Thing. EVAR.

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots
    February 20, 2013 at 6:14 am

    oo these sound delicious!! I love garam masala

  • Kristin
    February 20, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Those sound yummy! I need to talk my husband into going out in the cold to fire up the grill . . .

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In
    February 20, 2013 at 6:37 am

    These will be SO perfect for making my dad dinner! He’s picky, but loves indian flavors

  • Pippa@sundaysupperswithpippa
    February 20, 2013 at 6:56 am

    These burgers look delicious. It would be interesting to make a raita/yogurt spread as a substitute for ketchup in this case!

    • Vanessa
      February 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

      A yogurt spread would be so much more fulfilling than ketchup.

  • Erica {Coffee & Quinoa}
    February 20, 2013 at 7:07 am

    Yum! A vegan version would be outstanding 🙂

    • Sarah cook
      February 20, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Yes, I second that, vegan version please! 🙂

      • Vanessa
        February 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

        Third! My vegan friends love picnicking in the summer!

        • Maryz
          February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

          Vegan burger!!!

          • Audrey
            February 22, 2013 at 10:04 am

            Yes to a vegan burger! 😀

  • erin @hooleywithaz
    February 20, 2013 at 7:20 am

    hahaha that isn’t too bad if it’s the deepest, darkest secret you have. when i told my husband that i only eat popcorn and wine for dinner when he’s on a roadtrip, he laughed at me for about five minutes too. 🙂

  • Heather
    February 20, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Mmm these remind me of spicy turkey burgers my mom makes. In the summer we put them over salad with an even spicier marmalade. Also, I’m making it a mission this weekend to get my rear over to the Asian-Indian market and pick up a huge container of garam masala.

  • Makenzie Ann
    February 20, 2013 at 7:34 am

    I might have to pass this recipe along to our sorority cook….it would be a very unique and welcome change!!!!!!! Yum 🙂 They remind me of my mom’s curry turkey thai burgers.

  • steph
    February 20, 2013 at 7:46 am

    You would think it is summer.. I have been on SUCH a burger kick lately. This is awesome! I just found your blog- exciting!

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action
    February 20, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Oh wow- YES! I definitely will be making these. Thanks for the change-up from a regular burger.

  • allie@sweetpotatobites
    February 20, 2013 at 7:56 am

    In-N-Out therapy is pretty much the best ever. And these burgers look great!

  • Heather @ Heather's Dish
    February 20, 2013 at 8:20 am

    PINNED – can’t wait for dinner next week!

  • Jenny
    February 20, 2013 at 8:34 am

    If you’re ever in the Santa Barbara, Ventura, or Thousand Oaks area, check out a small fast food chain called The Habit. I grew up on In N Out and when I discovered The Habit I totally felt like I was cheating. It’s delicious. AND their fries are good!!!

    • Deanna
      February 20, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Or Orange County! We have like 5 of them. I’ve never been, but now I will totally be going.

    • jenna
      February 20, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Never heard of it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Vanessa
    February 20, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I served up your boyfriends famous spaghetti recipe for my boyfriend and he loved it…guaranteed he’s going to love this spiced chicken burger

    • jenna
      February 20, 2013 at 11:16 am

      so glad you liked it!

  • Deanna
    February 20, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Finally! Someone else who hates In N Out’s fries. I’ve ordered them every way imaginable and I have yet to like them so I’ve given up. If I’m going to eat that many calories, they better be worth it. The double double animal style on the other hand is totally worth the calories. I’ve been on an Indian food kick lately and these sound amazing.

    • jenna
      February 20, 2013 at 11:15 am

      Wendy’s fries are FAR better in my opinion…especially when dipped into a chocolate frosty.

  • Kari@Loaves n Dishes
    February 20, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Lovin’ this spiced up burger, I wouldn’t change a thing…except to have it in my hand right now!

  • Emily
    February 20, 2013 at 9:46 am

    This looks great! Can you use peppers other than jalapenos? I miss In-N-Out so much…NYC doesn’t have them.

    • jenna
      February 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

      You could use a small diced red bell pepper instead if you like!

  • Jenn
    February 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

    These look really good! I love me a good burger… It’s pretty normal for me to enjoy 1-2 a week

  • taylor @ taylormade
    February 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

    YUM these look awesome! love the idea of adding Indian flavors to a burger… can’t wait to try!

  • Andrea @ Mrs Webb in the Kitchen
    February 20, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I also have practiced In N Out therapy… although I don’t think I confessed it to hubby! 😉

    Always looking for new (healthy) burgers to make. This one looks like a winner!

  • vivian
    February 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Ewww… In-n-out.I worked their for 4 years.You don’t want to know what goes on in the back room kitchen.

    • jenna
      February 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

      no! don’t tell me!!

  • M.C. @ThousandStoryKitchen
    February 20, 2013 at 11:13 am

    I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who truly needs a secret greasy joint cheeseburger once in awhile…On the other hand, these chicken burgers look really heavenly and may keep me from the ultimate burger therapy for now!

  • Morgan
    February 20, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I might try a vegetarian version with some chickpeas 🙂 I’ve been consumed by TJ’s paneer tikka masala lately.

    And I agree, my in-n-out “animal style grilled cheese” that I have probably only once a month (the closest one is 20 minutes away) is definitely therapy. You’re right on the fries! I’m a huge fan of skinny fries but just not these.

    Oh! When in Austin again…you have to try this pizza place that I can’t remember the name of but it’s almost castle-looking and very dark and homey. It’s crunchy on the thin side pizza…Adam might know something but ill let you know if I find out what the name is.

  • Allie
    February 20, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Okay, so I don’t eat meat but I read all your posts anyway just because I love your blog! I don’t need the chicken recipe but I still want to read what you have to say 🙂 (I feel like I’ll be you in like 10 years lol, so similar!) But I was so happy to read that you want to make a vegan version of this! I would LOVE that so much!

  • Kate
    February 20, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Sounds so good! Have you tried using chutney in place of the usual condiments?

  • Caroline L.
    February 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I love me some In-N-Out! Late night runs are the best 🙂 Also, these look so healthy and delicious! A winner, for sure.

  • Noelle
    February 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Yes vegetarian version please! Chickpeas maybe?

  • Lillian
    February 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Okay I have a logistical question that I’ve been wondering about for awhile. When you test out different recipes, are you making *the whole* recipe, or do you have a method for making, for example, a reduced batch of cookies (or vegan burgers, as the case may be)? I don’t quite have my own recipe experimentation process down—I always end up making full batches and then silently suffering as I eat the failed result of some experiment (3 dozen gross cookies stuffed with flaxseed and not enough baking powder–gross!). If you have a process, I’d really love to hear!

    BTW these look delish!!

    • jenna
      February 21, 2013 at 11:03 am

      I usually do make a whole batch…and fingers crossed, usually it does turn out. It’s pretty rare something flops so badly that I can’t eat it!

  • Kristen @ notsodomesticated
    February 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Yum! I’ve become a huge burger fan since getting pregnant. I was eating them wayy too often during the first trimester! 😉

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    February 20, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    In N Out burger is like the highlight of every trip I take to California!

  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    February 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    I love Indian food and Indian-inspired dishes. Therefore, it is no surprise that these caught my eye right away. I think I might try to adapt this recipe and make a vegetarian or vegan version so that I can enjoy these delicious flavors, too! 🙂

  • Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope
    February 20, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    This looks SO good! Definitely going to try it!

  • Lindsay
    February 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I love all the seasonings you used! I also love In and Out! MMM… so yummy!

  • Courtney
    February 20, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    Made these tonight with lean ground turkey and they were fantastic and flavorful. Can’t wait to have them for lunch tomorrow.

  • luv what you do
    February 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    I just made Indian spiced veggie burgers and I can’t wait to try your chicken burgers. Thanks for always having awesome recipes!

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    February 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    These look delicious! I’m definitely going to make them soon.

    As for the in-n-out — no thanks! I agree, their fries are nasty. I’ve never understood the in-n-out obsession ppl have. I bet this burger is so much better.

  • Becky
    February 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    These sound so delicious!!! I’ll have to add them onto my meal list for next week. Thanks!!

  • Annie
    February 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Haha, Steve and I often use “In-n-out” therapy…

  • Julie / Bound
    February 21, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you for finally outing In n Out for their terrible fries 🙂 Although, it does make it easier to keep the calorie-fest under control during burger therapy, since I’m not even tempted to eat them!

  • Eve
    February 21, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Looks and sounds delicious. Did you use simply ground chicken or ground chicken breast? Sometimes I cannot find the ground chicken breast but I have a strange phobia of the whole chicken being ground. Not sure where that comes from, probably some news story I read.

  • Ilana
    February 22, 2013 at 4:58 am

    I made these last night. They were great. I used ground turkey, omitted the egg and panko and I substituted a whole serano (seeds and all) for the jalapeno. I made 6 burgers. This recipe is easy, quick and really delicious. My 11 year old proclaimed her burger was way better than the turkey sliders I make, which she really likes. That is high praise indeed. Thanks so much for this great recipe.

  • jenna k
    February 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    we don’t have In-n-Out, but man, now i’m craving CookOut (or even Steak n Shake would do) SOO badly! 🙂
    this recipe looks great! i’ve been getting bored with my usual dishes and looking for something a little different. i believe this fits the bill!

  • christina
    February 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    these look fabulous and am making them tonight. what would you recommend i serve them with?

  • The Spatularettes
    February 27, 2013 at 5:05 am

    Just wanted to let you know I made these and love them! I got a little crazy and threw a can of rinsed chick peas into the food processor with the veggies for the last few pulses. Super yum! I’ve been reheating my burgers all week and eating them over an arugula and tomato salad for lunch every day this week : )

  • christina
    February 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I made these last night and loooooooved them! Thank you!! I served them with a cool cucumber salad and spicy sriracha roasted chickpeas. 🙂

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  • Marilyn
    March 16, 2013 at 7:04 am

    I was inspired by your idea of making a vegetarian version, so I combined your recipe with a falafel burger recipe and loved it! Thanks.

  • Kristin
    March 22, 2013 at 4:07 am

    oh god, i love “burger therapy!” totally a thing!

  • Mary
    April 7, 2013 at 12:47 am

    I made these for Friday night dinner and they were absolutely delicious (and so easy to make)! Thank you

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  • Olivia Holt
    August 20, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Made these last night and they were a hit! Thank you for helping us get out of our boring chicken rut!

  • Megan
    December 17, 2013 at 7:15 am

    I made these for dinner the other night and these are fantastic. I love this blog you are so fantastic. Congratulations on the baby my thoughts and prayers are with you for your health and family.

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    March 18, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Great recipe to try. I’m always on the hunt for a new burger recipe to add to our recipe box.

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