Chicken and Zucchini Burgers are moist, easy to make, and are a healthy burger that will quickly become a family favorite. They rank up there with this Balsamic Chicken with Zucchini Noodles and Chicken Parmesan Zucchini Boats as some of our favorite ways to use chicken and zucchini.
When making these Chicken and Zucchini Burgers, I was trying to accomplish three things at once. First, the most obvious, dinner. We needed to eat and everyone was on the verge of hangry. Second, I needed a good, healthy, protein source for school lunches that would taste good hot or cold. Finally, I needed something quick and easy for my own lunches during the week. I have promised myself I will not eat out all week for lunch and if the fridge isn’t stocked, there is no way that will happen. And to make things a little more complicated, I needed something that I could whip together with what I had in the fridge/freezer/pantry since I haven’t been to the grocery store in days.
Knowing I had a mountain of zucchini in the fridge, I knew I wanted to start there. And I always have ground chicken or turkey around, so I knew that was the second piece of the meal. From there I considered meatballs, a quick stir-fry, lasagna, and that’s when I thought of burgers. Not only were they one of the fastest options, they also would be the biggest crowd-pleaser. Plus they hit all of my checkboxes above. From there it was easy. Shredded zucchini, ground chicken or turkey, ricotta cheese, and plenty of spices come together for a super flavorful and extremely moist burger that is healthy and delicious.
Tips for Making Chicken and Zucchini Burgers
To make sure these burgers come out perfectly everytime, there are some important things to keep in mind.
- Zucchini: One of the most important steps to making sure this burger comes out is squeezing out all the moisture from the zucchini. The first way to do that is by salting the zucchini and letting it sit over for at least ten minutes. The salt pulls the liquid out of the zucchini. You will see the zucchini juice start to drain out almost immediately. Then you need to really squeeze out the remaining liquid with a cloth. Squeeze really hard and get out as much moisture as possible. This step is super important because if the zucchini has too much moisture, the burgers will not hold together well.
- Ricotta cheese: The ricotta cheese adds both flavor and moisture to the burgers. The flavor is super mild so even if you don’t like ricotta, you will probably still like these burgers. However, if ricotta really isn’t your thing, you can substitute cottage cheese, cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, feta, goat cheese, or almost any other cheese you like. You can also leave it out completely.
- Breadcrumbs/flour: These burgers are designed to be made without breadcrumbs or flour so that they can be gluten-free and low carb. And as long as you squeeze out the zucchini, they will hold together. If you want to add flour or breadcrumbs, you can. It also is a good option if you feel like the patties aren’t staying together.
- Grilling: If you have had trouble with meat or burgers sticking to your grill, then I would recommend grilling these burgers on a piece of foil to prevent them from sticking. Just spray the foil and then place it directly on the grill grates and cook the burgers right on the foil. This will helo prevent sticking and keep the burgers from falling apart.
Flavor Ideas for Chicken and Zucchini Burgers
There are all kinds of different ways to season these burgers. The recipe includes an Italian style spice blend with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and onion powder but don’t be scared to get creative and try out different flavor combinations.
- Make a Southwestern style burger with paprika, cumin, chili powder, and coriander. Consider using cheddar or pepper jack cheese.
- Curry burger with garam masala curry powder and a touch of cayenne powder.
- Try a Greek burger with dill, oregano, thyme, and garlic powder and top with tzatziki.
- Cilantro lime burger by adding fresh cilantro, lime zest, and cumin to the patties.
- Make it a Ranch burger by adding either store bought or homemade ranch seasoning to the burger patties.
- Taco burgers are easy too with homemade or store bought taco seasoning.
- Cranberry burgers are really tasty made with the seasoning combo included in the recipe and then topped with cranberry sauce, spinach, and goat cheese.
Meal Prep Ideas for Chicken Zucchini Burgers
These burgers are perfect for meal prep and also work great in school lunches. When I make them for my own lunches, I usually pack them with a big green salad that has either chickpeas, lentils, or quinoa. Then I bring a simple skinny ranch or balsamic dressing on the side. When I am meal prepping these for kids lunches, I usually pack some marinara sauce, hummus, ketchup, or tzatziki on the side for dipping. Then I include some pita wedges, veggies, and fruit on the side.