Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce
Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

It always seems like there is that one day in Spring. The weather is warm, the sun in shining, and something feels totally different. Almost like you can tell that the cold weather is done for good, and Spring is really here to stay. That day happened this weekend, my friends.

In fact, I’m so convinced that the cold and snow are gone for the year, that I went ahead and packed up all my sweaters over the weekend (I’m building a capsule wardrobe for the first time ever, and it’s exciting!). Peace out winter, see you in November.

Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

And now that I’m confident in the return of warm weather, it’s not just my closet that’s getting switched out—so are my eats! Say au revoir to the slow cooker and the Dutch oven and soups and stews and casseroles. Say bonjour to fresh fruits and veggies, light eats, salads, smoothies, and of course, my beloved grill. Long live summer food!

I find it to be so much easier to eat well in the warm weather months, don’t you? You almost have to try to not eat fresh produce and light meals. Your neighbors are literally giving away zucchini to you. I mean, how do you not eat healthy when people are giving you free healthy food!?

Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

In the Spring and Summer, I’d say we average eating some kind of burger at least twice per week. Burgers are kinda like pizza in that, sure, they technically all fall under the same name, but there are so many different types, styles, and flavors, that honestly you could eat a different kind of burger (or a pizza!) every night and never feel like you’re eating the same thing twice.

We eat a lot of black bean burgers, and of course, it’s hard to beat a good beef (or bison!) burger, and I love making Greek turkey burgers. And lately, I’ve been really getting into chicken burgers. I like chicken burgers because they are so mild in flavor that they really let you flavor and season your burger to high heaven. I’d never slather a bison burger with salsa and avocado sauce, because the star of that burger show is the bison. But with ground chicken, I can make the whole burger a taste explosion!

Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

Now, I know what you are thinking. But isn’t ground chicken so…dry. And yes, it totally can be. But by mixing in my secret ingredient (hint: it’s Greek yogurt) and cooking the burgers properly, you get a moist and juicy patty that doesn’t even come close to resembling a hockey puck.

The key with cooking an awesomely tender chicken burger is to leave it the eff alone while it’s cooking. You should touch that burger exactly three times—once to put it on the grill (or skillet), once to flip it, and once to take it off. That’s it. Leave it alone. Each time you poke, prod, flip or handle a chicken burger, you’re releasing juices. And we want those juices in the burger. Plus, the mixture for this burger is pretty wet, so in order for it to not stick or fall apart, you want to create a nice, solid, golden brown crust before you flip. Seriously, step away from the spatula, kids.

Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

Oh, and it should be noted, this isn’t a neat and tidy burger. This is a drippy, messy, tuck-your-napkin-into-your-shirt kinda burger. Which, honestly, I think is the best kind. Pick a warm Saturday evening, invite your friends over, make up a pitcher of margaritas, and serve up these burgers with lobster bibs—laugh at how ridiculous everyone looks. They’ll love it, I promise.

Enjoy! Happy Spring, everyone!

Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

Salsa Chicken Burgers with Cilantro-Avocado Sauce

Yield: 4 burgers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

A secret ingredient keeps these Salsa Chicken Burgers moist, juicy, and tender!


For the Salsa:

  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeds and membrane removed, minced
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup finely minced fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Cilantro-Avocado Sauce:

  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1 loose handful of fresh cilantro leaves and stems (about 1/2 cup)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2-4 tablespoons water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Burgers:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Lime wedges, for serving


To Make the Salsa:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium-size bowl, toss to combine. Refrigerate while preparing rest of recipe.

To Make the Cilantro-Avocado Sauce:

  1. Combine the avocado, cilantro, lime juice and zest, and garlic in the basin of a food processor. Pulse until mostly smooth. Add in the water, a few tablespoons at a time, and then pulse to combine. Continue adding water and pulsing until the sauce is the consistency of mayo. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To Make the Burgers:

  1. Preheat a grill or a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Oil the grill grates or skillet liberally with cooking spay.
  2. Combine the chicken, cumin, chili powder, yogurt, breadcrumbs, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. The mixture will be wet. Form into four patties using damp hands.
  3. Cook the burgers on the preheated grill or skillet for 3-4 minutes, or until a golden brown crust forms and the burgers are easy to lift off. If they stick, they aren't ready to flip. Flip, and cook on remaining side for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  4. To assemble burgers, slather the Cilantro-Avocado Sauce on the bottom of a bun. Place a burger patty on top, then pile on the salsa. Top with remaining burger bun half. Serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 burger
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 680Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 851mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 14gSugar: 23gProtein: 43g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

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  1. This is one of the most nutrient dense burgers I have ever seen. Can’t wait to try this out and make this for the family. Thanks for sharing this gem.