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Basil Chicken Burgers with Pesto Mayonnaise

Basil Chicken Burgers with Pesto Mayonnaise

Ken Haedrich, cookbook author and FamilyFun contributor, came up with this extra juicy burger that's made with ground chicken -- often a leaner alternative to ground beef. Pesto, used both in the burgers and in the special sauce, adds a savory, garden-fresh flavor to his version of a cookout classic.



  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar or 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (store-bought or your favorite recipe)
  • Oil for brushing the burgers
  • 6 burger rolls
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced tomatoes


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons pesto


Line a medium-size baking sheet with plastic wrap and set it aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground chicken, cheese, salt, and pepper, gently tossing the mixture with your hands or a large fork, until evenly blended.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise and pesto, then add it to the ground chicken mixture and combine until evenly blended. Shape the meat into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, placing each one on the lined baking sheet as you go. Cover the burgers with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes to firm them. (Note: The patties will be softer than traditional hamburgers.)

While the meat is chilling, prepare the grill and make the Pesto Mayonnaise (just combine the ingredients in a small bowl). Then brush one side of each of the burgers with a little oil and place them on the grill, oiled side down. Lightly brush oil on the other side of the burgers and cook them for 5 minutes on each side, turning once, or until the meat is no longer pink inside.

Serve the burgers on the rolls, dressed with the lettuce, tomatoes, and Pesto Mayonnaise. Makes 6 burgers.

Nutritional Information

Per serving (1 cheddar-based burger on a bun with 1 1/2 tablespoons of pesto mayonnaise):

Calories 572

Total Fat 41 g (62% DV)

Saturated Fat 9 g (47% DV)

Cholesterol 122 mg (41% DV)

Sodium 833 mg (35% DV)

Total Carbohydrate 23 g (8% DV)

Fiber 1 g (5% DV)

Sugars 3 g

Protein 28 g (55% DV) (Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie neeeds.)