Monday, March 8, 2010

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Both of my children like to have hot lunches, and I’ll admit I like hot lunches too.  My daughter and I will eat a sandwich or a salad in a pinch, but we are happier if there is soup involved.  (My husband is another story.  He will eat anything for lunch, including cold food that should be warm. Yuck!)  My son’s hot lunch preference works fine most of the time, since his school serves healthy hot lunches, but when my son needs me to pack him a lunch, then I’m in a quandary.  If he is going to eat at school,  I can pack him soup or chili in a thermos, but if he needs a sack lunch for a fieldtrip,  I have few options.  And, when I finally find something he will eat, he will turn up his nose at same lunch the next time!

At least I can make my family a hot lunch when we are home on the weekends.  Sunday was cold and blustery, so I was happy to make a hot lunch for my family.  And, not only were Chicken Parmesan Burgers healthy (and hot), but they were from my March issue of Bon Appétit.  So, not only was I making my family happy, I was making something from this month’s magazine collection!

Chicken Parmesan Burgers weren’t an unqualified success for the kids. (Les was working and didn’t get to sample the burgers, and I took the fourth burger to work today.  Shh!)  My son loved the burger, and he ate the whole thing, but I had to pull the cheese off, and then he ate it plain on the bread.  My daughter said the burger was “okay,” but I’m used to her proclaiming, “That was amazing!”  So, I was a little disappointed.  She couldn’t tell me exactly what was wrong with it, but she, like my sister, is a dark meat lover, so the burgers might not have been to her taste.  As for me, I loved the burgers!  I wasn’t sure how the bitter radicchio, the peppery basil and the chicken would play together, but all the flavors got along like best friends.  I will definitely make Chicken Parmesan Burgers again.

Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Adapted from Bon Appétit
10 ½-inch-thick French bread slices, toast 8 slices, remove the crust and dice the 2 remaining slices
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil, plus 12 large leaves
¾ cup purchased refrigerated marinara sauce
16 ounces ground chicken
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon grated onion
¼ teaspoon salt
4 slices whole mild mozzarella
4 large radicchio leaves

Place the Parmesan cheese and diced bread into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture is in fine crumbs.  Reserve ½ cup of the Parmesan mixture and transfer the remaining mixture to a pie plate.
Mix the marinara and the chopped basil in a small saucepan.  Remove 2 tablespoons of the marinara and place in a large bowl.  Heat the marinara in the saucepan on low, stirring occasionally.   Add the ground chicken to the bowl with the 2 tablespoons of marinara, and mix in the ½ cup of reserved Parmesan mixture, the onion, salt and the ½ tablespoon of olive oil.  Mix until just combined and form into patties.  Dredge the patties in the Parmesan mixture.

Heat the 1½ tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet.  When the oil is hot, add the patties.  Cook the patties until the bottoms are golden brown and have developed a crust, about 4 minutes.  Turn the patties over, top with cheese and cook for another 3 minutes.  Cover and cook for 1 minute or until the cheese is melted.

To assemble the sandwiches, place 1 slice of radicchio and 3 slices of basil on a slice of toasted bread.  Add a chicken patty and top with marinara and the second slice of bread.


  1. What a great idea! This look absolutely delicious! I made chicken parmesan for dinner last night so I will definitely have to try out this version that next time I make it-YUM!

  2. Hey Janice - those look really good. Do you make your own ground chicken or do you buy it? I'm not sure I've ever seen it at the store (but I'm sure someone has it...) Now you'll have to experiment and figure out a way to turn this recipe into salmon burgers for Lent. :-)

  3. Hi Megan, Thanks! We like chicken parmesan too, so this burger was an easy choice. Thanks for visiting! Janice

    Hi Sandy, Hmm...Salmon Burgers. I'll have to think about that:-) I bought the ground chicken at Safeway, so I'm sure Nob Hill has it too. Janice

  4. Fantastic idea these chicken Parmesan burgers look amazing! Can't wait to try them out with my family, thanks for posting the recipe!

  5. If you use freshly grated Parmesan, these burgers turn out fantastically.

  6. Hi Cindy, Yes, freshly grated Parmesan is great in these burgers (that's what I used). Thanks for visiting!



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