Chicken Basil Parmesan Burgers

I’m continuing on with my public service announcements regarding using up those fresh herbs growing all around us before they disappear in the first frost (it’s coming! you know it is!), and so please consider this the basil edition. I actually have a ton of recipes in my arsenal for dealing with all this basil outside my back door.

These include Tomato Mozzarella Basil Salad, Pasta Caprese, and maybe my all-time favorite, Pasta with Brie and Tomatoes. But there is always so, so, so much basil that I am always on the look-out for the next great basil-using recipe, and when I ran into this recipe for chicken parmesan burgers in Bon Appetit I knew it had my name on it. First of all, it involves basil both in the sauce and as a topping for the burger. Second, the teenager is always thrilled to hear that anything with the word “parmesan” is on the dinner menu. And I always love experimenting with anything that takes a familiar dish and shaking it up a little, which is what this one does. So…game on.

You start with some ground chicken, which I had actually never used before. Now, I hear from good sources that plain ground chicken can be a little bland, so this recipe jazzes it up with some parmesan cheese and onion and bread crumbs. A little chopped basil, a little marinara sauce, and you have some pretty good looking stuff going on here. You fry up the chicken burgers in a little olive oil until until they are cooked through and nice and crispy on the outside.

Meantime, you are toasting some nice slices of your favorite Italian bread, heating up some of your favorite marinara sauce (if I am using the jar variety, I like Patsy’s) and picking some nice, big basil leaves.

You’re almost there….finish the burgers by melting some fresh mozzarella on top. Nestle them onto a slice of bread, ladle on a little sauce, lay some basil leaves on top, cover with another piece of bread.

Take THAT, basil!! :)

Chicken Basil Parmesan Burgers
  • 10½-inch-thick slices French bread (4 inches in diameter); 8 slices toasted, 2 slices (crust removed) diced
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh basil, divided, plus 12 large basil leaves
  • ¾ cup marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces ground chicken (white meat)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  1. Blend diced bread and Parmesan in processor to fine crumbs. Transfer to pie dish; mix in 2 tablespoons minced basil.
  2. Mix marinara and 2 tablespoons basil in small saucepan. Transfer 1½ tablespoons sauce to large bowl. Add chicken, ½ tablespoon oil, onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with pepper; blend. Shape into four ½-inch-thick patties; coat with crumbs. Heat sauce over low heat.
  3. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties until bottoms are crusty, 4 minutes. Turn patties over; top with cheese. Cook 3 minutes. Cover; cook until cooked through and cheese is melted, about 1 minute.
  4. Place each burger on a slice of toasted bread. Ladle some sauce on top and cover with basil leaves. Top with another slice of bread and serve immediately. With lots of napkins!

Recipe from Bon Appetit



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  1. This looks amazing! I've never used ground chicken before but this recipe is a perfect excuse to give it a try…

  2. This is so perfect for us !
    We don't eat red meat so chicken burgers are always good.
    I like this mix of sauce and cheese.
    Thanks !

  3. I have to concede, I'm basically a sucker for anything with the word parmesan in the name. Even though I never order it (oh the calories!) and am well older than a teenager. But this looks fantastic! Perfect way to use up the basil!

  4. OMG YUM. I cannot wait to try this– my hubs will love it! Thank you! :)

  5. Fun and Fearless in Beantown says:

    I simply adore fresh basil!

  6. Mmm, your picure made my mouth water! I haven't had much luck with my basil here in London this year.

  7. Nothing better than basil! Have you tried it with fruit and/or in sweet applications? Works well.

  8. City Share says:

    Yum. I love the idea of chicken marinara sandwiches. Those are beautiful.

  9. Yours was the first blog to which I ever subscribed, and it's still my fave. I LOVE your style, your photos, your great humor AND, of course, your recipes! Thanks.

  10. Absoultely amazing blog, as a food-o-holic you got me hooked at first glance :)
    And this burger looks amazing!

  11. ruthhill74 says:

    Your blog looks great! I happened upon it,and although I wasn't interested in the macaroni and cheese cupcakes, I think this recipe seems intriguing.

  12. Poet Whale Studio says:

    Thank you!
    Basil is my favorite after garlic
    This recipe will be great the middle of winter watching the snow fall

  13. This looks amazing! I've got tons of basil to use up in my garden, so this is perfect. :)

  14. lesliewienswineryadventures says:

    This sandwich looks delicious! What a great way to dress up chicken!

  15. lesliewienswineryadventures says:

    PS I forgot to mention. Someone on another blog shared how they made pesto out of their fresh basil & froze it in ice cube trays to use throughout the rest of the year. I thought it was a brilliant idea & wanted to pass it on. Enjoy!

  16. Wow! Great recipes! I already made two you posted. Thanks for sharing.


  1. […] in ground turkey, preparing for the usual onslaught of family on Sunday.  I found this recipe for Chicken Basil Parmesan Burgers which actually calls for ground chicken, but turkey was 50  percent off at Dominicks.. so there it […]

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