These burgers remind me of the indulgent restaurant version I adore, but using ground chicken makes this recipe much lighter! They are moist, flavorful and make great leftovers.
Technique tips: Allowing the burgers to cool and set in fridge will help them maintain their shape when cooking. It also helps to wet your hands before forming the patties to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers.
Swap option: You can always swap ground chicken for ground turkey or beef.
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and let cool. Once cool enough, crumble bacon and set aside. Wipe out most of the grease from the pan, allowing some to remain.2.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in same skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce to the onions and sauté for another few minutes, until onions are softened and sauce reduces slightly. Turn off heat and set aside.3.
Place ground chicken in a large bowl. Add bacon and onion mixture, and then add panko, bell peppers, remaining 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce and all the spices. Stir until combined, then fold in the cheddar.4.
Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. With wet hands, form 8 thick burgers or 12 smaller burgers into patties and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.5.
In same skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook burgers for about 5 minutes per side, working in batches if necessary.6.
Serve on buttered, toasted rolls and top with grated cheddar (you do not melt this), extra barbecue sauce and any other desired toppings.