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Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Smash Burgers

Bacon Jalapeno Chicken Smash Burgers 4.000

Photo by Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Aug 9, 2022

Bacon is crisped, and then its rendered fat is used to fry this chicken smash burger, keeping the patty moist. For that reason, it is best to cook the burgers in two batches, as directed. “No need for ketchup or mustard when there’s bacon fat,” writes Ali Slagle in her cookbook, “I Dream of Dinner.” Thinly sliced red onion and jalapeño give the burger spice and zing. Ground dark- or white-meat chicken is fine. You may substitute ground turkey for the chicken, if desired. Be sure to slice your onions and jalapeños very thinly, so they can easily smash into your burger.

Serve with a side of chips or french fries.

Total time: 35 mins

Storage Notes: Refrigerate the patties in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • Fine salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil, such as vegetable
  • 4 whole-wheat or white burger buns
  • 8 bacon slices, halved across and divided
  • 1 small red onion (3 to 4 ounces), halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and thinly sliced into rounds or strips

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Working the meat as little as possible, divide the chicken into four 4-ounce portions and roll into large meatballs, then press down slightly to give them flat tops. Generously season two of the patties with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place a towel-lined plate and a platter near the stove.

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 teaspoon of oil until shimmering. Add the burger buns, cut side down, then toast until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the buns to the platter.

Add half of the bacon to the skillet and cook until crisp, about 2 minutes per side, then transfer to the prepared plate.

Transfer the two seasoned chicken patties to the skillet, placing them far apart. Using a spatula, smash the meat down as thin as you can. Top each with a handful of the onion and jalapeño slices and, using the spatula, press them into the meat. Cook, untouched, until browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Flip the patties and sear until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, and the onions are golden, another 3 minutes. Transfer the patties to the platter and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining bacon, chicken patties, salt, pepper, onions and jalapeños.

To assemble, place 4 pieces of cooked bacon on the bottom half of each bun, top each with a smash burger and cover with the bun tops.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “I Dream of Dinner” by Ali Slagle (Clarkson Potter, 2022).

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 burger, 2 slices bacon and a whole-wheat bun): 569

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 37g 57%

Saturated Fat: 12g 60%

Cholesterol: 126mg 42%

Sodium: 799mg 33%

Total Carbohydrates: 25g 8%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 27g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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