When I’m looking for a no-mess-in-the-kitchen meal and grilling is not an option, the air fryer is my go-to solution. With the added advantage of not heating up the whole house, I can use the air fryer to cook almost anything with minimal mess. Try these quick air fryer chicken burgers whenever you want an easy, tasty meal on the table in thirty minutes or less.
🍽️ Why This Works
Quick and easy. Burgers are ready in 6-8 minutes and only need flipped once. Even with the prep time added in, you can have this meal on the table in less than thirty minutes. Busy weeknight? Dinner is in the bag! Except not literally because you just avoided getting takeout.
Perfect finish. The air movement causes the chicken burgers to crisp up on the outside and stay juicy and delicious on the inside. Using the air fryer allows the burgers to cook quickly so that they do not dry out.
Minimal mess. Using your air fryer keeps mess to a minimum in the kitchen. No grease in the air, no fire alarms, and no messy skillets to deal with. Use air fryer liners to reduce the mess even more.
📝 Ingredient Notes
Ground Chicken – This meat is every bit as versatile as ground beef but with less saturated fat and it keeps all the benefits of white meat. Chicken is also a little bit more of a blank palette than beef, so your air fryer chicken burger can take on so many different flavor profiles really well.
Onion – Finely chopped onion is mixed right into the burger meat for extra flavor. We used a white onion. Yellow onion or a sweet onion would both work in this recipe. For fun, read about how to choose the best onion for your burger.
Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese – This is the secret sauce of a good chicken burger. It adds the fat and creaminess the ground chicken lacks.
Seasoning – We used salt, pepper, and garlic. Keep it simple.
Pineapple Rings – Buy these canned pineapple rings in syrup because grilling them to capitalize on that sweetness and caramelization takes your burger to the next level of awesomeness.
BBQ Sauce – Our favorite right now is the Sweet Baby Rays Honey BBQ; it’s just an all-around good sauce. Any sweet or smoky bbq sauce will work.
Cheese Slices – We used Colby jack or pepper jack (depending on who was eating that burger), but provolone slices or Havarti slices will both definitely work with this flavor profile.
Other topping options – butter lettuce, bacon, crispy fried onions.
Air Fryer Conversion Charts and Tips
|Air Fryer Conversion||Air Fryer Tips|
|Deep Fryer to Air Fryer||Foil in Air Fryer|
|Cooking Times Cheat Sheet||Parchment in Air Fryer|
|Oven to Air Fryer||Accessories|
⏲️ Equipment and Tools
Air Fryer. If you don’t have one, the Ninja Foodie is a great option. The Instant Pot Vortex works too.
Mixing Bowls. Use a large mixing bowl with room to mix the ingredients by hand.
Step One: Place all of your burger ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Step Two: Combine ground chicken, shredded onion, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Gently combine with your hands but do not overwork the meat.
Step Three: Form into quarters. This is a neat trick to make sure all of your burgers are the same size.
Step Four: Oil your hands. Ground chicken is very sticky. Form the meat into patties.
Step Five: Cook in the air fryer for 6-8 minutes at 400ºF, flipping halfway through.
Step Six: Layout the bun, place the cooked chicken patty on the bun, and add on the slice of cheese, pineapple, and bbq sauce. Top with bun and serve.
❗ Recipe Tips and Tricks
For burgers that keep their shape, press your thumb into the center of each one and make an indentation. This keeps the burgers from drawing up as much.
Use an Instant Read Thermometer to make sure your chicken burgers are fully cooked. they need to reach 165ºF. Read about our favorite wireless meat thermometers. Exact cooking times for your air fryer chicken burger will vary depending on the size and shape of your machine, the thickness and temperature of your patties, and how many burgers you cook.
It’s pretty much impossible to mix ground meat with other ingredients unless you use your hands. A potato masher works if you don’t want to get your hands messy but it is not as efficient.
Do not overwork the meat. It changes the proteins so that your burger becomes tough and chewy instead of tender and juicy.
To make sure your cheese gets melty, add it while the burgers are stil in the air fryer and then close it for a minute to use the residual heat.
You do not need to preheat your air fryer for this recipe. If your air fryer is too small for the burgers to be separated slightly, you should cook them in batches.
Want to make air fried chicken burgers for a crowd? Make enough to fill a sheet pan and then use the convection setting on your oven. It works the same as an air fryer but on a larger scale.
🧑🍳 Storage and Reheating
You can keep leftover air fryer chicken burgers for two days in the refrigerator. Refrigerate your leftovers immediately in an airtight container.
Cooked burgers can be frozen for up to three months in an airtight container. You can spread multiple burgers out on a sheet pan on parchment to freeze them individaully and then move them all to the same container.
Reheat your chicken burgers to 165ºF using either a microwave, skillet, or the air fryer.
Chicken burger patties can be frozen uncooked and kept for up to three months. Freeze them on a sheet pan separately and then move them to an airtight container just like you would if freezing cooked burgers. Add three or four minutes to the cooking time in your air fryer for frozen patties.
If you aren’t planning to freeze them but you just want to get the messy part finished ahead of your companies arrival, you can make them one day ahead, form the patties, and separate them with parchment paper squares in an airtight container until you are ready to grill. The burgers must be cooked within two days of the sell by date on your original packaging to avoid illness.
Additions and Substitutions
Bacon is fantastic on this burger. That includes bacon marmalade or candied bacon.
Try a different bun for a completely different burger experience!
Substitute with ground turkey or ground beef and just adjust the cooking time as needed.
Add crispy fried onions for a nice crunch.
If you love teriyaki, use your favorite sauce instead. Either way, that’s the general vibe of this burger.
Try more flavor combinations! Instead of pineapple rings with bbq, you could go with your favorites or one of these options:
- guacamole and bacon (or just plain avocado)
- provolone cheese, mushrooms and onions
- chipotle mayo with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion
- spinach and feta with tomato
- pineapple and teriyaki sauce as we did with our AF Turkey Burgers
These burgers are almost teriyaki style with a sweet BBQ sauce and grilled pineapple. Serve them with extra grilled pineapple slices or a fruit salad, yummy potatoes, or green veggies. Pretzels, chips or tater tots are also an easy choice. You can see the pretzels and cheetos in our pictures. Don’t forget to serve up Air Fryer Waffle Fries or Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries as a filling side.
❓ Recipe FAQ
6-8 minutes at 400ºF, flipping halfway through to make sure they cook evenly.
Add three to five minutes of cook time and make sure the burgers reach 165ºF for safety. We made them with a delicious avocado sauce that really upped the flavor from a plain ol’ frozen chicken burger.
Mix the meat with added ingredients in our flavorful recipe and then cook them in the air fryer for 6-8 minutes.
The beauty of this method is that it cooks the outside quickly and even the entire burger quickly so that they do not dry out. Use your meat thermometer and only cook the burgers for as long as necessary to get them to 165ºF.
The key is in the mix-ins. Pepperjack cheese does amazing things for this burger.
Favorite Air Fryer Foods
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
Air Fryer Chicken Burger
- 1 lb Ground Chicken
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pepper
- 2 tsp Onion grated
- ⅓ c Pepper Jack Cheese shredded
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
Chicken Burger Toppings
- BBQ Sauce
- Sliced Pineapple
- Combine ground chicken, shredded onion, cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and gently combine.
- Form into quarters. Oil your hands and make them into patties.
- Cook in AF for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping half way through.
- Layout the bun, place the cooked chicken patty on the bun, add on the slice of cheese, pineapple and bbq sauce. Top with bun and serve.