Spicy Chicken Burgers

There's nothing like a homemade burger, and my Spicy Chicken Burgers recipe is always a winner. With golden crumbed chicken thigh fillets, spicy Sriracha mayonnaise and fresh coleslaw, these bad boys beat store-bought burgers every time.

Burger season is well underway in my household! As the days get hotter and the summer holidays approach, we spend most of the time eating salads and grilled meats. That doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned the kitchen altogether, as one of my all-time favourite burgers is actually oven baked rather than grilled.

My Spicy Chicken Burgers are made from chicken thigh fillets, which are marinated in buttermilk to make them extra tender. Crumbed and roasted to golden brown perfection, they are so delicious on homemade burgers with plenty of spicy sauce.

Spicy Crumbed Chicken Burgers serves with homemade coleslaw and fresh corn

Baked not Fried

They may not have a whole 11 secret herbs and spices, but these crumbed chicken thighs can definitely compete with the Colonel’s best!

The secret to perfectly juicy chicken is first marinating it in buttermilk (which makes it juicy and tender) and then baking it in the oven. Not only is baking way less stressful than deep frying, but it’s also lighter, healthier and super easy.


To make my Spicy Chicken Burgers you’ll need the following main ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs: So much better than ground chicken! Chicken thighs are juicy, flavoursome and perfect for burgers.
  • Buttermilk: I mean the tangy, cultured kind, rather than buttermilk made from churning cream. The acids in the buttermilk tenderise the chicken, making it absolutely irresistible.
  • Spices: I use a mixture of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, turmeric, garlic powder and cumin. So tasty!
  • Mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce: Stirred together with a hint of lime juice, these two ingredients make the most delicious spicy burger sauce.
  • Burger toppings and buns: I like to keep my toppings simple: lettuce, tomato and cheese. If you like, you could add some red onion rings or jalapeños for a little extra kick. I like to bake my own Super Soft Burger Buns, but if you want to keep things easy, just use a good quality brioche bun.
Homemade soft burger buns
You can try making your own burger buns, or use some good quality brioche buns instead.


  1. First, you’ll need to marinate the chicken thighs in a mixture of buttermilk and spices. You can start this step up to 24 hours in advance, and at least 1 hour before cooking.
  2. After the chicken has marinated, dredge it through some spiced bread crumbs, then roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, prepare your favourite burger toppings and my quick coleslaw.
  4. Then all you need to do is assemble your burgers and enjoy!

Chicken Thigh vs. Chicken Breast

I always use chicken thighs in my burgers, because they are flavoursome, juicy and almost impossible to overcook. If you are determined to use chicken breasts, stir a little melted butter or olive oil through the bread crumbs and cook for 25 minutes at 220°C / 425°F / Gas 7.

Spicy Crumbed Chicken Burgers serves with homemade coleslaw and fresh corn



Chicken thighs will cook at this temperature in around 40-45 minutes,


A lot of people are worried about raw chicken, but it is really very simple. If you insert the tip of a sharp knife into the chicken thigh at the thickest part, any juices should run clear. If you cook to the times given in this recipe you won’t have a problem at all.

If you are at all uncertain, I recommend using an instant-read thermometer. Chicken is cooked at an internal temperature of 74°C / 165°F.

Can I prepare these burgers in advance?

You can marinate the meat up to 24 hours in advance. Chicken thighs also reheat well, so if you like, cook up the chicken thighs and reheat when you need them.

Looking for more easy burger recipes?

Spicy Crumbed Chicken Burgers serves with homemade coleslaw and fresh corn

Spicy Chicken Burgers Recipe

Spicy Crumbed Chicken Burgers serves with homemade coleslaw and fresh corn

Spicy Chicken Burgers

There's nothing like a homemade burger, and my Spicy Chicken Burgers recipe is always a winner.
With golden crumbed chicken thigh fillets, spicy Sriracha mayonnaise and fresh coleslaw, these bad boys beat store-bought burgers every time.
No need to fire up the deep fryer, these zingy chicken thighs are baked, not fried.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Serves 6 Burgers


for the chicken:

  • 6 large chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper, or other chilli powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, Panko
  • 1 tsp mild red pepper flakes

for the Sriracha mayo:

  • 250 ml mayonnaise
  • 2-3 Tbsp spicy Sriracha chilli sauce, or other hot sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice

for the burgers:

  • 6 burger buns
  • 6 slices cheese
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • lettuce leaves

for the quick coleslaw:

  • ¼ of a large Chinese cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 spring onion, scallion, sliced
  • small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • pinch of salt

to serve:

  • fresh corn


  • MARINATE THE CHICKEN: Check the chicken for any bone fragments, trim off any remaining skin then place in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the buttermilk, then add the cayenne pepper, salt, turmeric, garlic, cumin and a few grinds of black pepper to the bowl. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
  • CRUMB THE CHICKEN: When ready to cook, heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and line an oven tray with baking parchment paper. Stir together the breadcrumbs, chilli flakes and a few grinds of salt and pepper in a large, flat dish. Shake off any excess buttermilk from the chicken, then coat each thigh in breadcrumbs.
  • COOK THE CHICKEN: Lay the chicken thighs in a single layer on the prepared baking tray and cook for 40-50 minutes until golden brown.
  • MAKE THE SPICY MAYO: Stir together the mayonnaise, sriracha and lime juice in a small bowl, then chill until needed.
  • PREPARE THE TOPPINGS AND SIDES: Prepare your burger buns, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. Stir together the cabbage, carrot, spring onion and parsley in a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil and sugar and drizzle over, tossing to coat. Boil corn until tender.
  • ASSEMBLE: When the chicken has cooked, assemble the burgers starting with some Sriracha mayonnaise and a slice of cheese on the bottom bun. Top with your choice of fillings and a hot chicken thigh. Serve with coleslaw and corn on the side.

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Serving: 1burger | Calories: 920kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 23g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 160mg | Sodium: 1346mg | Potassium: 636mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 4568IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 383mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a review or a star rating and let me know how it was! Use the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram so I can see your delicious creations.
Course | Main Event
Cuisine | American
Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author, food photographer and Le Cordon Bleu Gastronomy and Nutrition graduate. Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

Articles: 340


  1. Hi Jay fellow Kiwi here, I made these burgers last night, upped the chilli a bit but found that they were very hard to get crispy, maybe a rack instead of a tray would get them crispier but in any case it wasn’t worth worrying about , they tasted awesome especially with a good dollop of homemade sambal on top to really make them pop.
    Thanks for the recipe the family loved them.

    • Hey Huan, greetings from the Coromandel! Thank you so much for writing! I like these burgers extra spicy too, love the idea of some homemade sambal on top – yum! A rack is a great idea to get these a bit crispier. I think you could also give them a quick spritz with spray oil before baking to get them extra brown and crispy too 🙂 have a great night!

  2. Hi Jay and Greetings from the UK. I have just accidentally stumbled upon your fabulous blog/website.
    Quick question could I make this with chicken breasts? If so would you advise on either cutting them in half and shallow frying or leaving them whole and oven baking them, but for perhaps less time. Any advice appreciated.
    ps I always use buttermilk with poultry it helps tenderise it. I even made a buttermilk brine marinade for a turkey crown Christmas gone… made a real difference! Stay Safe..

    • Hi Nina!

      Sorry for the delayed reply, I was on a very long plane journey and have only just shaken off the jetlag! I am so happy you found my little corner of the internet. Yes, you can make this recipe with chicken breasts. Both options would work, breasts cook much faster. I bake whole chicken breasts in other recipes at 220°C for 25 minutes so maybe 200° for 20 mins until golden? Without testing the recipe a thermometer is probably the best bet. I will have to experiment and update the recipe! Great idea to marinade the turkey crown in buttermilk! Yum!

5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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