Summer is here, which means that outdoor barbecue season is here, too.  If you’re tired of the same cookout fare and are looking for something new to throw on the grill, then I’ve got a great recipe for you!

My jerk chicken burgers are a fun, unique twist on the classic Caribbean dish.  I actually tested and wrote the recipe in the winter, and they definitely spiced up a cold winter weeknight for me.  I know these burgers would be a delicious and unique edition to your summer cookout.  Jerk lovers will be satisfied and, for the jerk skeptics, my Pineapple Salsa (a bonus recipe found below) will help to cool down and sweeten up the burgers.  Enjoy!

Jerk Chicken Burgers

Ingredients: (Makes 4 burgers)

  • 1 lb. ground chicken (mix of white and dark meat)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Grace’s Jerk Chicken Seasoning*
  • 1 small shallot (or red onion), grated
  • 1/2 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 fresh hamburger buns
  • Mayo for topping
  • Sliced ripe avocado for topping
  • Pineapple salsa, for topping (recipe below)

*Grace’s is available in most grocery stores in the international aisle. When it comes to jerk, a little goes a long way. One tablespoon is perfect for medium heat, but if you want HOT, add the second tablespoon.  (I wouldn’t go past that. though.)


Add ground chicken to a bowl along with the jerk seasoning, then grate in the shallot, up to two tablespoons.  Add in panko bread crumbs and, using your hands, mix everything together.  This mixture will be very wet; if you feel compelled to add a bit more panko, that’s fine.  Form 4 patties and allow them to set in the refrigerator, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.

While the burgers are setting up, you can make the pineapple salsa (see below) and slice the avocado, being sure to toss the slices in fresh lime juice to keep them from browning.

Next, remove the patties from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.  Preheat your indoor or outdoor grill to medium heat and begin by toasting the buns for a couple minutes on each side then arranging on a serving plate.  Next, gently place the 4 patties on the grill.  If using an outdoor grill, cover with the lid.  If using an indoor grill, loosely cover the pan with foil and allow the patties to cook for about 5-6 minutes.  Flip them over and grill for 5-6 minutes more, covered again.  Remove the patties from the grill, place on a plate, cover with the foil and allow them to rest for another 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, spread each side of the toasted buns with mayo.  Next, place a patty on each burger bun bottom.  Place 2 avocado slices on top of patties as well as 1-2 tablespoons of the pineapple salsa.  Cover with the top bun, and serve immediately.

Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients: (makes 1 1/2 to 2 cups)

  • 4 1 inch pineapple rings
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pinch or two of cayenne pepper


I grill my pineapple rings on the indoor grill pan for about 4-5 minutes on each side; however, this step is optional.  Dice pineapple, and add to a mixing bowl.  Add in the next 4 ingredients, and season with salt to taste and a pinch or two of cayenne.  Using a spoon, toss everything together, cover with saran and refrigerate until ready to serve.  The longer this sits, the better it gets, so feel free to make up to a day in advance.