Fried Buttermilk Chicken Burger

This crispy buttermilk chicken burger, is an absolute winner in my household. This crispy chicken burger is shallow fried and coated in breadcrumbs.

I have to say one of my favourite things is a burger and I am often torn between a traditional beef burger or a crispy chicken burger.

At times, even though there’s no denying that beef burgers are really great, beef can feel a little heavy to me, chicken burgers make a good alternative. They are the healthier option too. Chicken is leaner, it has less calories and less saturated fat than beef.

Sometimes, depending on where you are in the world, chicken burgers can be called chicken sandwiches or chicken in a bun. However you’d prefer to technically classify this recipe, is debatable but ultimately up to you.

open burger with avocado and chicken inside

Buttermilk Chicken Burger Toppings

With your chicken burger toppings you can really get creative. Some of my favourites include, avocado, salad leaves, cheese, jalapenos, coleslaw and bacon.

You can dress your chicken burger up in so many more ways with varying cuisine inspirations. You could go for an Italian Burger with fillings of melted mozzarella, marinara sauce, salad and sun dried tomatoes. Another option is an Asian Burger filled with Sriracha coleslaw, fresh salad, coriander leaves and a curry sauce poured on top.

The breadcrumb coating for these burgers can also be flavoured too! I used a mix of cayenne pepper, oregano and paprika for this recipe. But you can pair it up to match your burger fillings. You can make the breadcrumb coating spicy, herby or even sweeter using a whole array of different herb and spice combinations. Try and Cajun style burger coating with a mix of ground cumin, coriander and paprika. Or a Greek version with oregano, lemon zest and garlic powder and top the burger with a cucumber tzatziki and salad.

The choice of chicken burger toppings is as endless as your imagination.

chicken burger with a bite missing

Why Use Buttermilk for Marinating Chicken?

In case you’re wondering about the marinade for this chicken burger. I’ll explain why marinating the chicken in buttermilk before cooking is worth it and in my opinion a necessary step.

Buttermilk, due to it’s natural acidity will tenderise the meat and give it a creamier taste that won’t be dry or chewy. It also won’t dry the chicken meat out like other, more harsh acids will do such as lemon or vinegar. It’s worth it, I promise!

You can also flavour the marinade giving a subtle flavour to your meat.

If you have the time, I recommend marinating the buttermilk chicken overnight. But at least 2-3 hours will suffice otherwise. You can marinate your chicken in the morning ready to prepare for dinnertime.

By all means, if you really don’t have time for the marinade and just want quick chicken burgers for dinner, you can leave this step out. However, the result will be slightly different.

I did make these lemon chicken bites without marinating first and they were still pretty great! If you have the time, use it for marinating and make the most tender crispy chicken burger you can.

Tips and Guidance

The great thing about these breaded chicken burgers is that you don’t have to fry these burgers if you’d prefer not to. If you’d rather make this a baked chicken burger, you can. Place the breaded chicken breast on a baking tray, drizzle a little oil over each one and pop them in the oven at 200C for about 30 minutes, turning once during that time to ensure the chicken is crispy and golden on each side.

You can freeze these too! So you don’t have to worry about having to plan to marinate your chicken hours ahead every time you want a buttermilk chicken burger. Just defrost and go!

If you’ve got a super filled chicken burger with lots of different fillings, the easiest way to hold it altogether is with a skewer or a chop stick. I save up chop sticks when we have sushi and this is a good way to reuse them.

You can also structure your burger in a way that helps everything stay in place. The best way to fill your burger to prevent the ingredients falling out is like this: The bottom bun should be covered in the condiment of your choice, followed by the salad and any slippery vegetables or salad items like avocado and tomato. Cheese should be melted on top of the chicken burger itself and laid on top of the salad. You can then put coleslaw, onions, pickles or jalapenos on top of this, followed by more condiment covering the top bun and voila! A perfectly structured burger that will hopefully stay in one piece when you pick it up to bite it.

You can choose the type of burger buns you use. Savoury brioche buns add to the buttery flavour and go really well with this buttermilk chicken burger. Alternatively, if you’re going Italian style, why not stack your burger with all the fillings inside a ciabatta? Plain, fluffy burger buns or seeded ones will of course, do nicely too. And if you’d rather turn this into a buttermilk chicken sandwich as an alternative and use crusty bread, you can. I made a lovely spicy grilled chicken sandwich for lunch with crusty bread and it was great!

Recipe FAQ

I don’t have any buttermilk, is there an alternative?

You can use 1 cup of full fat milk with 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt added to it. Mix together and leave to sit for 10 minutes before using as your marinade. The lemon will curdle the milk and make a good substitute for buttermilk if there is none available.

Can I freeze the chicken burgers?

Yes you can, I recommend freezing after the breading process is complete. You can then fry them straight from frozen on a lower heat so that they cook all the way through before browning too much on the outside.

buttermilk fried chicken burger held in a hand

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burger

Author: Becky
This crispy buttermilk chicken burger, is an absolute winner in my household. This crispy chicken burger is shallow fried and coated in breadcrumbs.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Plus Marinating Time 3 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, British
Servings 4
Calories 561 kcal


For the Marinade

  • 250 ml Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 0.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 Chicken Breasts

For the Coating

  • 50 g Plain Flour
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 0.25 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Panko Breadcrumbs

You will also need

  • 4 Brioche Burger Buns
  • Salad Leaves
  • 1 Avocado


  • Mix the buttermilk, paprika and cayenne together in a bowl.
  • Place in the buttermilk, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • After marinating, take the chicken from the fridge and place each one in a sandwich bag.
  • Take a rolling pin and flatten the chicken until its thin. If you want smaller burgers, cut the breasts in half.
  • Mix the breadcrumbs with the spices.  
  • Dip each piece of chicken into the beaten egg, covering it completely.
  • Roll each piece with the spicy breadcrumbs, coating fully.
  • When you're ready to cook them, heat a little oil in a frying pan and place each piece in.
  • Fry on both sides until browned and cooked through completely.
  • Serve in the brioche buns, with the salad and chopped avocado.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 561kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 58gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 192mgSodium: 563mgPotassium: 1267mgFiber: 5gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 546IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 180mgIron: 4mg
Keyword buttermilk chicken burger, buttermilk marinade, crispy chicken burgers
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  1. plasterers bristol says:

    5 stars
    been looking for a nice recipe like this to try for chicken. Thanks for sharing.


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