These pesto chicken burgers with lemon aoili are the perfect way to repurpose leftover rotisserie or roast chicken. They take boring leftovers and jazz them up into an exciting, delicious next day dinner in less than time than it takes me to catch my toddler to strap into her high chair.
Mmmm. I am so glad we made them into a thing.
Can we just all agree for a second that pesto is delicious? And lemon aoili with pesto- YUM. Lemon and pesto together is one of my favorite summer flavors. The taste combination is so perfect in it’s deliciousness. It is rich tasting while still feeling light and summery. Fragrant and fresh, it’s flavorful without being over the top spicy. This means two things for me:
First, I can make all sorts of pesto chicken and the chicken will never be too chicken-y for me to enjoy. Servers shudder when they see me coming because I am *that* girl at restaurants asking them, “Is this chicken chickeny?” I’m constantly met with incredulous looks or blank stares. But all I mean, is does the chicken have a lot of flavor, or does it taste a little too much like chicken and not much else? These pesto chicken burgers are full of flavor and stay safely out of the gross chickeny category.
Second, I can feed these burgers to my toddler. Goose definitely inherited our preference for food with flavor, but I feel kind of weird feeding her things that are overly spicy right now. All kinds of paranoid mom thoughts run through my head. If she eats anything hot and spicy like these buffalo chicken burgers or jalapeno popper stuffed burgers, I constantly worry she will rub her messy hands on her eyes. Then I worry about indigestion even though the kid has an iron stomach and I am pretty sure she is part goat because I have literally seen her try to eat paper and then try to start a world war when I won’t let her. I can give her these pesto chicken burgers without fear that any of that will happen and she will normally eat a respectable amount of them.
Pesto chicken burgers for the win!Print
For the burgers
- 1/2 rotisserie chicken (shredded, deboned)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs*
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup mayo**
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- four slices of provolone, or mozzarella cheese
For the aoli
- the juice and zest of one lemon
- 1 cup of mayo
- salt and pepper to taste
- De-bone and shred the chicken in small pieces. Put in the food processor along with the rest of the ingredients for the burgers minus the slices of cheese. Pulse until combined.
- Divide mixture into equal portions. Form into 4 patties.
- In pan or grill on medium-high heat, spray with nonstick oil or grease with olive oil. Sear both sides of the patties, cooking each side for about 4 minutes.
- Flip seared patties once more, add sliced cheese and melt over top.
- Serve on toasted or regular bun.
- For the Aoil
- Zest a lemon into a cup of mayo prior to squeezing the juice into the mayo. Whisk it together until smooth. Finish with salt and pepper.
* I used gluten free breadcrumbs but you can use regular bread crumbs if desired.
* I used the low fat mayonnaise, not mayonnaise dressing.