Masala Chicken Burgers

This is a simple homemade chicken burger recipe – with a kick of Indian-inspired flavour! The burgers are gluten-free and dairy-free, and the recipe requires only 4 ingredients, plus a few spices. These burgers taste great on a traditional bun, but I usually enjoy the burgers bun-free, with lots of veggies on the side and a few slices of avocado. The recipe makes 8 burgers, and prep and cooking time are both short, so this is a great recipe for meal prep. 

masala chicken burger

chicken burgers on pan

Homemade chicken burgers have been one of my go-to sources of protein lately. The past few weeks of school leading up to reading week have been incredibly busy, so it’s nice to make a quick recipe at the start of the week, and have something to throw in my lunch bag each day. When I’m taking a chicken burger on-the-go I’ll usually have it with a couple handfuls of spinach, other chopped veggies, and maybe a little salsa or tahini on top.

Lately I have experimented with a few different spice combinations for the same base recipe. This Masala Chicken Burger recipe was the most successful combination I’ve created so far, but I have plans to try out some other flavours in the coming weeks – I was thinking Mexican or Asian-inspired flavour combinations might be delicious!

chicken burger overhead shot

The base of the recipe uses 1 lb. of ground chicken, 1/2 an onion finely chopped, 1/2 a cup of almond meal, and 1 egg. Then the spices I added to this version of the recipe are Garam Masala, cumin, cayenne, salt, and turmeric.

Almond Meal

In order to keep this recipe gluten-free, I opted to use almond meal (also known as ground almonds) in place of the breadcrumbs used in many other chicken burger recipes. I got my almond meal from Bulk Barn, but it’s also available from many health food stores. Almond meal is a great option because you get the health benefits of almonds (healthy fats, fibre, and vitamin E to name a few) incorporated into your burger; however, one drawback is that almond meal is a little pricier than breadcrumbs. So if you don’t require your recipe to be gluten-free, breadcrumbs would likely be an effective alternative.

Making the burgers

The burger recipe is as simple as it gets – throw all the ingredients in a bowl, mix them thoroughly until the egg is well combined with the chicken, almond meal, and onions.

finely chopped onions

Then, put about 1/2 a cup of almond meal on a plate. Form the chicken mixture into patties, coat both sides in almond meal, and place them all on a baking sheet to cook for 15 minutes on one side and 7 minutes on the other at 375°F.

uncooked chicken burgers

Serving your chicken burgers

In terms of serving options, the chicken burgers are incredibly versatile. Even though they have an Indian flavour combination, it’s not an overpowering flavour, so they still taste good with toppings that you wouldn’t typically have with Indian food (for example salsa). I highly recommend enjoying them with avocado, as the mild flavour and creaminess of the avocado combines with the flavour and texture of chicken burgers perfectly. For the images above, I ate my chicken burgers with avocado, sweet potato and onion (although the onion was mostly for garnish). This was a great combo not only in terms of flavour, but also because it was a good balance of carbs, healthy fats, and protein. You could also try the burgers with broccoli (or another green veggie) and rice, sliced onto a salad, or with more traditional Indian dishes, such as dahl or naan bread.

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masala chicken burger pinterest graphic

Print Recipe
Masala Chicken Burgers
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Servings
burgers
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Servings
burgers
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. In a large bowl, add ground chicken, 1/2 cup almond meal, onion, and egg. Mix well until all ingredients are fully combined. Add spices and salt and mix thoroughly.
  3. Form chicken mixture into 8 patties.
  4. Place remaining 1/2 cup of almond meal on a plate and press patties into the almond meal to coat both sides.
  5. Place burgers on baking sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook for another 7 minutes.

Paleo Nacho Casserole

This nacho casserole is packed with delicious Mexican flavours and a ton of vegetables. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a healthier way to satisfy your craving for nachos, and you can load it up with plenty of toppings, including salsa, avocado, and green onion. I considered calling this recipe “Not-yo’ Typical Casserole” but decided that was a bit much…

I made this casserole on one of the last days of the Whole30. Although I don’t plan on sticking to a completely Paleo diet now that the Whole30 is over, I was inspired by a recipe for Paleo Spaghetti Squash Casserole, created by Alysia at Slim Sanity, and wanted to create a similar version with a Mexican twist! This recipe is a great meal prep option if you make it at the start of the week. I had three exams this past week, so I made the casserole on the weekend and ate it over the course of several busy days of studying. It’s easy to get into a pattern of unhealthy eating when you’re stressed during exams. Having a pre-made dinner in my fridge is helpful because it makes it less likely that I’ll go grab some take-out when I want to get back to studying quickly.

Spaghetti squash provides the bulk of the casserole. This squash is great because you can eat a large serving without adding a ton of extra calories. It also has a nice neutral flavour so you can enjoy it with different sauces or spice mixtures. For this recipe, the squash is mixed with taco-seasoned ground chicken, red pepper, onion, spinach, cherry tomatoes, olives, and a little salsa. I’d recommend choosing a squash that is on the smaller side – around 1-1.2 kg – so each bite has a balance of different flavours rather than being overpowered by squash.

If you want to keep this recipe paleo, you’ll have to find a sugar-free salsa. The salsa I’ve been using lately is this one by Herdez – I was surprised when I found it at the grocery store because it’s not full of additives like a lot of other salsas and it still tastes amazing! The only ingredients are tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, salt, and cilantro.

When you’re making this recipe, there are a few different components to prepare before everything gets mixed together and spread into a casserole dish. The spaghetti squash has to bake, the veggies need to be sauteed, and the ground chicken needs to be cooked. I recommend using three pieces of cookware to prepare everything: a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish, one large pot, and a large frying pan.

Begin by preparing the spaghetti squash and putting it in the oven at 375°. Although a spaghetti squash can be baked whole, it saves cooking time if you cut it in half first. But I’m not going to lie, this can be a bit of a struggle. Usually I get my knife stuck in the squash and then I’m left trying to yank it out sword-in-the-stone style. Not ideal. I told my housemate the other day that if I ever get a cooking-related injury it’s probably going to be when I’m trying to cut a squash in half. So, that being said, be careful! Use a sharp knife and go slowly. I’ve had a bit more success starting at one of the ends and cutting it open from there. Also, if anyone has any hacks for easily splitting a squash in two, please share!

Once you’ve got the squash open, scoop out the seeds, drizzle it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the squash in the oven in the casserole dish with the fleshy side down (in the picture below I’ve just flipped it over after removing it from the oven.

While the squash is baking, you can prepare and cook the other ingredients – stir fry the veggies and spices in the large pot, and stir fry the chicken in the frying pan until brown.

After 40-45 minutes, the spaghetti squash will be cooked and you can remove it from the oven. At this point, add the chicken and squash to the big pot with the vegetables, plus an egg and some salsa, and mix everything to combine. I actually don’t have a giant pot in my student house because there aren’t too many occasions where my housemates or I need to make a large recipe. So instead of mixing all the ingredients together in a pot, I used a large bowl to combine everything before baking. Then, pour the mixture into a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish (the one that was already used to cook the squash), and bake at 400° for 15 minutes.

When the casserole came out of the oven I topped it with green onion and added some avocado and salsa to each serving.

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Paleo Nacho Casserole

Print Recipe
Paleo Nacho Casserole
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Toppings:
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Toppings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Cut open the spaghetti squash lengthwise, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the squash face-down in a 9x13 inch casserole dish.
  2. Bake the squash in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a fork goes through it easily. While the squash is baking, prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Heat a small amount of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add the ground chicken, and stir fry on medium heat until brown - about 15 minutes. When the meat is cooked, add taco seasoning and stir to coat.
  4. Heat cooking oil in a large pot. Add garlic and onion, and stir fry over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add red pepper and all spices and continue stir frying for a few more minutes, until the pepper begins to soften.
  6. Add black olives, cherry tomatoes, and spinach. Stir until the spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat.
  7. When spaghetti squash is cooked, remove from the oven, and turn the oven temperature up to 400° F. Using a fork, scrape the flesh of the squash into a bowl.
  8. Put the spaghetti squash, chicken, salsa, and egg into the large pot with the cooked vegetables. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
  9. Pour the mixture into the 9x11 inch casserole dish used to cook the squash. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When the casserole comes out of the oven, top with green onion, and serve with avocado and salsa.