Crispy Breaded Chicken Burger with Lemon Garlic Aioli Recipe

Image of a breaded chicken burger

An easy recipe for Breaded Chicken Burger with Lemon Garlic Aioli, using buttermilk-marinated chicken thighs, and a lip-smacking aioli made with roasted garlic and Kewpie mayo.

What makes a good chicken burger? Juicy and succulent chicken would be key to start with. Then a crispy and flavourful breaded coating, when you can hear the crunch as you bite into it. Last but not least, it should be paired with a nice piquant sauce.

Chicken burgers are tricky business. A lot could go wrong from dry chicken to soggy coating. I have recently made one which really hits the spot for me and I am excited to share it with you guys!

Image of a breaded chicken burger

Chicken Breast or Chicken Thighs?

I’m team thighs here.

Some may argue breast comes in bigger sizes but the thighs I get are pretty decent in size, which is more than enough. If you’re on a diet, chicken breast is obviously the healthier choice. But I like thighs more because it’s more tender and juicier. In addition, it won’t dry up as easily. You certainly wouldn’t want dry rubbery chicken in your burger, right?

Nothing against using chicken breasts here though. It’s your choice. I’ve definitely had some amazing burgers that used chicken breasts.

Marinating the Chicken

The answer to tender and flavourful chicken? Marinate it in buttermilk.

Buttermilk carries a mild acidity that helps to tenderise the chicken without toughening up the meat as stronger marinating acids do.

Just the simple salt & pepper with buttermilk could do the job. But if you enjoy a good punch of flavours like I do, throw the seasonings in! I first rubbed the chicken with salt & pepper, paprika, chilli powder, harissa spice powder and garlic powder before submerging them in buttermilk to marinate overnight.

Making your own buttermilk

If you can’t find buttermilk or can’t justify yourself to buy a whole carton of it just for making one night of burgers, it’s really easy to make it yourself.

How I did it was mixing 1 tbsp of lemon juice into 1 cup of milk and let it sit for about 15 minutes or so until tiny curdles form.

Image of spices and ingredients for the breaded chicken burger recipe

The Coating

We’re making a breaded chicken burger here so let’s talk about breadcrumbs and coating.

Seasoning and spicing it up

Just breadcrumbs alone won’t be enough. We want flavours here. So drop all the seasoning and spices you like in here to jazz things up!

I added a teaspoon each of paprika, cumin powder, chilli powder, garlic powder, harissa spice powder, and salt & pepper in there. This seasoning combo creates an aromatic coating to the chicken and adds a good subtle kick of spice & flavours in there.

What type of breadcrumbs to use?

I used regular golden breadcrumbs from Tesco’s. But I would also recommend using panko breadcrumbs which are known to be a healthier option.

Using cornflour

…is a must for me! I use cornflour fairly often in stir-fries as it helps with browning and keeping the meat juicy. The same applies here.

I first drench the chicken in cornflour before dipping them into beaten eggs, and at last, coat them with seasoned breadcrumbs.

Cooking the chicken

Deep-frying is definitely an option. Alternatively, I like to pan-fry it first and finish cooking it in the oven. And of course, for you health enthusiasts out there, straight into the oven works either!

Regardless of your method, you want to keep it nice and crispy, and feel that crunch when you bite into your breaded chicken burger.

Image of a bowl of Lemon Garlic Aioli

Lemon Garlic Aioli

First of all, I always stick with using Japanese Kewpie mayo when making burger sauces. It is creamier, more flavourful, and I like to consider it the secret to many recipes! It’s honestly a game-changer and I haven’t reverted back to regular mayo ever since.

You can totally just whip up the Kewpie mayo with chopped garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice. However, in order to really bring out the garlicky flavours, I like to quickly roast them first on a pan before mixing with the mayo, followed by a squeeze of lemon.

I like to season it with a pinch of salt and a dash of hot sauce too.

breaded chicken burger

Breaded Chicken Burger with Lemon Garlic Aioli Recipe

ET Food Voyage
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 burgers


  • 4 Burger Buns
  • 4 Boneless Chicken Thighs
  • 4 slices American Cheese
  • Mixed Salad Leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Buttermilk (or regular milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Harissa Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Coating Ingredients:

  • cups Cornflour
  • 2 Eggs beaten
  • 1 cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Harissa Spice Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Lemon Garlic Aioli Recipe

  • ½ cup Kewpie Mayo
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1-2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1-2 tbsp Hot Sauce
  • Pinch of Salt


Marinating the Chicken

  • Season chicken thighs with salt & pepper.
  • Mix all the spices together. Rub all over the chicken.
  • Marinate chicken in buttermilk for a few hours or overnight.

Prepping the Chicken

  • Mix together all the seasonings and spices with the breadcrumbs.
  • Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  • Coat chicken with cornflour, then dip into the beaten eggs, and roll them on the seasoned breadcrumbs until thoroughly coated. Repeat with all remaining chicken.
  • Heat pan with 1-2 tbsp oil on pan over medium-high heat. Brown chicken on each side until golden brown. Set aside.
  • Place browned chicken onto lined baking tray, cook in over for 25-30 minutes.
  • Top each chicken with a slice of cheese. Return to oven for another 5 minutes.

Making the Lemon Garlic Aioli

  • Quickly roast chopped garlic in pan until golden and fragrant.
  • Mix the roast chopped garlic together with the rest of the ingredients.

Assembling the Burger

  • Spread kewpie mayo on the burger buns. Toast them on pan until golden and lightly crispy on the outside.
  • Spread a spoonful of lemon garlic aioli over both buns. Layer the bottom bun with salad leaves, then the chicken. Top off with the top burger bun. Serve immediately.


  • Prep time does not include time for marinating the chicken.
Keyword Burger

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