Bacon Jalapeno Smashburgers Recipe

From Ali Slagle's Cookbook, I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To)

Bacon jalapeno smash burgers

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 21 mins
Total: 31 mins
Servings: 4
Yield: 4 smashburgers
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
425 Calories
25g Fat
14g Carbs
37g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 425
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 144mg 48%
Sodium 731mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 37g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 954mg 20%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These chicken burgers from I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To) are full of fun, delicious secrets. They're cooked in bacon fat, which adds moisture and flavor to the lean meat. And to take the guesswork out of ensuring your chicken is cooked through, these patties are smashed super thin so they get crispy outside without toughening inside. Last, griddled onions and jalapenos are pressed into the patties like fossils. The vegetables' moisture adds juiciness to the chicken, as well as deep, charred flavor. It's a win, win, win for a quick weeknight dinner or summertime barbecue

This recipe appears in I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To), reprinted with permission.

"I didn't expect a Smashburger to be made with chicken, but why not? They were fantastic! I loved the technique of pressing the onions and jalapeños into the burger in the pan. Somehow, this mellowed out the chile's heat and the onion's sharpness. Next time I make these, I'll add some sliced smoked gouda cheese." —Diana Andrews

Bacon Jalapeno Smashburgers Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 small red onion

  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper

  • 8 slices bacon (not thick-cut)

  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable

  • 1 pound ground chicken

  • 4 burger buns

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make bacon jalapeno smashburgers

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Slice the red onion and jalapeño crosswise as thinly as you can.

    Thinly sliced red onion and jalapenos on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Cut the bacon in half crosswise. 

    Pieces of bacon cut in half on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Working the meat as little as possible, roll the ground chicken into 4 (4-ounce) meatballs, then press down slightly to give them flat tops.

    Four ground chicken patties on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Warm the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, then toast the cut sides of the burger buns in batches, 1 to 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to plates. 

    Burger buns toasting in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Cook the bacon in batches until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer the bottom buns.

    Slices of bacon cooking in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Season two of the meatballs generously with salt and pepper, then place them far apart in the skillet.

    Two ground chicken patties in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Using a rubber or fish spatula, smash the meatballs down as thin as you can.

    A spatula flattening a chicken patty

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Top each with a handful of the onions and jalapeños, then press them into the meat.

    Chicken patties topped with onions and jalapenos being flattened by a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Cook, untouched, until browned, about 2 minutes.

    Flattened chicken patties topped with onions and jalapenos cooking in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  11. Flip the patties and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are golden, about another 1 1/2 minutes.

    Flipped chicken patties cooking in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  12. Place the patties on the buns. Repeat with the remaining ground chicken, onions, and jalapeño. Serve immediately.

    Bacon jalapeno smashburgers

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Make it a meal!

Ali's favorite way to enjoy these smashburgers is with a side of thick-cut oven fries. Go a step further and complete your meal with her recipe:

  • Heat the oven to 450°F.
  • Place a baking sheet pan on the bottom rack of the oven.
  • Cut 2 large russet potatoes into 1/4-inch fries.
  • Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the potatoes on the heated sheet pan and roast on the bottom rack until tender and golden brown 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Flip the patty one last time so the onions and jalapeños are facing up. Top the burger with a slice of your favorite cheese. Remove from the heat, cover the pan, and let sit until the cheese melts, about 1 minute.
  • Swap out brioche buns for burger buns.

How to Store Smashburgers

  • You can portion the chicken meatballs ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  • Although, these are best served immediately, you can reheat any leftovers in a 350 F oven until warmed through, about 7 minutes.

Why is it called a Smashburger?

Smashburgers get their name from the method in which they're prepared. First, a meatball shape is formed. Then, the ball gets smashed down very flat in a skillet or griddle, which helps create lots of caramelization and crispy bits of flavor as it cooks.

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