These sweet and sour chicken burgers are an easy and unique summertime burger! They’re paleo and can be made AIP and Whole30.

three chicken burgers on butter lettuce on plate

Sweet & Sour Chicken Burgers

Summertime just screams for dinner on the grill! I’ve always loved to mix up burger flavors using sweet or savory to create a fun twist on the classic palate.

I used to love to order a good teriyaki or sweet & sour burger chicken, but they are made with sugar and gluten-filled ingredients. These burgers use ground chicken and a homemade sweet and sour sauce made with pineapple juice, ketchup, coconut aminos, and coconut sugar. These are sure to please the whole family!

Ingredients Needed for Sweet & Sour Chicken Burgers

For the sweet and sour sauce

  • Pineapple juice. Make sure you choose a brand that is only 100% pineapple juice.
  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Coconut sugar. Leave this out to make it Whole30 compliant. You can also use 1-2 blended dates to sweeten the sauce if desired.
  • Ketchup. I love that the Primal Kitchen brand as it has no added sweeteners, and that’s what I use for my family. For me, I get an AIP compliant ketchup or make my own.
  • Coconut aminos. This is the gluten-free soy sauce replacement that brings the traditional umami flavor.
  • Arrowroot starch. This will thicken the sauce.

For the burgers 

  • Ground chicken. If you can’t find this in your grocery store, you can buy from a local butcher or ground chicken breast on your own in a food processor.
  • Diced onion.
  • Minced garlic.
  • Coconut flour. This is what helps binds the burgers together.
  • Avocado oil.
  • Salt & pepper.
  • Pineapple rings.
  • Red onion.
  • Butter lettuce leaves.
  • Chopped green onion.

Up close side view of grilled chicken burger with pineapple ring on top

How to Make Sweet & Sour Chicken Burgers

  • Make the sweet and sour sauce. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a pot and whisk well. Cook on the stove on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, whisking often until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Combine the burger mixture. Mix the chicken, onion, garlic, coconut flour, salt, and pepper. Form into 4 burgers and set aside.
  • Grill the burgers. Place the burgers onto the grill or grill pan, either in batches, or spread apart to not crowd the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side and carefully flip. Cook until internal temperature reads 165 F. Set aside.
  • Grill the pineapple slices and red onion. Lightly clean the cooking surface and add more oil if needed. Add the pineapple slices and grill for 1-2 minutes on each side to add grill marks and to lightly soften. Set aside and repeat grilling with the red onion for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  • Assemble burgers and enjoy! Layer each patty on top of a lettuce leaf top with half of the sweet and sour sauce, then top with pineapple, red onion, and finish with the remainder of the sauce. Top with green onion.

Chicken burgers on plate with spoon drizzling sauce over top

Can I cook these using another method other than the grill?

Grilling is my preferred method, but you could also use a cast iron grill pan for quick and easy indoor grilling! It’s faster, cleaner, and you’ll still get the beautiful grill marks. You could also fry these up in a saute pan or cook them in the oven if needed.

What else can I serve with these?

I personally love to pair these with…

Can I make these ahead of time?

These are great to cook and then freeze for later use. Just reheat them on the grill or in the oven and add the toppings and you’ve got a quick and easy meal! Just store the cooked and cooled patties in an airtight freezer-safe container and they’ll be good for up to a month.

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Sweet and Sour Chicken Burgers


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

For the sweet and sour sauce

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (omit or use 12 blended dates for whole30)
  • 1/4 cup ketchup (use AIP ketchup or whole30 compliant ketchup)
  • 2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the burgers 

  • 1 lb ground chicken
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 4 pineapple rings
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 4 Butter lettuce leaves
  • 2 tbsp green onion, chopped

Instructions

  1. To make the sauce, combine the ingredients for the sauce in a pot and whisk well. Cook on the stove on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, whisking often until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Combine the burger mixture by mixing the chicken, onion, garlic, coconut flour, salt, and pepper. Form into 4 burgers and set aside.
  3. Prepare an outdoor grill, or a cast iron grill pan by greasing. Place the burgers onto the grill or grill pan, either in batches, or spread apart to not crowd the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side and carefully flip. Cook until internal temperature reads 165 F. Set aside.
  4. Lightly clean the cooking surface and add more oil if needed. Add the pineapple slices and grill for 1-2 minutes on each side to add grill marks and to lightly soften.
  5. Set aside and repeat grilling with the red onion for 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside.
  6. To assemble the burgers, layer each patty on top of a lettuce leaf top with half of the sweet and sour sauce, then top with pineapple, red onion, and finish with the remainder of the sauce. Top with green onion.

Notes

All nutrition facts are estimated and will vary.

  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Grill

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 burger
  • Calories: 424
  • Fat: 13.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 57g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 21.9g

Recipe by Michelle, Unbound Wellness. Photos by Eat Love Eats