‘Tis the Season… To Fire Up The Grill

September 2, 2015

Barbecued Southwestern Chicken Burgers with Quick Slaw

It’s the season—time to fire up the barbecue. Call it barbecue or call it grilling, it’s become America’s favorite way to cook. Texas barbecue expert, Don Strange, gave me some great tips for barbecue success in a recent interview.

He helped to solve one major problem I have – food sticking to the grill grates. We were talking about grilling chicken. Strange’s advice – Keep your grates clean and spray with vegetable oil, place chicken on a hot grill for 15 seconds, flip the chicken over for 15 seconds. Then, lower the heat and continue to cook. These chicken burgers are more delicate and need about 30 seconds before turning.

Another tip – use a grill partner so you can grill in advance and keep the food ready to eat. This is a large tray that sits over a small heat source (sterno or other). Place the cooked meat on the grill partner and let your guests help themselves. The food will keep for about 30 minutes this way. You can find a grill partner online or at a store that carries barbecue equipment.

All grills are different and the burgers may take a shorter or longer time to cook. Use a meat thermometer to guide you. It should read 170 degrees.

Spicy tomato salsa gives these light, juicy chicken burgers a hint of the Southwest. Cool coleslaw is a perfect side dish for burgers. Making fresh coleslaw that is tangy and crunchy is a breeze using shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix available in the produce department of the supermarket.

Look for ground chicken made from chicken breast meat only. If it just says ground chicken, then skin, fat and dark meat can be used.

During the week, I don’t always have time to fire up the grill and use a skillet or stove-top grill to cook the burgers. I have given both a grill and skillet method for cooking the chicken burgers.

Coleslaw tastes even better the second day. Double the recipe and you will have a ready-made salad for another day.

This meal contains 494 calories with 31 percent of calories from fat.

Helpful Hints:

  • Shredded cabbage and carrots can be found in the produce department of the supermarket
  • Any type of sweet onion can be used
  • If pressed for time, buy coleslaw from the Deli
  • Be sure to drain the salsa to keep the hamburgers from being too wet to retain their shape.


  • Make slaw
  • Prepare chicken burgers


Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy:

  • 1 1/2-pounds ground white meat chicken
  • 1 small jar no-sugar-added tomato salsa
  • 1 small package whole wheat or whole grain hamburger rolls
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 bag washed-ready-to-eat shredded cabbage
  • 1 bag washed-ready-to-eat shredded carrots
  • 1 small head lettuce
  • 1 can olive oil spray


  • Mayonnaise
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Red onion
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Black peppercorns

Linda Gassenheimer is the author of fourteen cookbooks including her newest, Prevention’s Fit and Fast Meals in Minutes and Mix ‘n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes. Do you have any questions about a recipe or cooking method? Or, have you tried the recipe and added your own touch that you’d like to share. Email Linda at You can visit Linda on her web page at

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.