Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers


Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers are a zesty, fresh twist on chicken for dinner!


First things first, I have a new niece!



Born just this morning! She is absolutely perfect, beautiful, sweet and snuggly. I couldn’t be happier for my sister-in-law (who is seriously my new hero – arrived at the hospital and 20 minutes later, baby!) and brother, and can’t wait to go spend more time with the newest addition to our family. AHHHH I just love babies!

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Before I go, I have to tell you about the burgers I made for dinner last night. See, a couple weeks ago I was cleaning up some old posts, and came across a Trader Joe’s night dinner including Chicken Chili Lime Burgers, which I had loved at the time.

I remember wanting to recreate them at home at some point, and had even typed out the ingredient list off the package so I could come back later and have a shopping list all ready to go.


I’m so glad I did, because last night I came up with a recipe that both Ben and I liked even better than the original. I present to you a zesty twist on a TJ’s fave: Homemade Chili Lime Chicken Burgers. You’ve got to try these!


For four burgers, you’ll need 1lb ground chicken. I used Smart Chicken ground chicken which has 5% fat, so if you’re looking for a leaner alternative, ground turkey would also work. OR, you could ask your grocery store’s butcher to grind some chicken breasts for you, similar to what mine did for Thai Chicken Burgers!


Add flavor-packed ingredients to the chicken including 2 green onions, 1/4 cup red pepper (btw I HATE red pepper, but it’s just a background flavor in these burgers!), and 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro.


Next add 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes, which give the burgers even more zip.

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The real hero, though, is the juice of half a lime. It give the burgers a real punch!


Mix all the ingredients together with clean hands, then form the mixture into 4 patties.


You can make these a couple hours ahead of time if need be, just make sure they sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so before cooking, mmkay?


Next, heat a skillet or grill pan over high heat. Chili Lime Chicken Burgers are more of an indoor grill vs outdoor grill type of burger, which is just as well because I found out last weekend that the grill Ben and I have been using for the past four years was recalled like 2 years ago for faulty, I don’t know, flame thingies (?) which could set the grill door (or whatever it’s called) on fire. Awesome!

At any rate, spray each side of the burgers very well with non-stick spray, then grill for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through.


When the burgers are nearly cooked on the second side, add a slice of Pepper Jack Cheese, then place a large pot lid on top to allow the cheese to melt.

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While the cheese is melting, mix up a batch of Lazy’s Girl’s Guacamole with 1 avocado, the other half of the lime used in the burgers, and a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. It’ll be done lickity split!

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Place the burgers onto a toasted thin bun, then top with guac!


Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

Serves 4


Copy Cat Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burgers are a zesty, fresh twist on chicken for dinner!


  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 buns, toasted
  • For the guacamole:
    • 1 avocado
    • garlic powder
    • salt & pepper


  1. Combine chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and juice of half a lime in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined, then form into 4 patties and spray each side generously with non-stick spray.
  2. Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger, then cover with a large pot lid, and allow to melt for about a minute. Remove burgers to a plate, tent with foil, and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place each burger on a toasted thin bun, then top with guacamole.
  3. For the guacamole: Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher or fork.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,


Soooooo much better than I could have even hoped for! Satisfying, filling, and kind of spicy with a cooling touch from the fresh guacamole. Fantastic!


On the side I served grilled asparagus. That’s just 1 bunch trimmed asparagus snapped into thirds, then tossed with garlic salt and extra virgin olive oil, and grilled until tender.


I mixed them with halved heirloom tomatoes for a healthy and fresh side to our burgers.


So refreshing!


And with that, I’m off. Baby time! :D

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  1. The burgers look yummy! Congrats on being an aunt! Being an aunt rocks!! Enjoy!

  2. jad18 03.30.2012

    So sweet and your sister-in-law looks great for just having a baby. I think girls are going to take over the world. I know about 15 people who have had babies within the past 6 months or are due within the next few months and all have been girls except 1 boy and 1 to be determined (the couple is waiting to be surprised).

  3. Cynthia 03.30.2012

    Congrats on becoming an aunt again!!! She is absolutely adorable!! The burgers look amazing, can’t wait to make them :)

  4. Elizabeth 03.30.2012

    I am all over these. They look so tasty! Anything with guac has to be good, right? Going to put them on my next menu plan.

  5. […] Swirl Brownies by Kitchen Confidante – I think we all know about my Nutella obsession by now! Chili Lime Chicken Burgers by Iowa Girl Eats – I love chicken burgers, can’t wait to try this! Baked Chicken […]

  6. anastasia 03.31.2012

    i tried these last night – they were a hit!!! easy too! will defn make them again!

  7. Sarah 04.01.2012

    I made these last night, they were a huge hit! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Ruth 04.01.2012

    They sound wonderful. I am writing this recipe down.

  9. Paul 04.01.2012

    Holy cow–just made these for lunch (using ground turkey), and they are amazing. Wonderful flavor, perfect for an 80 degree Iowa day! Thanks!

  10. […] to meet some more of my best girlfriends for a baby shower! It seems I am up to my ears in babies these […]

  11. Kate Cremisino 04.02.2012

    Just made these tonight. SO SO SO SO GOOD. Husband and I gobbled them up! Definitely adding this to our regular line up of meal options!

  12. Erin 04.02.2012

    I just made these this weekend. I made a double batch (Thank GOD!) so that I would have plenty of leftovers to freeze and thaw when time is of the essence. These are mind blowing! PURE SAVORY DELICIOUSNESS! Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Finally made these tonight… I cut up my chicken breast in uniformish chunks, and gave them a whirl in the cuisinart :) Worked like a dream!

    We actually outdoor grilled, cause the hubs got the coals going before i reread your advice not to :) We just did ’em on well greased foil, and I added some bread crumbs so they wouldn’t be so sticky, and all was perfect!!!

  14. Christy 04.02.2012

    Found you on Pinterest and made these tonight. They were outta control! Definitely going on our “list”. Thanks!

  15. Lindsay 04.02.2012

    LOVED these burgers! I couldn’t believe how flavorful they were without making me feel weighed down.

  16. Joanna 04.03.2012

    These were fabulous. Served ’em up with avocado slices and chipotle mayo. Such an easy, delish dinner. I’m such a fan of your site!!

  17. […] Chicken Chili Lime Chicken Burgers from Iowa Girl Eats! […]

  18. ATasteOfMadness 04.04.2012

    Who doesn’t love babies ;)
    And who wouldn’t love these, these look delicious!

  19. Anna 04.05.2012

    Made these last night on the grill… EXCELLENT! I´ll be making them again very soon :)

  20. […] while others fawned over the newest member of our family, my 2-week old niece Evie! […]

  21. […] I spotted Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers on Iowa Girl Eats (Love that blog, btw!) I 1) wanted to make them immediately, if not sooner, and […]

  22. Jennifer 04.09.2012

    DEEEEE-licious! I wanted to make these RIGHT NOW, so in lieu of a meat grinder or a friendly butcher, I tenderized the beejezus out of some boneless skinless until it fell apart. My husband loved these, too, which is quite a compliment, since you can see the veggies inside. :) Thanks for the recipe! Going into our rotation! :)

  23. jennie 04.10.2012

    made these for dinner tonight. they were great. thanks bree!

  24. Michele A. 04.11.2012

    These were sheer AWESOMENESS! I actually used diced-up roasted red peppers since I forgot to pick up some fresh ones… But – they were sooo yummy with the avocados… OMG! Thank you for a great addition to our usual weeknight dinner fare! :)

  25. cait 04.12.2012

    These look sooooo yummy! I want to make them but not everyone in my family likes to eat peppers and green onions. Do you think it would be fine to puree them and then add them to the ground chicken and other spices?

  26. […] other night, we hit “really good” territory when I made Iowa Girl Eats’ chili lime chicken burgers.  This one picture is the only proof of its brief existence in our kitchen because when you put a […]

  27. […] time I served them alongside these Chili Lime Chicken burgers, which you can find the recipe for here. Sliced Baked Sweet Potatoes along with Chili Lime Chicken Burgers :) Share […]

  28. […] up until they were crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside, but since we’re still WOG (without grill) over here, I used the upside down grill, and broiled ‘em […]

  29. […]        Print This!     Chili Lime Turkey Burgers Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  30. vhorning 05.16.2012

    A must try !

  31. […] via Isabelle on […]

  32. Zuzu 05.28.2012

    Been meaning to try this for awhile now… tried it and it was a big hit with everyone.. made some modifications for the kids, but it was easy to cater to different preferences and still come out with a winner. We added bacon, because not everyone loves cilantro… but everyone LOVES bacon.

  33. Good Eats 05.31.2012

    […] (Check out Iowa Girl Eat’s homemade version of these!) […]

  34. […] Chili-Lime Chicken Burgers from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  35. […] that goes through Father’s Day, so the whole fam, including my cah-utie patootie hula-girl niece Evie, congregated this weekend to celebrate a bit […]

  36. […] burgers, but they would be so much better if they were organic! So when I found this recipe at Iowa Girl Eats I was thrilled! I could make them myself with all organic ingredients! They were easy to throw […]

  37. Rebecca 07.05.2012

    just found your blog and made these for the first time this week – delish! we did a few subs (ground turkey for ground chicken because it’s easier to find, used a cube of the Dorot frozen chili & garlic instead of flakes/fresh) and these were amazing. quick, healthy dinner!

  38. brandy 08.14.2012

    my picky husband was a big fan – he who dislikes scallions and cilantro (which i love to bits)! win!!
    thank you :-)

  39. brandy 08.14.2012

    ps – your blog is my new fave!!

  40. […] Iowa Girl Eats Serves: […]

  41. Kath 08.22.2012

    Your burgers are a perfect choice for the DailyBuzz Healthy Living Top 9!

  42. […] degree weather also meant I was willing to stand over the stove to cook dinner.  So I made these Chili Lime Chicken Burgers from Iowa Girl Eats.  I just discovered her blog, but I think I love […]

  43. Donna Shelton 08.29.2012

    Love Iowa girl eats! Red peppers are my most beautiful vegetable,,,,unbelievable red and makes any dish gorgeous. You can have the cilantro though,,,, I use very little and substitute parsley.

    Keep up this great website.

  44. Marieann 08.31.2012

    I can’t believe you thought the same thing that I did. I tried a sample of these at TJ and thought, how can I make these myself? Thanks for the information I can’t wait to try your recipe. I am going to go with chipped chives instead of green onions since that is what is in my garden.

  45. Jamie Ward 09.04.2012

    Wow!! Amazing flavors coming from all directions! This recipe is a keeper!!

  46. […] Homemade Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers: This copy cat recipe is seriously delicious. I’d actually never tried the original, and have never had any type of Chili Lime style chicken. But it was love at first bite. For reals. […]

  47. MISSEN16 09.29.2012

    when i saw this recipes i directly goes to my kitchen and bring out the ingredients & i did it, now its on the fridge.. i will cook later night and .. i have blog i will put it there and i will translate into my language so the people around me will understand & i will put the resource to this original recipe which is your site .. thank you 4 posting this easy recipe

  48. Natalie 10.11.2012

    These look so yummy! I was wondering what kind of bun you used?
    Thank you!

  49. Lauren V. 11.25.2012

    Does anyone know if these freeze well? :)

  50. DeeDee 12.11.2012

    They look delicious and your pictures are always beautiful! I’ve made them this weekend and they tasted great but looked like a disaster !

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