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Chicken Cakes

Chicken Cakes - Moist and flavorful, these chicken cakes can be made ahead, then cooked quickly for an easy family meal.

I can’t believe it – we only have one more week to go before the new school year begins! (I know for many of you living in other parts of the country – school already started weeks ago!)

It’s only a matter of time before the week is filled with all sorts work, school and after school activities – so easy and delicious meals like today’s Chicken Cakes will come very much in handy! They are made in advance, then chilled before cooking, so these delicious Chicken Cakes are perfect for those nights when you don’t have a lot of time to get dinner on the table.

Chicken Cakes - Moist and flavorful, these chicken cakes can be made ahead, then cooked quickly for an easy family meal.

Our Chicken Cakes are made in a similar style to a crab cake.  We placed a mix of chicken breasts and thighs into the bowl of a food processor and processed the meat into small chunks. Then a mix of mayonnaise, eggs, cracker crumbs and lots of herbs and seasonings gives great flavor to the chicken mixture.

I will note that as my husband Jack developed this recipe, he tried a few different techniques to ensure that the recipe would result in the most flavorful and juicy Chicken Cakes. He found that the best method was to cook half the chicken mixture, then cool it before mixing with the rest of the uncooked chicken mixture.  At that point, the mixture is formed into patties and chilled again before finally frying and serving. We found that this method was the best to avoid having outer edges over-cooked while the inner chicken was still undercooked.

Chicken Cakes - Moist and flavorful, these chicken cakes can be made ahead, then cooked quickly for an easy family meal.

This Chicken Cakes recipe makes a fairly big batch – so you’ll have enough to pack for lunch the next day, or for a dinner of leftovers.  You could even freeze some of these Chicken Cakes to enjoy at a later date if you’d like.

Chicken Cakes
 
Serves: 8-10 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
We included both red pepper flakes and Tabasco sauce in the recipe which gives a gentle heat to the Chicken Cakes. If you don’t like the little bit of heat that these two add, feel free to eliminate one or both.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup small diced red, yellow or orange bell pepper, but not green
  • 1 cup small dice onions
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning such as Bells
  • 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced fine
  • ½ cup crushed Ritz crackers
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 shakes Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons oil for frying, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter for frying, divided
Instructions
  1. Place breast meat and thigh meat in a food processor and process until the meat is ground down to about pea sized pieces. Try not to over process. Divide the mixture in half.
  2. In a large sauté pan, melt butter and over medium heat, sauté peppers, onions, pepper flakes and poultry seasoning for four minutes. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.
  3. Add half of the ground chicken meat and stir and cook until cooked through, about three minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl place crackers, mayonnaise, parsley, salt, pepper Tabasco, bread crumbs, eggs and mustard. Mix to combine.
  5. Add raw chicken and cooled mixture from sauté pan and mix.
  6. Form the mixture into 18 balls and press to a disc shape and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Place in the refrigerator to firm up for at least 30 minutes
  7. Heat a large grill pan over medium heat and add half the oil and half the butter. Once melted, place half the chicken cakes into the pan. Fry for about 3-4 minutes per side. Since we are dealing with raw chicken, I inserted a probe thermometer into the side of one of the cooked cakes to make sure it was at least 150 degrees F before removing to a platter. Repeat for second batch.
  8. Alternatively, if you have two grill pans you can cook all at once.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.


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Chicken Cakes - Moist and flavorful, these chicken cakes can be made ahead, then cooked quickly for an easy family meal.

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  1. Do you think these would work if baked?

  2. I use Purdue ground chicken as a sub for ground beef almost exclusively. Do you think it would work in this recipe?

  3. I’m curious why you would cook half the chicken make the patties and then add the raw meat and cook till ready. Is it to save time or for texture?

    • Hi Cheryl – It was definitely for texture purposes…we find that when cooking ground chicken, the outside starts to overcook/over brown before the inside gets cooked enough. After testing a few different options, this half cooked/half raw resulted in the perfect chicken cake.

  4. These look delicious! What do you serve for a side dish with these? I have some ideas, but I was wondering if you have a go-to side dish that you frequently serve.

    • Hi Erin – Most days lately we end up serving our chicken cakes with a garden or Caesar salad or grilled vegetables on the side, but they also delicious with potatoes, coleslaw, or even served as a sandwich. Hope that helps!

  5. I don’t usually buy crackers. Do you think I could omit the crackers and just double the bread crumbs/panko? Also, do you think this would work with precooked canned or rotisserie chicken?

    • Hi Nicola – Yes! You can swap in more panko for the crackers and precooked chicken/rotisserie can be mixed in with the raw chicken. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  6. Hi there…. these look yummy. Do you know if you can use all breast instead of breast and thigh?

  7. Martha, I’m making these next week! Drooling!

  8. Can these be made ahead and frozen?

  9. Hi. I made this and it was loved by everyone. I will be making it again and again. I wanted to thank you for the recipe and to ask how long can you keep the meat in the fridge after adding in all the ingredients?

    • Hi Shafiqa – I’d suggest cooking the mixture within 24 hours. And, definitely chill it as soon as possible after mixing the ingredients together.

  10. These look delicious, but I need to replace the crackers and breadcrumbs with cauliflower “rice.” This substitution works fine in my meatloaf and meatballs, so I see no reason why it wouldn’t work with your chicken cakes. I have several one pound bags of shredded rotisserie chicken in the freezer … good to go!

  11. Love see good food too fix on line, Thanks looking forward to seeing more

  12. I have just mixed the mixture together and it is to wet. Can I add more bread crumbs and where did I go wrong tks

    • Hi Linda – Without being in your kitchen it’s difficult to tell where you went wrong – but yes, feel free to add more bread crumbs. Hope that helps!