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.

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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.

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Chicken Cakes

  • Prep Time: 60 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x

Description

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.


Scale

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 flat griddle 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 griddle pans or a large griddle you can cook all at once.

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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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    Comments

  • Shoni wrote:

    Do you think these would work if baked?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Shoni – You can bake them but you won’t get the same golden and crispy outside that you see in our photos.

      • Shoni wrote:

        Gotcha. Thanks!

  • Cecille wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      It should work Cecille!

  • cheryl wrote:

    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?

    • Martha wrote:

      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.

  • Erin wrote:

    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.

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Nicola wrote:

    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?

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Rainelle wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Rainelle – Sure – but the thigh meat has more flavor so that’s why we included both. Hope you love the recipe!

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you love them Ashley! 🙂 Happy New Year!

  • Amy wrote:

    Can these be made ahead and frozen?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Amy – Yes – freezing them before the final cooking step should work.

  • Martha wrote:

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

  • chris wrote:

    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!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Chris – Please let us know how it comes out with the cauliflower rice! Thanks!

      • JAN wrote:

        I’d like to know how the cauliflower rice worked, too. watching carbs here

  • Kathy Nichols wrote:

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

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Kathy – we’re glad you found us! Hope you enjoy the recipes!

  • Linda Moaby wrote:

    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

    • Martha wrote:

      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!

  • Amy wrote:

    Do you serve these with any kind of sauce?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Amy – They are delicious plain, with barbecue sauce, or you could serve it with a dollop of mayonnaise (there are some delicious flavored mayonnaise options) or even tartar sauce. Enjoy!

  • Erin @ Din wrote:

    I made these for dinner tonight, but used ground chicken because that is what I had. Also left out the bell peppers (I am picky and don’t like them). They were delicious! My family loved them! Frozen and half of them already shaped and will bring them out another night for a super fast dinner.

    • Martha wrote:

      So glad you all enjoyed the recipe Erin!

  • Jan wrote:

    This is very good but I made several changes that made it much easier and faster. First of all, I used white breast meat that was fully cooked and flaked. I added all the other ingredients and stirred together. Formed into patties and fried in small amount of butter until golden. It wasn’t necessary to precook the peppers and onions because these chicken patties were delicious.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for sharing Jan!

  • Jay Burnett wrote:

    I make “fake” crab cakes with leftover or rotisserie chicken ( juicier than leftover)
    Lemon zest , juice & old Bay are key. But this recipe shines . I can’t wait to make them

    Jay

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jay! Your version sounds delicious!

  • Sandy wrote:

    Could you cook the patties the final time on a charcoal grill?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sandy – Because it is so lean, we find that ground chicken sticks quite a bit to a charcoal or gas grill. You can try it – and definitely oil your grill grates if you do – but I think you’ll see the best results in a skillet.

  • Sherry Lozano wrote:

    Would you be able to use ground ham? Instead of getting hams back when we process a hog we get ground ham. Hard finding good recipes.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Sherry – I’ve never cooked with ground ham! Assuming it’s similar to ground pork and uncooked, I think it would work! Please let us know how it comes out!

  • Jlizzie wrote:

    really loved this recipe as did my company. question, if I wanted to freeze would it be best before or after grilling?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi – I’d suggest freezing them in patties before the final cooking step.

  • Cynthia Rumbold wrote:

    Looks very yummy.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Cynthia! Hope you’ll give the recipe a try!

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