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Zinger Burger

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close up shot of Zinger Burger on a wooden board
This Zinger burger has plenty of spicy flavors, both in the tangy sauce and the crisp breading of the fried chicken for a sandwich that is big on taste.
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Table of Contents
  1. Zinger Burger Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Zinger Burger Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

If you love a good burger, then you have to try this copycat KFC Zinger burger, and we guarantee it will satisfy your cravings. With crispy breaded chicken, cheese, and spicy sauce that packs a punch, all tucked inside a soft sesame seed bun, this is one burger you won’t want to miss.

close up shot of Zinger Burger on a plate with a side of french fries

Zinger Burger Ingredients

Zinger Burger raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 4 (1-1½ pounds each) skinless boneless chicken breasts

For the Marinade

  • 1½ cups buttermilk, well shaken
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (your favorite brand, I used Frank’s red hot original)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper

For the Coating

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1½ teaspoons ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying

For the Zinger Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (your favorite brand)
  • 1½ tablespoons ketchup (your favorite brand)
  • 1½ tablespoons sriracha 
  • 4 sesame seed buns
  • 8 slices of muenster cheese
  • Iceberg lettuce (optional topping)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CHICKEN: As a general rule, Zinger burgers are made with chicken breasts, while a Cruncher burger is made with chicken thighs, but you can use either type of chicken in this burger.

BUTTERMILK: If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can add 1½ tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to the milk. Stir to combine.

How to Make This Zinger Burger Recipe

STEP ONE: Add the buttermilk, hot sauce, kosher salt, and white pepper to a small mixing bowl. Whisk the marinade to combine. 

buttermilk, hot sauce, kosher salt, and white pepper whisked together in a bowl

STEP TWO: Place the chicken in either a sealable container or a gallon-size Ziploc bag. Pour the buttermilk marinade over the chicken. If you are using the container, turn the chicken over to coat it completely. If using the Ziploc, tightly seal the bag and “massage” the chicken to completely coat it. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

buttermilk mixture poured over the chicken in a ziploc bag

STEP THREE: Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, and sriracha to a small bowl. Whisk to incorporate completely. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready for garnishing the sandwiches.

mayonnaise, ketchup and sriracha whisked in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Just before frying the chicken, add the self-rising flour, onion powder, kosher salt, white pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper to a shallow bowl or baking dish. Whisk to combine and set it aside.

STEP FIVE: Add the oil to a 4 to 5-quart stock pot. Heat the oil over medium-high to high heat. You will want to use a candy/deep frying thermometer to help you monitor the temperature. Heat the oil to 330 to 350°F. We find 340°F seems to be the sweet spot.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

You can also use a deep fryer for this recipe if you have one. Simply set it to 325 to 350°F. Cook the chicken as directed above.

STEP SIX: Just before the oil reaches 325°F, remove 1 piece of chicken at a time from the marinade. Allow some of the marinade to drip off. Dredge the coated chicken in the flour coating.

chicken coated with the flour mixture

STEP SEVEN: Immediately add the coated chicken to the hot oil. You should be able to cook 2 pieces of chicken at a time. Keep a close eye on the temperature, adjusting the stove top temperature up and down to keep the oil at the appropriate temperature. Keep in mind that the oil temperature will fluctuate when you add the chicken. Fry the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes per side.

PRO TIP:

It is important to keep a very close eye on the chicken when frying. The coating can burn in a split second. 

chicken being fried in a pot

STEP EIGHT: Once the chicken is a deep golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F, remove the chicken to a baking dish lined with paper towels. Repeat the steps for the remaining 2 pieces of chicken. 

STEP NINE: While the first batch of chicken is draining, lay 2 slices of muenster cheese over the hot chicken. 

muenster chicken laid over the chicken

STEP TEN: Once all the chicken pieces have been cooked and cheese has been added, spread the zinger sauce on the top bun. Place the chicken on the bottom bun and top with iceberg lettuce. Top with the bun and serve.

PRO TIP:

You can lightly butter and toast the buns for an even yummier sandwich.

put chicken on a bun topped with lettuce and zinger sauce on a plate

How To Serve

Anytime you are craving a delicious takeout meal, give this Zinger a try. Add a few classic sides for these tasty chicken burgers, including our elbow macaroni pasta salad and coleslaw, plus an ice-cold iced tea to drink.

Homemade burgers are easier to make than you think and a delicious way to eat at home. Our best burger and Oklahoma fried onion burgers are both delicious recipes to try.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the cooked chicken for up to 2 months. Allow the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

close up shot of Zinger Burger on a plate split in half

This crispy chicken sandwich, piled high with melty cheese, crisp lettuce, and a sauce that has plenty of zing will be a winner with your family. It’s a great alternative to the drive-thru and comes together quickly and easily.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What do you need to fry chicken at home?

It’s quite easy to fry chicken at home. Make sure you have a deep pot or Dutch oven, a candy thermometer, and a metal slotted spoon.

What is the best oil for frying chicken?

Vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are the best choices for making fried chicken. Olive oil doesn’t have a high enough smoke point for frying.

Can I use chicken thighs for this recipe?

While Zinger burgers traditionally use chicken breasts, if you prefer chicken thighs, it will make for a delicious juicy chicken burger too!

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close up shot of Zinger Burger on a wooden board

Zinger Burger

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This Zinger burger has plenty of spicy flavors, both in the tangy sauce and the crisp breading of the fried chicken for a sandwich that is big on taste.
Prep Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 to 4½ skinless boneless chicken breasts (1 to 1½ pounds)

Marinade

  • cups buttermilk, well shaken
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce, your favorite brand, I used Frank’s red hot original
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper

Coating

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • teaspoons ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Zinger sauce

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise, your favorite brand
  • tablespoons ketchup, your favorite brand
  • tablespoons sriracha
  • 4 sesame seed buns
  • 8 slices muenster cheese
  • Iceberg lettuce, optional topping

Instructions
 

  • Add the buttermilk, hot sauce, kosher salt, and white pepper to a small mixing bowl. Whisk the marinade to combine.
  • Place the chicken in either a sealable container or a gallon-size ziplock bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken. If you are using the container, turn the chicken over to coat completely. If using the ziplock, tightly seal the bag and “massage” the chicken to completely coat the chicken. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Add the mayonnaise, ketchup, and sriracha to a small bowl. Whisk to thoroughly incorporate. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready for garnishing the sandwiches.
  • Just before frying the chicken, Add the self-rising flour, onion powder, kosher salt, white pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper to a shallow bowl or baking dish. Whisk to combine and set it aside.
  • Add the oil to a 4 to 5-quart stock pot. Heat the oil over medium-high to high heat. You will want to use a candy/deep frying thermometer to help you monitor the temperature. Heat the oil to 330 to 350°F. We find 340°F seems to be the sweet spot.
  • Just before the oil reaches 325°F, remove 1 piece of chicken at a time from the marinade. Allow some of the marinade to drip off. Dredge the coated chicken in the flour mixture.
  • Immediately add the coated chicken to the heated oil. You should be able to cook 2 pieces of chicken at a time. Keep a close eye on the temperature, adjusting the stove top temperature up and down to keep the oil at the appropriate temperature. Keep in mind that the oil temperature will fluctuate when you add the chicken. Fry the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  • Once the chicken is a deep golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F, remove the chicken to a baking dish lined with paper towels. Repeat the steps for the remaining 2 pieces of chicken.
  • While the first batch of chicken is draining, lay 2 slices of muenster cheese over the hot chicken.
  • Once all the chicken pieces have been cooked and the cheese has been added, spread the zinger sauce on the top bun. Place the chicken on the bottom bun and top with iceberg lettuce. Top with the bun and serve.

Notes

  • You can also use a deep fryer for this recipe if you have one. Simply set it to 325 to 350°F. Cook the chicken as directed above.
  • It is important to keep a very close eye on the chicken when frying. The coating can burn in a split second.
  • You can lightly butter and toast the buns for an even yummier sandwich.

Nutrition

Calories: 749kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 151mg | Sodium: 2785mg | Potassium: 811mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1043IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 589mg | Iron: 3mg
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