zinger burger featured image
This copycat KFC Zinger Burger recipe is easy to make at home using the classic spices and seasonings found on famous fast food menu. Chicken is marinated, breaded, and fried until golden brown, then served with lettuce, Zinger sauce and sandwiched in a bun.
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Table of Contents
  1. What is a Zinger Burger?
  2. Copycat KFC Zinger Burger Recipe
  3. Why We Love This Zinger Burger Recipe
  4. Ingredients
  5. Substitutions and Additions
  6. Recommended Tools
  7. How to Make A Zinger Burger
  8. Tip From Our Recipe Developer
  9. Storage
  10. Frequently Asked Questions
  11. Other Easy Burger Recipes
  12. Zinger Burger Recipe

Our Copycat KFC Zinger Burger recipe makes it easy to recreate the famous fast food crispy fried chicken sandwich at home. A crispy chicken sandwich with a creamy spicy burger sauce with a “zing”! All topped with cheese and lettuce, and served inside soft sesame seed buns. 

zinger burger hero image

What is a Zinger Burger?

The Zinger Burger was made famous by the fast food chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). This burger is actually a fried chicken sandwich made on the spicy side by including paprika and cayenne pepper in the chicken breading. The fried chicken filet burger is loaded on a soft bun and topped with a spicy mayonnaise sauce.

Copycat KFC Zinger Burger Recipe

Our KFC Zinger Burger copycat recipe is a homemade version of the famous crunchy spicy fried chicken sandwich, made with the signature mayonnaise Zinger sauce to mimic the original meal.

It’s as simple as soaking chicken breasts in a buttermilk marinade and then coating them in spicy breading, all before being fried, garnished, slathered in sauce, and sandwiched between burger buns.

I love making this KFC chicken Zinger in the comfort of my own kitchen, especially because I can adjust the heat and tolerate the tasty hint of zing.

The soft bread is the perfect contrast to the crunchy chicken coating; this sandwich boasts the best flavors and textures in every seasoned crispy bite.

Why We Love This Zinger Burger Recipe

  • Quick and easy to cook a copycat KFC chicken burger.
  • Uses simple kitchen-staple ingredients.
  • A homemade Zinger burger sauce is the best because you can adjust the heat according to your personal preference.
  • Chicken Zingers are a take on the original fried chicken recipe with a spicy twist.
  • Perfect way to bring the family together to enjoy a “fast food” dinner.

Other Easy Copycat Recipes

zinger burger cut in half

Ingredients

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • Buttermilk
  • Hot sauce: I used Frank’s red hot original but feel free to use your favorite brand.
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • Self rising flour
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Mayonnaise: Use your favorite brand.
  • Ketchup
  • Sriracha 
  • Sesame seed buns
  • Muenster cheese
  • Iceberg lettuce (optional topping)

Substitutions and Additions

  • Tasty Toppings: In addition to lettuce, try topping your burger with sliced tomatoes, pickles, or onions.
  • Choose Your Cheese: Instead of muenster cheese, you can use cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, or your favorite slice.
  • Create A Cruncher: This zinger is made with chicken breast but you can easily swap the breasts for chicken thighs to create a cruncher burger.
hand holding zinger burger
  • Whisk
  • Sealable container or a gallon-size ziplock bag
  • Shallow bowl or baking dish
  • 4 – 5 quart stock pot
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How to Make A Zinger Burger

  1. Make The Marinade: Whisk together the buttermilk, hot sauce, kosher salt, and white pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
    Pro Tip: If you are using a sealable container, turn the chicken over to completely coat. If using the zip lock bag, tightly seal the bag and “massage’ the chicken to completely coat the chicken.
  2. Prepare The Zinger Sauce: Whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, and sriracha. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready for garnishing the sandwiches.
  3. Create The Coating: Whisk together the flour, onion powder, kosher salt, white pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the marinated chicken in the flour mixture.
  4. Cook The Chicken: Heat the oil to 330 – 350 degrees Fahrenheit and fry the chicken for 5 – 7 minutes per side or until golden brown. Place chicken on a baking dish lined with paper towels to drain.
    Pro Tip: You should be able to cook 2 pieces of chicken at a time. Keep a close eye on the temperature, adjusting the stove top temp up and down to keep the oil at the appropriate temperature.
  5. Assemble The Sandwiches: Lay a slice of muenster cheese over the hot chicken. Spread the zinger sauce on the top bun, place the chicken on the bottom bun, garnish with iceberg lettuce, and top with the bun.
  6. Serve: Serve and enjoy!
zinger burger collage process

Tip From Our Recipe Developer

  • 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 creamier, crunchier sandwich.
  • For the best flavor, I recommend marinating your chicken for at least 4 hours to overnight. This will also ensure your chicken is juicy and tender.
  • You can coat the chicken once but a double-coating will provide even more crispiness.

Storage

  • To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the cooked chicken for up to 2 months. All the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 
  • To Reheat: You can reheat your burger in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crispy and heated through.
zinger burger with fries

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I use In Place Of Buttermilk?

If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can add 1 ½ tablespoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to milk. Stir to combine.

Can I Use A Deep Fryer To Fry My Chicken?

Yes, you can use a deep fryer for this recipe. Simply set it to 325 – 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the chicken as directed above. 

What Is The Difference Between A Zinger Burger And A Cruncher?

Zinger burgers are made with chicken breast. The Cruncher is made with chicken thighs. But you can use either type of chicken, it’s your kitchen!

zinger burger

Other Easy Burger Recipes

5 from 2 votes
zinger burger featured image

Zinger Burger

Serves — 4
This copycat KFC Zinger Burger recipe is easy to make at home using the classic spices and seasonings found on famous fast food menu. Chicken is marinated, breaded, and fried until golden brown, then served with lettuce, Zinger sauce and sandwiched in a bun.
Prep Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 (1 – 1 ½ lbs) skinless, boneless chicken breast (or 4 thighs – the cruncher burger is made with thighs and the zinger is made with chicken breast)

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 completely coat. 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 completely 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 – 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 – 350*. (340* seems to be the sweet spot)
  • Just before the oil reaches 325*, 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 temp up and down to keep the oil at the appropriate temperature. (Keep in mind that the oil temp will fluctuate when you add the chicken) Fry the chicken for 5 – 7 minutes per side.
  • Once the chicken is a deep golden brown, and the internal temperature reaches 165*, remove the chicken to a baking dish lined with paper towels. Repeat the steps for the remaining 2 pieces of chicken.
  • While the 1st batch of chicken is draining, lay 2 slices of muenster cheese over the hot chicken.
  • 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.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze the cooked chicken for up to 2 months. All the chicken to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 
  • To Reheat: You can reheat your burger in the oven for 15-20 minutes until crispy and heated through.
Tips:
  • 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 creamier, crunchier sandwich.
  • For the best flavor, I recommend marinating your chicken for at least 4 hours to overnight. This will also ensure your chicken is juicy and tender.
  • You can coat the chicken once but a double-coating will provide even more crispiness.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 861kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 72g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 2900mg | Potassium: 1177mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1073IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 594mg | Iron: 3mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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