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If you’ve never had a hatch chile cheeseburger, you are definitely missing out. Made with the popular hatch chile from New Mexico, it’s an incredible burger that is the perfect way to change the pace from your same old same old.
All the rest of the ingredients are common ones you would find in a regular burger recipe, so these are pretty to make as long as you can get ahold of some hatch chiles!
Of course, we recommend making hatch chile burgers on the grill for maximum juiciness and flavor. If you don’t have a grill, you can still make these on the stovetop and have a fantastic burger. These are bound to be a family and friend favorite, so be prepared to make them again the next time you have an event or cookout.
Hatch Chiles and New Mexico
Many people are surprised to travel to New Mexico for the first time and learn about the importance of the hatch chile peppers. While they are possible to find in other parts of the country, the hatch chile originated in New Mexico and most residents of the state have a complete love for the pepper ( and the hatch chile cheeseburger!).
The chile is an amazing flavor addition to any burger because it is slightly sweet and has an earthy, onion-like flavor. The peppers can also range from mild to hot, you can get a good versatile option for adding heat.
When cooked on the grill, the peppers can go from crisp to tender in just a few minutes. They also get a smoky flavor that is simply unbeatable. If you really want to get fancy, you can smoke your peppers beforehand for even more flavor.
Where Do the Chiles Go?
If you live in New Mexico or have traveled to New Mexico, you have probably seen hatch chile cheeseburgers on the menu. If you ordered a regular burger, you may have even been asked by the waitress if you want to add chile.
However, despite it being such a widely practiced part of the food culture, there is still some debate on what part of the burger the chiles should go on.
Some people think they are better placed above the cheese. Others prefer to put their chiles under the cheese blanket. Others still prefer to only combine chiles into the burger patty.
If you are worried about spice level or have a low tolerance for spice, you should cook your burger with the cheese – like normal on the grill and then add the chile paste on top at the end. This way you can add it for taste. If you end up wanting more spice, you can always add more as you eat.
Putting it under the melted cheese will allow the chiles to cook into the burger more and give you a more powerful chile flavor. Spice lovers prefer this option. In New Mexico, you will see restaurants do both depending on the visual they are going for. The burgers definitely make a better photo op if the chiles are on top of the cheese adding in a pop of color to the burger.
Top With Salsa or Fresh Chiles
For our hatch chile cheeseburger recipe, we used hatch chile green salsa for the burger and fresh chiles to put into the patty itself. The flavor and the spice of the salsa are more consistent and easier to add to the burger.
You don’t have to do it this way if you don’t want to! Roasting fresh chiles in lieu of a hatch chile salsa will often result in a much spicier burger – they will just take a bit longer to prep.
You can also use jarred or canned chiles for the recipe if you are in a pinch. Just make sure to drain them first. You can also add them onto the burger while it is cooking or wait until the end after they have come off the grill.
If you are grilling for guests or at an event, we recommend putting the chile salsa on the side so that people can add however much or as little as they want. This will ensure that no one gets a burger that is too spicy for them to handle.
Using chiles inside the burger and adding the salsa on the top gives the burger an amazing flavor with just enough spice. By using both techniques, you get the best of both worlds.
Burger Prep Tips
Now that you’ve been primed on hatch chiles and how they add so much to the burger, let’s look at some other helpful grilling tips to ensure you make the best burger possible.
Toast the Buns
Toasting the buns is one of the best things you can do when it comes to making the perfect burger. That extra char taste will bring out the other flavors of the burger effortlessly. Just make sure not to burn the bun! Toasting the bun will also help the burger to stay hot longer.
Combining the Ingredients
Adding in the seasonings and the green chiles into the patty mix will create a cohesiveness and greatly enhance the burger’s flavor. It will also help to make sure the meat stays together better and doesn’t fall apart as you are grilling.
While forming the patties after combining the ingredients, make sure you don’t overwork the meat. Overworking the meat or spending too much handling it will remove much of the natural juices. It will also make it more likely to fall apart as you are cooking.
Always flip the burger and make sure both sides are cooked evenly. This will ensure the juices don’t drain out and you get a nice crispy flavor on both sides. We recommend grilling each side for about six minutes to get the best flavor.
Consider Smoking Your Burgers
If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, smoked burger patties are a perfect pair with this hatch chile cheeseburger. The smokey flavor combines really nicely with the hatch salsa and is sure to leave you wanting more.
If you are looking for an enhancement of the classic burger to grill for friends or neighbors, try this hatch green chile cheeseburger. It will add the perfect flavor and spiciness to the burger that will be loved by many, especially those who like things spicy.
It’s also very easy to make (as long as you have access to hatch chiles) because you begin by just forming the patty and grilling the burger like normal. Adding in the chilies and the chile salsa is an easy step and won’t take much extra time.
Check out our bacon ranch burger recipe next for more burger inspiration!
Hatch Chile Cheeseburger
- 1 lb ground chuck
- 1/4 cup yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 tbsp hatch chiles peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 4 jalapeño jack cheese slices
- 4 hamburger buns
- 6 tbsp hatch chile salsa click link for our favorite homemade recipe, but store bought works great
- mayonnaise to taste
- In a bowl combine beef, diced onion, chopped hatch chiles, salt, and pepper. Once evenly mixed, shape into 4 burger patties
- Preheat grill to 350ºF
- Place burgers on grill. Cook about 6 minutes per side or until both sides of the patties are slightly crispy
- Place cheese slices on each burger. Allow heat to melt the cheese onto the patty (usually about 45 seconds)
- Remove patties from grill and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes
- Spread a little bit of mayonnaise on both sides of each bun. Place burger patty on bottom but, then top with hatch chile salsa on top to taste. Enjoy!