Comida Latina, Mains, Recipes, Sandwiches

Green Chile Cheeseburgers with Cayenne Lime Mayo

May 16, 2014
Like most parents, I’m always on the lookout for quick midweek meals. The classic cheeseburger is one of my favorites. Kid-friendly and easy to prepare, it’s high in iron, and makes for a healthy dinner option when pared with a crisp salad.

But just like anything that occurs on a regular basis, the traditional burger recipe can get boring if served too often. Adding toppings like green chiles and cheese is a delicious way to mix things up. The concept is nothing new, of course. In New Mexico, a juicy burger decked out with spicy chiles and creamy cheese is so prolific you’d think it was the state sandwich. Most of these flavorful recipes however, call for roasting the chiles until charred, peeling off the skin, and removing the core, seeds, and membranes. It’s a process that, as authentic as it is, requires more time than most of us have on an average weeknight.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative preparation that yields the same combination of grilled meat, creamy cheese, and smoky chiles without all the fuss. Peppers, onions, and garlic sautéed in a single skillet makes a quick and easy caramelized concoction that underscores the vibrancy of the chiles, and a cayenne-lime mayonnaise adds another element of heat.

Once grilling season is in full swing, I’ll definitely be taking these babies outside, but a cast-iron skillet provides an easy indoor option that pan-fries the burgers to crispy-edge perfection. Whichever cooking method you use, the final step is topping the burgers with the chile mixture and sprinkling it with cheese. The cheese melts on top of the chiles and adheres them to your burger, creating a rich, velvety casing that will offset the heat of any overly fiery chiles.

Green Chile Cheeseburgers with Cayenne Lime Mayo

Yield: 4

This recipe first appeared on The Latin Kitchen


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large poblano chile, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 large Anaheim chile, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup shredded cotija cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add chiles and onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are starting to brown and soften, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
  2. Divide ground beef into 4 pieces and flatten gently into patties. Drizzle lightly with oil, rubbing the oil over the patties to coat and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and cook hamburgers on one side, without disturbing until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side until they are done to your liking (about another 5 minutes for medium).
  4. Turn off the heat and top each burger with a generous spoonful of the chile mixture. Divide the cotija between the burgers and cover the pan with a lid until the cheese melts.
  5. While cheese is melting toast the buns and make the mayonnaise by combining the mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl, whisking until smooth.
  6. Spread a generous spoonful of the mayonnaise on one side of the bun, place the hamburger over the mayonnaise and top with the other side of the bun. Serve immediately.

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  • Heather Christo May 21, 2014 at 1:19 am

    Holy Cow!!! this cheeseburger looks so good I am going to combust!

  • Kate Ramos May 21, 2014 at 2:28 am

    LOL, your hilarious, Heather! Please don’t combust 🙂