Green Chili Cheeseburger Recipe | Grilling

Each week Joshua Bousel of The Meatwave drops by with a recipe for you to grill over the weekend. Fire it up, Joshua!

I'm a burger purist. I don't think I've ever made a burger at home beyond ground beef, salt, pepper, and a slice of cheese. So I can't explain what possessed me to grill a green chile cheeseburger this week, but I'm glad it happened. I've seen and read about the green chile burgers before, but never actually had one. My attempt was more of a personal imagining of what one should be, not a recreation of the beloved Southwestern favorite.

I started by grilling a few poblanos and a thick slice of onion until fully charred, removed the chile skin, and coarsely chopped the two together. Then I mixed ground chuck with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, formed a patty, cooked it to medium-rare and finished it off with a slice of pepper jack. The burger, on a toasted bun with the chile-and-onion mixture, quickly went down the hatch.

The first thing that hit me was the spice. Having cooked with poblanos in the past, I was expecting a mild and fruity flavor, but instead got a good kick of heat. This was in a nice balance with the beef, which had an earthy quality from the chili powder and cumin. Each bite I kept expecting just "burger," but instead was greeted by the pleasing mix of Southwest flavors that got me wondering if my "simple burger as perfection" notion has room for company.

Green Chile Cheeseburger


  • 3 medium poblano chiles
  • 1 half-inch thick slice of a large onion, skewered through the middle horizontally
  • 1 lb ground chuck, at least 20 percent fat
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 slices Pepper Jack cheese
  • 3 hamburger buns


  1. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Place the poblanos and onion on the grill and cook until charred on all sides, about 4 minutes per side. Place the poblanos in a ziploc bag and seal, set the onion to the side. When chiles are cool enough to handle, about 5-10 minutes, remove from the back, peel of the charred skin, and seed. Coarsely chop the chiles and onion together and set aside.

  2. Mix the ground beef with the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Form into 3 1/3-lb patties and use your thumb to make a dimple in the middle of each one. Place the patties on the grill and cook until desired doneness. About 2 minuted before the burgers are done, top each with a slice of pepper jack cheese and allow to melt.

  3. Quickly grill hamburger buns, cut side down, until nicely browned, about 30 seconds. To serve, place the burger on the bun and top with the chili and onion mixture.