Throwdown's Green Chile Cheeseburgers

In New Mexico, the state vegetable is the chile pepper, where they're layered atop beef for an iconic dish: the Green Chile Cheeseburger. Sometimes topping the Scoville chart, and sometimes mildly spicy, these burgers are defined by a relish of mixed chiles and a handsome dose of melted cheese. Bobby's recipe has poblano, Hatch and serrano chiles with honey and red wine vinegar to balance. Pickled red onions add tang, and a Monterey Jack-Parmesan queso sauce brings it home with creamy rich flavor.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 35 min
  • Inactive: 4 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Queso Sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk

12 ounces Chihuahua or Monterey jack cheese, coarsely grated

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Green Chile Relish:

1 medium poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

1 serrano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pickled Red Onions:

1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

12 blue or yellow corn tortilla chips, coarsely crushed


  1. Burgers:
  2. For the queso sauce:
  3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk, increase the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese until melted; add the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep warm.
  4. For the relish:
  5. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. For the pickled red onions:
  7. Bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Put the onions in a medium bowl, pour the vinegar over, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 48 hours before serving.
  8. For the burgers:
  9. Heat a griddle or large saute pan over high heat. Add the oil and let it heat until it begins to shimmer.
  10. Shape the ground beef with your hands into 4 round patties about 1 1/2 inches thick and season each burger on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the burgers until golden brown on both sides and cooked to medium, about 8 minutes.
  11. Put the burgers on the buns and top each with a few tablespoons of the queso sauce, relish, onions and chips.

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