Enjoy this spicy, special green chile cheeseburger while you can.
Hatch green chiles from New Mexico only come around once per year, around August and September. So channel some New Mexico flavor and make a green chile cheeseburger, spicy and flavorful.
Other than a double-stuffed blue cheese burger, my favorite cheeseburger of all time is a Hatch green chile cheeseburger, which I first discovered (and then devoured) in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Despite my abiding love for this tender, spicy cheeseburger, I only really eat them once per year when Hatch chiles are in season.
This is a New Mexico-inspired burger extraordinaire: ground beef topped with roasted, diced Hatch green chiles, caramelized onions, topped with melted jack cheese on a soft bun.
How to Make a Good Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger
A good, New Mexico-style green chile cheeseburger starts with roasted Hatch green chile peppers, which I then stir into caramelized onions for a spicy pepper-onion topping.
Spoon the onion and chile pepper mix onto a cooked burger patty, then layer jack cheese on top of the chile-topped burger. This seals the chiles onto the burger meat. Let the cheese melt over everything. Put it on a bun, and serve.
A good green chile cheeseburger starts with roasted green chiles. If you have never roasted your own peppers before, don’t worry. It is very simple. All you need is a broiler and a pair of tongs.
How to Roast Peppers In the Oven
To roast peppers in the oven:
- Preheat the broiler and place your chile peppers on a sheet pan. No greasing necessary.
- Place the peppers under the broiler and broil, rotating every minute or two, until all sides are charred and blistered.
- Place the peppers in a paper bag. Fold it tightly closed, and let the hot, blistered peppers steam for about 10 minutes. The steam will loosen the skins from the flesh.
- Use your fingers or the back of a knife to scrape or peel the skins off.
- Split the peppers open. Remove the seeds, and slice the peppers as desired
Are Hatch chile peppers spicy?
Hatch chiles are somewhat spicy, but not too bad. The Scoville Scale measures Hatch chiles between 1,500 and 2,500 units—about the same as poblano or Anaheim peppers. Comparatively, habañero peppers weigh in at a head-popping, fire-breathing 80,000 to 300,000 units.
What is a substitute for Hatch chile peppers?
If you can’t find New Mexico’s special Hatch chiles, you can substitute Anaheim or poblano peppers.
Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger: Recipe Notes
Hatch green chiles are currently in season, and are loved because of their perfect balance of sweetness and heat. But if you can’t find them, go for the Anaheim pepper.
Roasting the chile peppers is the most work. You can do this up to 3 days in advance. Same with the caramelized onion.
Jack cheese is the most traditional cheese choice, but you could also use a mild white cheddar cheese.
Love a green chile cheeseburger? You’ll also enjoy:
- Double Stuffed Blue Cheese Burgers
- Salmon Burgers With Fresh Tzatziki Special Sauce
- Herby French Potato Salad
Green Chile Cheeseburgers
For the Roasted Chile Peppers
- 6 Hatch green chile peppers, or Anaheim
For the Burgers
- 1 cup diced roasted green chiles (from 6 peppers, above)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 pound 80% lean ground beef
- 8 slices jack cheese
- 4 fresh hamburger buns
- salt and pepper
- Optional burger toppings: ketchup, sliced tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise
For the Roasted Green Chile Peppers
- Preheat the broiler. Lay your chile peppers on a sheet pan in a single layer. (It is not necessary to grease the pan.)
- Place the peppers under the broiler about an inch from the element and broil, rotating with tongs every minute or two, until all sides are charred and blistered. Keep a close eye; the broiler works quickly.
- Place the peppers in a paper bag. Fold the bag tightly closed, and let the hot, blistered peppers steam for about 10 minutes. PRO TIP: The steam will loosen the skins from the flesh.
- Use your fingers or the back of a knife to scrape or peel the skins from the flesh of the roasted peppers. Split the peppers open with a sharp knife. Scrape away any seeds, and slice and dice the peppers.
For the Burgers and to Finish
- Divide the beef into four patties. Generously salt the top and bottom of each, and let them rest on the countertop to rise a little in temperature.
- Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, until translucent and a light, caramelized brown, about 15 minutes. Add the chile peppers and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Cook the burgers as you like, on a grill, stovetop, or on a sheet pan under the broiler. PRO TIP: When I'm not grilling, I broil my burgers for about 2 or 3 minutes per side for a medium burger.
- In the last minute of cooking, spoon a tablespoon or more of the onion and chile pepper mix onto the patty, then top with a slice or two of cheese. Finish cooking, allowing the cheese to melt on the burger.
- Place each patty on a bun. Top with a little more green chile, if desired, and serve with your favorite fixin's.