These jalapeño burgers with cheddar have the perfect level of heat and are filled with gooey, cheesy goodness. We grill them to perfection and top them with our favorite burger toppings for the perfect summer meal.
💗 Why We Love These Burgers
- They're super moist and flavorful: We add milk to our burgers (non-dairy milk works fine), which makes them super juicy. In addition, we use 80% lean ground beef, which adds a ton of great flavor. Adding pickled jalapeños adds some subtle spice and takes these burgers to the next level.
- They're easy: Sure, you could buy pre-made burger patties at the store, but these are so fast and easy and taste so much better. You just have to mix all the ingredients together, form patties, and throw them on the grill.
- They're perfect for summer cookouts: These burger patties are super summery and perfect for cookouts. We love to serve them with baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, and mac and cheese.
🥩 Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Ground beef: Some people use ground chuck instead, but we use regular old ground beef. Use whatever you usually prefer. We use 80% lean ground beef. The extra fat content helps keep the burgers super moist and flavorful.
- Cheddar cheese: We add shredded cheddar cheese to our burgers for that super gooey, cheesy flavor. We use sharp cheddar and always shred our own. Pepper-jack cheese would be a great alternative.
- Pickled jalapeños: We use pickled jalapeños instead of fresh ones. We like the flavor better and they're not quite as spicy. If you prefer, you can use fresh jalapeños instead. If you don't like spicy food, try something more tame, like green chiles.
- Egg: We add an egg to our burger mixture to help bind everything together. It also adds a ton of rich flavor.
- Panko breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs help keep the burgers moist. If you don't have panko, use crushed up crackers or old bread instead (saltines work well!).
- Milk: Milk keeps the burgers juicy and tender. You can use whatever kind of milk you usually buy.
- Hamburger buns: These are totally optional. Buy whatever vessel you usually eat your burgers on. I've been known to forgo a bun and eat my burgers over a salad. These burgers are great on brioche buns.
- Seasonings/other: Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, paprika, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder
See recipe card for amounts.
🥣 Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Mix cheese, pickled jalapeños, egg, panko breadcrumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings in a large bowl. Then add the ground beef and lightly mix until everything is combined. Do not overwork the beef.
Step 2: Divide the ground beef mixture into six even wedges (I cut it like a pizza). Then roll each wedge into a ball and smash it into a burger shape. The burgers should be slightly bigger than your buns. Place your thumb into the center of each burger to create an indentation. This prevents them from puffing up and shrinking when cooked.
Step 3: Heat your grill to 450°F. Place your burgers directly on the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Then flip the patties and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until cooked to your preferred temperature (150°F for medium well). If you want to add cheese to the top of your burgers, do it in the last couple minutes of cooking. You can also toast your buns during that time.
Alternatively, if you don't have a grill, heat a pan or grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side.
🍔 Topping Ideas
Wondering what to put on top of your jalapeño cheddar burgers? Here are our favorite toppings:
- Sliced pepperjack cheese
- More pickled jalapeños
- Sliced or mashed avocado (guacamole would be great too!)
- Shredded lettuce
- Red onions: If you find that your onions are too strong, soak them in some ice water for a few minutes.
💭 Top Tips
- Don't overwork the beef when you're mixing everything up. When overworked, ground beef becomes tough. Mix just long enough to combine everything, then stop.
- Don't use ground beef with a low fat content. The extra fat in 80% lean ground beef adds so much moisture and flavor.
- Don't mess with your burgers while they're cooking and only flip them once. Flipping them multiple times will dry them out and prevent them from developing a nice sear.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! Pre-heat your pellet grill to 450°F, then cook your burgers for 5-6 minutes on each side.
Yep. Pepper-jack, monterey jack, colby-jack, American, and gruyere (for a bougie option) would all be great.
Store these burgers in a baggie or air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, cook in a pan over medium-high heat for a minute or two per side. You can also pop them in the air fryer for a couple of minutes.
These sides go perfectly with jalapeño cheddar burgers: