Grilling an Awesome Burger

Do you ever get bored eating the same old meals over and over? Al and I really enjoy a good old-fashioned hamburger, but the usual burger time and again just doesn’t get us excited about eating … snore. Yep, it’s easy for food boredom to set in. Wanting to take it up a notch and take the ho-hum out of my everyday hamburger, I searched the internet for ideas.

Green Chili burgers

Hatch Green Chili Hamburgers

I started playing around with different ingredients that would hopefully incorporate some exciting yet tasty flavors.  I had some successes and some near failures. I wanted something out of the ordinary, but flavors that would mesh well with our individual palettes. Keep in mind, Al and I are originally from northern Illinois where it’s all about corn, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Peppers and chilies weren’t ingredients we grew up with in Illinois. I’m sure times have changed and peppers are much more common these days, but thirty to forty years ago chilies weren’t a part of our diet or products we’d easily find growing in the fields. I know, our mother’s certainly never used green chilies. I’m not even sure they knew what they were. So a couple of months ago when I returned from the grocery store with a little can of green chilies, my husband wondered what the heck I was up to. To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure myself how I’d feel about the taste of these unusual, to me, ingredient.

grilled burgers and asparagus

green chili burgers with grilled asparagus and sweet orange bell pepper.

Well let me tell you, these burgers are so awesome that they’ve become the norm around the RV, and when we get together with the kids, they even request these flavorful green chili burgers.

They are so darn tasty, that a bun isn’t required. Since we loosely follow a Paleo diet and avoid bread, we usually eat our burgers in a lettuce wrap. Add a side of grilled veggies and can you say, ‘yum’!

Green Chili burgersLast year we spent a couple of weeks hanging around Santa Fe, New Mexico. Not only did we fall in love with the eclectic city, we fell in love with the food and learned a lot about peppers and chilies.

I swear, Santa Fe has the best farmer’s market … at least the best farmer’s market I’ve ever been to.  Unbeknownst to us, we timed our excursion to Santa Fe perfectly last August during pepper / chili season. Ah, the smell of roasting peppers.

New Mexico is known for producing the best peppers and chilies in the United States. I’m still not sure if there’s a difference between a pepper and a chili because I was given mixed opinions on the subject. Thus, I’ll leave that question as a quest for a future visit to Santa Fe … not that I need an excuse for a revisit …. this farmer’s market is reason enough!

But my pepper and chili education didn’t end in Santa Fe. I’m a cookbook junkie and unfortunately the RV doesn’t allow space to collect books like I used to. Thus, I now rely on local libraries to satisfy my cookbook addiction. Most recently I picked up a copy of Freddie Prinze Jr.’s cookbook – Back to the Kitchen: 75 Delicious, Real Recipes  from a Food-Obsessed Actor. The actor grew up in New Mexico and shares his love affair with chili’s grown in his home state. Awesome … I learned even more about New Mexico and their agricultural specialty.

Although I would never consider myself a pepper or chili expert, since becoming enlightened, I now make it a point to purchase Hatch chiles whenever possible. These ‘hatch‘ chiles are grown in Hatch, New Mexico … go figure … and are undoubtedly known as the best chilies in the country. We’ll attest to that. They are indeed quite tasty. And this coming from a  couple of former Midwesterner’s with northern European heritage. Boy, our taste buds sure have changed over the years.

Travel is enlightening in so many ways. We see amazing scenery, meet extraordinary people, and discover unique culinary delights. How fun! Never in a million years would I have envisioned my German/Norwegian husband eagerly popping samples of sauteed peppers in his mouth at the Sante Fe farmer’s market. “Where is my husband, and what have you done with him?” 😆🌶🌽


So how bout it …. are you ready to take your burgers up a notch?

Awesome Green Chili HamburgerGreen Chili Burgers 
– 1 Pound lean ground beef
– 1/2 can of Hatch green chili’s, drained
– 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
– 1/4 cup chopped onion
– 1/8 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
– 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except for the ground beef. Once all ingredients are well incorporated, toss in the ground beef and mix together well. Divide beef into four equal amounts and patty out into burgers. Grill to desired temperature and serve on a toasted bun or wrapped in lettuce leaves.

Hope you give these burgers a try and enjoy them as much as we do! Let me know if you do make’m and if you made any tasty changes ☺  Update – I now add the whole can of Hatch chilies to the burger meat. We’re totally into these peppers!

Cuisinart CNP-410 Non-Stick Grilling Platter, 10 by 10-Inch

affiliate links contained in this post!


75 thoughts on “Grilling an Awesome Burger

  1. This looks yummy! I’m not usually a big chilli and pepper fan, but I think I’ll make it an exception when I try out your recipe 😉🤗🍔

  2. Thanks for the recipe! I made them last night and they were a real hit. I think I will try the hotter chilies next time.

  3. The cayenne peppers I planted have taken OFF!!! I’ve put them in salsa, made pepper sauce, used them to pickle the zucchini that has taken over and I made my own version of Frank’s Hot Sauce. Go me!

    • When we lived in Co. Springs and later in Pueblo West, I was so busy working that I never got into the whole chili thing. Now I feel like I missed out. Oh well, better late than never 😀

  4. I agree, the Santa Fe farmers’ market is one of the best! We buy freshly roasted chiles and put a couple of bags in the freezer. They don’t last long! We like them in burgers, too — your recipe looks great, and very similar to ours. So tasty!

    • Ooh, I’d love to know how your recipe differs. I’m really in the mood lately to change things up in the kitchen. If I’m not on the move changing my backyard, I might has well change up what’s on the plate. Guess I’m a gal who embraces change 😁

  5. Always looking for different ways of doing a burger as there are so many variations. The green chilies sounds like a good flare for an awesome taste for the burgers.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Hope you give’m a try. I’m not sure why I never played around with adding various ingredients to our hamburgers. I guess, better late than never. Oh, what shall we try next? 😃

  6. The local H-E-B grocery stores in San Antonio have a Hatch chili festival every year. They roast chilis front of the store, sell Hatch chili cornbread and other tasty treats. We love Hatch chili salsa. Have you ever made your burgers with ground turkey? Bob doesn’t eat red meat so all of our burgers, spaghetti, lasagne, chili, etc., are made with ground turkey.

    • I love H-E-B and stock up on some of their store brands after our Jan/Feb stay along the Texas Gulf Coast. I switch back and forth between beef and turkey all the time. It just depends on where I shop. When we lived in southern Colorado, we were so busy working that we never embraced the local flavors, but I remember the chili festivals and how folks from Denver would take the 2 hour drive just for the chilies.

  7. The pictures made me hungry. I grew up in Thailand and love spicy foods, so I don’t think I can last more than a few days without eating chilis.

    • Oh yes, the spices of Thailand … You must find traditional northern European dishes very bland. I know, these days I sure do. I find myself cooking with sriracha or cayenne pepper regularly, even if it’s a small amount.

  8. This is exactly how we upgraded our burgers: with green chili. Since we lived for many years in New Mexico we even made our own green chili, soooo good! Thanks for reminding me, that’s our dinner today!

    • When we lived in southern Colorado, we were exposed to a lot of the New Mexican flavors, but didn’t really embrace the ingredients until we started traveling full-time. We were missing out for sure!

  9. We’ve been adding “Todd” ingredients to burgers for a while now; boredom does inspire creativity! If a person is willing, there are loads of ways to make them new and tasty

    • Since we’ve been stationary this summer, I’ve been having fun experimenting in the kitchen. When we’re on the move a lot, I feel less inclined to cook things out of the ordinary. Now that I’ve had success with the Mexican flavors, I think I’ll tackle Italian next 😀

      • Ingrid — I hear ya! I pretty much threw my cookbooks out the window years ago. I didn’t do that literally — I kept them for references, like how to tweak a pierogi dough or what temperature to bake a favorite muffin-method coffee cake — but meals with us are all ad libs. The basics are always the same — the flavorings may change but once you have the basics everything else is fun.

        I’ll be looking for Italian ideas. After Polish, Italian is my favorite..

  10. Hatch chilis are really that good. We learned about them before our full timing days. I learned how to make a sauce out of them, freeze some and had some with scrambled eggs. The sauce would be good with your burger which looks so yummy. I’ll keep this in mind and try it when Steve can eat real solid food someday 😦

    • Oh yum, in scrambled eggs! I’m usually not a fan of scrambled eggs but once loaded with a bunch of delicious ingredients, I’m all in. Not moving around this summer has given me the opportunity to get back in the kitchen and play around. Hopefully Steve will be back to normal soon and you can start feeding the boy and putting some pounds back on him.

    • My sister-in-law is from southern Cal and she introduced my brother to all those wonderful Tex/Mex flavors …. yum – we’re huge fans!

  11. We cook hamburgers regularly,but haven’t as yet cooked a green chilli one. After seeing yours, that’s about to change, and a can or jar of green chillies is on my shopping list. We call then rissoles in Australia if they’re served without a bun. If they’re served in a bun then we call the whole thing – bun filled with the hamburger patty and salad, a hamburger. I think you call the ground raw meat, hamburger in the US too. In Australia, we call the uncooked meat, mince. Funny the different terms for food across the globe.

    • My daughter spent a college semester in Sydney, and loved it. She returned to the states (begrudgingly, I might add) with all kinds of interesting tidbits from down under. In the past I was never a huge fan of adding ingredients to the ground beef, but I’ve since changed my mind and will be playing around with different options. I think Italian flavors might be next 😁

  12. A very cure post. We visited New Mexico State University and the Chile Pepper Institute. So interesting. The two college students who volunteered there gave us so much info on the Chile pepper. If you are ever in the area, the Institute is free. It is only one room but lot

  13. Sounds interesting and I’d be willing to try them. We recently went to Moonshine IL for their burgers, while they are regular burgers they were delish, seating was outside and with impending rain I forgot to get a picture. We’ll be going through Hatch NM on our way to Phoenix, maybe we’ll have to stop there for some chili’s.

    • You can find ‘hatch’ chili’s just about anywhere in New Mexico. I’ll make these burgers for you guys when we see you in October. Since we’ve been stationary, I’ve been working on my culinary skills 😋

  14. Thanks for the recipe idea…..We began our “Southwest tastebud” adventure when the best man at our wedding invited us to Texas, where he lived..There is a blend of Tex-Mex and traditional Mexican flavors in Texas..and lots of different peppers to try! I even began putting a Southwest spin on my breakfast casseroles with chilis, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder and cherizo sausage.. Yummy!!

    • Ooooh that breakfast casserole sounds delicious. Since we’ve been stationary this summer, I’ve been experimenting with recipes a lot and putting new spins on some of my go-to recipes. Adding some zing and zip here and there keeps Al on his toes. Bland Midwestern boy thought I was trying to kill him last week when I added a little too much heat …. oops!

  15. These look yummy and I just added chilis to my grocery list. I treated myself to burgers with bleu cheese crumbles AND a bun the other day. The chilis would be a healthier alternative. What kind of lettuce do you use for your wraps? I’ve not tried that but would like to stay away from bread. I’m noticing an acne flare up and not sure if it’s the dairy or the bread causing it. Guess I’ll have to do another round of Whole30 to cleanse my system and then reintroduce one food at a time. It got kind of crazy during my visit to MN and was having a little bit of everything. Time to do it right this time.

    • I like to use Butter/Boston lettuce but Romaine also works. Restaurants use iceberg. This burger will fit right in with your Whole 30 program. Travel can really throw us off our healthy eating program and I always pay for it. Sometimes it’s not worth it.

  16. We enjoyed Green Chili burgers during our visit to Hatch. I forgot all about making them myself! Thanks for the reminder and the recipe. Maybe I’ll add a little bit of the Hot Hatch Green Chili!!

    • Let me know what you think of the ‘hot’ ones. Thus far, I’ve stuck with mild but I think we’re ready for a little more heat. New Mexico is so much fun!

      • I made your burgers last night!! I forgot to take a photo, though:( We both really enjoyed them. I had a couple cans of Hatch mild green chilies so I just used those. Thanks so much for your recipe. We now have a new burger!!

  17. Burgers look great. Green chile — can’t live without it. We put up 8 sacks a year. We ran out of last years stock recently, and found some old stock hiding in the bottom of the freezer that’s two or three years old. It’s killer hot. Good think chile season is upon us.

    • I was really hoping to spend some time in New Mexico in Aug or Sept but life happens and those plans needed to be shelved. Loved that Santa Fe farmer’s market… opened our minds to new culinary delights.

  18. Ingrid, Henry and I were just talking about green chile burgers. We’ve been to New Mexico a few times and although we heard of them we never tried one. Your recipe sounds delicious and I will be making some very soon!

    • There’s a great burger place in Scottsdale (Rehab Burger) that I enjoy. Every time I go there I order the burger topped with a roasted green chile… oh so good. This recipe is a close second in taste. Enjoy!

    • Absolutely! Would love to cook for you guys, with one codicil …. you have to give me pointers on video editing. My foray into video is comical (really BAD) at the moment 😆

  19. Mmmm, Hatch Chilis are the best. Trader Joe’s makes a decent Hatch Saksa in a jar so it travels well if you stock up. Great over chicken, fish or in a burger.

    Your veggies look amazing! Hungry now, gotta go!

    • Oooh … I have a Trader Joe’s here in Prescott. Will definitely look for that. Looks like you guys are living it up in the culinary arena. Yum!

  20. Your southwestern burger sounds delicious and we believe it’s hard to beat green chile anything – we had one of those burlap bags full roasted then we froze them to bring home. We also enjoyed the Santa Fe farmers market while there. Bev’s go-to meal is a burger and she occasionally has to have a fix.

    • Like Bev, Al is a huge burger fan. I was thrilled when he embraced the flavors of Santa Fe. Now I get to experiment in the kitchen.

  21. I loved the combined culinary and travel theme of this post, Ingrid; and those burgers (and the vegetables too) look so delicious. Wonderful farmer’s market photos, especially the bushel baskets filled with peppers and chilis.

    • Thanks Jet. I was so hoping to get back over to Santa Fe this August for pepper season, but it’s not in the cards this year. Travel does enlighten in so many ways and we find ourselves embracing new and different flavors all the time. Certainly keeps boredom at bay.

  22. I’ll definitely have to try this recipe. I grew up in Michigan where tastebuds are about the same as they are in Illinois. However, my father grew up with a Mexican family for a neighbor, they owned a restaurant at the end of the street that served authentic Mexican food. Dad was close friends with their oldest son so I practically grew up in that restaurant. Between this & pop having been stationed at White Sands, NM where he picked up recipes from the locals, I’ve grown up loving the taste of chili peppers. Buen provecho Ingrid!

    • Oh how lucky to be exposed to these flavors at a young age. I don’t think Al nor I were even exposed to Mexican food until high school or beyond. Jalapenos and chili’s are regular ingredients around our household now ….. who’d a thunk? 😁

    • I’m sure the flavors are right up your alley. You might even go for the “hot” chili’s. Sometimes I could use a bit more heat when using the mild.

  23. They sound delicious. We don’t eat much red meat, but we always make our hamburgers ourselves when we do, so we will happily try yours one day. Thanks for the farmer’s market tip in Santa Fe. We will check it out later this month. And, get some chilies! It is the perfect time of the year for that, apparently. 🙂

    Travel, indeed, makes one expand their horizons when it comes to food. Mexican restaurants and spicy food are unheard of in Belgium, but I have come to love it! Just made fish tacos last night!

    • My parents are from Germany and thus I didn’t grow up with the flavors of Mexico but oh how I love’m. I spent too much $$$ at the Santa Fe farmer’s market but we enjoyed some of the most flavorful produce ever. Hope you enjoy Santa Fe as much as we did. It’s different and interesting.

  24. Those burgers sound awesome! How hot are they? I also love cookbooks and find I enjoy the extra space since I now collect them, and all other types of books, on my kindle.

    • Since I use “mild” chili’s the spice in the recipe is coming from the chili powder and not the green chili’s themselves. I’m about ready to try the ‘hot’ green chili’s to add a bit more heat to these burgers. It’s fun to play around!

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