Serves a Crowd

San Ignacio Green Chile Cheeseburger

October  4, 2022
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4-8
Author Notes

The green chile cheeseburger is the official dish of the State of New Mexico. Every settlement, town and city has their special take on what is primarily ground beef and green chiles. (PS: "Chile" grows a plant, while "Chili" is a stew made from meat and chiles.) This one has become the officially sanctioned green chile cheeseburger in the bustling megalopolis of San Ignacio. —WileyP

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (home made is best!)
  • 2 chipotle chiles (canned, in adobo)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo (from the can with the chipotles is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons lard (or, if you must, canola or vegetable oil)
  • 2 New Mexico "Big Jim" or New Mexico #6 green chiles, roasted, peeled and diced (or 1 4-ounce can of diced green chiles)
  • 2 jalapeños, minced (if you wish, remove the seeds and veins to minimize the spicy heat)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef (2/3 chuck, 1/3 sirloin is a good blend)
  • 4 ciabatta sandwich rolls, about 3-1/2" square
  • 8 slices American cheese
  1. In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, chipotles, and adobo until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use. (This will make more than you'll need, so use the rest with artichokes or to dip tortilla chips, etc.)
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the lard until it is shimmering. Add the green chiles and jalapeños and stir/toss for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and cool the mixture to room temperature.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese and the cooled chile-garlic mixture. Set aside.
  4. Divide the ground beef into 8 1/4-pound chunks. Press each chunk into a 4" square patty, depressing the centers slightly more than the outer 1/4" or so of the edges.
  5. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese mixture on each of 4 of the patties, spreading it into a smooth layer in the indented portion of the patties. Place an unfilled patty upside down (indented side down) on each of the filled patties. Secure the edges by pinching all around the outer edges, then press the edges square again.
  6. Slightly toast the ciabatta rolls over the grill (or in the oven if you desire).
  7. Grill the burgers over moderately hot coals for 2 to 3 minutes on one side. Flip the burgers and cook 1 minute. Add 2 slices of cheese to each burger, close the cover and cook an additional 2 minutes.
  8. Slather a little of the chipotle-mayonnaise mixture on both the top and bottom of each roll. Place a burger on each one. If these burgers seem too much for the person eating it, they can be cut in half before serving, but let them cool a little first. Otherwise all that great filling will run out!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • Katie
  • WileyP
  • lapadia

10 Reviews

boulangere June 30, 2014
Perfect. The only thing missing is a link to your marvelous ketchup:

I make it every Christmas now to give as gifts, along with the recipe, attributed to you of course.
Katie September 10, 2013
This looks incredible; I'll be making is asap! As a native New Mexican, I know all too well that every town has its own version of the green chile burger & they all think theirs is best. This one looks like it could rival any burger out there! Thank you for sharing.
WileyP September 11, 2013
I think you'll like these, Katie...especially if you haven't damaged your New Mexico genetic taste buds too badly by moving so far east! Thanks for the comment!
Lou2u August 18, 2011
Made this last night. Well, I handed the recipe to the boy to make. AMAZING! Going into the regular rotation!
WileyP August 18, 2011
Well, thanks, Lou! I do appreciate not only the fact that you made 'em,...but that you *liked* them!
PS: In case I didn't mention it before, these burgers won a national award for "Best Burger in the Southwest" last year!
WileyP July 27, 2011
lapadia: Thanks for the comment!
boulangere: This is the way I initially put these puppies together and the way the fine citizens here in San Ignacio expect them to be made. Heaven knows, I'd hate to disappoint them! As with nearly any stuffed burger in the real world, though, the stuffing can be used as a topping or even a sauce...and it's usually easier and more labor-efficient to do it that way as well.
boulangere July 27, 2011
Good to know. This is one of the few stuffed burgers that might work well with the stuffing on the side, as it were. Thanks!
WileyP July 28, 2011
The only thing I might add would be to warm the "stuffing" before using it either on top or on the side. That will brighten up the flavors and thin it down from the consistency of a block of cream cheese to that of a typical onion dip.
boulangere July 27, 2011
Wow. Perfect shaping instructions, right down to #4. This is quite a bit more than I could eat in a sitting. What would you think of proceeding to #4 with the indentations (how I teach people to shape a burger so it doesn't hump up in the middle), then using your filling as a condiment? The flavors are just too good to be true.
lapadia July 27, 2011
Very interesting, WileyP, sounds like a great burger, thanks for sharing your info and recipe!!