All the things you love about nachos and everything you love about a hamburger come together to create The Nacho Burger, otherwise known as a match made in grilling heaven.
My Nacho Burger starts with a large (1/3 pound) burger patty flavored with taco seasoning blend for a great Tex-Mex flavor. To get six 1/3-pound burgers you will need 2 pounds of ground beef. Don’t worry you’re going to love this enough to want a big burger.
Then I basically add what I put on nachos—pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, avocado, and even tortilla chips! It might sound strange but trust me the chips completely make the burger. Adding 4-5 chips right below the patty gives the whole thing extra texture and boost the Nacho Burger experience.
I like this recipe so much that we had them for dinner one night and I made a fresh batch for lunch the very next day! That good!
What’s Great About This Burger?
This burger has a lot going for it. For starters, the beef is seasoned well which creates the perfect base for all the toppings. The burger is sprinkled with queso fresco. The queso and the avocado work as a nice creamy component on the burger. Meanwhile, the tortilla chips add a ton of texture and the pico de gallo and jalapenos brighten up the flavors with some fresh notes and a little bit of spice.
That’s just my way of saying this burger is DELICIOUS.
Tips for Grilling a Great Beef Burger
There’s no need to overthink making a great burger, but there are a few tips that will give you big returns when grilling.
- Sometimes I like a thinner patty for burgers (like smash burgers), but these do better with a thicker 1/3 pound burger, which holds up better on the grill and stands up to the toppings.
- When shaping the burgers, shape them slightly larger than your buns.
- When shaping the burgers put a divot or indentation in the middle. As the burger grills it will shrink and fill in that divot so that you have an even burger (without a funny looking bulge.)
- Grill the burgers over direct heat for about 4 minutes per side and you’ll end up with a great medium burger.
- Top with the queso fresco a minute or two before the burgers are done to give the cheese some time to warm up.
For more burger grilling tips check out our guide: How to Grill the Best Burgers.
Bun Advice for Nacho Burgers
You need a sturdy bun for these guys. I recommend a potato bun or brioche bun that has been grilled so it has a nice crust on it. The avocado should be spread on the bottom bun and topped with tortilla chips before you add the patty.
If you don’t have a sturdy bun, it’ll just fall apart once you add the pico de gallo and other toppings, so a good bun is essential!
Swaps and Substitutions
You can kind of go crazy on toppings here. Anything that goes on nachos can go on these burgers but do have some restraint. I have my list of favorite toppings in the actual recipe below, but you could also try any of these. Either way, I would limit the number off toppings to just a few.
Here are some ideas:
- Refried beans
- Crumbled chorizo
- Nacho cheese sauce
- Pickled onions
What to Serve with Nacho Burgers
I like to serve my nacho burger with French fries and a cold margarita, but you could go with a salad too. And, frankly, you can never have too much chips and salsa. Double the batch of pico de gallo and you’re all set!
I prefer 90/10 ground beef, but you can use whatever ratio you prefer.
- For the pico de gallo
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- For the burger
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 tablespoons Old Paso taco seasoning
- 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
- 6 potato hamburger buns
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
- Tortilla chips, for topping
- Pickled jalapenos, for topping
Make the pico de gallo:
In a medium bowl combine the red onion, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, lime, and salt. Feel free to taste as you go and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the burgers.
Season and form the burgers:
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and taco seasoning. Divide the meat into six even patties. Press patties into burgers not more than an inch thick. Put a divot in each burger with your thumb which will help the burgers cook evenly.
Prepare the grill:
Preheat grill for direct heat grilling. If you are using gas, set the heat to medium-high heat and shoot for 400-450˚F. If you are using charcoal, cook charcoal until it isn’t on direct fire, but has coals forming. Spread out coals so heat is even.
Optionally, I like to rub the grates of the grill with a few paper towels dabbed in neutral oil. Use tongs to very quickly oil the grates to prevent sticking.
Grill the burgers:
Grill the burgers for 4-5 minutes per side for medium burgers. The burgers are done when they have dark grill marks on both sides and resist pressure if you press on them. If you have an instant thermometer they should reach 160˚F for medium burgers. Two minutes before the burgers are done cooking, top each burger with a handful of crumbled queso fresco.
Grill the buns:
While burgers are grilling, lightly brush buns with neutral oil and place them on the grill cut side down. Grill for 15-20 seconds.
Serve the burgers:
Serve the burgers on grilled potato buns with slices of avocado and tortilla chips under the burger and sprinkle the top of the patties with pico de gallo and pickled jalapenos.
Storage and reheating:
Leftover burgers keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat them in a 350˚F oven for 8-10 minutes and add cheese near the end of baking.