Chipotle Burger


Want to add a spicy kick to your burgers? These Chipotle Burgers are made by mixing smoky chipotle peppers in adobo with the ground beef! Top with jack cheese and avocado for the best burger of the summer.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Happiness is … finding a half-full can of chipotle chilies in adobo in the fridge, when you have burgers to grill!

These smoked red jalapeños add pizzazz to almost anything grilled.

Fold minced chipotles into your burger mixture, form patties, and grill. Top the burgers with melted jack cheese, sliced avocados, and a little cilantro. If you want even more heat, double down and add strips of roasted poblano chilies.

chipotle burgers with poblanos and avocados

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Chipotle peppers are ripened red jalapeño peppers that have been smoked until they’ve dried and lost most of their moisture (a process that can take several days). Adobo sauce is a thick, spicy, slightly tangy sauce. “Chipotles in adobo” are simply chipotle peppers that have been stewed and packed in adobo sauce.

Look for chipotles in adobo in small cans or jars in the canned food aisle of your grocery store, or with the Mexican ingredients. If you don’t use the entire can, transfer the chipotles in the adobo sauce to a small air-tight container and refrigerate. They will keep for several months.


Here’s a tip! Form your burger patties with a little indentation in the center and as they cook, the patties won’t bulge as much in the center. Read more about this tip in our post on How to Grill the Best Burgers.


Chipotle Burger Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 2-4 chipotle peppers (from a can of chipotles in adobo), depending on how much chile heat you like, minced, plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 6 slices jack cheese
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • Chipotle hot sauce to taste (we use Tabasco brand)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • 2 poblano chile peppers (optional)


1 Roast the (optional) poblano chiles: If including poblano chiles in your burger, you will need to roast them first. Coat the poblanos with a little oil and grill or broil them until they are blackened on all sides. Alternatively, you can take the plain, un-oiled peppers and place them directly on a gas stovetop burner, turning them as needed, until they are blackened on all sides.

Place the blackened peppers in a covered bowl for 15 minutes or so to steam. Peel off the charred skin and remove all the seeds. Slice into thick ribbons and toss with a little vegetable oil and salt and set aside.

2 Make the chipotle burger mix: Mix the ground beef, grated onion, minced chipotles, the adobo sauce, salt, cumin, and black pepper together in a large bowl. Mix gently, just until the ingredients are combined. Do not over-mix or the burgers will be tough.

3 Form the burger patties: Form 4-6 patties from the burger mix, about 1/4 pound to 1/3 pound each. Press a shallow indent in the middle of the patties to keep the burgers from puffing up while grilling (read about why this works here).

4 Prepare the grill: Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium-high heat grilling, or until you can hold your hand about an inch over the grates for 1 second.

5 Grill the burgers: Lay the burgers on the grill and cook with the lid down for 6-7 minutes. Raise the lid, flip the burgers, and continue grilling with the lid down for another 6-7 minutes, depending on how hot your grill is and how well-done you prefer your burgers. Cook until the internal temperature is 140°F for medium rare, or 160°F for well done.

6 Add the cheese and grill the buns: When the burgers are almost ready, place a slice of jack cheese on each patty and close the grill lid. The cheese should melt in a little over a minute.

If you want toasted burger buns with your burgers, toast them after you've flipped the burgers. Watch that the buns don't burn; when they are lightly toasted move them to a tray near the grill.

7 Serve: When the burgers are ready, place them on the buns. Top with slices of avocado, then some of the roasted poblanos (if using), a little cilantro, and hot sauce

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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12 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Tricia

    Lovely recipe, we had the Aussie version of burgers with tomato, lettuce, cheese and beetroot. Used Chipotle Aioli and Chipotle BBQ Sauce. Will always make burgers this way now. Since I found a source to buy chipotle in adobo here I am always looking for ways to use them.

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  2. Sruthi

    I just tried this burger and my oh my was it delicious! It was juicy with the right amount of spiciness! I added a bit of lime juice for an extra zing.


  3. Marsha

    Tried this last night & they were the best burgers I’ve ever made. Used 80/20 ground beef; a little less than 1 1/2 lbs, and used 3 chipotles. I made patties & froze ahead of time so we could have a few meals. They weren’t too spicy at all & they were so juicy. My husband eats his well done & I eat mine very rare & we were both equally happy. Just outstanding. Thanks for a recipe we’ll enjoy for a long time.


  4. Nina

    I tried this recipe and it was delicious! Looking forward to making the Asian salad and zucchini turkey burgers next.


  5. Kelly

    3-4 whole chipotles in 1.5 pounds of meat? I make the southwestern brisket (3 lbs) with two whole chipotles and it’s quite intense. Could this be a typo? Just wondering.

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