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.

  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Nina

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


  • 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.

    • Elise Bauer

      Good point. I guess it depends on the size of the chipotle peppers you are using, and how much spiciness you like. I’ve clarified and lowered the range in the recipe. Our chipotle meatballs recipe uses 1 1/2 pounds of meat and 1-3 chilies.

  • Karen MacQueen

    Elise, this was absolutely delicious! Everyone, from my 96 year old mom to my picky purist-hamburger husband, loved this, which we made for our 4th of July dinner. Also loved the melon salad recipe. Thanks for your always-creative ideas.


  • Jayne

    Over here, I don’t know where to get chipotle peppers but I think I’ll start looking!

  • Dawn

    This recipe looks great! If you can’t find Poblano chile peppers in the store, try Pasilla peppers. In the US, most grocery stores label them as Pasilla when they are actually Poblano peppers. They are fantastic roasted, well worth the small amount of effort.

    • Elise Bauer

      Good point Dawn on the labeling of these chilies. Diana Kennedy explains that in certain parts of Mexico, what are known as poblanos everywhere else in Mexico, are known as pasilla. There just happen to be lots of immigrants to the US from the part of Mexico that calls the poblano chilies pasilla, creating the confusion.

  • Chipotles

    It can be confusing figuring out which brand of chipotles in abobo to buy. I prefer brands that use whole ingredients and no mystery ingredients.

    Embasa brand uses “Chipotle Peppers, Water, Tomato Puree, Vegetable Oil (Corn or Safflower), Wheat Flour, Salt, Vinegar, Starch, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Caramel Color and Spices.

    While San Marcos brand uses “Chipotle Peppers, Tomato Puree, Vinegar, Onions, Canola Oil, Sugar, Salt, Paprika and Garlic.”

    Onions are better than onion powder, garlic is better than garlic powder. “Caramel color and spices” is too vague for me. And I like that San Marcos has vinegar high up in its ingredient list, compared to water as the second ingredient in the Embasa brand.

    I’d be interested to hear other people’s preferences with chipotles in adobo.