This spicy, crispy, cheesy smash green chile cheeseburger is probably the best you’ll ever eat.
The cheese is melt-y and almost queso-y, the fire roasted hatch green chiles are fire, and the smashed patties are charred and juicy. Seriously amazing.
If you’ve had the chance to travel to New Mexico, you’ll know that the state slogan really rings true. New Mexico is the land of enchantment. Enchantment and green chile cheeseburgers. Green chile cheeseburgers, if you haven’t had the pleasure of trying them, are amazing. Fire roasted chopped green chile on top of a perfectly juicy burger with cheese in a buttery toasted bun – ugh, they just hit different.
What is a green chile cheeseburger?
If you’re eating burgers in New Mexico and you order a burger, you’ll get the question: do you want chile on that? By chile (chile with an “e” by the way, never chili, which is chili con carne), they mean fire roasted and chopped green chiles. They have them year round but come late summer and fall, the hatch chiles start getting harvested and everything smells smoky and delicious from all of the fire roasting going on at all the grocery stores.
By the way, if they ask you if you want chile on it, the answer should always be yes. We were at a burger place and someone answered no and I swear I saw the server physically recoil as if it was absolutely the wrong answer.
What kind of peppers for green chile cheeseburgers?
Hatch green chile of course! If you don’t have a batch stored in your freezer, you can also substitute in another variety of green chile like Anaheim or jalapeño if needed. You can also go with jarred green chile if you’re no where near New Mexico and you don’t want to roast Anaheims or jalapeños.
What are hatch chiles?
Hatch chiles are a green chile pepper grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. They’re sweet, smoky, long green peppers that taste amazing fresh and even more delicious when roasted. Hatch chiles come in both red and green. The red Hatch chiles are chiles that have been left to ripen longer than the younger green chiles. They come in mild, medium, spicy, and x-hot varieties.
Hatch chile season is one of the most magical seasons of all. The little green chile that could comes from New Mexico and is the backbone of so many wonderful New Mexican and Southwestern dishes. Hatch season starts at the end of summer and goes into the beginning of fall and if you’ve ever visited the Southwest, you’ve definitely seen the well deserved love for Hatch green chiles.
Why are Hatch chiles special?
Hatch chiles are a surprisingly famous pepper considering how small the growing season and region is. They’re just like the Champagne region in France – if the grapes aren’t grown in Champagne, what you make from them isn’t really champagne, it’s just sparkling wine. Similarly, you can grow Hatch chiles elsewhere but if they’re not grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico, they’re not real Hatch chiles and they won’t taste quite the same.
What do Hatch chiles taste like?
They’re earthy, crisp, spicy, and have a bit of onion when eaten raw. When they’re roasted, they’re smoky, rich, and slightly buttery. Green chiles tend to be spicier and the red ones slightly sweeter. They have the ideal balance between heat and sweet. When they’re roasted they’re smoky, delicious heaven.
Are Hatch chiles spicy?
Hatch chiles come in mild, medium, hot, and xtra hot. They go from milder than a jalapeño to pretty darn spicy.
Where to buy Hatch chiles
When they’re in season, during August and September, they sell and ship fresh chiles online. There are also whole dried hatch chiles, jarred, or canned that are available at most grocery stores or online. Sometimes they even sell them fresh for a really short window at Whole Foods or other specialty food stores. If you’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, Colorado, or Texas, you’ll probably easily find them in your local grocery store. You can also get Hatch chile powder in both red and green.
How to roast green chiles
Wash and dry your chiles then roast them however you like:
- In the oven
Place the chiles on a foil lined pan and broil, directly under the element for 10-15 minutes, flipping as needed until the skin chars and blisters.
- On the grill
Place the chiles over direct high heat, flipping every couple of minutes until the skin chars and blisters.
- In the air fryer
Add the chiles to the air fryer and air fry at the highest temp, for 15 minutes, or until the skin chars and blisters, flipping halfway.
- On the stove
Char the chiles directly on the flame or element, flipping as needed, until the skin chars and blisters.
Once done, wrap the peppers up in foil or a clean bag (or place in a covered container) while the are still hot and let the sweat until their skins peel off easily, about 10 minutes.
How to make a green chile cheeseburger
If you can’t make it to New Mexico, it’s relatively simple to make a green chile cheeseburger at home. Pick up some long green peppers – hatch is preferable but Anaheim works too. Lightly oil and roast them in the oven, then skin, seed, and chop them up. Go about your usual cheeseburger making and just before you put the cheese on to melt, add a generous amount of chopped chilies.
What kind of cheese for green chile cheeseburgers?
If you’re going for a classic burger, you can’t beat the melt and creaminess of American cheese. If you want something with more flavor, try pepper jack!
Cheese on top or underneath the chiles?
There’s a bit of a debate on whether the green chiles should be on top of the cheese or under a blanket of melted cheese. Both Mike and I agree that underneath melted cheese is better for eating because the cheese blanket holds everything together. That being said, for this post we went with the green chiles on top because we wanted everyone to be able to see the green chiles. It’s up to you what you prefer green chile wise. We’ve seen plenty of both in New Mexico, so go with your gut.
Other ways to enjoy Hatch chiles
You can enjoy Hatch chiles raw or once they’re roasted you can use them in stews, chile relleno, enchiladas, salsas, sauces, dips, on tacos, as pizza toppings, on burgers, with eggs, or with noodles. They’re incredibly versatile and add smoke, flavor, and spice.
Happy hatch chile burger-ing!
PS – If you love hatch green chile cheeseburgers please check out our search for the best one in New Mexico.
The Ultimate Double Double Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger
A deluxe double patty cheeseburger with plenty of smoky and spicy fire roasted green chiles.
- 1 – 2 Hatch green chiles
- neutral oil
- 1 tbsp butter room temp
- 1 brioche burger bun
- 1/3 lbs ground beef chuck
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 slices American cheese
- 1 slice tomato
- 1 leaf green leaf lettuce
- 1-2 thin slices onion
- mustard to taste
- mayo to taste
Lightly coat the chiles with the tiniest bit of oil and roast under the broiler until deeply golden, almost black, about 10-12 minutes, flipping once.
When roasted, place in a paper or plastic bag, close, and let peppers steam for 10 minutes. Skin, seed, and stem the peppers, then chop.
Divide the meat into 2 equal portions and gently form very thin patties larger than your bun. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Butter and lightly toast the bun in a dry pan over medium heat. Remove from the pan and set aside, keeping warm in a low oven if desired.
Heat up a large pan over medium high-heat and add a bit of oil to the pan. When hot, add the patties and cook, without moving for 2 to 3 minutes, or until caramelized, pressing down. Flip and cook for another minute or so.
When the patties are just about done cooking, immediately with a slice of American cheese and a generous amount of the roasted Hatch green chiles.
Build the burger: the bottom bun gets mayo and mustard to taste, then lettuce, tomato, and onion. Top with the two melty, green chile patties and the top bun. Enjoy immediately.
Notes: If you can’t get your hands on Hatch green chiles, you can roast any other long green chile in the same way. You can also use jarred or canned roasted green chiles, you’ll want about 1/4 cup.
The Ultimate Double Double Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 437
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 24.3g152%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.