Chili Cheese Burgers


with Lemony Garlic Herb Aioli

Not what you think! These Chili Cheese Burgers are made by combing roasted chili peppers with chunks of cheddar cheese and chili powder in the patty itself. These burgers end up being super juicy and cheesy with the perfect level of heat and texture.

Chili Cheese Burgers with Lemony Garlic Herb Aioli
Chili Cheese Burgers with Lemony Garlic Herb Aioli

Who doesn’t like a good burger? Please, don’t tell me if it’s you! Burgers range from the basic to some pretty twisted monsters, to vegetarian and even completely unrecognizable as burgers. The one we decided to create turned out to be one of the most amazing burgers we’ve ever eaten. It’s not so tricked up that making it would be daunting at all, but it is so far from boring or “the usual.”

What type of meat should I use?

We prefer using good quality ground beef (80:20). You want your burgers to hold together, but not be too lean to retain flavor. Feel free to experiment with whatever meat you want though! We love mixing a little breakfast sausage into our ground beef, but you can use ground turkey or one of those plant-based meat options if you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint, save the animals, or reduce your cholesterol. Please let us know how these options turn out, as we have not actually tried them, so no guarantees these options will be as good as the ground beef version here. But our guess is that if you clicked on this recipe, you prefer that beef life.

Chili Powder Options

Homemade Chili Powder is easy to make and super flavorful!
Homemade Chili Powder is easy to make and super flavorful!

Any type of chili powder will work in these tasty burgs, but if you are in the mood to make your own, we highly encourage this activity. We typically make our own so we can get the exact heat and taste we want. If you want to make your own, find our recipe HERE. Our chili powder is homemade with guajillo, New Mexico, ancho and arbol chiles. If you can find dried chiles, we highly recommend making your own chili powder, rather than buying a jar from the grocery store. The flavor is amazing. Otherwise just buy your fave brand or blend and it will work just fine.

What is the best cheese for these Chili Cheese Burgers?

To make these burgers, we prefer to use sharp cheddar. You want to make sure you have a cheese with good flavor that melts nicely when cooked. BUT, you do not want that cheese to ooze out of the burger before you take your first bite. So to prevent over-oozing, we cut the cheese into small cubes then freeze it for a bit before adding it to the meat mixture. The frozen cheese melts at a slower pace while the burger meat cooks, and you are left with glorious melty cheese without losing it all to the flames.

What peppers are best for this recipe?

So, what kind of chili would we put in a burger. Well, we used chili (or chile) peppers, not the amazing stew invented in Texas. We used a combination of roasted and diced jalapeños and poblanos. The jalapeños give a little heat and the poblanos have such an amazing flavor that they really work. But feel free to experiment with your favorite peppers for this recipe to discover the exact flavor you love! You really have a lot of options if you wish to mix it up with this Chili Cheese Burger – like the seasonings, cheese, add bacon (pictured) etc.

Chili Cheese Burgers with Lemony Garlic Herb Aioli
Chili Cheese Burgers with Lemony Garlic Herb Aioli

We hope you enjoy this recipe for Chili Cheese Burgers and if you give it a try, leave us a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine.

If you love this recipe, check our more of our popular recipes below:

Chili Cheese Burgers

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Angela and Mark Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • Chili Cheese Burger Patties
  • 1.5 cups 1.5 small diced sharp cheddar cheese

  • 3 lbs 3 ground beef (80/20 or so)

  • 3 roasted, peeled and seeded poblano peppers – chopped

  • 3 roasted, peeled and seeded jalapeño peppers – chopped

  • 3 tbs 3 chili powder

  • 1 tbsp 1 Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tbsp 1 fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 tbsp 1 kosher salt

  • Lemony Garlic Herb Aioli
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tbsp 1 minced garlic (approx 2 cloves)

  • 2 tbsp 2 lemon juice

  • 1 tsp 1 lemon zest (approx 1 small lemon’s worth)

  • 1 tbsp 1 chopped herbs (e.g., rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley)

  • pinch of salt

  • cracked black pepper to taste


  • Small dice (about ¼”) cheddar cheese to make about 1.5 cups. Put on a tray and freeze for 15-20 minutes.
  • Mix remaining burger ingredients with your hands until thoroughly combined and let burger mixture rest to come to room temperature.
  • When cheese is frozen, add to mixture and immediately move to step 4.
  • Make ⅓ lb patties (or whatever size you desire)
  • Grill or pan fry to desired doneness (approx 3-4 min per side) and serve on a bun with Aioli (below) or whatever you choose.
  • Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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