The Trick For Great Chipotle Burgers Is Incorporating Peppers Two Different Ways

If you're a foodie who appreciates a burger with equal parts smokiness and spiciness, we've got an idea that will satisfy your craving. You've probably eaten many burgers topped with different peppers and patties smothered in a chipotle mayonnaise or pepper sauce. All of these burger varieties are delicious, but you can take those flavors to the next level with a double dose of chipotle peppers, inspired by our recipe for smoky chipotle burgers created by Tasting Table recipe developer Michelle McGlinn.

The first step to bringing spice to these burgers is adding some of those chipotle peppers into the patties themselves. To take the chipotle flavors to the next level, you'll also whip up a chipotle sauce with the peppers in adobo to top the burgers. In case you aren't familiar with flavorful chipotle peppers in adobo, they're "dried and smoked jalapeños, which are then canned and stored in adobo for added flavor," says McGlinn. They're usually whole peppers, so you will have to blend them into sauce or chop them for use. But the extra preparation is worth it — when you use them for both the patty and sauce components of your burger, you're sure to get a chipotle flavor that can cut through your other toppings.

How you make your burger can add even more heat

When it comes to the burgers themselves, you'll want thick patties so the chipotles don't overpower the beef. The peppers are flavor-packed, so don't overdo it — Michelle McGlinn suggests four of the peppers to a quarter-pound of meat in our recipe, and you can reduce it to two peppers if you're sensitive to heat. For the sauce, blend mayonnaise with some of the peppers, along with lime juice for acidity and seasonings like paprika and chili powder for extra flavor. You could also go the route that McGlinn suggests and simply mix the adobo sauce into the mayonnaise without the peppers — the sauce will still pack a punch. 

Of course, no burger is complete without the right toppings. A mild variety of cheese like provolone or cheddar works best because these burgers are already packed with heat, but if you really like spice and smokiness in your food, you could try going with chipotle cheddar, smoked gouda, or pepper jack. Similarly, any other toppings will work better as a complement to the chipotle flavors rather than adding more heat, so avocado is a good option for adding some creamy texture that tames some of the kick of the patty and sauce. You can also use greens like alfalfa sprouts to soak up the sauce, shredded romaine lettuce for crunchiness, pickled red onions for subtle sweetness, sautéed mushrooms for some umami, or sliced tomatoes to balance everything out.