Give Your Beef Burgers Bolder Flavor With One Spicy Mix-In

When warmer weather rolls in, grillmaster gourmands have burgers on the brain. To up your burger game this season, blend Mexican chorizo with beef to create more flavorful burgers with some American Southwest culinary flair. If you've never worked with it before, chorizo is a type of heavily-seasoned pork sausage. Not to be confused with Spanish chorizo, which is hard and cured, Mexican chorizo is fresh, ground, and sold raw, toting a trademark bright red hue from the spicy red pepper that's blended in. 

On its own, Mexican chorizo doesn't form very structurally-sound burger patties. But blending this flavorful sausage with ground beef brings all the crave-able savory flavor that chorizo fans love while maintaining the structural integrity for flip-able, grill-able, smash-able burgers with body. Simply mix the two meats together and shape them into spicy-savory patties. Fresh chorizo can be found in specialty Latin grocery shops as well as in many grocery stores beside other refrigerated meats. 

It's often packaged by the pound like other ground raw meats, or sold shaped into sausage links. To complement chorizo's lush fattiness, opt for a leaner ground beef, ideally one with 10% fat. The golden ratio for flavorful chorizo burgers with just the right amount of boldness is 2 parts ground beef to 1 part chorizo. Or, if you prefer a more chorizo-forward flavor, use equal parts ground beef and chorizo in a 1:1 ratio. From there, simply grill your burgers as you normally would.

How to serve and pair your spicy-savory chorizo burgers

Easily the most fun part about these elevated chorizo burgers is customizing them. To serve the cooked patties, slam them on sturdy brioche or egg buns and top them with a thick slice of beefsteak tomato, fresh spinach or butter lettuce, and bitey grated horseradish. Pair them with classic Southern potato salad or a basket of crispy tater tots. Or, alternatively, you could serve your chorizo burger open-faced on top of a slab of buttered cornbread with a drizzle of hot honey and caramelized onion.

On the cheese front, sharp cheddar or Pepper Jack would hold up well against the boldness of the chorizo burger. Or, Gruyère, Swiss, or even sheepy Manchego would complement the burger with milder funkiness. For the moisture component, opt for a creamy spread that's both mild and flavorful, like a smear of umami-bomb Kewpie mayonnaise or garlic aioli (not to be confused with remoulade). Or, take a cue from your go-to salad dressings and top it with savory, herbaceous dill ranch, blue cheese dressing, or green goddess dressing

You could even brighten your chorizo burger up with a smear of fresh, slightly acidic dill pickle relish. The briny acidity of pickled peppers — or any other pickled veggies — would also make a delicious topping for this rich burger. Got any leftover burgers? You can crumble 'em up and turn 'em into chorizo hash and eggs for a killer breakfast the next morning. (This move is also a legendary hangover cure, for the record.)