Dannelle Rivera's Tex-Mex Cheeseburger

Because queso, Texas toast and burgers belong together

There are so many reasons why Dannelle Rivera's burger won on Tasting Table's Backyard Battles. Perhaps it was the jalapeños mixed into the beef or the Cajun-spiced patty was sandwiched between Texas toast, queso and smashed avocados. But one thing's for sure: You need to try this. 

Watch Backyard Battles and check out Fired Up for even more grilling recipes.

Recipe by Dannelle Rivera for Mike's Hard Lemonade

Spicy Tex-Mex Cheeseburger
5 from 29 ratings
This burger, by "Backyard Battles" winner Dannelle Rivera, is dusted with cajun seasoning before getting smoked and grilled, slathered with queso, and sandwiched between two hefty slices of Texas toast. Why didn't we think of this before?
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 30 minutes
  • ⅛ cup sliced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ poblano pepper, sliced to fit on roll
  • Olive oil
  • ½ jalapeño, seeds removed and chopped
  • 3 ounces ground beef (80/20 blend)
  • Cajun seasoning
  • ⅓ cup queso dip
  • 2 slices Texas toast
  • Butter
  • Garlic powder
  • ½ shot gold tequila
  • ¼ ripe avocado
  1. Create a foil packet and place the onions, garlic and poblano peppers inside. Drizzle with some olive oil and place on the grill. Cook until the vegetables are soft.
  2. Meanwhile, fold the jalapeño into the ground beef and form into a patty. Season the patty on both sides with Cajun seasoning, then place on the grill. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  3. While the burger is cooking, place the queso dip in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth.
  4. Place the Texas toast on the grill and cook until browned.
  5. In a small skillet, melt the butter and garlic powder.
  6. Smoke the patty: After you've removed the burger from the grill, place a cedar plank on a work surface. Pour the tequila onto the wood and, using a lighter, set it aflame. Place the patty on the flame and cover with a clear glass bowl to seal in the smoke.
  7. Remove the Texas toast from the grill and brush it with the garlic butter. On the bottom bun, smash the avocado, then place the poblano pepper and add some queso, and top with half of the grilled onions. Place the burger on top, then layer on the rest of the grilled onions and more queso. Top with the other slice of Texas toast and serve.
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