Taco Burgers

Taco Burgers combine a seasoned ground beef patty with melted cheese, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, and crunchy tortilla strips for a memorable twist on classic burgers.

taco burger on a wood board

This summer looks a little different this year, as I’m sure it does for many of you. Our usual line up of pool days, summer festivals, and BBQs has been cancelled, so we’re making the most of the small things: sticky popsicle juice running down our fingers, jumping in the sprinkler, planting seeds and watching them stretch through the dirt into the sunshine.

We’ve been enjoying a lot of our meals outdoors, and these Taco Burgers are perfect for al fresco dining. These make the most of all the best parts of summer: grilled burgers, fresh tomatoes and cilantro, and a little heat to wake up your taste buds.

Like any good taco, these are LOADED with cheese, sour cream, and fresh toppings for SO MUCH FLAVOR. Today, I’m sharing my tips for grilling a restaurant quality burger at home!

burger with taco toppings on it

Tips for Perfect Grilled Burgers

  • Choose beef that is 80-85% lean. Fattier beef makes for a more flavorful and juicy burger!
  • Don’t over mix– I prefer to mix seasoning into the beef with my hands, gently breaking up any clumps. Using a light touch prevents the burgers from becoming too dense.
  • Form patties a little wider than you want them to end up- All burgers will shrink some when grilled, but you can avoid the dreaded “tiny, shrunken burger on a giant bun” by making your patties slightly larger than you want them.
  • Use your thumb to make an indent in the center of your patties– This gives you nice, even patties and prevents the centers from puffing up.
  • Use high heat and resist the urge to press the burgers down– Grill the burgers over medium high heat, flipping only once. And as hard as it might be, try not to press them down with your spatula! This squeezes out all the yummy juices!
  • Use a thermometer to test for doneness– a meat thermometer is the best way to know when beef is fully cooked. Look for a temperature of 160 for a fully cooked burger.
  • Add cheese while the patty is still on the grill! I like my cheese to be reaaally melty, so I always add it during the last two minutes of cooking, rather than waiting until they come off the grill.
thumb putting indents in the center of ground beef patties

How to Make Taco Burgers

I like to start by making the pico de gallo so the flavors have a little time to meld while the burgers cook.

To make the pico de gallo:

Grab a bowl and combine:

  • 1 lb. tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno, diced- remove the seeds for less heat or leave them in for a good kick!
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste
ingredients for pico de gallo in a bowl

To make the taco burgers:

  1. Preheat the grill over high heat (450-500 degrees).
  2. Gently mix homemade taco seasoning (or a store bought taco packet) into 1.5 pounds of ground beef.
  3. Form the beef into patties. For this amount of beef you can make four thick patties or five slightly smaller patties. Place an indent in the center of each patty.
  4. Place the patties on the grill, cover, and grill for 4 minutes. Flip, and grill an additional 4-5 minutes, adding cheese for the last two minutes.
open faced taco burger with tortila strips on top

Assemble your burger toppings and serve!

Anything that goes on a taco, you can put on a taco burger! Here are our personal favorites:

  • Spicy cheese– Pepper Jack, Jumping Jack, or Hatch Chile Cheese are our favorites, but feel free to substitute cheddar or Monterey Jack for a mild option.
  • Pico de gallo– We like making our own, but store bought is also just fine!
  • Pickled jalapenos– If you love your burgers with pickles, try these for a spicier version that still has that nice crisp tang.
  • Crispy tortilla strips– Who doesn’t love a little crunch on their burger?
  • Sour Cream or Avocado or both!- We tested these taco burgers with sour cream and with avocado. We loved both versions, but the best version was when we added both!

These taco burgers lend themselves well to a taco bar! Grill up the burgers, then put all the toppings out in bowls and let everyone make up their own ultimate taco burger!

up close shot of taco burger with pico de gallo and sour cream

More Summer Grilling Recipes to Try This Summer

Looking for more ways to cook outdoors this season? Here are a few of our favorites:

Follow these simple grilling guidelines to learn approximately
how many minutes to grill burgers, steaks and kabobs to achieve the perfect temperature.

Marinating is one of my favorite ways to add flavor to grilled meats. Tender cuts of beef can be marinated for 15 minutes to 2 hours while less tender cuts, such as flank steak, should be marinated for 6-24 hours. Click here for more tasty, easy-to-make marinades, and be sure to visit OhioBeef.org for more great summer grilling recipes and tips!

taco burger on a wood board

Taco Burgers

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

These Taco Burgers are loaded with all your favorite taco fixings: cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, and crunchy pickled jalapenos!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 4 slices pepper jack or cheddar cheese
  • 4 buns
  • Tortilla strips
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices
  • Pico de gallo (recipe below)
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Lettuce

For the pico de gallo:

  • 1 lb. tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  2. To make the pico, combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl. Stir and season to taste. Allow to marinate while preparing the burgers.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and taco seasoning, using your fingers to gently distribute the seasoning throughout the meat.
  4. Form the meat into 4 or 5 patties, depending on how big you like your burgers. Use your thumb to place an indent into the center of each one.
  5. Grill for 5 minutes then flip and grill an additional 4-5 minutes, or until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 160 for well done. Melt the cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking time or add it directly after the burgers come off the grill.
  6. Top the burgers with pico de gallo, sour cream, lettuce, avocado, jalapeno slices, and tortilla strips. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 607Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 737mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 51g

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