Rick Bayless' Game Day Queso Fundido Burgers Will Make You Melt

Photo: Galdones Photography

This football season, we’ve partnered with Taste of the NFL and their favorite tailgating experts to share great game-day recipes for an even greater cause. Join these chefs in raising awareness and funds for hunger relief across the country by taking the Kick Hunger Challenge with your favorite football team and making a donation to their local food bank. And be sure to check PEOPLE.com every Thursday for a new game day recipe from your favorite celebrity chefs. Here, the 2016 Julia Child Award winner, chef Rick Bayless, shares his recipe for queso fundido burgers.

On Sundays in Chicago, the lakefront is overtaken by hungry Bears fans looking for something hearty. A big tray of spicy, smoky queso fundido burgers will do the trick.


Rick Bayless

For this recipe, I like to use ground chuck because it offers a beefy flavor and richness I like for special occasions when these burgers are appropriate. They are tender, full of flavor, and topped with lots of delicious, gooey cheese to satisfy that game-day hunger.

Whatever you do, don’t share with any Packer fans.

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Queso Fundido Burgers
Serves 4

  • 2 medium fresh poblano chiles
  • 8 oz. fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from its casing if there is one
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ lbs. ground chuck
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, finely minced, seeded if you wish
  • 8 thick slices Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted

1. Roast the poblanos over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, 10 minutes for the broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool. Rub off the blackened skin and pull out the stems and seed pods. Cut into 1/4-inch strips.

2. Set a large (10-inch) skillet over medium. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking up large chunks, until the chorizo is beginning to brown and is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Scrape on to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool. Return the skillet to medium heat, measure in the oil and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently until it begins to brown, 7 or 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and poblano and cook for 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 tsp. Scrape the rajas into a bowl and cover to keep warm.

3. In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, the cooled chorizo, the chipotles and 3/4 tsp. salt. Mix thoroughly but lightly (to keep from turning out an overly compact texture). Divide into 4 portions, lightly pressing them into patties the size of your buns.

4. Heat a gas grill to medium-high on one side, medium on the other; or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until the charcoal is covered with white ash (and still quite hot), then bank the coals to one side.

5. Lay the hamburger patties on the hottest side of the grill and cook until the grill grates have seared beautiful marks on one side, about 2 minutes if your grill is quite hot, then flip and cook until the hamburger is a little less done than you like (usually a couple of minutes longer for rare to medium rare). Move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill. Lay one piece of cheese on top of each burger, top with a portion of the warm rajas and then another piece of cheese. Close the lid and continue cooking until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Remove from the grill and place on a toasted bun. Serve immediately.

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