Queso Cheese Burgers with Avocado and Pico de Gallo.
Would you like a little burger with your cheese?
This is for those of you who love the cheese part more than the burger part. Raise your hand!
I have about fifty hands raised.
The only thing that comes close to cheese on a burger is guac. Right? RIGHT.
Picture this: it’s 85 degrees and you spent the entire day doing yard work and drinking ice cold WATER. For dinner, you sit down to a burger covered in melty cheese sauce and an ice cold BEER. It sounds dreamy enough to do every single day but then it wouldn’t be special anymore.
I’m really into caps lock today. FYI.
If it was up to Eddie, we’d probably eat burgers three times a week. Not like, shake shack burgers, but just grilled burgers on whole wheat buns with a little cheese. And then Five Guys once a week. On top of that.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a burger. I love a GOOD burger even more. But I only need one maybe once a month? And sometimes I even like veggie burgers. It’s all about that texture.
But what it’s really all about for me is the CHEESE. And the bacon, of course.
My all time favorite burger (depending on the day… bah) on the site is this sautéed mushroom, dijon aioli and arugula burger that I shared a few years ago. No bacon, not a ton of cheese, but flavor out the wahzoo.
BUT but but. There is a now a new burger in the running. Maybe even for first place. And it’s trashily covered in CHEESE DIP.
Yeah. That’s right. Cheese dip on your burger.
You can serve these a few ways. The best, but probably not the easiest, is making the queso as close to mealtime as you can, keeping it melty and topping your burgers right before eating. Most likely doable for weeknight dinners or small crowds, but a little more difficult for a larger party.
Another way would be to preassemble your burgers an hour or so before eating them, wrapping the whole thing up in foil (a la five guys style) and serving them like that. The cheese might melt around the entire burger a bit, but it will still taste delicious.
You can also go the crockpot route but you will probably need to stir the contents and even thin it out every now and then so it stays beautiful and melty like cheese ribbons.
UNLESS. And this is a big unless.
Unless you go the velveeta route. I have a bratty mental block against velveeta (I just love real cheese sooooo much) but my mom uses velveeta in plenty of dishes and it is super melty and wonderful. I grew up on velveeta shells and cheese (and not so much kraft) so I definitely have a leeeettle soft spot for it at times, plus we used to mix those cheese cubes with rotel all the time at the beach. It’s definitely a possible option if you want to serve queso burgers to a crowd this weekend.
Top the entire thing with some fresh pico instead of your traditional tomato and onions slices. Butter lettuce and avocado on the bottom. Pickled jalapeno slices on the top. You’re totally SET. Let’s partay.
Queso Cheese Burgers
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 to 6 brioche or sesame seed buns (depending on your size preference)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 sweet onion, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup jalapeno pepper slices, for serving
- spring greens for serving
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cups half and half
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 16 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- 8 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
Place the beef in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to incorporate, forming 4 to 6 patties, whichever size you wish and whatever size fits your bun. Heat a large skillet (or the grill, your preference) over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Cook the patties until browned on both sides and your desired doneness is reached. I do about 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-well, but it will depend on how think your burgers are.
In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro and lime juiced, stirring well. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
To assemble your burgers, cover the bottom bun with avocado slices. Place the burger on top and drizzle on lots of queso cheese. Top with the pico and the jalapeños. Serve immediately.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Stir in the onions and garlic. Season with the salt and pepper. Cook until the onion softens, about 5 to 6 minutes. Slowly stream in 3/4 cup of the half and half, whisking the entire time. Toss the grated cheese with 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch. In a bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup half and half and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until no lumps remain to create a slurry. Stir the slurry into the saucepan and cook for a minute until the milk thickens. Reduce the heat to low.
Stir in the grated cheese, one small handful at a time, until melted. Transfer the mixture to a crock, larger bowl or a small crockpot heating on low. Spoon on the burgers and serve the extra with chips!