Spicy, grilled chipotle burgers served on a bed of crunchy iceberg lettuce and topped with melted cheddar cheese, avocado slices and salsa? YES, PLEASE!
These low-carb and keto chipotle mexi-burgers, adapted from America's Test Kitchen (Tex-Mex Cheeseburgers), are big on flavor and texture and will not disappoint if you love Mexican-inspired food. Of all the burgers we grill in the summertime, these chipotle mexi-burgers are definitely one of our favorites.
These minimal-fuss burgers are a quick and easy weeknight meal, too. To make, simply season ground beef with minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, ground cumin, and salt and pepper, and then form the seasoned beef into patties. Once on the grill, our burgers typically finish in about 8 or so minutes (depends on how well done you like them). During the last minute of grilling, add the sliced cheddar cheese, so it becomes melted and gooey. We love serving the patties on a bed a crunchy iceberg lettuce and topping with avocado slices and salsa. But, you can customize the toppings however you like!
The most important part to getting grilled burgers to turn out right is by following tips and tricks of experts. We've compiled top tips and tricks from America's Test Kitchen and Bobby Flay, one of the best burger chefs in America. Be sure to check out these tips before starting!
These simple-to-make chipotle burgers include just 7 ingredients!
- Grass-fed 80/20 beef — For best results, use grass-fed 80/20 ground beef! See more information below in tips on making burgers.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce — We use two tablespoons of minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (along with sauce).
- Ground cumin — Just a half teaspoon needed!
- Salt and pepper — Always need to season your burgers with salt and pepper!
- Iceberg lettuce — We like to serve the burgers on a crunchy bed of iceberg lettuce. We use 4 to 6 large leaves, which we tear into the size of burgers.
- Cheddar cheese slices — We use sliced cheddar cheese, but you can use any cheese you want.
- Avocado slices — We cut half an avocado into thin slices and top each burger with a few slices. It's delicious!
- Salsa — We top each burger with a few tablespoons of salsa (instead of ketchup). For salsa, we use Tostitos Medium Salsa, which is low in carbs, uses simple ingredients and no sugar. When buying store-bought salsa, make sure it contains no more than 2 grams of carbs per 2 tablespoons.
We keep our toppings fairly simple on these chipotle burgers, but you can use whatever toppings make you happy. Some other low-carb and keto considerations may include:
- Jarred jalapeno peppers
- Chopped bacon
- Sliced onions
- Guacamole (can replace the avocado slices)
- Slice tomatoes (can replace salsa)
- Spicy mustard
Expert Tips for Making the Best Grilled Burgers
To help you grill the best hamburgers, we've compiled tips and tricks from America's Test Kitchen and Bobby Flay, one of the best burger chefs in America. Be sure to check these out before heating up the grill!
- Purchase the right beef! The best burgers begin with the right ground beef. It's best to purchase an 80/20 mix, which is 80 percent lean beef and 20 percent fat. With a higher percentage of fat (as opposed to 90/10 or 85/15), you'll get a juicier and more flavorful burger. Also, for a healthier burger, it's best to purchase grass-fed beef (over grain-fed beef) since it has significantly lower levels of saturated fat and is more nutritionally rich (it has five times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids!), as reported by WebMD.
- Don't overwork the patties! When preparing your patties, be careful not to overwork the beef. Therefore, after spreading the seasoning across the beef, you'll briefly and gently work the meat into patties "until it just holds together," as Bobby Flay suggests. If you overwork the meat, you'll damage the binding between the fat and the protein, which will lead to a drier, less tender burger.
- Indent the middle of patties with your thumb! When hamburgers are exposed to direct heat, like on a grill, the edges will recede and the top will puff up, as reported by America's Test Kitchen. By indenting the middle of the patty with your thumb, you can prevent the burger from puffing up in the middle, which is due to connective tissues shrinking when heated at high temperatures.
- Just flip the burger once and don't smoosh it with a spatula! When grilling, you want to sear the burger on each side for three minutes or more to create a nice deep-brown sear, which seals in the burger juices. When searing the burger on each side, do not push on the burger with the spatula to flatten it -- this simply releases the burger's juices into the grill. You want to keep those juices in the burger, so it stays deliciously juicy and tender!
- Grill to the right temperature! To check for doneness, it's best to use an instant-read thermometer, which you'll insert directly into the center of the burger. We typically grill our burgers for a total of 8 or so minutes (3 minutes on the first side and about 5 or so minutes on the other side for medium burgers). The FDA recommends that you cook ground beef until 160°F, which is medium to well-done. For medium-rare, Epicurious indicates that the internal temperature should be about 145°F.
- Add cheese slices during the last minute of cooking! To get the cheese melted just right, add the cheese during the last minute of cooking and close the top of the grill. After about a minute or less, the cheese should be melted. If not, then cook for a little longer with the grill top closed. When done, remove burgers from the grill and let rest for a few minutes. Then, they're ready to serve!
Other Low Carb and Keto Grill Recipes
Here are other low-carb and keto grill recipes you may enjoy!
- Grilled Carne Asada: Grilled Carne Asada is one of the ultimate grill recipes. It’s because the steak turns out so tender, juicy and flavorful after marinating and just a short time on the grill. To make, simply marinate the steak for an hour or more, then grill for less than 10 minutes, and dinner is ready!
- Grilled Asparagus with Ricotta & Feta Spread :Take your grilled asparagus to the next level by serving over a savory ricotta and feta spread! The charred asparagus is a perfect complement to the creamy spread, which is made from a combination of ricotta and feta cheese, olive oil, garlic, and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Skewers: These low-carb and keto chicken souvlaki skewers burst with Greek flavor since they’re marinated in olive oil, garlic, oregano, rosemary and lemon juice. They’re also easy to make and one serving is just 2 net carbs!
- 1 pound grass-fed, 80 percent lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (including sauce)
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt and pepper to season
- Iceberg lettuce, 4 to 6 leaves tore to the size of burgers (roughly 100 grams total)
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- ½ avocado. sliced
- 8 tablespoons salsa (2 tablespoons salsa per hamburger)
- Make the burgers: In a large mixing bowl, use your hands to gently and briefly mix the ground beef with minced chipotle peppers, ground cumin, and salt and pepper (to season). Don't overmix the meat! Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and place on tray. Quickly form each meat portion into a rough patty that's about ½- to ¾-inch thick. Use your thumb to indent the center of each patty.
- Prepare the toppings: Pull off 4 to 6 large iceberg lettuce leaves. Rinse and dry. Roughly tear the leaves into the size of burgers and double up the leaves for each burger bed (for a total of 4 lettuce beds). Place the lettuce beds on a serving plate. Cut half an avocado into thin slices.
- Grill the burgers: Heat the grill to high, about 450 to 500 degrees. Place burgers directly over heat and grill for 3 minutes on the first side. Do not press down on burgers with spatula! After 3 minutes, flip the burgers and cook until inside of burger reaches desired temperature (for medium burgers cook about 5 or so minutes). During the last minute, place a slice of cheese on top of each burger and close the grill lid. Remove burgers once they're done and cheese is melted. Let rest for several minutes.
- Serve: Place burgers on top of lettuce beds. Add a few slices of avocado on each. Then, spoon over a few tablespoons of salsa. Serve immediately.
Serving Size1 burger
Amount Per Serving Calories 360.9Total Fat 25.4gSaturated Fat 11.6gCholesterol 99.6mgSodium 641.4mgCarbohydrates 5.0gNet Carbohydrates 2.7gFiber 2.3gSugar 1.3gProtein 28.0g