Green chiles are one of the most iconic, and delicious, foods that New Mexico has to offer. It’s also a food that New Mexican farmers grow better than anyone else, anywhere else. Green chiles make a regular appearance at most New Mexican tables, from stews to sauces to enchiladas, not to mention our famed green chile cheese burgers. And if you like green chile cheese burgers, you’ll love this recipe for burger stuffed green chiles. Since there’s no bun the flavors you love the most — green chile, New Mexican spices, cheese, and local ground beef — are concentrated. More green chile flavor is a good thing!
These versatile stuffed chiles can be served as an appetizer, a side, or a main dish along with a fresh salad of local greens. They’re delicious as long as chiles are in season! (To find out what’s in season in your part of New Mexico, head here.)
- 1/2 pound local ground beef (we like these ranchers)
- 4 to 6 New Mexico-grown green chiles (2 to 3 green chiles per person)
- 1/2 medium chopped white onion
- Monterey Jack, queso blanco, or any favorite cheese, sliced
- Fresh tomato, sliced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp New Mexico chile powder
- 1 tsp lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. At this point also either light a grill to medium heat, or the oven to 375F.
- Wash and dry the whole chiles, onion, and tomatoes.
- Carve your chiles into “boats”, making a cavity that is large enough to stuff, with closed ends to hold the stuffing in (see photo above). Discard the seeds and membrane, but save the pieces of chile flesh that you just cut out.
- Chop the saved chile flesh and the onion. Add them to the heated oil in the skillet along with all of the spices (but not the lime juice). Cook for a few minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to wilt.
- Add your ground beef to the skillet and break into small pieces. Cook through, stirring well to distribute the onion, chopped chile, and spices.
- Remove the ground beef mixture from the heat, and stir in the lime juice. Let sit until cool (you can make this ahead of time and store in your refrigerator until ready to assemble).
- Stuff the chiles with the cooled beef mixture. Use your hands to make sure the filling reaches the ends of the chiles.
- To cook the stuffed chiles, you can either grill them on a pre-heated grill that has been sprayed with nonstick oil, or bake them. To grill them, place the chiles directly on the grill and cook for about 20 minutes, until charred and a fork can pierce the chiles. To bake them, place the stuffed chiles in a lightly oiled casserole dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until soft.
- After the chiles are cooked, cover with slices of cheese and cook a few minutes more, until the cheese is melted.
- Serve your burger stuffed green chiles with a side of tomatoes and your favorite burger toppings.
Recipe and photos by Christina Keibler.