Chili-Pie Burgers

Total Time:
35 mins

This handheld riff on Frito pie features beef patties topped with chili-spiked sautéed onions, pickled jalapeños, melty American cheese, and crunchy Frito chips. A soft potato roll holds this flavor-packed burger in place.


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  • ½ cup finely chopped onion

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 2 cloves)

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • ¼ cup ketchup

  • 1 pound ground beef (85 percent lean)

  • 8 slices American cheese

  • 4 potato buns, such as Martin's

  • Iceberg-or romaine-lettuce leaves, pickled jalapeños, and corn chips (preferably Fritos), for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a skillet over medium; add onion and garlic. Season and cook until translucent, 3 minutes. Add chili powder; cook 30 seconds. Stir in ketchup; cook 1 minute. Shape beef into 4 patties, each a scant 1/2 inch thick; season.

  2. Place 1 slice cheese on bottom half of each bun; place separated tops and bottoms on a baking sheet and toast in oven while burgers cook. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high.

  3. Add burgers and cook, pressing with a spatula, until browned, about 3 minutes. Flip; reduce heat to medium. Top each burger with a quarter of onion mixture and a slice of cheese. Cover and cook until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Serve on buns with lettuce, jalapeños, and chips.

    Chili-Pie Burgers
    Frank Frances
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