~ Bursting with flavor from healthy veggies, these beefy, Mexican-inspired burgers are quick and easy and can be made ahead. They’re topped with a delicious Greek yogurt salsa sauce and the satisfying crunch of tortilla chips. ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Make Ahead •
Welcome back to Ohio, long-lost friend!
I don’t know about you, but as Memorial Day ushers in relaxed, impromptu grilling, it also gives me a little nudge … reminding me that I’d better plan to have extra food around. Somehow I often seem to end up with plenty of neighbors and packs of happy kiddos hanging out in our yard, salivating as I fire up the grill. (#goodproblemtohave)
It’s kind of a matter of survival to have super-easy, I-can-make-that-for-a-crowd recipes (like this one!) on hand!
You’ve heard me say it before: I have the best neighbors! The bestedy-bestest. So I totally don’t mind when my little family dinner spontaneously bursts into a backyard filled with laughing friends, swimming kids, a bonfire and a marshmallow roast … and burgers for all!
This burger is a true crowd-pleaser. Everything you love about tacos … in a grill-friendly, picnic-ready, so-easy-that-even-the-hostess-gets-to-relax burger recipe! (And hey, hostess with the mostess – these are a snap to make ahead, too!)
Chunky salsa adds tons of flavor and keeps these taco burgers ultra-moist. (Plus, salsa is jam-crammed with onions, peppers and lycopene-rich tomatoes!) A few black beans hang out inconspicuously in the background, offering extra-filling fiber and lots of nutrition. And, just like with our Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Burgers, the cheese is cooked right into the patty, so just a little shredded cheese goes a looooong way!
That’s really all you need to know here. (Yeah, sure – the alluring creaminess ingeniously comes from fat-free Greek yogurt – so healthy! – but all you really need to know is … YUM!!!) Enough said. Our moment of introspection has ended. Just remember: Yum.
I’ve made this burger recipe lots of times since I conjured it up, and it’s always a hit all around. But I have a neighbor to thank for the ultimate, final stroke of genius. (Told ya – my neighbors really ARE the very best!)
A couple of weeks ago, I was just getting ready to throw a batch of these together, when our dear friends Bill and Lisa wandered over from next door. They’re one of the cutest darn couples you could ever hope to meet (31 years of marriage, yet you’d think they were newlyweds!). They also have amazing green thumbs, so I spend untold hours just trying to make my yard look decent enough to co-exist next to their gorgeously manicured suburban botanical garden. (Seriously, my life is filled with #goodproblemstohave!) Oh, and you might remember Lisa … chili contest award winner of Crazy Pineapple Chili fame …
Anyway, as my family dinner evolved into a gosh-we-missed-you-all-winter social hour, these burgers came to the rescue! My husband laughingly issued a warning that no one gets to eat at our house without providing detailed, essay-form, compare-and-contrast feedback on all recipes. (He speaks from experience, you know.) Undaunted, our friends dug right in … and then reached for seconds …
And then Bill issued the momentous declaration that took these burgers from killer-good to … well … whatever is even better than that! He suggested …
A TORTILLA CHIP!
Just to really make it taste like a taco.
Our hands darted for the chip bowl, and we simultaneously experienced that “aha” eureka moment … everyone’s face registered gastronomic bliss at just the same time.
A tortilla chip! (Or maybe two …)
Awesome neighbors. (Have I mentioned that before?) Awesome burger.
Hope it’s an awesome Memorial Day, friends! Welcome to grillin’ season!
Looking for More Grilling Recipes? Check Out Our:
- The Secret to Prefect Shish Kabobs
- Four-Ingredient Grilled Corn Salad with Nonfat Chili-Lime Dressing
- Grilled Tropical Fruit with Almond-Ricotta Sauce
- Easy Homemade Grilled Pizza
- Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Burgers
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup shredded, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup mild thick and chunky salsa (see note)
CREAMY SALSA DRESSING
- 1 5.3-ounce container (just over 1/2 cup) nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup mild thick and chunky salsa
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 whole wheat buns
- 4-8 whole grain tortilla chips
- In a small bowl, combine spices.
- In a large bowl, crumble ground beef gently, and then sprinkle with spice mixture, cheese, beans and salsa. Mix until thoroughly combined, being careful not to overmix. Form mixture into 4 patties (see note).
- Preheat your grill, or a non-stick skillet or grill pan, on medium heat.
- Add the burgers and cook on the first side until nicely browned and mostly cooked through (about 8 minutes on the grill or in a covered skillet, or 8-10 minutes in an uncovered grill pan).
- Flip the burgers (gently – these are a bit delicate), and continue cooking until just cooked through (about 5 minutes more). Be careful not to overcook, which can cause the burgers to be dry.
- While the burgers cook, mix the dressing ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Serve your burgers on buns, topped with Creamy Salsa Dressing and 1-2 tortilla chips.
Salsa: Be sure to use thick and chunky salsa, as opposed to much thinner and runnier regular salsa.
Forming burger patties: We typically advise you to just lightly press your burgers together, as overworking the meat mixture or compacting the patties too firmly can cause your burgers to be tough. However, these burgers have so many ingredients that you do need to be more firm in packing the patties together so they don't fall apart when you flip them. As long as you're relatively firm in shaping them and don't make them too thin, you should be just fine.
Grilling: Remember that grills vary widely in temperature settings, so the settings and times you use may need to be adjusted according to your specific grill.
Make-ahead options: You can prep the burger patties earlier in the day or up to a day ahead and then store them, tightly wrapped in the fridge, until you’re ready to cook them. To prep further ahead of time, you can freeze the uncooked patties and then thaw prior to cooking. These burgers also reheat surprisingly well, as the salsa keeps them really moist. Leftovers are fantastic just gently reheated in the microwave.