Take your taste buds on a wild ride with this Grilled Cheese Burger, loaded with shaved jalapenos & onions, and two kinds of melty cheese. Don’t let the heat scare you though – the creaminess of the cheese and the savory onion balance out the spice perfectly.
Yes, the Grilled Cheese Burger. The classic grilled cheese sandwich is holding two smash burgers with seared onions and jalapenos for a boost of flavor. Holding it together are inverted, golden brown toasted buns that keep the burger from getting soggy, also adding an extra layer of texture. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you for making this burger recipe.
Similar to a patty melt, the combination of melty cheese, browned onions, and crispy beef come together between toasted buns. Don’t waste your time caramelizing onions for this one, there’s plenty of flavor embedded in the burger patties. These only take a few minutes to smash together on a hot griddle or cast iron pan.
Craving more burgers? We understand. Check out the list of burgers on our site, or try some recommended ones such as the Smoked Beef Birria Burger, the Smashburger Tacos, or the guide to juicy Smoked Burgers.
Why You’ll Love Grilled Cheese Burgers
- Combination of cheeses. This grilled cheese burger uses not one, but two types of cheese – American and Havarti. The combination of the mild American cheese with the creamy and slightly tangy Havarti creates a delicious combination that pairs perfectly with the juicy beef.
- Shaved jalapenos & onions. The shaved jalapenos add a spicy kick, balanced out by the creaminess of the cheese and the sweetness of the grilled onions. Each ground beef patty has the jalapenos and onions seared and smashed into the surface, creating more flavor and texture.
- Incredibly melty. The choice of American and Havari cheeses isn’t just because of the tasty flavor. Crispy smashed burger patties are layered with these soft cheeses, keeping them warm and consistently melty – the key feature for grilled cheese sandwiches.
Key Ingredients and Variations
This recipe stands out from the others, including the viral Five Guys grilled cheese burger. Smashing the shaved jalapenos and onions into the burger patties adds more texture and significant flavor, without the need for sauces, condiments, and other toppings.
My prime cheese choices for this grilled cheese burger are the combination of American cheese and Havarti, but don’t let that stop you from mixing to your taste:
- Swiss cheese – This adds a nutty, buttery flavor and melts easily, making it a great choice.
- Gouda – Gouda cheese is a semi-soft cheese with a mild, nutty flavor. It melts well and adds richness to the sandwich. Smoked Gouda is also a great option, with an intense smoky profile.
- Provolone – This mild cheese has a tangy flavor and also a stretchy texture. If you’re looking for a cheese pull, this is a great option.
- Pepper jack – Spice up the grilled cheese burger with this soft cheese. There are many varieties of soft cheeses infused with chiles, you can’t go wrong.
How to Make Grilled Cheese Burgers
Just like any kind of smashed burger, these grilled cheese burgers are pretty simple and cook very quickly. It’s important to be prepared with the right equipment and have everything ready to go.
Step 1: Sear the Burgers with Toppings
Heat up your griddle or skillet to a medium high heat. Drop a small pile of the onions and jalapenos onto the surface and immediately add the portioned ground beef. Sprinkle with your seasoning, and let’s get to smashing.
Place a small piece of parchment paper on top of the ground beef and press down with your heavy spatula or burger press. Smash it pretty flat, and allow the beef to cook for a few minutes.
Step 2: Toast the Buns
This is where things take a twist. Slather the flat side of the buns with mayo or melted butter, your choice. Place the buns round-side down onto the hot surface and toast them for a minute or two.
Flip them to the butter side down so they can get toasty and crispy. Add the slices of American cheese to each of the buns (see image below).
Step 3: Flip the Burgers and Stack
The smashed burgers should be ready to flip. Give it a nudge with your spatula, or scrape it if you need. Flip each burger patty and top 1 of them with the Havarti cheese slice.
After another minute or two, stack the smashed burger without the cheese on top of the one with the Havarti. Move both burgers to one of the buns with cheese, and flip the other cheesy bun on top to close it. You should have mouthwatering crispy grilled cheese burgers as seen below.
Step 4: Keep Warm in Foil (optional)
Depending on the quality of your American cheese slices – make sure you get it from the deli counter – and the time you expect to transfer the burgers to your mouth, you may need to hold these for a few minutes.
Take a sheet of regular aluminum foil and wrap the burgers up. It helps to ensure the cheese is melted together and will remind you of your favorite burger joint when you open up the packages. Open them up and behold the glorious, grilled cheese burgers.
Important Tips for Grilled Cheese Burgers
- High-quality American Cheese – I know this sounds really weird, because it’s we’re talking about slices of American cheese, but it makes a HUGE difference when you get slices from the deli counter… versus the plastic-wrapped brands. The flavor and texture is significantly better, plus they are usually larger.
- Potato or Brioche buns – I’ve tested this with a few different types of buns, and either brioche buns or potato buns are hands down the winners.
- Don’t skip the jalapenos and onions – If you’re not into spicy food, I get it. Make sure you at least use one of the two suggested to add significant flavor to the burgers. Shallots or sweet onions are also great with this recipe.
- Slather the buns before toasting – Mayonnaise is the clear winner for me, but you can use melted butter or another soft fat of your preference. Just like a classic grilled cheese sandwich, you’ll need something fatty to toast the outside of the buns.
Frequently Asked Questions
A patty melt consists of a burger with melted cheese and topped with caramelized onions, sandwiched between griddled bread. Grilled cheese burgers do not traditionally have the caramelized onions, use American cheese, and inverted toasted buns.
American cheese is the primary choice for most classic burgers, due to the creamy profile and low melting point. Mix and match different cheeses according to your preferences, suggestions are above!
What Sides to Serve with These Burgers?
Don’t worry, we have plenty of side suggestions for your grilled cheese burger:
- Smoked Baked Beans
- Nashville Hot Pickle Potato Salad
- Smoked Potato Skins
- Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Creamy Hatch Chile Mac and Cheese
- Creamy Southwestern Coleslaw
- Southern Macaroni Salad
- 1 jalapeno, sliced thin
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
- 12 ounces of ground beef, 80/20, split into 3-ounce portions
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 4 slices of American cheese
- 2 slices of Havarti cheese
- 2 hamburger buns, brioche or potato
- Mayo or melted butter for toasting
- Preheat your griddle to a medium-heat. Use a slightly lower heat for the second burner, which will be used to toast the hamburger buns.
- Sear the burgers and toppings. Place the shaved jalapenos and onions into 2 small piles on the hot surface. Immediately place a portion of ground beef on top of each. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Allow the meat to sear for about 3-4 minutes until it gets crispy underneath and can be flipped.
- Flip the burgers. Using your spatula, scrape underneath and flip each burger. Add the slice of Havarti cheese to 1 of the patties.
- Toast the buns. Place the curved side of the buns down directly onto the griddle and press down gently. Allow them to toast for about 2 minutes and flip to the flat side which should be buttered (or slathered with mayo). Add a slice of American cheese to each of the buns.
- Assemble the grilled cheese burgers. Stack the two burger patties so the Havarti cheese is between them, and place them onto a toasted bun with the American cheese. Flip the other bun so the cheese is sandwiching the burgers. It’s time to eat!
- Keep them warm (optional). Place the burgers in a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap them tight. This helps to keep them warm while also melting the cheese further.
- Have everything prepared in advance before cooking the burgers, otherwise you’ll be rushing to grab the next ingredients.
- Don’t forget to butter the buns with some mayo or butter before you get started.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Burgers & Sandwiches
- Method: Griddle
- Cuisine: Burger
Keywords: grilled cheese, grilled cheese burger, smash burger, jalapenos, cheeseburger