Mexican Chopped Cheese Sandwich

Treat yourself to a fully loaded Mexican Chopped Cheese with molten, melty pepper jack, crispy beef, crunchy lettuce, and bright pico de gallo. The New York City classic gets a fun twist that will have your family wanting this sandwich on repeat. With just a handful of ingredients and a simple process, you won’t mind heating up the griddle for this addictive sandwich.

Grab a hold of this savory chop cheese sandwich with pico de gallo.

Sure, the classic chopped cheese sandwich is absolutely freaking delicious… but that doesn’t mean we can’t remix it with some Chiles and Smoke!

Smoky chipotle-infused ground beef benefits from being cooked on the griddle, giving you that combination of crusty yet juicy beef before it’s hugged in a coat of drippy, spicy cheese.

Toasted buttery hoagie buns barely containing the toppings make the perfect vehicle to deliver this meaty, cheesy creation straight to your mouth.

Seriously. C’mon. This is SO good!

This Mexican chopped cheese sandwich has pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, and shredded lettuce.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Budget Friendly – Ground beef is the star of this chopped cheese sandwich with just a handful of basic ingredients playing supporting actors. You can easily pick up everything from the grocery store including freshly sliced pepper jack cheese from the deli. 
  • Quick to Prepare – There is nothing complicated about cooking up these chopped cheese sandwiches. Simply toast the buns, brown your ground beef, and melt the cheese before piling it all on the bun. It’s easy and fast enough for any night of the week, especially with the school year starting back up, but also so much fun to entertain with. Serve these up with a side of Creamy Southwestern Coleslaw and cold beers when football season kicks off. 
  • Customizable – The classic chopped cheese ingredients usually combines the browned beef and American cheese with chopped lettuce, onion, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and sometimes ketchup. The toppings and combinations are limitless! Have fun exploring different combinations of flavors and textures and making this your own.
Prepare the ingredients for the chop cheese sandwich before you turn on the griddle.

Key Ingredients

Good news: There isn’t anything complicated about this Mexican chopped cheese sandwich. The basics are there, and it’s up to you to decide on the combination of flavors. Here are the key ingredients to make up this sandwich:

  • Ground Beef – For the perfect balance of fat vs. meat, ground chuck, or 80/20 is the ideal ground beef to use. Chili powder adds earthiness and chipotles in adobo give smokiness, vinegary tang, and heat.
  • Melty Cheese – Pepper jack cheese finishes off the meat mixture with maximum melt factor along with the crispy bits of cheese skirt. 
  • Bread – Hoagie buns not only offer up the ideal size but are that balance of crusty yet soft. 
  • Toppings – Fresh, and vibrant toppings balance out the rich meat and cheese. Homemade Pico de Gallo, crisp lettuce, and creamy mayo are a cooling finishing touch.
Toast the hoagie rolls first, this is very important.

How to Make a Mexican Chopped Cheese Sandwich

  1. Preheat the griddle or a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. You want your griddle to be hot enough to brown the ground beef and create those crispy bits and also toast the bread.
  2. Toast the hoagie rolls. Divide the room-temperature butter between the rolls and evenly spread it on both sides. Place the buttered side down onto the hot griddle. Allow it to lightly toast until golden brown and then remove from the griddle.

    Spread mayonnaise on one side of the toasted buns. This is one step that saves you time and mess! Always be prepared when using the griddle.
  3. Sear the ground beef. Portion the beef into approximately 1/3-pound servings and shape it into a patty. Place the patties onto the hot griddle and using a heavy spatula press down until even and thin.

    Allow the first side to sear for a couple of minutes, letting the crust develop. Flip the patties and allow the second side to sear.
Sear the beef on the hot griddle to build a crispy crust.
  1. Chop the meat and add the chiles. After both sides of the patties have developed a nice crust, use your spatula to chop them into smaller bits.

    Divide the chipotles, chile powder, and salt between the three chopped patties and use a folding motion to make sure that everything is evenly seasoned. Taste and add a little additional salt if needed.
  1. Add the cheese to each portion. Use your spatula to shape the meat into the rough size and shape of the hoagie buns. Turn off your burner and add two slices of cheese to each pile of beef. Allow the residual heat to melt the cheese.

    Use your spatula to carefully transfer the meat and cheese mixture to the toasted hoagie. Proceed with the remaining two.
  1. Fill the Mexican chopped cheese sandwich with the toppings. Add the shredded lettuce and pico de gallo to the chop cheese sandwich and close it up. You can wrap the sandwiches in parchment paper or aluminum foil to keep them warm and also help contain the toppings.

Variations for Flavor

  • Use a flavored mayo or aioli. The Smoked Garlic Aioli from my cookbook is a great option. Chipotle mayo or cilantro lime aioli are other options.
  • Swap the chipotle for chopped jalapenos or serranos and diced onions when cooking the beef.
  • Have fun with the cheese choices! Monterrey Jack, Havarti, shredded Oaxaca, and Muenster are all great melty options.
  • Smear plenty of refried beans, or guacamole onto one side of the toasted buns.
  • Top with Smoked Pickled Jalapenos and diced red onions.
  • Replace some of the ground beef with fresh Mexican chorizo. 
  • Bring a little sweetness with the addition of Pickle de Gallo or Sweet and Spicy Pickles.
Fill up the Mexican chopped cheese sandwich with your favorite toppings.

Important Tips

  • The ground beef cooks up extremely quickly, almost like a smashburger. Make sure to turn off the heat to your griddle before the beef is completely done. Don’t worry, the residual heat will allow it to become gloriously melty. 
  • When forming your chopped beef on the griddle it helps to use the hoagie bun as a guide for length. If the meat mixture is too large it will be a mess while transferring it.
  • Toast your buns first so they’re ready to go when your meat is done. Not only does the toasted bun add more flavor and texture, but it also creates a barrier between the toppings.
  • Use a slotted spoon when serving up the pico de gallo. This will prevent the excess liquid from making your sandwich a little soggy.
  • For a slightly smaller portion, you can divide the ground beef into four patties instead of three. You will need a little additional of each topping.
  • Make sure your griddle is fully heated before adding the beef. You want to sear it and create that crust. If it’s not hot enough your beef will steam.

Need more sandwich recipes? Try one of our favorites such as:

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Featuring a savory and flavorful Mexican chopped cheese sandwich.

Mexican Chopped Cheese Sandwich

Treat yourself to a fully loaded Mexican Chopped Cheese with molten, melty pepper jack, crispy beef, crunchy lettuce, and bright pico de gallo. With just a handful of ingredients and a simple process, you won’t mind heating up the griddle for this addictive sandwich.

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 3-4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 hoagie rolls
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 pound ground beef, 80/20 preferred
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chipotles in adobo
  • 6 slices of pepper jack cheese
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1 cup Pico De Gallo

Instructions

  1. Fill the sandwich with toppings. Add the shredded lettuce and pico de gallo to the sandwich and close it up. You may roll the sandwich in parchment paper to keep it warm, which also helps to keep the toppings together.

Notes

  • When forming your chopped beef on the griddle it helps to use the hoagie bun as a guide for length. If the meat mixture is too large it will be a mess while transferring it.
  • Use a slotted spoon when serving up the pico de gallo. This will prevent the excess liquid from making your sandwich a little soggy.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Burgers & Sandwiches
  • Method: Griddle
  • Cuisine: Dinner, Lunch, Sandwich

Keywords: Mexican chopped cheese sandwich, chop cheese, Mexican chopped cheese, hoagie

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Join the Conversation

  1. Delicious :}. Thanks for such clear directions and tips! I always overcook my meat so your tips really help so I don’t do that.

    1. I’m so glad this is helpful! Hope you make the most delicious sandwiches.

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