Hatch Chile Extravaganza: Chile-Stuffed Bison Burgers with Deconstructed Guacamole

ChileStuffedBisonBurger[Jump right to the recipe: Chile-Stuffed Bison Burgers]

As I’ve said before in my weekly Austin Foodie Bits posts as well as my recent recipe for Stuffed Squash Calabacitas, Texans are crazy for green Anaheim chiles, particularly those grown in Hatch, New Mexico. We can buy canned chiles from Hatch year round, but for a three week period in August, our love for all things Hatch works itself into a freshly-picked chile fervor that results in festivals, contests, and this year even a food blogger potluck focused wholly on cooking with this unassuming green chile pepper. Seeing as Hatch chiles were a ubiquitous part of my childhood, I’m as crazy as the next Texas foodie for Hatch chiles. To that end, I’m devoting the bulk of my blog for the next two or so weeks (maybe longer if I feel like it) to Hatch chile recipes. Today’s post is all about buffalo burgers stuffed with green chiles, I also have a green chile crostini recipe up my sleeve and quite possibly a green chile risotto. I’m also preparing for the afore mentioned food blogger potluck, so there will be at least one post, and probably two related to what promised to be a great afternoon of fun and feasting.

“But Natanya, I’m not rich in Hatch chiles, whatever shall I do?”

Immediately move to Texas! What, that’s not a viable option for you? That’s too bad. You’d like it here, I promise. And Hatch chiles are only one of the reasons. Still not happening? Okay, I guess we’ll have to figure something else out.

While you will be missing out on one of the most amazing smells known to man – the scent of a freshly roasted chile after it’s blackened over a flame so the skin falls off leaving only tender and succulent meat ready for all sorts of applications – you can buy canned green chiles that will get you by. Start looking on the same aisle at your grocery store where you’d find other Mexican ingredients like chipotles in adobo or enchilada sauce. If you can’t find them there, try a Mexican specialty market. If all else fails, you can order them online. If possible, buy the Hatch brand of green chiles, they are the best that are available, but even if you can’t find those, don’t let that stop you from grabbing whatever brand of green chile you can lay hands on to start cooking with these green beauties.

If you are in a position to get freshly roasted chiles, buy a lot. They freeze beautifully after they are roasted. Just pack them away in bunches of 6-8 in heavy-duty freezer ziptop bags and freeze for up to a year. Now that I’m done waxing rhapsodic about green chiles, let’s get down to business with the recipe for a burger inspired by the Mexican and New Mexican flavors of my childhood.

Recipe: Hatch Green Chile-Stuffed Bison Burgers Topped with a Deconstructed Guacamole


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min


  • 1 lb. ground bison
  • ½ lb. ground chuck
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 4 tsp. New Mexico chile powder
  • 2 whole Hatch green chiles, roasted, stems and seeds removed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 oz. Asadero or other white melting cheese, sliced thin
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted


  1. Prepare a grill or grill pan to cook the burgers.
  2. Break the ground bison and chuck into small chunks and combine them in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle evenly with the cumin and chile powder.
  3. Gently combine the meat and spices until well mixed.
  4. Divide the meat into 8 equal portions, about 3 oz. each. Gently roll each portion into a ball then flatten into a thing burger, about ¼ in. bigger in diameter than your hamburger bun.
  5. Cut each green chile into quarters. Place two quarters into the center of each of four of the meat patties. Top each of the patties with chiles with a patty without chiles to create four “stuffed” burgers. To seal in the chiles, press the edges of each stuffed burger together tightly and smooth out to create a patty that is uniform in size.
  6. Liberally season the burgers on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in refrigerator until ready to grill.
  7. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scope the flesh from the skin with a large spoon. Cut the avocado halves into slices and cover completely with the juice of the lime.
  8. Grill the burgers to your desired doneness. I recommend pulling the burgers from the grill at about 130 degrees. Put the cheese on the burgers about 1 minute before you are ready to take them off of the grill so the cheese can begin to melt.
  9. Toast the hamburger buns while the cooked burgers are resting.
  10. Place a patty on each bun and top with 3-4 slices of avocado and 2-3 slices of red onion.

Recipe for Success

  • While it’s important to evenly combine the bison, chuck, and spices, be careful not to over-work the meat or your burgers will be tough.
  • Bison is a very lean beef, which is why I’ve included a bit of chuck in the mix to bring some fat to the burger. Be careful not to over-cook the burgers or they will be dry.
  • You could just as easily top this burger with guacamole instead of this collection of guacamole ingredients.
  • Pick your poison – use either mild or hot green chiles depending on how much heat you like.
  • I think that the avocado brings enough creaminess to the burger that it doesn’t need any wet condiments like mayo or mustard, but you can certainly dress the burger however you’d like.


  1. Mmmm, I LOVE bison burgers and these look delish!

  2. Natanya, that burger looks killer and I absolutely love bison. I would like to point out that if folks are freezing chiles then it really helps to peel the skin before you freeze them.

    • Natanya Anderson /

      Thanks for the tip Robert. I hadn’t thought about it until I looked, but all the chiles in my freezer are indeed peeled. Glad you liked the post – I’m making and posting about your cookies in the next week or two 🙂

      • I’ve heard that it’s best to leave the char on when you freeze them; it helps prevent freezer burn and keeps those wonderful Hatch chiles flavorful. I’ve also heard that they get hotter the longer you freeze them. I bought 20 pounds last month and what’s left of them are in my freezer–with the peel on. 🙂


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