Santa Fe Burger

When you combine the flavors of the southwest with a juicy beef patty, what do you get? I would say you may have one of the best Santa Fe Burgers you will find— a generous all-beef patty placed between toasted brioche buns and stacked with creamy pepper jack cheese, roasted poblano chiles, fresh guacamole, red onion, tomato, and finished with spicy ketchup.

Looking for more burger inspiration? Check out my recipes for Shish Kabob Turkey Burger, Spicy Black Bean Burger, Greek Lamb Burger with Tzatziki Sauce, and my Double Buffalo Chicken Burger.

Sante Fe Burger layered with guacamole, roasted poblano peppers, red onion, and a side of spicy ketchup

The one thing I love about making burgers is how creative you can get — beef burgers, chicken burgers, seafood burgers, and turkey burgers — I have created my fair share of them all.
And my latest creation, the Sante Fe Burger, is inspired by the flavors of the Southwest.

A southwest spin on this burger is highlighted by the addition of fire-roasted poblano peppers and homemade guacamole. And let’s not forget about the spicy ketchup that is a nice addition and gives it a little kick.

Ingredients you will need for this recipe:

  • It begins with the ground beef. I choose to go with a 80/20 ratio just to have a more flavorful and juicy patty. The higher fat content adds more moisture. If you want to go leaner, then a 90/10 ratio may be your pick (90% lean/10% fat or higher).
  • The seasonings that make this a Santa Fe style burger are coriander, oregano, chili powder, ground thyme, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  • You will also need a poblano pepper, avocado, fresh basil, Pico de Gallo, and pepper jack cheese slices.
  • For the spicy ketchup, it’s a simple combination of ketchup, hot sauce, chili powder, onion powder, black pepper, and red cayenne pepper. I know it sounds hot, but the kick is not too much if you don’t like a lot of heat.
  • For the extra toppings, you can add red onion slices, arugula, and tomato slices.
Sante Fe Burger layered with tomato, guacamole, roasted poblano peppers, red onion

burger Tips

  • Making burgers is a simple process, but the science is in the seasonings and cooking time. Burgers can dry out if overcooked, so you’ll want to ensure your timing is spot on.
  • Plan on 5-6 minutes total for rare, 6-7 minutes total for medium-rare, 7-8 minutes total for medium, 8-9 minutes total for medium-well, and 9-10 minutes for well-done. You’ll want to flip the burgers mid way through.
    • Medium-rare will have a warm, red center
    • Medium will have a warm, pink center
    • Medium-well will have a hot, slightly pink center
    • Well-done will be brown all the way through

This Santa Fe Burger recipe is not only great for family cookouts and has moved its way to the top of one of my all-time favorite burger creations.

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Sante Fe Burger layered with tomato, guacamole, roasted poblano peppers, red onion

Santa Fe Burger

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  • Author: Eric Jones
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


A beef patty placed between toasted brioche buns and stacked with creamy pepper jack cheese, roasted poblano chiles, fresh guacamole, red onion, tomato, and spicy ketchup.


Units Scale

For the spicy ketchup:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp red cayenne pepper

For the burger:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 tbsp pico de gallo
  • 1 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 tsp black pepper, divided
  • 1 medium poblano pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 brioche buns, toasted
  • arugula
  • tomato, sliced
  • red onion, sliced


  1. For the spicy ketchup, add the ketchup, hot sauce, onion powder, chili powder, black pepper, and red cayenne pepper into a small bowl and mix. Set to the side.
  2. For the guacamole, remove the skin and seed from the avocado, then scoop the insides and place into a small bowl. Add pico de gallo, ½ tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Mix until combined. Set to the side.
  3. Place the poblano pepper directly on the flame for 3-4 minutes per side until charred. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Remove the skin, stem, and seeds, and chop the remaining pepper into small pieces. Set to the side. 
  4. Place the ground beef into a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, coriander, oregano, chili powder, ground thyme, and red pepper flakes. Finely chop fresh basil and add to bowl with ingredients. Combine using hands and form into 2 large palm-sized patties. 
  5. Grill burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side at medium-high heat. Place pepper jack cheese slices over meat and remove from heat. The cheese slices will slowly melt over the patties.
  6. Build your burger by layering arugula, tomato slice, burger patty, red onion slice, guacamole, and chopped poblano pepper. Add spicy ketchup to the top bun. 
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Burgers
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Southwest


  • Calories: 521
  • Sugar: 3.4g
  • Sodium: 1341mg
  • Fat: 28.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.6g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 43.4g
  • Cholesterol: 126mg

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