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Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers

These Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers are so much more than your typical burger! Cooled down with a creamy buttermilk dressing, it will be your new favorite!

This burger is different from the typical with the same old toppings. Roasted jalapenos, queso fresco cheese and a creamy buttermilk dressing combine with bacon & beef to create awesome flavor!

It’s definitely spicy but the creaminess from the buttermilk dressing helps to cool things down. Another difference is the crispy bacon is added to the meat instead of its usual spot as a topping which adds a great texture to the meat. You won’t go wrong with this recipe as long as you decide in advance how hot you want it to be–you can prep the jalapenos to remove much of the heat if you want to (see below).

Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers

What is Queso Fresco?

If you haven’t heard of queso fresco before, allow me to introduce you to this light, airy Mexican cheese. Queso fresco, Spanish for fresh cheese, is a soft, moist cheese made from raw cow milk and sometimes a combination of cow and goat milk. The milkiness wonderfully offsets the heat from the chiles and is perfect on a hot summer day.


  • Jalapeños
  • Bacon
  • Ground beef
  • Queso fresco
  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Cilantro
  • Onion, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Hamburger buns

How To Make Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers

This queso fresco recipe may sound like a bit of work, but it’s actually quite simple and there are some good hacks (see below) you can try to make this recipe even better. We like to make our burgers slider size and let everyone go burger crazy! You’ll love the spicy jalapenos and cool buttermilk dressing (not to mention the creamy avocado). It’s perfect for summer and is delicious paired with summer vegetables. If you like a larger burger, remember to try to keep the patties all the same size when cooking for the most consistent results. If you like smaller burgers, it’s best to babysit them until they are ready–they will cook much faster than the larger variety.

Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burger Hacks

The first piece of advice you typically get from food blogs about making burgers is to select the best cut of beef you can afford and grind it up at home.

But that doesn’t work for those who are pressed for time; the best substitute you can make is to get a decent type of beef, or tell the butcher you are making burgers and ask for a recommendation.

It doesn’t pay to use the best cut of steak if you are going to grind it up into sliders, but good quality beef can enhance the burger. In other words, using Wagyu beef for a slider is a bit of a waste–that’s a type of meat you should experience all on its own to enjoy the full measure of flavor from that pricey cut of beef. It’s like using the world’s most expensive chocolate to make Toll House cookies with.

Typically, the beef fat content should be 30% for a good burger, but you can get away with lower fat content (10% to 20%) if you aren’t making well-done burgers. Toasting the bun for these burgers is an excellent idea since the toppings are wet–the toasted bread helps keep the burger from getting soggy.

If you don’t want the heat of jalapeno the oldest trick in the book is to scrape all the seeds and white flesh out of the peppers. But remember that sugar tends to kick up the heat in some recipes.

Some scratch their heads at that advice until you remind them that tomato ketchup, that classic burger condiment, has its share of sugar and you’ll want to be a bit mindful of that if you decide not to kill the heat in your jalapeños.

When working with raw meat of any kind, you’ll want to keep your cutting boards separate. Don’t cut the veg on the same board you just prepped raw meat on. It’s ok to prep veggies first, then meat, but be sure to rinse your cutting board–especially after cutting hot peppers!

And about prepping those jalapenos, if your hands begin to burn when deseeding jalapenos, you can wash your hands in vinegar to neutralize any burning sensations. You can also try using a baking soda and water paste mixture.

This burger pairs well with this macaroni salad recipe.

Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers

Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

These Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers were made at one of our "burger barbecues" where we serve - you guessed it - a whole lotta burgers! You'll love the spicy jalapeño and cool buttermilk dressing (not to mention the creamy avocado).


  • 6 jalapeños
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup about 2 ounces crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns, split


  1. Grill or roast the jalapenos until softened and the skin is charred, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a bowl, cover and let cool slightly. Remove and discard the stems, skin and seeds; finely chop the chiles.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the crumbled bacon, the reserved bacon fat, the beef and half of the chiles. Form into 6 patties; season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the queso fresco, mayonnaise, buttermilk, 1 tablespoon olive oil and the remaining chiles. Season with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate.
  4. In another bowl, toss the avocados, cilantro, onion and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; set aside.
  5. Grill the burgers, flipping once, for about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Just before the burgers are finished cooking, grill the buns until toasted, about 1 minute.
  6. Place a burger on each bun bottom, top with some of the avocado salad, drizzle with some of the queso fresco dressing and set a bun top in place.


Adapted from Robert Del Grande, executive chef of RDG & Bar Annie

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 803Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 127mgSodium: 791mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 43g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Try these burger recipes next!

Best Spicy Chicken Burgers
Best Turkey Burgers
Blue Cheese Burger Totchos

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Tuesday 12th of May 2015

Wow! This one meaty and spicy burger. And it looks very irresistible! The buttermilk dressing and avocado salad sounds wonderful! And of course, the jalapenos made it great!

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 13th of May 2015

Thanks, Maureen!

Toni | Boulder Locavore

Tuesday 29th of July 2014

These sound irresistible Kristy! What a great combination.

the wicked noodle

Tuesday 29th of July 2014

Thanks, Toni!

Des @ Life's Ambrosia

Friday 25th of July 2014

You had me at roasted jalapeno. Yum!

the wicked noodle

Saturday 26th of July 2014

For me it's the avocado and queso fresco - AND the jalapenos ;-) Thanks, Des!


Friday 25th of July 2014

These look amazing. I love a good burger with plenty of flavor and these fit the bill. I will need to tone down the jalapeño for the little one, but for us adults, bring it on! Thanks.

the wicked noodle

Friday 25th of July 2014

Glad you like it, Michelle!


Friday 25th of July 2014

These sound amazing! MT @thewickednoodle: Hot and Spicy Queso Fresco Burgers w #BACON!

the wicked noodle

Saturday 26th of July 2014

Thanks so much, Melanie!

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