Spicy 50/50 Burgers


  • ¾ lb. ground chuck
  • ¾ lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices of Monterey Jack cheese (½ lb.) (we used Kraft Big Slice Hot Habanero cheese slices)
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns, split and toasted
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • Thickly sliced hot or sweet pickled peppers, for serving (don’t know if it counts as thick, but we used pickled jalapeño slices)


  1. Take a medium-sized mixing bowl out and mix the chuck and sausage together in it until it looks like they are thoroughly mixed together. Divide the meat mixture into 4 sections, shaping each section into a 4-inch patty that’s about ¾-inch thick. Season the patties with the salt and pepper (we only seasoned one side of the patty).
  2. Take a large cast-iron skillet and pour the olive oil in, setting the heat high enough for the oil to start shimmering (we went with medium-high heat). Add  the patties into the skillet, pressing them down a little with a spatula until they’re only about ½-inch thick. Cook the patties over high enough heat that they become really crusty on the bottom in 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the burgers over and cook them for another 2 minutes or until well browned. Place 2 slices of cheese* on each burger and pour the water into the skillet. Immediately put the lid on the skillet and let it cook for another minute or two or until the cheese has fully melted and the burgers are fully cooked.
  3. Place the cheeseburgers on the toasted buns and top with the cilantro leaves and sliced pickled peppers. Put the top bun on and eat right away !

*Our cheese slices were bigger than the size of the patties so we folded each slice in half before putting them on the patty.

This might be the most successful we’ve ever been at melting cheese on a burger thanks to their method ! The flavor of the hot Italian sausage definitely comes through in this. The patty is so rich that it’s really nice having the fresh cilantro and the acidity from the pickled jalapeño slices. We do wish that there had been some kind of spread to go with this but having some of the pickling juice dripping from the peppers on the burger did help some.

We got this recipe from Food And Wine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Kraft or Food And Wine.

Take care everybody !

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