Messy Mexican Burger

If you like Mexican spice and don’t mind getting a little messy when you eat, then boy do we have a burger recipe for you. The messy Mexican burger packs a perfect amount of spice from pickled jalapeños and chili pepper (of your choice) in the beef patty. It’s not too hot (unless you make it so), so this is one the whole family can enjoy!

Messy Mexican Burger
Two Messy Mexican burgers, ready for the taking

The combination of flavors in this messy Mexican burger marries up perfectly. There’s a creamy side from the avocado, a sharp twist from the cheese, and a cooling garden freshness from the salsa. The, of course, the spiciness throughout, along with a little pungency from the onion and garlic powder.

On that red chili pepper in the patty: As mentioned, you can make it as hot or not as you’d like. Red jalapeños or Fresno peppers are good choices for a medium heat. You can try a red serrano chili for something just a touch hotter. Or you can even amp things up to habanero level if you’d like. And, of course, you could opt for a sweet pepper here to keep the spiciness solely to the pickled jalapeño and/or the salsa if you’ve chosen something hotter.

You can use store-bought jarred salsa if you like, but if you have the time and the ingredients, we recommend our basic salsa recipe so you can adjust the heat to your perfect level.

A close-up of our messy Mexican burger, stacked high with salsa and cheese

Also note: This Mexican burger recipe makes two BIG 1/2 pound burgers. Feel free to adjust the burger sizes to 1/4 pound. Just cut the ciabatta bread appropriately to handle four burgers and consider whether additional ingredients (like more avocado, jalapeños, or cheese) will be needed.

Like this recipe? You’ll love these too:

Messy Mexican Burger

Messy Mexican Burger

Avocado, salsa, and just enough spiciness
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course dinner
Servings 2 servings
Calories 1562 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 red chili pepper chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup pickled sliced jalapenos
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large ciabatta bread
  • 1 cup fresh salsa
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 avocado peeled and sliced


  • Place the ground beef into a large bowl.
  • Add the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, chopped chili pepper, and the egg to the ground beef and mix thoroughly.
  • Split the ground beef into two and form the meat into 1/2 pound patties with your hands.
  • Add the oil to a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • When the pan is up to temperature cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side (this will result in a medium cook – reduce or extent if you like rare or well done.) Cover the burgers with a lid while cooking to allow cooking through the center.
  • Remove the lid and add the jalapeño peppers to the top of the burger then add cheese and set aside to rest while you prepare the bread.
  • Slice the ciabatta in half. Yu may need to cut more off to make burger-sized segments depending on the original loaf size.
  • Slice through the center of the bread so that you have a bottom and top to the burger “bun”.
  • Spread mayonnaise over the two bottoms then lay the sliced avocado on top.
  • Place the burger on top and add some salsa.
  • Put the lid on the burger and enjoy. You may need to push a toothpick down the center of the bun and burger to keep it together when serving.


Calories: 1562kcalCarbohydrates: 127gProtein: 73gFat: 86gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 3gCholesterol: 275mgSodium: 3007mgPotassium: 1649mgFiber: 12gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1680IUVitamin C: 47mgCalcium: 318mgIron: 7mg
Keyword Jalapeno Pepper, Pickled Jalapenos
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on April 30, 2023 to include new content.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments