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Low-Calorie Green Chile Cheeseburger Recipe

It's much healthier than any you can order at a restaurant, and it still tastes just as delicious.
Low-Calorie Green Chile Cheeseburger RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Cheeseburgers are the all-American classic meal. We don’t have to tell you that the fast-food version is not the healthiest of choices. Yet, as bad as fast-food burgers can be, they look like nutritional superstars when stacked next to sit-down restaurant burgers. The bulk of the burgers at Applebee’s, Chili’s, Ruby Tuesday, Outback, and T.G.I. Friday’s weigh in at 1,000 calories or more—before the massive mound of French fries that invariably accompanies them. The key to keeping the calories down is finding a lean but tasty cut of beef (we love sirloin); using healthy, flavor-packed condiments (e.g., roasted chiles, not fried onion rings); and finding a small, fiber-rich bun to house the creation. And that all comes together in this green chile cheeseburger recipe.

Nutrition: 320 calories, 11 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 420 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 lb ground sirloin or brisket
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 can (4 oz) roasted green chiles, drained and chopped (Fresh chiles are even better. Grill poblano peppers until charred, then peel off the skin, remove the seeds, and slice.)
4 slices Swiss cheese
4 potato buns (preferably Martin’s Potato Rolls)
4 thick slices tomato
4 medium slices red onion

How to Make It

  1. Heat a grill, stovetop grill pan, or cast-iron skillet. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Form 4 patties, being careful not to overwork the meat.
  2. When the pan is hot, add the burgers. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side (until nicely charred), then flip and immediately top each with a tablespoon of chiles and a slice of Swiss.
  3. For medium-rare burgers, continue cooking for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the patties are just firm.
  4. Remove the burgers and toast the buns on the hot grill or pan.
  5. Dress the bottom of the buns with the tomato and onion slices, then top each with a burger.

Eat This Tip

We wanted to fill this entire book with delicious burger recipes, but we decided to show some restraint. Here are some other great creations that didn’t make the cut.

  • Beef burgers with mozzarella, pesto, and roasted red peppers
  • Beef burgers with pickled jalapeños, a slice of ham, and a fried egg
  • Turkey burgers with pepper Jack cheese and fresh guacamole
  • Salmon burgers with wasabi-spiked mayo

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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