These blue cheese burgers have BBQ-glazed shallots and jalapeños, salty bacon, and fluffy brioche buns for a savory, sweet, and spicy dinner. These burgers are simply decadent and one of my favorite meals to serve at BBQs in the summer!
When it comes to burgers, I am completely un-snobby. I can appreciate a Wagyu burger just as much as I enjoy the greasy option from In-N-Out down the street. But, there’s something about grilling a burger, adding fancy cheese, and topping the whole thing with something jammy that makes you feel like a real grown up.
Enter: blue cheese burgers with BBQ shallots & jalapeños.
Besides the fact that it snowed less than 2 weeks ago and I got an entire sniffle about it, I think we’ve officially hit summer BBQ weather and these burgers are all I will be serving to my friends and family this year. Just like those little capsules from the 90s-00s that turned into foam animals, the instructions are clear: just add water and you have a party on your hands.
But in this case, the water is beer and the foam-animal capsules are blue cheese burgers. I’m not sure what this metaphor is turning into, so let’s just get into burger details!
About these blue cheese burgers
I know blue cheese can be polarizing, but if there were ever a time to give it a good ol’ college try, it would be for these burgers. They are one of the best burgers I’ve ever had, I honestly had a hard time resisting a second one even though I was miserably full from the first haha. The burgers have everything: salty bacon, sweet BBQ sauce, spicy jalapeños, umami from the blue cheese. Plus soft brioche buns and classic veggies for a little freshness.
My secret is that I add blue cheese both to the patty and on top so you’re getting blue cheese from all angles. The other nice thing is that they cook up easily on the grill but you could totally make them on the stovetop if you don’t have a grill on hand! I love making them for friends and family cause they’re simple to cook but they’re a little more fun than your average burger. Also, you can create a cute burger bar so everyone can make up their own little creation! They’re an absolute dream.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Ground beef – my favorite is 80/20 ground chuck for a flavorful, juicy burger.
- Bacon – you’ll need something thick-cut because we’re throwing it on the grill. Thin bacon will fall through the grates.
- Blue cheese – I highly recommend getting a block of blue cheese and crumbling it yourself over buying pre-crumbled. It has much more flavor!
- BBQ sauce – your favorite go-to sauce will work great.
- Buns – preferably something soft and fluffy. I like brioche.
- Spices & condiments – Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, Kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Veggies – lettuce, tomato, shallots, and a jalapeño.
Let’s make the burgers!
Now that we’ve talked ingredients, let’s chat about how to make these blue cheese burgers. They’re super easy!
- In a bowl, combine the ground beef, spices, and blue cheese. Using clean hands, gently work the mixture together until combined.
- Next, divide the meat into 4 loose balls. Use clean hands to pat them into thick patties.
- Then, grill the burgers and bacon over medium-high heat (between 375-400°F) until the burgers reach your desired doneness and the bacon is crisp.
- One minute before the burgers are done, top the patties with more blue cheese and cook until it’s melted.
- Lastly, layer the burgers with the buns, BBQ shallots, bacon, veggies. Enjoy!
How to make the BBQ shallots & jalapeños
- Thinly slice the shallots and jalapeño.
- Next, over medium-high heat, cook the shallots and jalapeños in oil or butter until the veggies are tender and starting to brown on the edges.
- Lastly, remove the veggie mixture from the heat and add the BBQ sauce. Stir quickly to coat the shallot-jalapeño mixture. Serve immediately or keep warm over low heat.
Stove top burgers
If you don’t have a grill, it’s no problem! You can totally make this recipe indoors on your stove top. Here’s how:
- Heat a small pat of butter or a drizzle of neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Next, carefully place the patties in the hot pan, leaving a little space between each burger. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until they have a nice sear and they’re starting to brown up the sides.
- Flip and cook the burgers another 3-5 minutes, until you reach your desired doneness.
- A couple minutes before you finish cooking the burgers, top each patty with blue cheese. Allow it to melt for about 2 minutes. If the cheese is not melting properly, cover the pan with a lid to speed it up.
- When the burgers are done, transfer the patties to the buns and finish with the remaining toppings.
Best blue cheeses
I typically just grab the standard aged blue cheese from Trader Joe’s and crumble it up. But you can totally get fancy with it! Here are some of my favorite blue cheese options:
- Gorgonzola – this is a very balanced, popular option. It’s salty, creamy, and crumbles nicely. A classic!
- Danish – very creamy and perfect for grilling.
- Stilton – if you want something very sharp and flavorful.
- Roquefort – this option is a bit creamier and has a tang thanks to the sheep’s milk.
- Dunbarton – for a milder option, this is the way to go.
What ground beef should I use?
Since beef is the star of the show in this recipe, pick something higher-quality for the best flavor! I usually pick something up from the butcher at the meat counter because it’s nice and fresh. When it comes to the ratio and type, I like a 80/20 ground chuck, because it has just enough fat to keep the burgers juicy but not so much that they’ll be overly greasy. Don’t go below 85/15 or the burgers will get dry!
Here are some of my favorite ways to serve these burgers! Although I almost always go with the bacon + BBQ shallots and jalapeños combo, there are a lot of ways to enjoy these burgers. Feel free to get creative because they really go with everything!
- Classic toppings – lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and thousand island dressing.
- Fried egg – a breakfast-for-dinner option.
- Sautéed mushrooms – add them to the BBQ sauce or just sauté them with a little garlic.
- Caramelized onions – if BBQ sauce isn’t your thing.
- Avocado – blue cheese + avocado = heaven.
Here are a few of my favorite dishes to go alongside these burgers:
- Waffle fries and beer – to be honest, can’t go wrong.
- Antipasto Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Watermelon Salad with Feta & Nectarines
- Potato Wedges with Zhoug + Garlic Aioli
- Potato salad
- Macaroni salad
- A simple green salad or fresh, seasonal fruit
If you have leftovers, you can totally save them for later! Just place any leftover patties in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days. When you’re ready to enjoy the burgers, just heat them in the microwave in 30 second increments until hot. Or, reheat in the oven at 350°F for 5-6 minutes, until warmed through. Then, assemble with all of your fave toppings!
Do not store assembled burgers or they will get soggy. Always reheat the patties separately and throw the burgers together right before you’re ready to eat!
Recipe tips & tricks
- To prevent the burgers from shrinking on the grill, use the dimple technique. Make an evenly-thick patty in the palm of your hand, and then make an indentation in the center. Works every time!
- For burgers that are light instead of dense, don’t squish the patties too much. You want the patties to stick together but not be too compact. Don’t go too loose though or the burgers will fall apart on the grill.
- Make sure the grill is well-oiled or the blue cheese will melt the patties onto the grill grates. Use a light cooking spray or brush the grates with neutral oil.
- Cook the burgers straight out of the fridge to get a nice sear on the outside with a pink center.
- Don’t cut the burger to check for doneness. You’ll let out all those lovely juices! Instead, use an instant-read thermometer. I love this one!
- Remember to toast the bun! I don’t know why, but it just makes the burger taste sooo much better.
More summery meals
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Blue Cheese Burgers with BBQ Shallots & Jalapeños
BBQ Shallots & Jalapeños
- 1 Tbs. neutral oil
- 2 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeño, de-seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/3 c BBQ sauce
Blue Cheese Burgers
- 4 brioche buns
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 1.25 lbs ground beef (preferably 8/20 ground chuck)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 c blue cheese crumbles, divided
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 1/2 lb.)
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Lettuce, tomatoes, etc., for serving
Blue Cheese Burgers
BBQ Shallots & Jalapeños
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and jalapeños. Cook until the veggies are tender and starting to brown on the edges, 6-7 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the BBQ sauce. Stir quickly to coat the veggies. Then, return the pan to the stove. Keep the mixture warm on the lowest heat, stirring occasionally, while you make the burgers.
Blue Cheese Burgers
- Heat half of the grill to medium-high heat (between 375-400°F). Heat the other half over medium heat (325-350°F).
- Halve the buns and lightly butter both cut sides with unsalted butter. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, 1/4 cup of the blue cheese crumbles, and black pepper to taste. Using clean hands, combine the meat mixture until everything is incorporated.
- Divide the meat into 4 loose balls. Gently press each ball into a patty, making an indentation in the center.*
- Place the patties on the medium-high side of the grill. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and cook for 4 minutes, until you have a nice sear. Flip the burgers, sprinkle with more salt, and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare, 4 minutes for medium, 5 minutes for medium-well, or 6 minutes for well done. During the last 1-2 minutes of cooking, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of blue cheese over the top of each burger and allow it to melt.
- Meanwhile, lay the bacon across the grates on the medium side of the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip, and cook another 2-3 minutes until the bacon is crisp.** Place cooked bacon on paper towels to soak up any extra fat. Break each piece of bacon into 2-3 pieces.
- During the last 1 minute of cooking the burgers, place the buns halved-side down on the grates and let them cook until toasted.
- To assemble the burgers, lay each patty on the bottom half of each bun. Top with 2-3 slices of bacon, BBQ shallots and jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, and the top of the bun. Enjoy!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Let the Sun In by Wallows