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Cilantro lovers, this one’s for you! This Cilantro Bomb Burger has a cajun spiced patty topped with melted monterey jack cheese, crispy fried onion strings, an easy sriracha lime aioli, and plenty of cilantro in place of lettuce. It’s a flavor explosion for your mouth!
We’re big fans of gourmet burgers around here and love to try new and outrageous flavor combinations like our Red, White, and Blueberry Bacon Burger with Basil Aioli, Grilled Poblano Pepper Southwest Burger, Bacon Jam Burger, and our Soy-Glazed Mushroom Swiss Burger.
Cilantro Bomb Burger
When summer hits and it’s time to grill, the first thing I am always craving is a really juicy, amazing burger! And while I never say no to classic grilled hamburgers with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and cheese, I like to switch things up and try new and different flavor combinations all the time.
This cilantro bomb burger was inspired by the one from Yaks in Dunsmuir, California, near Mt. Shasta. It’s appropriately named because this burger is definitely “the bomb”.
It’s packing heat in the form of cajun seasoning on the outside of the burger and a sriracha lime aioli, but I don’t think of this burger as being overly spicy, if that’s something you are concerned about.
How to make the best burgers
To make the best burgers, start by dividing the meat into equal portions, about 6 ounces each or roughly the size of a tennis ball.
Gently shape into burgers that are slightly larger than the size of the buns you plan to use. 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick is a good size to make sure that you end up with a thick, juicy burger. The patties might seem large, but keep in mind that they will shrink when as they cook!
Make a depression in the center of each patty with your fingers. This will help the burger cook evenly without puffing up in the middle quite as much.
Generously season both sides of each patty with cajun seasoning, salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is done to personal preference but I typically use around 1/4 teaspoon of salt per patty, and a little less pepper than that.
How to grill burgers
Get your grill going so that it can get nice and hot. Medium-high to high heat is best for grilling burgers.
Add the hamburger patties directly over the flames or heat source and grill, covered, for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on how well done you like your burgers. I like my burgers a juicy medium with just a little pink in the center so I am usually around the 4-5 minute mark for my burgers, but you can grill them longer if you prefer them well-done.
Add the cheese once you flip the burgers so it can melt. I also highly recommend toasting the buns directly on the grill during the last minute or two.
When the burgers are done, let them rest for a few minutes after removing from the grill. This lets the juices redistribute before serving, and the burgers actually continue to cook a bit during this period from the residual heat.
Check out my Burgers 101: How to Grill Burgers post for more helpful information!
Sriracha lime aioli
I have a whole post about how to make aioli from scratch, but for the sake of keeping things really easy since we’re making crispy onion strings for these burgers, I’m including a cheater version here.
All you have to do is mince some garlic, then whisk some real mayo, sriracha sauce, and lime juice with the garlic in a bowl and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to assemble and serve the burgers.
How to build your cilantro bomb burger
Assemble the burgers by slathering some of the aioli one both the top and bottom buns. Arrange a BIG handful of cilantro on the bottom bun, then top it with the burger patty. The cilantro takes place of traditional lettuce in this burger, and I like to pile it on thick for the most cilantro flavor.
I totally spaced that when assembling this burger and took the photos, but just ignore that the cilantro is only on top and be sure to put some cilantro on bottom as well. It helps protect the bottom bun from getting soggy from the juicy burgers.
Top the burgers with a pile of crispy fried onion strings, then more cilantro, followed by the top bun.
Tips & techniques for juicy grilled burgers
- Don’t flip the burgers more than once. Flipping your burgers more than once is detrimental to a succulent, juicy burger. It can turn a perfectly good hamburger patty into a hockey puck.
- Resist the urge to press on the burgers with the spatula while they are cooking! I know it’s tempting to hear the sizzle of the juices on the flames beneath, but that sound is all the flavor and juiciness being wasted!
- Choose the right meat! Go with ground chuck or 80/20 ground beef. Ground chuck is known for being richer and more flavorful, but it also has a higher fat and calorie content. Burgers aren’t exactly diet food and super lean ground beef typically makes disappointingly dry burgers that are lacking in flavor.
- Form the burgers loosely, using your hands. Try not to compress or overwork the meat too much while making the patties.
- Shape your patties slightly larger than the buns you plan to use since the burgers will shrink a bit while grilling.
- Make an indentation in the center of each patty by pressing with your fingers. This helps the burgers cook evenly and not plump up quite as much while cooking.
- Use quality hamburger buns (brioche, french, or potato are my top picks) and toast them on the grill before assembling the burgers. Toasted buns are essential for a fantastic burger experience!
Best sides for burgers
- Deviled Egg Potato Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Homemade French Fries
- Raspberry Pretzel Salad
- Best Baked Beans
- Sliced watermelon
- 1 1/3 pound Ground beef
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- 4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
Sriracha Lime Aioli
- 3/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons sriracha (depending on how spicy you want it)
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Make sure the grill grates are clean. Make the fried onion strings in advance.
- Divide the ground beef into 4 evenly sized balls for 1/3-pound burgers. Shape into patties approximately 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick and and about an inch bigger than your buns to account for shrinkage while the burgers cook. Make an indent in the center of each burger with your fingers.
- Season both sides of the burgers with salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning.
- Place the burgers on the hot grill grates directly over the heat source. Grill for 4-6 minutes, then flip and top each burger with a slice of cheese. Toast the buns.
- Grill 4-6 minutes on the other side until the burgers are done the way you like them. Remove from the heat and let the burgers rest for 5 minutes.
- Make the sriracha aioli by whisking the mayo, lime juice, garlic, and sriracha in a bowl. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- Assemble the burgers by spreading some aioli on the top and bottom buns. Pile a large handful of cilantro on the bottom bun, then place the burger on top. Top with fried onion strings and more cilantro, then place the top bun on and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1082Total Fat: 79gSaturated Fat: 27gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 45gCholesterol: 280mgSodium: 1618mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 8gProtein: 55g