Recipe courtesy of Harold Cohen

Mexican Cemita Burger

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 4 burgers
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Chipotle Crema:

2 large chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/2 cup Mexican crema (can substitute creme fraiche)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Avocado Spread:

1 1/2 cups lightly mashed Hass avocado

2 tablespoons lime juice

Kosher salt


1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

2 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers

1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces Oaxacan cheese, separated into thin strings (can substitute mozzarella)

4 sesame seed buns, split

Corn tortilla chips

4 very thin slices red onion

5 papalo leaves, finely minced (can substitute 1/4 cup cilantro sprigs, plus 2 tablespoons watercress leaves)


  1. In a small mixing bowl combine the chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic, Mexican crema, and mayonnaise. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  2. Avocado Spread:
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine the avocado and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and set aside.
  4. Combine the beef, adobo sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well, handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and form into patties to fit the size of the buns.
  5. Heat a large skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add burgers. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip burgers. Top the burgers with Oaxacan cheese and cover with aluminum foil. Cook until the burgers are cooked medium-rare, about 3 to 4 minutes. Toast the buns.
  6. To assemble the burgers, spread some Chipotle Crema on the cut sides of the buns. On each bun bottom, add some corn tortilla chips, a cheese-topped patty, onion, equal amounts of Avocado Spread, and papalo. Cover with the bun tops and serve.

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