I stumbled onto these burgers at Whole Foods Market last summer, after a long day of staring at a computer.

I rarely succumb to pre-made meat dishes because I know I can make them at home — where it would be fresher and, I’m sure, better.

And, really, a hamburger patty? How tough is that to make?

But there it was in the meat case, with bits of jalapeño, bacon and cheddar, calling my name. And I was on my way home, tired and hungry, and let’s face it, vulnerable in the food department.

So I bought the burger. In fact, I bought several because I had family coming to dinner. Then I purchased the brioche buns on the stand nearby, because who doesn’t want a better bun for a burger? (There’s a reason product placement works.)

Once these burgers were slapped on the grill, then devoured, I knew this was my new go-to burger.

Next time around, I bought ground beef, then doctored it up myself, after a quick look online to see if I had left out any critical ingredients.

To test out these burgers, I turned to those same hungry family members who had wolfed down the earlier version.

“These are even better,” they mumbled with their mouths full.

Burger after burger, I made these all summer long. Occasionally I would walk past the meat counter to see if the pre-made versions were still there, but I never saw them again.

No matter. Now I make these burgers at home.

But I buy those brioche buns at the store.



Makes 4.

Note: Add more or less cheese, jalapeños and onion, as you prefer. For more heat, use serrano peppers. Bonus points if you toast the bun! Adapted from Whole Foods Market.

4 to 6 slices bacon, diced

1 pound ground beef

1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 to 2 jalapeños, seeded, deveined and diced, with a few whole slices for garnish (see Note)

1/4 cup minced onion

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper


4 hamburger buns

Cook bacon and cool. Gently combine ground beef with bacon, cheese, diced jalapeños, onion, salt and pepper. Gently form meat mixture into 4 patties. Butter the cut side of buns.

Over direct heat with a hot grill, toast buns lightly (either directly on rack or on a grill pan). Remove and add burgers; cook until desired doneness. Serve on buns, garnished with jalapeño slices.

Nutrition information per serving: 465 calories, 28 g fat, 510 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrates, 13 g saturated fat, 3 g total sugars, 30 g protein, 110 mg cholesterol, 1 g dietary fiber

Exchanges per serving: 1 1/2 starch, 4 medium-fat protein, 1 1/2 fat.


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