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Smashed Cheeseburger Bar

Smashed Cheeseburger Bar
Gaby Dalkin

Chef notes

Smashed burgers are one of my favorite recipes to make when I fire up the grill. They are so customizable and delicious; you really can't go wrong. And anytime I get to add guacamole to a burger is a win.

Technique tip: Don't over-mix the beef! Just combine it enough to get all the seasoning combined and then form the patties. Over-mixing the beef can make your burgers tough and you want them juicy yet crispy on the edges.

Swap option: You can do this with ground chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, any ground meat works!


  • 1/3 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/3 head red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Barbecue sauce, to serve
Guacamole (makes 1½ cups)
  • 4 ripe Hass avocados
  • 1 lemon, juiced, plus more if needed
  • 1 lime, juiced, plus more if needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeño chile
Pico de Gallo (makes 4 cups)
  • pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1-2 jalapeño chiles, finely diced (remove seeds and membranes for a milder salsa)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Kosher salt
Charred Corn
  • 1 package frozen corn
    Sautéed Onions and Peppers
    • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed
    • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Fontina cheese, to serve
    • 2 pounds ground beef (80% lean)
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 8 slices of your favorite cheese
    • 8 grilled brioche hamburger buns


    For the coleslaw:

    Combine the cabbage, carrot and scallions in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar, salt, oregano and crushed red pepper flakes in a separate bowl and then pour over the cabbage mixture and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before using.

    For the guacamole:


    Cut the avocados in half lengthwise. Remove the pit from the avocados and discard.


    Scoop out the avocado flesh and place into a bowl.


    Add the lemon juice and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Mash everything together with a fork until half smooth and creamy. Stir in the red onion, chives, and jalapeño. Taste and adjust the lemon and lime juice and add more salt and pepper if desired.

    For the pico de gallo:

    In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice. 

    Gently toss to combine. Taste and season with salt as needed. Add extra jalapeño if you want a bit more zip.

    For the charred corn:

    Place corn on baking sheet and run under broiler for approximately five minutes, until charred.

    Alternatively, warm package of pre-made charred frozen corn according to package directions.

    For the sautéed onion and peppers:

    Sauté the veggies until semi-soft and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    For the burgers:


    In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and mix to combine.


    Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form very thin patties.


    Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.


    Arrange all the patties on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes on the first side until charred. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add a slice of cheese on top of each patty and let the cheese melt for about 1 minute. Transfer the burgers to a part of the grill with indirect heat to keep warm.

    To serve:

    Set out the burger bar toppings and let everyone DIY their own adventure. Serve a Southwestern burger with guacamole, pico de gallo and charred corn, assemble a barbecue burger with coleslaw and barbecue sauce or set up a Philly cheese-style burger with sautéed peppers, onions and fontina cheese.