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Sunny's Nacho Bacon Burger

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

The secret to this burger's over-the-top flavor is in the center. Hiding inside is a molten pocket of gooey nacho cheese dip. You'll never go back to a basic burger again!

Technique tip: For every pound of meat, a level teaspoon of kosher salt really puts you right in the flavor zone of balanced salty happiness. No more tiny test burger.


  • 8 ounces nacho cheese dip
  • 2 pounds ground sirloin (85% meat, 15% fat)
  • 6 strips bacon, crisped and chopped
  • One 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 lime wedges
To serve
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 6 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 8-10 paper thin slices red onion
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh whole cilantro leaves
  • Kettle chips


For the burgers:


Using plastic wrap over an ice cube tray, scoop equal amounts of dip in 6 of the recesses. Cover and freeze until hard, about 1 hour. If you don't have a free ice cube tray, try partially freezing the canister of dip, then using a spoon or a small ice cream scoop to make a ball out of a portion, then flatten it into a disc and continue to freeze in that shape.


Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.


In a large bowl add the beef and sprinkle the bacon, chiles, cumin, salt and a few hefty grinds of black pepper evenly over the top. Gently mix with your less dominant hand until just combined.


Divide the beef into 6 equal balls. Make an impression in the center of each ball with your thumb, then plunk in a piece of the frozen nacho dip. Form the beef around it to make a patty.


Place the burgers over the direct heat portion of the grill. Grill until the burgers easily release from the grill, about 3-4 minutes. Then, gently flip and cook the burgers on the other side just 2 minutes more. Remove from the grill to a serving platter, spritz immediately with the lime wedges and allow to slightly cool.

To serve:

Grill the buns, cut side down, over direct or indirect heat until golden and toasted. Layer the burgers in this order from the bottom; bun, pepper jack cheese slice, patty, red onion, avocado slices, cilantro, top bun. Enjoy with chips!