Quesadilla Burgers

Pairs well with:

Chenin Blanc

This wine is bursting with crisp, refreshing fruit flavors like apple, pear, and melon, making you want to swing your legs off a dock at sunset.

America loves quesadillas!They are the “south of the border” treat you can find at any neighborhood bar and grill and even at upscale restaurants with gourmet ingredients. Why not a burger? I live in New Jersey now, but I grew up in Denver, Colorado and the fresh and spicy flavors of the Southwest are the inspiration for my Quesadilla Burgers!



2 tsp light olive oil

1/4 cup Serrano chili, minced

1/2 cup grated onion

2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

½ cup Sutter Home chenin blanc

2 pounds ground chuck

3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds, crushed

1 teaspoon New Mexico chili, ground

Salsa Fresca

1 cup tomato, seeded and diced

½ cup white onion, diced

¾ cup cilantro leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons Serrano chili, minced


1 clove of garlic, peeled and halved

2 ripe haas avocados, peeled and chopped

4 tablespoons white onion, chopped fine

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Grated zest of one lime

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

To finish

Vegetable oil

6- 6″ flour tortillas

3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 1/2 cup romaine lettuce, shredded


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

Place a cast iron skillet on the grill and heat the olive oil. Sauté the chili, onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the wine and simmered until it is reduce by half. Set onion mixture aside to cool. To make the patties, combine the chuck, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin, New Mexico chili powder and cooled skillet ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently. Shape into 6 half moon patties. Cover with plastic and set aside.

To prepare the salsa fresca, combine the tomato, onion, cilantro and Serrano chilies in a bowl. Cover and set aside.

To prepare the guacamole, rub the cut side of the garlic clove inside a small bowl and discard. Mash together the avocado, onion, lime juice, lime zest, salt and pepper in the seasoned bowl. Cover and set aside.

Grill the burgers: Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook turning once, until done to preference, 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Place the patties on a plate and return large cast iron skillet to grill. Brush the skillet with vegetable oil.

Lay 6 flour tortillas on your work surface and put ¼ cup shredded cheddar on 1 half of each. Place a patty over cheese on each of the tortillas and top each with remaining ¼ cup cheddar on each patty. Fold the tortillas over the cheese covered patties and use a spatula to get them into the skillet- two at a time. Once the cheese melts and the tortilla is crisp on one side, flip them over to crisp the other side. Repeat with remaining quesadilla burgers.

Lift one side of each tortilla and fill quesadilla with 1 tablespoon sour cream, ¼ cup lettuce, 2 tablespoons salsa fresca and 2 tablespoons guacamole. Makes 6 burgers