Queso Blanco Bacon Burgers with Watermelon & Tomato Salsa Fresca

Pairs well with:

Pinot Grigio

You won’t need a bouquet of flowers when you share our Pinot Grigio. This crisp wine with floral aromas is a wonderful way to make an entrance.


1 seeded serrano chile, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced watermelon
1/2 cup diced, seeded tomato
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
6 slices bacon, diced
2 lbs ground chuck
4 oz. Queso Blanco (or Monterey Jack) cheese, grated
1/4 cup minced cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 minced chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing grill rack
8 oz. Queso Blanco (or Monterey Jack) cheese, grated
6 bakery hamburger buns, split
6 leaves Bibb or Boston lettuce



Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat, or prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover.

Combine chile, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, sugar, and salt in a medium non-reactive bowl and mix well. Stir in watermelon, tomato, onion, and cilantro. Cover and refrigerate while preparing burgers.

Place bacon in a large, heavy non-stick fire-proof skillet on the grill; cook until crisp. Reserving dripping, use slotted spoon to transfer bacon pieces to paper towels. Place ground chuck, cheese, cilantro, garlic, chipotle pepper, salt, black pepper, and bacon pieces in a large bowl; drizzle with 2 Tablespoons reserved bacon drippings. Mix lightly, handling as little as possible. Shape into 6 patties to fit buns.

When grill is ready, brush grill rack with oil. Place patties on the rack and cover. Cook, turning once, until done to preference; about 5-7 minutes per side for medium. Sprinkle cheese on patties during last 3 minutes of grilling. Place buns, cut side down, around outer edges of grill during last 2 minutes of grilling.

To assemble burgers, place lettuce on buns, top with equally divided salsa fresca, followed by patties. Add bun tops and serve.

Makes 6 burgers