This taco burger is the perfect combination of taco flavors and a classic smash burger. Learn how to make the best taco burgers that cook up in under 5 minutes!
You never know when inspiration is going to strike. And in this case, it was when I was making an Oklahoma Onion burger a few days ago. As I was smashing the beef into the thinly sliced onions on the griddle, I had the idea to add in some fresh sliced jalapenos and smash those on the griddle into the beef as well.
Then I thought to myself, what goes great with beef, onions, and jalapeños? Tacos, of course!
And anytime that you can combine two of my favorites, tacos and burgers, into one meal, it’s a WIN WIN!
I made this chorizo taco smash burger way back in the day when I first got into griddle cooking, and it was great! But I’ve learned a lot since then, and I’ve cooked hundreds of griddle burgers at this point, so I decided to try and out-do myself. And this smashed taco burger may just be one of the best burgers that I’ve made!
Here’s how to replicate this awesome griddle recipe on your Blackstone or other flat top grill:
Ingredients for Taco Burgers
Here are the exact ingredients that I used to make my taco burgers:
The Burger Patties
We used 80/20 ground beef for our taco burger, and that blend worked well. Since you’re smashing the burgers on the griddle, you want to avoid beef that is too lean, because the patties may dry out.
In addition to the ground beef, you’ll also need taco seasoning and/or carne asada seasoning. I used a blend of Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning Mix (my all-time favorite taco seasoning) and The Spice Guy Carne Asada Seasoning. The carne asada has a deeper, more robust flavor and I really like how it blends with a regular taco seasoning.
You can find carne asada seasonings at most grocery stores or Trader Joe’s, or grab the one that I used at The Spice Guy website here.
We made our taco burgers like an Oklahoma Onion Burger, which involves smashing the beef into thinly sliced onions. For an extra Mexican kick, we also added thinly sliced fresh jalapeños.
The Taco Burger Toppings
Of course you can add your favorite taco toppings to this griddle burger, but I highly recommend the toppings that we used.
For a simple burger “spread”, just mix together sour cream and a bit of hot sauce like Cholula or Tajin hot sauce.
We also added these toppings for a taco burger:
- pico de gallo – Make your own with diced tomatoes, diced onions, diced jalapenos, cilantro, minced garlic, lime juice, and salt and pepper… or you can just buy a pre-made pico at the grocery store.
- finely shredded cheese – We used a taco blend cheese, but cheddar or a cheddar jack blend would work also.
- shredded lettuce
Our local grocery store has Mexican style bolillo rolls, which were perfect for our taco burgers. You can usually find this type of roll in the bakery section of Walmart as well. If the package isn’t labeled as “bolillo”, then it may be called “torta rolls” instead.
If you can’t find these Mexican rolls, then you can substitute a regular hamburger bun or an onion bun.
How to Make the BEST Taco Burger
These taco burgers cook up in less than 5 minutes, so my biggest tip for making these griddle burgers is to make sure that ALL of your ingredients and toppings are prepped. Here’s how to make this taco burger recipe from start to finish:
Prepping the Taco Burger Meat
Start by preparing the taco burger meat so that the flavors have a chance to marry together. Simply mix the taco seasoning and carne asada seasoning of your choice into the ground beef, working it in with your hands so that it is evenly distributed.
Then, form the seasoned meat into balls, just like you would for a smash burger.
When figuring out the best size for your burger patties, you’ll have to take into account the shape and size of the buns or rolls that you’re using. The bolillo rolls that we used were more oblong-shaped, so we didn’t want a typical round smash burger patty. Instead, we made smaller golf ball-sized burger balls and we fanned them out on the rolls rather than stacking two patties.
With 1 pound of ground beef, we were able to get 9 burger balls, so each ball was slightly less than 2 ounces in weight. That may seem small, but remember, we used 3 patties for each taco burger. Here’s what our burger balls looked like before going on the griddle:
Once your burger balls are prepped, thinly slice some onion and fresh jalapeños to cook on the griddle with the burger patties. You can use a mandolin or slice the vegetables as thinly as you can by hand.
Then, all of the taco burger ingredients are ready and you can move on to prepping the toppings and condiments.
Making the Toppings for a Taco Burger
While your beef balls are resting, go ahead and prep your taco burger toppings. This includes shredding some romaine lettuce, making sure your shredded cheese is on standby, and prepping the other taco burger toppings.
I chose to buy a pre-made guacamole because my local grocery store makes a fantastic one fresh daily, and it’s pretty much the same price as making it yourself. Here’s how I made the other toppings:
For the Pico de Gallo:
The premade pico de gallo at my grocery store is usually heavy on the onions (probably because onions are cheaper than tomatoes), so I prefer to make my own. If you’ve never made homemade pico de gallo before, then don’t worry, it’s super easy to do and it beats out any store-bought version that I’ve ever tried.
Just dice all of the vegetables, garlic, and cilantro and mix everything together in a bowl with lime juice and salt and pepper. Let the pico sit for a few minutes while you’re making the other burger toppings.
*Note – I prefer to use roma tomatoes for my homemade pico because they have less seeds than larger varieties.
For the Chipotle Sour Cream:
This Mexican-style sour cream sauce is super easy to make in less than 2 minutes. Just mix the sour cream and Tajin hot sauce (or your favorite hot sauce) together in a small bowl, and it’s done! Allow the sauce to set up in the refrigerator for a few minutes until the burgers are done cooking.
If you want a spicier sauce, just add more hot sauce.
Cooking the Smashed Taco Burgers
Once all of your ingredients are prepped, it’s time to start cooking your taco burgers. Remember, these burger balls are even smaller than a typical smash burger, so they’ll cook even faster on the griddle.
When the griddle is hot (about 425 degrees F), add about a tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil to the surface and spread it around a bit with your spatula. Place the burger balls down on the oiled surface and top with some of the thinly sliced onions and jalapeños like this:
While your burgers are cooking, go ahead and toast the buns on the griddle also. The bolillo rolls are typically more crusty on the outside and softer on the inside, so toasting them helps the bread to absorb the beef fat without getting soggy.
And it’s okay if the vegetables don’t stay right on top of the burger balls, because everything will just get smashed together on the flat top grill anyway.
Next, place a piece of parchment paper over the ball and use your press to smash the meat down on the griddle. Hold the press down on top of the beef patty for about 8-10 seconds to really apply pressure and get a nice burger crust. Then, lift the press, remove the piece of parchment paper and repeat the process for the next burger balls.
*NOTE – You can use the same piece of parchment paper over and over again for all 9 of the burger balls. The parchment paper helps the raw burger meat to not stick to your spatula or burger press. I LOVE these parchment rounds for making smash burgers!
Once the smashed taco burger patties are about 50-60% cooked through and there’s still some pink visible on top, it’s time to flip.
You’ll need to use your spatula to really work under the burger crust to release it from the griddle. And it will probably take a few slightly aggressive sliding motions with your spatula to get your burger “unstuck”. I find it easiest to hold my spatula at a slight angle to the griddle surface and use the long side to dig under the crust.
*For even more specifics on how to make smash burgers, you can visit this post: How to Make Perfect Smash Burgers on the Blackstone Griddle
Immediately after flipping the burgers to the second side, sprinkle on some of the shredded cheese like this:
Notice how I moved the 3 patties closer together on the griddle? That’s because I placed a melting dome over top of them to help the cheese melt more quickly. After about 1 minute, depending on the temp of your griddle and how thin your patties are, the taco burgers should be done.
Transfer the patties to a plate to rest while you start to build your taco burger.
Building the Perfect Taco Burger
As I removed the taco burger patties from the griddle, I placed them on the plate in the same shape as the bolillo rolls. I sort of overlapped or “fanned” the patties a bit so that the round patties were more of an oval shape to match the rolls.
While the beef is resting for about 1-2 minutes, add some of the guacamole to the bottom toasted bun. Then, slide the 3 smashed taco burger patties on top. Add some shredded lettuce, a spoonful of pico de gallo, and a drizzle of the spicy sour cream sauce. Top with the top bread roll and your awesome taco burgers are ready to serve!
*NOTE – As you’re spooning out the pico de gallo to add it to your taco burger, be sure to strain the excess juice against the side of the bowl. You don’t want your burger to get too soggy.
Now that’s a taco burger!
If you’re looking for an anything-but-boring griddle burger that packs a punch of flavor, then this is it! The sour cream and tajin mixture adds the perfect amount of spice, the fresh guacamole compliments the other flavors, the crispy griddle onions and jalapeno come through, and the taco beef is perfectly seasoned!
A fantastic burger to make on the griddle!
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Taco Burger Recipe
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The Ultimate Taco Burger
- 1 pound 80/20 ground beef
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning *I used Old El Paso Original Taco Seasoning.
- 1 tablespoon carne asada seasoning *I used The Spice Guy Carne Asada Seasoning.
- ½ medium onion thinly sliced
- ½-1 fresh jalapeno thinly sliced
- 1½-2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil *I prefer avocado oil for griddle cooking.
- 3 bolillo rolls
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce *Like Cholula or Tajin Hot Sauce.
- pico de gallo *See notes.
- shredded romaine lettuce
- Combine ground beef, taco seasoning, and carne asada seasoning in a medium bowl. Use your hands to mix the seasonings and beef together well. Then roll the meat mixture into nine equally sized balls that are about the size of a golf ball. Set the burger balls to the side while you prep the other ingredients.
- Mix the sour cream and hot sauce together in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use as a burger topping. Make sure that all other burger toppings are prepared and ready to serve. *I highly recommend using guacamole, pico de gallo, and a bit of shredded romaine lettuce for your taco burger toppings.
- Heat griddle on medium-low to medium until it reaches about 425-450 degrees F.
- While griddle is heating up, toast the bread rolls on the griddle cut side down until lightly golden brown. Then, remove from the griddle and set aside while burgers cook.
- When griddle is hot, add about 1 tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil and spread it around a bit with your spatula. Place the burger balls on the oiled surface, making sure that you have enough space to smash and flip them. Place some of the thinly sliced onion and jalapeños on top of each burger ball.
- Place a piece of parchment paper over the first ball, and use your burger press or a stiff spatula to press down until the burger patty is evenly thin and flat. Once the burger is smashed, apply pressure using the press or spatula for about 8-10 seconds. Repeat the process for the other burger balls, working quickly so that the smashed taco burgers do not overcook.
- When burgers are about 60-70% cooked through (and there are still some pink spots on top), use a spatula or scraper to flip the burgers to the second side, making sure to scrape under the burger crust to remove it from the griddle with your burgers. Immediately after flipping the taco burgers, top each patty with an equal amount of shredded cheese.
- When the cheese is melted (probably less than 1 minute), remove the burger patties from the griddle and transfer to a plate to rest. *If needed, you can also move the patties closer together on the griddle and cover them with a melting dome to help the cheese melt faster.
- While burgers are resting, spread a dollop of guacamole on the bottom toasted buns. Then, top each bottom bun with 3 burger patties, overlapped a bit to mimic the shape of the bolillo rolls (or whatever buns you are using). Top the burgers with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and a drizzle of the spicy sour cream. Add the top bun and serve the taco burgers immediately. Enjoy!
- For spicier taco burgers, add more fresh sliced jalapeños to the burger balls before smashing on the griddle. You can also add more hot sauce to the sour cream mixture.
- If you’re new to griddle cooking, then I recommend only placing 3 of the burger balls on the griddle at one time. That way, the smashed taco burger patties are less likely to overcook while you are smashing the other balls. These taco burger patties cook in about 3 minutes, depending on the temp of your griddle and how thin you smash the burgers.
- For a quick homemade pico de gallo, combine these ingredients in a medium bowl: diced tomatoes (most of the seeds removed), diced onions, diced fresh jalapeños, chopped cilantro, minced garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper. Be sure to strain the excess juice from the pico de gallo against the side of the bowl before adding to your taco burger.