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Queso Blanco Bacon Burgers with Watermelon & Tomato Salsa Fresca

The combination of watermelon & tomato is my new favorite. My family & friends were skeptical, but everyone has been plesantly surprised by this recipe. I think you


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


Only 18 ingredients in this recipe and it is a very simple to prepare, but has bold flavors. I always place the lettuce on the buns first, then the salsa fresca, and then the patty. That way the meat absorbs the flavors and the bun doesn’t get soggy. Queso Blanco is a wonderful type of Mexican cheese that becomes soft & creamy when heated, yet holds its shape. Monterey Jack can be substituted, if necessary. Along with the bacon drippings, the cheese keeps the patties moist and flavorful.