Michael White's Italian Chile Cheeseburger

Michael White Italian Chile Cheeseburger
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 tbsp. juice
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons bomba Calabrese (spicy Calabrian chile sauce), minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, or adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef (85% lean; preferably aged sirloin, brisket or short-rib blend)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 8 slices Texas toast (thickly sliced white bread)
  • 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into 8 slices
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced


In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, chives, zest and juice, bomba Calabrese and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

In a griddle pan or a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Form the ground beef into 4 patties, each about the size of the bread; season. Cook the patties, about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare; transfer to a plate and wipe out the pan.

Butter the bread on one side. Place 4 slices, buttered sides down, on a work surface; top with a slice of cheese, a patty, 1 tbsp. chili mayo, red onion slices and another slice of cheese. Top with the remaining bread, buttered sides up.

Heat the same pan over medium. Working in batches if needed, cook the burgers until the bread is golden brown and the cheese melts, about 3 minutes per side. Cut burgers in half.