Uncle D’s Chili and Cheddar Burger

A chili cheddar burger on a bun half with cheese sauce being poured over it.

My great-uncle Denny was the type of guy who was full of shtick. You can’t find any more people like him around. He was that old-school funnyman, the comedian and prankster in the family; he and my grandfather were best friends. In 1944, my grandfather was 18 years old and he was working as a soda jerk in his father’s restaurant, Paul’s Sandwich Shop, in Montreal, Canada. So here’s to you, Uncle D—thanks for all the laughs!–Spike Mendelsohn

LC Extra Stash of Napkins Note

This unforgettably compelling chili burger is what it is—true guy food, no apologies. That said, if manners are at all a concern for you, you may wish to wrap half the burger in wax paper. More than just pretense, it actually minimizes the messiness. But then, perhaps that’s not even a concern…

Chili and Cheddar Burger

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 6
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  • 30 ounces ground sirloin
  • 6 potato buns, halved
  • Canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe Uncle D’s Chili
  • 1 recipe Cheddar Cheese Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced scallions


  • 1. To make the patties, divide the sirloin into six 5-ounce sirloin balls and form each ball into a patty. Arrange on a tray, cover, and refrigerate.
  • 2. Toast the buns and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough oil to cover the entire bottom of the skillet. When the oil begins to smoke, reduce the heat to medium and place half of the patties in the skillet. Season the patties with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Flip, and cook on the other side for 3 minutes more for medium-rare doneness. Do it again with the remaining patties.
  • 3. To assemble the burgers, place 1 patty on 1 toasted bun bottom. Top the patty with some chili and cheese sauce, 1/4 cup of the sour cream, and 1/4 cup of the scallions. Cover with the top of the bun. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Wrap half the burger in wax paper. Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes and serve.

Recipe Testers Reviews

The chili and cheese burger is a hit, but only when served together. The chili recipe seems to be written as a standalone chili, with the burger and the cheese sauce as supporting components. I thought the chili might be too spicy, but when you add the cheese sauce and sour cream, it’s all just perfect. The first couple of bites were a complete mess, but after that, I just embraced the mess and enjoyed the burger. It’s actually not that time-consuming of a recipe, aside from waiting for the chili to thicken. The cheese sauce can be made during that time (it makes an awesome nacho cheese dip, too) and the burgers grill up pretty quickly. It’s not really a company meal and it might be a bit too messy for a standing bbq, but it works for a fun supper. Plus, one burger will fill you up completely!

After all that work, when you finally put the elements together just as the recipe directs, you end up with a sandwich that’s worth writing home about. I’ll definitely make this again and again and again. Every one of my tasters gave it a thumbs up, and wanted seconds. No one really needs a lesson in Burger 101, but I think the use of 5 ounces makes the patty fit into those potato rolls perfectly. Though the recipe may be a lot of trouble just for a good burger, the chili is good and I’ll make it again. That said, I’m making those Garlic Fries tonight and pouring chili and cheese sauce over them!


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  1. While I appreciate the tips above, and do usually try to be a neat eater, when I make these I’m just going to get messy! I only need to read a recipe to be able to taste it, and I can tell these are definitely worth the mess! A great fan of gracious dining, I will forego the cloth napkins for this meal!

    1. Jean, I’m with you. With something like this, if it’s not smeared all over my hands and face by the end of the meal, well, it somehow just doesn’t seem as good, does it?

      1. Jean, David: something like this really brings out the inner child, doesn’t it? Put the wet wipes on the table and have at it. Eating devoid of all self-consciousness and pretense—I love it when a recipe inspires that.

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