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Looks like we jumped right past spring into summer here in Boston. I’m not complaining after the winter we had. It just means it’s burger and grilling season earlier. My favorite time of year.

Last summer on our road trip, I ate my way across the country, with plenty of burgers as part of my diet. While that’s not my normal diet (I do run, after all), I love a good weekend burger. Here’s a tasty, flavorful, summer-inspired burger you can make this weekend.

The key to this burger is the spices and flavorings, but you can also use your choice of turkey or beef. Don’t forget the avocado!


Southwest Burgers with Pepper Jack Cheese

The spices are the secret to southwest burgers with pepper jack cheese, but you may also use turkey or beef. Don’t forget the avocado!



  • 1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I use olive oil)
  • Slices of pepper jack cheese
  • Toppings:
  • avocado slices
  • tomatillo salsa verde


  1. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Using a silicone spatula, mix gently to combine.
  2. Using your hands, form 4 approximately equal-sized patties.
  3. Heat a cast iron pan (or grill) over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil.
  4. Add the patties to the pan, and cook the burgers until browned, about 4 minutes per side.
  5. In the last minute of cooking, top each burger with pepper jack cheese and cover the pan to melt the cheese.
  6. Remove and allow the burgers to rest for several minutes.
  7. Toast the buns under the broiler (or on the grill) until slightly browned. Top with a burger and your choice of toppings – salsa, tomatillo salsa verde, avocados, etc.
  8. Enjoy!



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