Make New Mexico green chile cheeseburgers in queso form

Photo: Kevin Pang
Photo: Kevin Pang

I have a Google Doc page always open on my browser. On it are headers marked “pizza,” “burgers,” “casseroles,” “pies,” dips,” on and on. Under each section, I list established dishes and imagine how those flavors might taste in an alternate form. Such as: Korean fried chicken pizza. Carne asada ramen. Caramelized onion dip grilled cheese sandwich.


The following recipe is one such mash-up of two foods I love equally—Queso and New Mexico-style green chile cheeseburgers. This party dip is excellent with crusty bread, topped on burgers or meatloaf, and of course, a dance partner with tortilla chips. A few tips: Don’t skip the sautéed onions. It rounds out the acidic zip of the chiles with a mellow sweetness. Also, be sure to drain off the excess oil after sautéing the beef and onions.

Green chile cheeseburger queso

1 box (32 oz.) Original Velveeta, cubed
1 can (10 oz.) Ro-Tel diced tomatoes & green chiles
2 cans (4 oz. each) diced green chiles
1/2 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping Tbsp. taco seasoning mix
1/2 lb. ground beef
Black pepper
Hot sauce

You’ll need both a large saucepan and a skillet. First, dump the contents of the Ro-Tel and two cans of diced green chiles into the saucepan, and add the cubes of Velveeta. Heat this over a low flame, stirring occasionally and allow the cheese to melt into a gooey amalgam. Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, sauté diced onions and minced garlic with a splash of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until the onions are shiny and soft. Add the ground beef into the onions and garlic, until beef is nearly cooked through. Drain excess oil, add the taco seasoning and black pepper to the beef and onions, and sauté for another minute to finish cooking the beef.

At this point, the cheese and chiles in the saucepan should have become this gorgeous yellow-orange goo. Spoon the beef-onion mixture into the saucepan and incorporate. Add however much hot sauce to your liking. Serve immediately with chips.

Kevin Pang was the founding editor of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace.


Oh good grief. I thought you said New Mexico green chiles. Don’t use Rotel unless you got it free for buying cheese. Get you some Roma tomatoes (or whichever are cheapest) and some good chiles. Make your own salsa.*

Your recipe looks like it came from a 1970s era cookbook. Delicious by the way.

*You are welcome to either call me names or send me your name, address and $20 for a care package if you do not have New Mexico peppers cheap in your grocery store.