RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Margarita Burgers

On a hot summer day, there's nothing like a cold lemonade or margarita. The cool lime juice with the bite of the tequila and salt can turn a hot sunny day into the perfect reason to gather your friends and family and turn your backyard into a tropical paradise. I've incorporated these flavors into this hamburger, and I'm sure you'll look forward to sharing it with your friends as the temperature rises. Happy BBQ! Oh, and eh, don't forget to invite Jimmy Buffet ...


2 lb lean ground beef
.25 cup regular oats
2 TB Worcestershire sauce
1.5 tsp salt + 1 tsp
.5 tsp pepper
.5 cup fresh lime juice, divided
.25 cup tequila
zest of 1 lime (app. 2 TB)
1 TB sugar vegetable oil
3 ripe California avocados
2 ripe mangos
6 natural whole wheat buns


Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill (with cover), or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. Mix, with hands, beef, oats, Worcestershire sauce, 1.5 tsp salt, pepper, .25 cup lime juice, tequila, and lime zest in bowl until ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Cover and let mixture sit at room temperature while grill is heating up. In the meantime, prepare the lime sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine remaining .25 cup lime juice with 1 TB sugar and remaining 1 tsp salt. Stir over low heat until sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool to room temperature. When grill is ready, brush rack with vegetable oil to prevent meat from sticking. Divide beef mixture into six equal parts and shape into patties to fit buns. Place patties on the grill and cover, turning only once. Cook to your preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium. Avoid puncturing or pressing down on patties, as this will allow precious juice to escape. Prepare fruit to grill while patties are cooking. Slice avocados in half and remove pits. Brush flesh with lime sauce. Slice mangos lengthwise along seed and slice each half in half lengthwise so that you have 4 slices per mango. Brush mango slices with lime sauce and place on grill directly over flame during the final minutes of grilling the patties. Place avocado flesh side down. Cook approximately 1 minute on each side, or until grill marks appear. Flip mangos and cook on opposite side; remove avocados. Remove patties from grill when done, stack on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Brush buns with lime sauce and place on hot grill to toast. Remove when done. To assemble the burgers, scoop out avocado meat and spread over cut side of buns (1 avocado slice per bun). Arrange 1 - 2 mango slices over avocado spread and top with patty. Add top and serve.


Do not use over-ripe mangos or avocados. When buying, gently squeeze both fruits. They should give a little under the pressure. When buying avocados, remove the tip. You should see green around the edges where the stem was. If it is brown, the avocado is too ripe. Toasted buns add more flavor the the burgers, so be sure to take the time to do this! You won't regret it! The oatmeal helps keep the moisture in the burger, and there is plenty of moisture in these burgers to keep! Remember to not overmix the patties, as this can make them a little tough. Working with your hands is best; working with your fingertips is better. Don't squeeze the meat between your fingers; rather, toss it lightly together, incorprating all the ingredients. The sugar from the mango combined with the sauce and heat make it perfect for caramelizing, which means you'll get a nice, brown, sugar-crunchy-chewy-smoky coating on the slices (how's that for a description!). This combined with the nutty avocado and sweet/salty/citris burger ... well, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! Let the temperature rise; I've got the perfect way to cool off!