16 Next-Level Cheeseburgers to Master

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Photo: Victor Protasio

Sometimes, there's nothing better than a cheeseburger — fresh off the grill, piping hot, and oozing with melted cheese and condiments. In this roundup, we've gathered some of our favorite recipes, including creative burgers topped with cheddar, smoked gouda, stilton, and more. More of a cheese sauce fan? We've got options for that, too: the nacho burger from Bobby Flay also counts salsa, sliced pickled jalapeños, and blue corn tortilla chips among its toppings. Read on for the recipe, and more cheesy burgers we love.

01 of 16

Hatch Chile Smash Burgers

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Victor Protasio

Is this the best burger on the Internet? We think so. This spicy, crispy, cheesy, swoon-inducing smash burger will have you going back for seconds thanks to the cheese and salsa that melt into a queso-like moment and take this burger to the next level.

02 of 16

Pimiento Cheeseburgers with Bacon Jam

Pimento Cheeseburgers with Bacon Jam
© Abby Hocking

"This is like a bacon cheeseburger that went to heaven," says chef Edward Lee, of Whiskey Dry in Louisville. The pimiento cheese and sweet bacon jam both melt into one dreamy, messy bite — this is not a burger for the faint of heart (quite literally). Save any leftover spreads for an out-of-this-world grilled cheese sandwich.

03 of 16

Fleishers' Perfect Burgers

Fleishers' Perfect Burger
© Abby Hocking

For that perfect juicy-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-outside burger patty, Bryan Mayer suggests keeping your uncooked patties extra cold and only salting them right before they hit the heat. Both tips ensure a super-tender burger, keeping those little bits of fat and moisture inside the beef.

04 of 16

Smoked Gouda and Bacon Burgers with Barbecue Sauce

Smoked Gouda and Bacon Burgers with Barbecue Sauce

Brian Perrone was reluctant to put a burger on the Slows Bar BQ menu because he wanted to focus on barbecue. At the insistence of his partners, he came up with this patty melt-style burger topped with smoked Gouda, sweet housemade barbecue sauce, and hot sauce-spiked onions. He's glad he did: It was an instant hit.

05 of 16

Classic Cheeseburgers

Classic Cheeseburgers
Dennis Prescott

"This recipe is for a classic, diner-style burger with all my favorite toppings," Dennis Prescott writes. "Adding a mustard layer to the beef before frying creates the most insanely delicious crust — you'll be an immediate convert."

06 of 16

Bacon-and-Kimchi Burgers

Bacon-and-Kimchi Burgers
© Con Poulos

Chef Wesley Genovart makes this over-the-top, Shake Shack–inspired burger with two thin stacked patties, thick-cut bacon, kimchi, and a spicy homemade sauce.

07 of 16

Cheddar BLT Burgers with Tarragon Russian Dressing

Cheddar BLT Burgers with Tarragon Russian Dressing

This burger recipe from Laurent Tourondel features a homemade tarragon Russian dressing, and we recommend pairing it with a substantial red wine.

08 of 16

Umami Burgers with Port and Stilton

Umami Burgers with Port and Stilton

Resist the urge to pile on any of the usual toppings — lettuce, tomato, ketchup. "The port is your condiment," explains Adam Fleischman.

09 of 16

Fried Green Tomato Double Cheeseburgers

Fried Green Tomato Double Cheeseburgers
JOHN KERNICK

"Anyone who loves a good burger has a soft spot for the Big Mac," says chef Edward Lee. In his ode to the fast food classic, he swaps the middle bun for a crisp fried green tomato that absorbs all of the savory juices from the beef, melty cheese, and sweet chile mayo. "More bread is just boring," he says. "The fried tomato adds crunch and a mild acidity."

10 of 16

Nacho Burgers

Nacho Burgers

These juicy burgers are topped with a cheese sauce (including both Monterey Jack and pecorino), as well as salsa, sliced pickled jalapeños, and blue corn tortilla chips.

11 of 16

Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers with Pickled Slaw and Fried Shallots

Cheddar-Stuffed Burgers with Pickled Slaw and Fried Shallots
MARCUS NILSSON

Kyle Bailey makes these cheese-stuffed "Juicy Lucy" burgers with a custom blend of ground rib eye steak and pork fatback, and serves them on housemade herb-butter rolls. This streamlined version for the home cook calls for ground beef chuck and store-bought brioche buns.

12 of 16

Stilton Sirloin Burgers with Onion Jam

Stilton Sirloin Burgers with Onion Jam, The Bar at the Peninsula • Chicago
© Frances Janisch

These sliders are topped with Stilton cheese, homemade onion jam, and Boston lettuce leaves.

13 of 16

Spicy 50/50 Burgers

Spicy 50/50 Burgers

Mixing seasonings into ground beef can make the burgers tough if the meat gets overworked. Chef Michael Symon ingeniously solves the problem by combining seasoned hot Italian sausage with the ground chuck. The sausage gives this cheeseburger, which is adapted from Symon's 5 in 5 cookbook, a great texture as well.

14 of 16

Classic Beef Burgers

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The sauce for these burgers, made with either Colby or cheddar cheese and lager, can be prepared the day beforehand.

15 of 16

Caprese Burgers

Caprese Burgers

In this play on the classic Italian salad, Grace Parisi kneads basil pesto into ground beef before grilling, then tops the burgers with mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and even more pesto.

16 of 16

Bacon Burgers on Brioche Buns

Best Bacon Burgers in the US: Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco
Photo © John Kernick

Brie cheese lovers will appreciate these burgers, which are not only topped with the creamy cheese but also bacon, roasted onions, and lemon mayonnaise.

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