Ultimate Tailgate Burger Recipe

By Mark Marques

It’s football season, so that means it is time for tailgating. I present to you the Ultimate Tailgate Burger. What makes this burger so unique? It is made with two types of meat (Beef and Bison), as well as multiple types of cheeses (Pepper Jack and Feta). Rounding out the ingredients are several spices sure to give your Ultimate Tailgate Burger a kick.

I created this from scratch and hope that you like it as much I did when I came up with it. You can enjoy this burger anytime you like as well.

(As with all recipes, read completely through. Get all of your ingredients and utensils together and then proceed.)


  • 8oz Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 4oz Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • 4oz Can of Ortega Dice Green Chiles
  • 1 Tsp. Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder

Meat Patty Mixture:

  • 2 lbs. Ground Round or Ground Chuck (85/15 Lean)
  • 2 lbs. Ground Bison
  • 2 Tsp. Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp. Celery Salt
  • 2 Tsp. Chili Powder
  • ½ Tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Spicy Dressing:

  • 2 Cups Mayonnaise
  • ¼ Cup Sriracha Chili Paste (found in Asian Section of Grocery Store – Has Rooster on the label)
  • 1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ Cup Capers Drained, Rinsed and chopped

Burger Toppings:

  • Iceberg Lettuce – shredded preferred
  • Sliced Tomato – On the vine or Campari tomatoes preferred
  • Sliced Red Onion – thinly
  • Thick Sliced Peppered Bacon – cooked Crisp
  • Sliced Avocado – put on at last minute – Optional


  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Large mixing bowl or Stand Mixer
  • Large Ice Cream Scoop (Makes consistently sized Burgers)
  • Small Ice Cream Scoop (Makes consistently sized filling)
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Box Grater (unless you buy pre-shredded Cheese Pepper Jack Cheese)
  • Plastic Wrap


In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the filling ingredients until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer on a low speed, combine Ground Beef and Ground Bison and mix until well blended. Add Garlic, Celery Salt, Chili Powder and Black Pepper. Mix thoroughly until seasonings are well distributed.

measured meat

Using two sheets of plastic wrap, each about 18 inches long, place one ice cream scoop of meat on one, folding over one half of the plastic wrap to cover meat. Using the palm of your hand, press meat out to about ¼ inch thick or about 7-8 inches wide.

one patty pressed outRemove the top layer of plastic wrap. Utilizing the small ice cream scoop, place a heaping scoop of the cheese mixture on one patty.

meat patties and cheese fillingPress the cheese mixture out to about ½ inch from the edge of the patty.

cheese filling pressed outGently remove the other patty from the plastic wrap and place it on top of the cheese mixture. Press the edges of the meat together, making sure as little air as possible is inside the patty. Pinch the edges together and form into a burger patty shape. Place on a plate or wrap individually into plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

completed patty

Continue this process until all of the meat is used.

Grill over medium heat for 4 minutes a side, turning at two minutes for grill marks. Flip over at 4 minutes and turn at two minutes. This will create a nice medium rare/medium burger with the cheese nicely melted. Cook longer for a more well-done burger.

For the Spicy Mayo, combine all ingredients and let sit overnight prior to using.

Serve your Ultimate Tailgate Burgers on seeded buns that have been buttered (or use Garlic Butter -1/2 stick melted butter and 1 Tsp. Garlic powder) and grilled until browned.

Spread Spicy Mayo on grilled bun, place one Ultimate Tailgate Burger on Bun, add your toppings and ENJOY!!!!


I enjoy a nice Lager or Dark Beer with this burger. A really nice Cabernet Sauvignon would go good as well. But if you are at home and making mixed drinks I like to make a smooth Snake Bite, not the shot, but a refreshing whisky drink.

Snake Bite:

  • 1 ½ Shots of Maker’s Mark (or your favorite whiskey)
  • 12oz of Simply Limeade
  • Shake well and pour over ice


  • La Batt’s Blue
  • Michelob Amber Bock
  • Killian’s Irish Red
  • Or try your favorite specialty beer

Mark Marques is a graduate of the New York Restaurant School in New York City. He graduated with Top Honors. Mark has several years of experience in the Restaurant industry starting when he was kid working at his parent’s Italian Restaurant, Ducci’s, in Colorado. After serving in the US Navy, Mark attended culinary school and went onto work in some of the busiest eateries in the New York City, including in the Lincoln Building, the Empire State Building, Times Square,  the South Street Seaport and Pier 17. Mark has also run restaurants for Club Med as well in his current city of Las Vegas.  He is currently a Chef for Stations Casinos. 

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