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Argentine-Style Burger

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields four burgers.

While this burger won’t come together quite as quickly as a basic one, the few extra touches are well worth the time. Sautéing the onion and garlic before adding them to the meat makes for more integrated flavor, as well as a better consistency in the burger. The chimichurri adds intense flavor, and if there’s any left over, it’s perfect on grilled vegetables, steak, fish, or chicken. What we have is beyond your basic burger, but it’s a keeper, especially for those times when you want something jazzy and new.


  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (from 1/2 medium-small onion)
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped garlic (from 6 to 7 medium cloves)
  •  1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeño (from 3/4 medium chile)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground round (85% lean)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 5- to 6-inch pita pockets
  • Thin red onion slices (optional)
  • Lettuce leaves (optional)
  • Chimichurri Sauce

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on four servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 706
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 426
  • Fat (g): 47
  • Saturated Fat (g): 12
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 29
  • Cholesterol (mg): 126
  • Sodium (mg): 867
  • Carbohydrates (g): 28
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 42


  • In a medium skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 min. Transfer to a medium bowl, let cool for 10 min., and then add the ground beef, cumin, oregano, cilantro, 1 tsp. salt, and several grinds of pepper. Mix gently with your hands until just combined. Shape the meat into four burgers, 3/4 inch thick and 4 inches across, working the meat as little as possible. Make a 1/4-inch dent in the center of each burger with the tips of your middle three fingers.

To pan-cook burgers:

  • Put a large skillet or griddle, preferably cast iron, over high heat and let it get very hot, about 2 min. (The pan is hot enough when a drop of water evaporates instantly.) Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and tilt the pan to spread it evenly. Arrange the burgers so there’s as much space as possible between them, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook, uncovered, for 5 min. Turn and cook until the burger feels springy but not mushy when poked, about 3 min. for medium rare (or longer if you’re concerned about undercooked meat).

To grill burgers:

  • Charcoal: Prepare a medium-hot fire. Cook the burgers, uncovered, on one side for 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the burgers feel springy but not mushy when poked, another 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare.
  • Gas: Heat the grill to high. When the interior temperature is about 500°F, cook the burgers for 3 minutes with the lid closed. Turn, close the lid, and cook until the burgers feel springy but not mushy when poked, another 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare.

To serve:

  • Cut the top inch or so off the pitas to open up the pockets wide enough to fit the burgers. Serve the burgers in the pita with red onion and lettuce, if using, and some of the chimichurri sauce.

Serve this flavorful burger with a Grilled Raddichio and Romaine Salad.


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Reviews (8 reviews)

  • Auddi | 07/04/2014

    I care nothing for the fact this isn't authentically Argentine, though, based on the previous reviews, I'm now interested in trying some true Argentine recipes. In any case, every single time I make this it's a HUGE hit.... even skeptics love the chimmichurri sauce and I will double the sauce next time. It IS a labor intensive recipe so I only make it for certain occasions but it's definitely worth the response.

  • user-3139930 | 01/06/2014

    That is so true, my husband is Argentine and I know for sure they don't use cilantro and jalapeno. They use parsley and garlic, my mother in law has NEVER used jalapeno and/or cilantro in any of her argentine dishes!

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