I am excited to bring you this fantastic recipe for Gordita Burgers, friends! While these could technically be called arepa burgers or even pupusa burgers, I love the name gordita–little chubby masa harina buns stuffed with refried beans. We’re looking at a chorizo and ground pork patty, charred Poblanos, amazing Aligot potatoes made with Mexican flavors, and more.
Y’all come along for the ride as I bring you this Burger Month 2021 burger monster chorizo burger! And for a side, consider making my chipotle ranch pasta salad.
For ease of browsing, especially if you’re in Burger Month mode, you can find all my Burger Recipes in one place. Thanks for being here!
Gorditas, Arepas, Pupusas: What’s the Difference?
I watched a lot of videos and did a lot of reading on Mexican and other Latin American blogs to try to decipher the differences among these little masa and hot water stuffed pillows of goodness.
After lots of research, I believe the main differences are in where you live. An arepa in Venezuela is similar to a gordita in Mexico is similar to a pupusa in El Salvador.
What they have in common is that they are all made from masa, warm water, and salt. Some also have a bit of oil, maybe some wheat flour, and possibly some leavening.
Gorditas are often stuffed after cooking–cutting open what amounts to a thick tortilla and stuffing in your fillings. Pupusas are filled first and then cooked on a comal (griddle). And arepas are also stuffed after cooking.
I read recipes in which the gorditas were fried, where they were baked, and where they were cooked on the stovetop on a comal.
I cooked mine in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat, which is the closest thing I own to a comal.
I learned a lot in my reading, and if you want to learn more about these Central American specialities, here is a reading list for you:
- A recipe for stovetop gorditas that are stuffed after cooking from Isabel Eats
- A great article comparing and contrasting different versions of gorditas from Mexican Please
- An interesting look at the similarities and differences among pupusas, arepas, and gorditas from A Hispanic Matter
- This fantastic video from Maria’s Kitchen on YouTube for bean gorditas showing how to make the masa dough, how to fill with beans and shape, and how to cook them.
Thank you to all the Latino and Latina cooks who are here to teach us all how to make the goodness from their cultures. Please support these bloggers and content creators. They’re the Real Deal!
Gordita Burger Components and Sources
Okay, y’all. Here’s what’s on and in and encasing these amazing burgers, from top to bottom:
- Refried bean-stuffed gorditas: I used this recipe for authentic Mexican refried beans from Isabel Eats. I started with canned beans. But I won’t tell if you decide to buy canned refried beans and use those instead.
- This is optional, but since I love cilantro, I added some chopped cilantro to the burger before I put on the top bun
- Lusty Monk “Burn in Hell” Chipotle Mustard: absolutely not a traditional ingredient, but Lord it’s good. Super spicy and pungent stone-ground mustard with just enough chipotle to give it some smoky heat. So good, and local to NC, which is always a bonus for me.
- Pickled Red Onions from Hola Jalapeno: Very easy to make, and now that I’ve made them once, I will make them all the time. They are That Good. TIP: I reused my pickling liquid once the first batch was gone and have another round of sliced onions going right now!
- Avocado Tomatillo Taco Truck Sauce: I learned how to make this fantastic sauce from Sandra Gutierrez from her book fantastic book, Latin American Street Food. Think of it as a thinner version of guacamole with raw tomatillos added for additional tartness and acid. The tomatillos keep the sauce a lovely, springtime green color for several days. If you’d like to cut down on some work, by all means substitute some Herdez Guacamole Salsa. NOTE: I added the sauce to this burger for photos, but since it’s a bit thin, when I ate my chorizo burger For Real, I dipped it into the sauce.
- Aligot with Mexican Flavors: Aligot is a French potato puree that is absolutely loaded with melty cheese so that it flows from the serving spoon in ribbons. I adapted this idea, using this Aligot recipe from Pook’s Pantry, using some cumin for flavor since it is a prevalent spice in Mexican cuisine, plus the earthiness marries beautifully with the potatoes. I also used Mexican Oaxaca string cheese, some mozzarella, and a touch of Gruyere cheese just to make sure it was super cheesy. And trust me: it was! I made a short video to show you the texture the Aligot should be. If at first the potatoes and cheese don’t “flow,” put the lid back on for a minute or so. It could just be that the cheese isn’t fully melted.
- Chorizo burger patties: I used a mixture of 50% chorizo and 50% ground pork. You could also use ground beef if you prefer. TIP: chorizo has a lot of fat in it, and your burgers will shrink a LOT. I mean, a Really Lot. So make your burgers a good 5 1/2″-6″ across before cooking. I know that sounds crazy, but I’m serious, if you start with a regular “burger sized” patty, you’ll end up with what looks like a round of breakfast sausage. So make those patties big! NOTE: I did not make my chorizo from scratch but bought it in bulk from a local farm. If you’d like to give making your own a go, click that link up there and Maggie Unzueta will show you how.
- Charred Poblano peppers: Poblanos are the same peppers you get when you order chiles rellenos. They’re long, dark green, and mildly-to-moderately spicy. All I did to char them was to broil them until the skin was blistered all over. Then I put them in a bowl and covered them with plastic wrap to cool. Once cool, I just peeled off the skin, and cut the peppers into strips, making sure to get all the seeds out. Easy!
- There’s another healthy schmear of the chipotle mustard on the bottom bun, and that’s it.
I mean, I know it’s a lot, but I did say this was the ultimate gordita burger and not just a regular one.
And since it’s Burger Months, allowance must be made, and all the stops must be pulled out!
Tips for Success
If you’re going to go for the Full Monty here and make this burger as written, here are some tips for you to make life easier:
- Make-Ahead: You can make the pickled red onions up to a week or so before it’s B Day (for burger day).
- Make-Ahead: Make the taco truck sauce, the refried beans, the charred Poblanos, and form the patties the day before.
- On Burger Day: Make the gorditas, wrap them in foil, and keep them in a warm oven. Your gorditas should be about 3 1/2″ across, or just about the same size as a burger bun. To get a good idea of the texture your dough should be, please watch the Maria’s Kitchen video on making gorditas. I found it very helpful, and I think you will too.
- On Burger Day: Cook the patties on a griddle or cast-iron skillet, and keep them warm.
- Right Before Serving: Make the Aligot last since they can be a little finicky to reheat. NOTE: You don’t need to use a ricer or a food mill unless you have one. I mashed my potatoes with a regular masher, then stirred in all the cheese, slapped the lid on (over low heat) until the cheese started to melt, and then stirred like a crazy person with a wooden spoon. I got a blister. 100% worth it.
- Leave some ingredients cold: You don’t need to reheat the Poblanos. I didn’t, and there were plenty of hot components–between the Aligot, the buns, and the patties themselves–to keep the burgers nice and hot. Besides, the textural contrast between hot potatoes and cool taco truck sauce, hot burger patties and cold, crisp pickled onions, etc, is really hard to beat!
- Neatness Tip: Leave off the taco truck sauce and use it to dip your burger in. That makes this magical chorizo burger slightly less messy. Slightly.
Q & A
Yes. Mostly. Be judicious with the amounts of your toppings, and you should be able to eat this burger with two hands as God intended. If you go overboard, especially with the taco truck sauce and/or Aligot, it will slide off into a pile on your plate, so you’ll have to eat that with a fork. Overall, I was pretty happy with the structural integrity. Oh, and remember, you can use the taco truck sauce as a dip rather than as a spread for the burger.
Yes! I wrapped leftovers in foil and then reheated in the toaster oven or microwave. Both methods worked well, although they are probably a tad tougher than the freshly made ones.
Okay, if I had to choose, I’d say to lose the charred Poblanos. And possibly the cilantro (especially if you’re not a fan). The Aligot is definitely gilding the lily, but it is tasty, tasty, cheesy gilding and I highly recommend it. Besides, potatoes and chorizo are a classic pairing. But, if you don’t want to mess with Aligot, just grate on some Oaxaca string cheese which is available in Mexican grocery stores. If you can’t find it, grate some mozzarella and use that. it’s the closest substitute I can think of.
As I type this, our taco truck sauce has been hanging out in the fridge since Sunday. It’s now Wednesday, and it’s as bright and vibrant as the day I made it. Sandra taught me that the acidity of the raw tomatillos works to “set” the green color. So far, so good!
Make It a Meal
Round out your Gordita Burger Extravaganza with a generous scoop of chorizo baked beans and a wedge of jalapeno cheddar cornbread.
If that seems like a Lot, which it is, go for a lighter option. Try Mexican street corn slaw or my deviled corn recipe.
A Mexican avocado salad would be quite welcome as well.
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The Ultimate Gordita Burger Recipe
This Gordita burger has everything, y'all. Except gluten! Spicy chorizo and pork patties, sharp pickled onions and chipotle mustard, rich and cheesy Mexican-inspired Aligot potatoes, roasted Poblano peppers, and herbal, creamy avocado tomatillo taco truck sauce. And let's not forget the buns: refried bean-stuffed gorditas. Or pupusas. Or arepas, depending on where you're from!
Note that the times given are for making and assembling the burgers and not for the time it takes to make all the components. Please spread that job over a few days.
I'm putting links to all the burger components in the instructions, either to make or to purchase. Please feel free to use my suggested substitutions, make your own additions, and/or leave off anything you don't want/don't like. Make this gordita burger your chorizo gordita burger!
Amounts are approximate, so use more or less as you see fit!
For the Patties
- 1/2 pound Mexican chorizo
- 1/2 pound ground pork or ground beef
- 8 Gorditas stuffed with refried beans
- 1/2 cup Pickled Red Onion
- 1/2 cup Avocado Tomatillo Taco Truck Sauce
- 1/2 cup Cumin Aligot Potatoes
- 2 Charred Poblanos
- 1/2 cup Lusty Monk "Burn in Hell" Chipotle Mustard (or similar)
- Chopped Cilantro
- Mix the chorizo and pork or beef evenly together, and form into four 4 oz patties that are thin and much larger in diameter than you want them to end up being. These guys shrink up a lot, because there's a lot of fat in chorizo.
- Cook over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes per side, until they have a nice crust and are cooked through.
- Spread the chipotle mustard on both sides of the buns.
- Top a bottom bun with a few strips of charred Poblano pepper. NOTE: I roasted my guys under the broiler. The link shows you how to do it over an open flame.
- Plop a burger patty down on top of the peppers.
- Add a judicious spoonful of Aligot (use Oaxaca string cheese, mozzarella, and a little Gruyere for the cheese. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of cumin), taco truck sauce, pickled red onion, and top with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.
- Settle the top bun down over all the fixin's, grab a hold, and dig in.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 1689Total Fat 90gSaturated Fat 37gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 44gCholesterol 272mgSodium 2193mgCarbohydrates 134gFiber 28gSugar 31gProtein 92g
The stated nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It is calculated through third party software and is intended as a guideline only.
Enjoy the burger, friends!
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Thanks for checking out my ultimate chorizo gordita burger, friends. Enjoy, take care, and have a lovely day.
What Others Are Saying...
How do you come up with these amazing burgers?!! Loving all of these flavors!
Jennifer Field says
I have to credit my related by cat friend Willem for the Aligot idea. Inspired!
The flavors of this burger were amazing! Worth all the effort to make the individual components. Love the gordita/pupusa/arepa “bun”! What a creation!
Jennifer Field says
The full monty is a lot of work, but worth it! So glad you enjoyed it! ❤️
Leigh Olson says
Holy Cow! This is a burger extravaganza. Love the idea of creating the bun out of stuffed gorditas. Can’t wait to try it.
Jennifer Field says
Makes me so happy that gf friends can have one knowing it’s naturally gf! xo