Lean ground bison provides the foundation for these Healthy Bison Burgers with Hatch Chile. The burger patties are bound with egg and ground corn tortillas, and a puréed onion keeps the meat moist. Serve the patties burger style in a whole grain bun, or simply topped with avocado crema (low carb option!).
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
I recently returned from a 5 day visit with family and friends in Las Cruces, New Mexico (30 miles south of Hatch, New Mexico). Guess what's coming next? CHILE!!! I brought home 11 pounds of freshly roasted medium Hatch green chile. NOTE: I recently got a really annoying comment on my NM green chile enchilada post insisting it's "CHILI" not "chile."
No. Just no. Chili is a slow-simmered meat stew - with or without beans. Chile is a plant. THE END.
So I came home with several bags of gorgeous roasted green chile, and I set about creating some new, healthy ways to use it. This Healthy Bison Burger with Hatch green chile is the first in the lineup.
The bison burger patty includes a few healthy ingredients - lean ground bison, Hatch green chile, onion, garlic, cumin, and egg.
🐮 Cooking with Bison FAQ
Is bison sustainable?
The short answer is yes. Bison are uniquely adapted to living on the prairie, and "treading lightly" on their environment. Unlike beef cattle, they do not hang out around water sources, sparing fragile wetland ecosystems. Their grazing patterns have a positive environmental impact, their hooves leave depressions that hold rain water, and their dung serves as a powerful fertilizer. This only holds true for grass grazed bison. Avoid grain fed bison. For more information, see Real Food Encyclopedia | Bison.
Are bison burgers healthy?
YES! Bison is high in protein, B complex vitamins, selenium, niacin, and zinc. 100 grams of bison contains 109 calories and 1.8 grams of fat; the same amount of beef contains up to 291 calories and 24 grams of fat.
Can I use bison in any beef recipe?
Yes and no. Bison is so lean. It works best in recipes that add some fat or other means of adding moisture. This bison burger patty recipe adds an egg (fat) and puréed onion. Both add moisture. The Hatch green chile also adds moisture. My own personal opinion is that medium-rare to medium is far superior to well-done with bison burgers. Stick to moist cooking methods if you prefer your meat well-done.
How long can I keep ground bison meat?
Bison should be refrigerated after purchase, and enjoyed within three to five days. It can be frozen for four to six months.
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- ground bison - With more protein, and less cholesterol and fat than beef, bison is an excellent choice for these healthy burgers. You can substitute lean beef, turkey, chicken, or pork. We love the flavor of bison; it is not at all gamey! The egg and puréed onion add moisture to keep the burger patties moist.
- Hatch green chile - Yes, I'm a fan of Hatch green chile! I brought 11 pounds home on August 18. It won't last forever. I do love these bison burger patties, though, so I will substitute roasted and chopped poblano chiles.
- onion - I use red onion, but white or yellow are fine.
- corn tortillas - This is a great way to use stale corn tortillas. You could probably even use tortilla chips.
- to finish - These patties are really delicious, and stand alone as a main dish with avocado crema. I have served the patties (sans bun) with air fryer sweet potato wedges and charred sweet corn. It was lovely! If you want to do burgers, choose your buns. We love Dave's Killer Buns. The added protein is a bonus. Of course we love the avocado crema. Finish the burger with a slice of heirloom tomato and some lovely leaf lettuce.
These bison burger patties are very lean, so I recommend brushing your grill grate with vegetable oil. If cooking on the stove, spray with non-stick spray or use a good non-stick griddle pan. Preheat your grill to medium-high (375-450°).
Prep the onion - Add the onion to the bowl of a small food processor along with about ½ cup of water. Pulse until the onion is finely minced. Press through a strainer to remove as much liquid as possible. This adds much-needed moisture to the lean ground bison. Add to a large mixing bowl.
Prep the corn tortillas - After cutting the tortillas in wedges, add them to the bowl of the processor (make sure it's dry!). Pulse until crumbs form. Add to the large mixing bowl.
Make the burger patty mixture - Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. Hint: I like to use a large bowl that allows plenty of movement, and my hands to combine.
Make the patties - Divide bison mixture into 4 equal portions, and form 4 patties. I recommend keeping them on the thick side - about ¾" to 1" thick. Separating with waxed paper is helpful IMHO.
Grill the burger patties - Get a good sear on the burgers before turning. It will help hold them together. Cook to 160° for medium. NOTE: Fully cooked bison remains pink in the middle. After turning the burgers, we grill some buns (if we're indulging!).
Put it all together - On photo day, we did enjoy our healthy bison burger patties on a bun, but we don't always indulge. At 160 calories, and 6 grams of protein per bun, this is the best bun I've found!
💭 Top Tips
To keep your bison burgers from falling apart on the grill or in the pan, bring the meat mixture to room temperature before forming. Make fairly thick patties, and use your hands to apply pressure to compact and make them smooth. Be sure to apply some oil to the grill grate or spray your pan with non-stick spray. NOTE: A good sear on the patties will help hold it together when it is turned.
Bison is VERY LEAN. If you need your meat well done, this may not be the recipe for you. Medium (150-160°) yields a juicy burger. Keep in mind that fully cooked ground bison retains a pink color.
This bison burger recipe is quite flexible. You can change it up to suit your needs:
- Protein - Bison is widely available, but it is more expensive than other ground meat. Ground beef, pork, turkey, and chicken are all good choices.
- Bun - Use gluten free buns instead of white bread buns to make this gluten free. The burger patties themselves have no gluten!
- Vegetarian - The ground bison can be replaced with a plant-based product to make this vegetarian.
- Low carb - We have loved these Hatch green chile bison patties without a bun! They're sheer perfection with a generous scoop of avocado crema, air fryer sweet potatoes, and charred sweet corn!
🧂 Useful Stuff
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Bison is both healthy and sustainable, and it's making a regular appearance at Andersen casa. If you're looking for more healthy ground bison recipes, check out Healthy Ground Bison Recipes - a roundup of 7 more delicious ground bison recipes! I hope I've made a case for giving it a try?