A copycat recipe of a fast food favorite: the Monterey Melt. It's a juicy burger piled high with cheese, grilled peppers and onions and jalapeno ranch.

Copycat Monterey Melt Burger

  • Author: Sarah | Away From the Box
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-8 1x


A copycat recipe of a fast food favorite: the Monterey Melt. It’s a juicy burger piled high with cheese, grilled peppers and onions and jalapeno ranch.



For the burger:

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of salt, to taste

For the jalapeno ranch:

  • 1 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/3 c. buttermilk
  • 1/3 c. sour cream
  • 3 jalapenos, stemmed and diced
  • 1/2 c. chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 oz. ranch packet or 3 TB DIY Ranch Seasoning

For assembly:

  • 2 TB vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 4 (or 8)* hamburger buns
  • 8 slices pepper jack cheese


For the Burgers:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder and black pepper. Split the mixture into 8 equal portions and flatten into patties about 1/2″ larger than your buns. Make an indention in the center of each patty. This will keep them from rising.
  2. Prepare a charcoal grill and heat it to 375°F. If using a stove, heat a skillet on medium-high heat.
  3. Sear the burgers about 4 minutes on each side and cook to preferred level of doneness. Remove to a plate and season with a pinch of salt as they rest.

For the peppers and onions:

  1. In a medium cast iron skillet, place the vegetable oil, onions and peppers and set it on your grill to cook alongside the burgers. If using the stove, heat the oil in a medium skillet on medium heat and saute the peppers and onions for about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for another 12-15 minutes until soft and translucent.

For the jalapeno ranch:

  1. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, place the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic and ranch seasoning. Blend until smooth and thin, like a dressing. Set aside and chill until ready to use. **This step is best done ahead of time, if possible. It tastes better the second day after the flavors have had time to meld.

For assembly:

  1. While the grill is still hot, spray the insides of your buns lightly with oil and place on the grill oil side down. Toast for less than a minute, just enough time to get brown and crispy.
  2. In order, layer the bun, patty, cheese, patty, and cheese. The heat from the burger should melt the cheese, but microwave for 30 seconds if needed. Top with a quarter of the peppers and onions and a nice helping of jalapeno ranch. Finish with the top bun and enjoy this amazing southwest burger!


*These make big half-pound burgers. If you want a lighter burger or to stretch the recipe to feed more people, using only one patty per burger will yield 8 quarter-pound burgers.

**The actual Monterey Melt uses American and Monterey Jack cheese. Instead of Pepper Jack, feel free to use two slices each on the burgers for more authenticity.