Carolina Style Burgers

Carolina Style Burgers

Carolina Style Burgers

Burgers covered in meaty chili and tangy crisp slaw — just how we do it in North Carolina. Carolina Style Burgers are a local staple and a comfort food favorite.


For the Chili:

1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder (see note for chili seasoning)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
cayenne or red chili flakes to taste
1 cup broth (I used low sodium chicken broth)
1 (15 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes

For the Burgers:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon dried minced onions
1 teaspoon kosher salt (more to taste)
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper(more to taste)
4 thick slices American cheese
4 sesame seed burger buns

For the Slaw:

1¼ cup cabbage, very finely chopped (see note)
¼ cup red cabbage, very finely chopped
¼ cup carrots, shredded
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
¼ cup mayo
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
½ tablespoon canola oil


Brown the ground beef for the chili in a large pan. Add all the seasonings and pour in the broth. Turn it over in the skillet a few times to coat the meat. You also want to break the beef up as much as possible. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium, and let is simmer while you make everything else, stirring occasionally.
Gently work the minced onions, salt, and pepper into the ground beef for the burgers, and then form the meat into 4 patties. Keep in mind that the less you work the beef, the more tender your burgers will be!
You can grill these burgers or pan sear them. To pan-sear, preheat the oven to 450F. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat on the stove. Add the burgers to the hot skillet and cook for 1 minute on each side and then put the pan in the oven. How long they cook in the oven will depend on how you like your burgers cooked. For medium well, check them after about 4 minutes. Internal temperature would read between 150F-155F.
In a large bowl toss together the cabbage, red cabbage, carrots, and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion.
In a liquid measuring cup whisk together the mayo, cider vinegar, canola oil, and sugar until smooth. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
To assemble the burgers, top them each with 1 slice of cheese, a heaping helping of chili, and slaw. Ketchup and mustard are optional.


You can use a package of chili seasoning in place of all the seasonings and spices listed here. I always have everything on hand to make my own, but if you have to go out and buy the items listed, it will be much more cost effective to grab a chili packet and go.
Short cut!!! You can use a prepared bag of slaw mix (the cabbage and carrot mixture) to save time

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