Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Rob Corliss
May 10, 2022

Jalapeño’s moderate heat level, bright, fresh, grassy flavor and consumer familiarity make it ideal for modern burger development. Its versatility is its culinary superpower. The jalapeño imparts big flavor while not dominating and can center stage or work harmoniously in the background.

Here are six burger applications paired with “hot” menu sightings from across the country, demonstrating how chefs can go all-in on flavor-packed jalapeño burger goodness.

Jalapeño Sausage & Cheddar Burger: Burger topped with jalapeño sausage, fried jalapeños, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing
JC’s Burger Bar, Mesquite, Texas

Cobra Kai: American Wagyu beef burger, topped with cream cheese, pickled jalapeños and jalapeño jelly
Jack Brown’s, based in Harrisonburg, Va.

Scorpion Gourmet Burger: Fire-grilled beef burger topped with scorpion pepper sauce, pepper Jack, fried jalapeño coins, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions and jalapeños roasted in scorpion sauce and roasted garlic aïoli on a sesame seed bun
Red Robin, based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

AZ Trail: Grass-raised beef burger, bacon, pepper Jack, roasted jalapeños, sweet ‘n spicy sauce, Noble Bakery bun
Arizona Wilderness, Phoenix

Kimchi Krusher: Two patties, bulgogi beef, pepper Jack cheese, caramelized kimchi, scallion, cilantro, Korean barbecue, roasted jalapeño and garlic aïoli
Wauwatosa, Milwaukee

Nashville Hot Burger: Our signature spice rub with homemade pickles, pico de gallo, pepper Jack cheese, and a fried jalapeño on top
Germantown Pub, Nashville, Tenn.

About The Author

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ROB CORLISS is a three-time James Beard House guest chef with more than 30 years of experience that includes running world-class hotels, launching new concepts, working in top marketing agencies and owning the culinary consultancy ATE (All Things Epicurean) since 2009. Based in Nixa, Mo., ATE has an energizing passion focused on flavor innovation and is dedicated to connecting people to their food, environment and wellness. Rob is also a regular contributor to Flavor & The Menu. [email protected]