Green and Red Chili Nacho Sliders

A marvelous mixture of peppers, herbs, meats and cheeses provides taste and color to these spicy sliders. Serve with Smoky Guacamole.


For the red chili paste:

  • 2 red Fresno chilies, sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Generous handful fresh cilantro leaves

For the green chili sauce:

  • 2 large poblanos
  • Vegetable oil, for drizzling
  • 5-6 tomatillos, papery skins removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
  • Small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, (1/3 palmful)
  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for drizzling
  • 1 can spicy vegetarian refried beans, for topping
  • Good quality tortilla chips, for topping
  • Mild Mexican melting cheeses, Monterey Jack, or Cheddar cheese, shredded, for topping
  • Pickled, sliced jalapenos, drained, for topping
  • 8 hamburger slider rolls or brioche rolls, split


To make the red chili paste, place the Fresno chilies, garlic, red onion, bay leaves, and cilantro leaves into a food processor and process into a fine paste. Scrape into a mixing bowl and reserve. Return the food processor bowl to its base. Do not rinse.

To make the green chili sauce, char and blacken the poblanos over the burner of gas stovetop or under the broiler with the oven door ajar to allow steam to escape. Place the peppers in a bowl to cool, covered with plastic wrap, then peel and seed.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add a good drizzle of vegetable oil. Cook the tomatillos, onion, and garlic until the onions are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Place the onions and tomatillos in the food processor with the charred poblanos, cilantro, cumin, honey, lime juice, and salt. Puree sauce and adjust seasoning.

Combine the ground beef and ground pork with the red chili paste and season with salt and pepper. Form 8 (3-inch) patties that are thinner at the center and thicker at the edges. Heat a griddle pan or large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil to the pan and cook the burgers, about 3 minutes on each side. Leave in the skillet.

In a small skillet over medium heat, reheat the spicy refried beans with a splash of water to thin them out a bit.

Top the burgers with green chili sauce and a few chips. Top the chips with refried beans, shredded cheese, and pickled jalapenos. Tent the pan with foil to melt the cheese, 1 minute. Serve nacho sliders on slider or brioche rolls.

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