Bison Burgers with Pickled Onions and Chipotle Ketchup


Bison Burgers with Pickled Onions and Chipotle Ketchup

Despite bison's low-fat reputation, there's no sacrificing flavor! Especially with easy-to-make flash pickled red onions and a smoky chipotle ketchup.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Heartland
Servings 4 burgers


Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 medium red onion (Or two small)
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 clove garlic, halved
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tsp mutard seed

Chipotle Ketchup

  • 4 canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 serrano
  • 1 shallot (Or sub for 1 small onion and 1 to 2 cloves garlic)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika

Bison Burgers

  • 1 lb ground bison (May be sold as buffalo)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


Flash Pickled Onions

  • Set 3 cups of water on to boil.
  • Add the sugar, salt, vinegar, garlic, black peppercorns, and mustard seed to a jar. Stir to help the sugar dissolve.
  • Slice the onion into thin, 1/4 inch moons and transfer to a colander or sieve. Once the water is boiling, pour this hot water over the onions.
  • Transfer the onions to the jar with the vinegar, and stir. Let rest on the counter for 30 minutes if you plan on using them right away, or cover and refrigerate for later usage. They're best during the first week, but will keep for a bit longer.

Chipotle Ketchup

  • Roughly chop all the chilies and shallot. Remove seeds from the serrano if desired.
  • Heat about 2 tbs olive oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add the shallot and chilies and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then add the ketchup, cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the color darkens and the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
  • Let cool before storage or use. Can be used right away, and leftovers can be refrigerated for up to a month.

Bison Burgers

  • Form the ground meat into 4 equal sized patties, making sure to avoid overworking the meat. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the patties.
  • Grill burgers on a lightly oiled grill rack. Bison is best around medium-rare, so cook it about 3 minutes per side.
  • We like ours topped with swiss cheese melted directly onto the burger, with a leaf of butter lettuce, and a nicely toasted bun.