Salted Mocha Burgers

Phew! What a whirlwind the past few months have been since I signed off (temporarily) back in December. I’m super excited to tell you that while I was away, I wrote a book! Like a real one. With physical pages and stuff.

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook will be available January 2015 and is loaded with budget-friendly recipes that are approachable enough for the novice cook, yet unforgettably delicious and distinct. If you’ve been a follower for a while now, you know that I feed a semi-Paleo family, including two kiddos, so my Paleo food has to fool these guys. Who has time to make separate dinners? I don’t play that game, and I’m thinking you don’t (or at least don’t want to) either.

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook features over 100 recipes that won’t have you on a wild goose chase all over town trying to find hazelnut flour or organic coconut nectar. This is real food for real families. You’re gonna love it.

But enough off all that book business, there are burgers to tend to… Salted Mocha Burgers to be exact.

Salted Mocha Burgers on


1 to 1.5 lbs ground grass-fed beef
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 cup strong coffee or cold brew coffee
1 tbsp avocado oil (organic, non-GMO, cold-pressed is best)
1 tsp raw cacao
additional coarse grain sea salt for finishing

By hand combine the ground beef, half teaspoon of sea salt and half teaspoon of ancho chili powder. *If you don’t have ancho chili powder on hand (and don’t feel like buying any) substitute for a quarter teaspoon of plain chili powder and a quarter teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper.

Once combined, divide and shape into four equal patties. Place them into a dish that’s fairly narrow in order to maximize the coffee marinade. If the dish is too wide, the coffee won’t cover the burgers as well.

Pour a half cup of strong freshly brewed coffee (maybe reserve some from your morning cup) or use cold brew concentrate like I did. Either way, pour the coffee over the burgers and let marinade at room temperature for 15 minutes, flipping the meat after 10 minutes on the first side.

Get your grill going and allow it to preheat while the next step is prepared.

Remove the burgers and set aside.  Drain the coffee marinade into a small bowl that will be easier to handle for preparing the sauce.

In a small sauce pan or another mixing bowl, whisk together the tablespoon (15 mL) of avocado oil and the teaspoon (4 g) of raw cacao powder. The oil helps to break down the cacao and remove any clumps before combining with the reserved coffee marinade.

Next, stream in reserved coffee whisking to combine. Transfer to a small sauce pan if using a mixing bowl, then turn the heat to medium and allow to simmer until the volume has reduce to about a quarter cup (60 mL) or less then remove from the heat.  The concentrated flavor will taste better with the burgers.

Now that the grill is hot, take the marinaded beef patties out to the grill and cook til desired doneness. About 5 minutes on each side when the temperature is between 400°F to 450°F (204°C to 232°C) is right for medium. Baste the burgers frequently with the mocha sauce so it really cooks into the burgers while they grill.

When the burgers have reached your preferred doneness, remove them from the grill and finish with a hefty pinch of coarse grain sea salt. I prefer Celtic sea salt.


Salted Mocha Burgers on

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A few kitchen tools help to prepare this awesome grilled burger recipe: a mini whisk for combining the small amount of liquid involved, a small saucepan, and a grill. If you’re tight on space like I am, try picking up a compact grill which is great for small outdoor spaces. I also swear by organic avocado oil for cooking, it’s my new favorite.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


  1. Theresa says

    OH MY WORD!!! These were so delicious!!! My daughter and I happily ate these for lunch today, and she’s already asking me to make them again! I didn’t have ancho powder, so I used chipotle powder, and >hanging my head< I am all out of raw cacao, so I used Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder. They were phenomenal! They didn't smell or taste like my morning mocha, but instead, they were beefy, with a hint of something extra good. It was like the beefiness got more beefy LOL! Thanks for an unusual but amazing recipe!

    • says

      Aren’t they incredible!? It sounds funny to a lot of people, but both coffee and cacao go great with beef. Glad you were brave enough to give it a try and that it was a success for your fam!

  2. Deana says

    I was looking for something different than plain ole burgers and stumbled onto this recipe. I didn’t have the ancho chili or cayenne, so I used regular chili powder (365 brand) and paprika. I know it’s not the same, but it was all I had! I used a pound each of ground bison and pork, then doubled the ingredients. I cooked them on a cast iron skillet and topped with Himalayan pink salt. I admit I too was a bit skeptical as another commenter pointed out, but man were they good!! Didn’t even need one condiment, though I did have a few bites with my homemade mayo and ketchup 😉 I accompanied the burgers with celeriac “fries” (hence why I had the condiments out) and it was a super delicious dinner altogether. I highly recommend trying it, even if you don’t have a grill. A warning: the basting with the sauce makes them smoke in the skillet and I ended up setting off the smoke detector!

  3. Jessica says

    I only have olive and macadamia right now for liquid/pourable oils… Otherwise I have coconut oil and ghee I could melt. Is there one of those that you’d recommend in place of the avocado oil? Thanks!

  4. Tori says

    Do you think this would work with pan frying it instead of grilling? I think I’m going to try it tonight, unless you think it’s a bad idea.

  5. says

    OH, LAWDY, ARE THESE BURGERS AMAZING! Please treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself. MAKE THIS FOR DINNER TONIGHT! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with the world. Absolutely decadent. I used nilgai (south Texas antelope) for the burgers. A superb combination. I think any grass-fed red meat would shine in this dish. Fabulous work. Just fabulous!

  6. says

    I’m not even going to lie, up until first bite, I had my doubts about this burger. It smelled excessively mocha-y (a hyphen makes anything a word). I am typing this with a mouthful, because it’s too good to not leave a review. It case anyone is reluctant, trust the spices. Trust the coffee. This burger is incredible.
    Thank you for the recipe!

    • says

      Thank you, Kim!! I found myself thinking… “How can I convince people to trust me on this one?” So glad you enjoyed the burger. Appreciate you taking time to leave a comment!

  7. says

    This looks absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to make this for my family – this will score some major brownie points with the hubby :). And I’m SO looking forward to your cookbook!

  8. says

    Welcome back! Thank goodness for social media, by following you on Instagram its like you never left :) I am truly truly excited for your book!! When can it be pre-ordered? I love your recipes, they are all very easy to follow, easy ingredients to find and most of the time I already have everything on hand anyway, like this recipe.
    Regarding this recipe, if someone doesn’t like coffee at all, is there a strong coffee taste? I am not asking for me, for my husband. He hates coffee! He doesn’t even like the smell of it. I know, I don’t understand either! I drink so much coffee I think coffee runs through my veins :)

    • says

      You know my food well, Lindsey! I’m so stoked for the book! It turned out better than I expected. I don’t have ordering details yet, but it hits shelves Jan. 2015! xoxo

      For the burgers, the flavors are surprisingly mild and very well balanced. I fed it to my kids without any negative side effects 😉 I think the cacao, coffee and ancho chili powder just enhance the savory-ness (if that’s a word??) of a basic grilled burger. It was tasty!

      See you “around”!


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