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All the flavors of a delightful Cuban (or Cubano) sandwich, in one burger patty! With a burger blend made from ground pork, finely chopped ham steak, spices and herbs- this Cuban Burger is ready to go, whether you’re grilling or pan frying! Just add some classic yellow mustard, dill pickles and a great toasted bun!


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Looking for more delicious burger recipes?

Why not try my Veggie Burger Sliders with Miso Mayo, South Philly Pork Burgers, Thai Burger Sliders with Green Curry Mayo, Schnitzel Burgers, or Pesto Couscous Chicken Burgers!

If you love a good Cuban sandwich as much as I do, you’re going to love these Cuban Burgers! For this recipe, I wanted to make a grill-and-chill version of the classic sandwich, so there is no layering required! All the components of a great Cuban sandwich are melded together into one juicy and delicious burger.

Plated Cuban Burgers

Making the burger mixture

To make these juicy and flavorful Cubano burger patties, you will need:

  • Ground pork.
  • Smoked Ham steaks, or a little under 1 lb finely chopped cooked (and smoked) ham.
  • The zest of a small orange and a lime.
  • Some fresh garlic cloves.
  • Some spice cabinet essentials; salt, pepper, ground cumin and dried oregano.
  • 1 bunch fresh Cilantro.
  • A couple scallions.

This burger comes together quickly and easily, with the help of your trusty food processor to chop the ham (and anything else you don’t feel like chopping by hand!).

Simply chop up the ham steaks until they are ground into small pieces, thinly slice the scallion, roughly chop the cilantro, zest the citrus and crust the garlic with a garlic press. Add everything to a bowl with the spices and ground pork, and mix until just combined with your hands.


Once your Cuban burger mixture is ready- you can choose to get the grill (or pan) ready and cook the burgers right away, or stick ’em in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

prepping the burgers

Can I prep the Cuban burgers in advance?

Yes! You can make the Cuban burger mixture up to 24 hours n advance. At this point, you can either store the mixture as-is, or form into patties for later. When I know I’m going to grill these for a party or BBQ, I often will form them into patties in advance, and store them in an airtight container, or wrap them in plastic wrap. This way- when I’m ready to grill, they are ready to go! Prepping the burgers in advance also allows more time for the flavors to really shine.

formed burger patties

Cooking the burgers: Grilling vs Pan frying

Indoor outdoor- these burgers are great for the grill. I love to cook these burgers outdoors on my gas grill, or indoors on my cast iron grill griddle. If you don’t have a grill or grill pan, you can still make these delicious Cuban burgers in a cast iron or non-stick skillet with a little neutral oil! This quick and easy pork burger recipe works well with whichever cooking method you choose.

Cuban burger closeup

Serving Suggestions

My favorite way to serve these burgers is on a buttered and grilled Brioche hamburger bun, with plenty of classic yellow mustard and some sliced or chopped dill pickles. These burgers are also great on potato buns, or good quality seeded hamburger buns.

cuban burgers

Cuban Burger

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Dinner
Keyword: burger
Servings: 8


  • grill, grill pan, cast iron skillet or non-stick frying pan



  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 14 oz package Ham steaks (2), or 14 oz of smoked ham
  • the zest of one small orange 
  • the zest of 1 lime
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin 
  • 1/2 tbsp dry oregano 
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (stems discarded)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced 


  • 8 burger buns (Brioche or Potato, preferred) 
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese 
  • yellow mustard  and dill pickles, for serving 
  • melted butter, for brushing buns (optional)
  • canola oil, for cooking (only if using non-stick pan) 


  • Making the burgers
    1. Add the ground pork, orange zest, lime zest, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, scallions, and cilantro to a large bowl.
    2. Roughly chop the ham steaks into small chunks, and place in your food processor.
    3. Pulse until ham is ground, but not fully (you want some small pieces of ham to retain their texture in the burger mixture).
    4. Add the chopped ham to the bowl with the other ingredients, and mix with you hands until just combined.
    5. Form into 8 equal sized burger patties (about 1/3 cup each).
    Cooking indoors
    1. Heat a grill pan, cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet to medium heat, and let it heat up for 3-5 minutes. If using a nonstick skillet and not a cast iron, add about 1 tbsp neutral oil, such as canola oil.
    2. Add the burger patties to the pan (working in batches as to not overcrowd) and cook 4-6 minutes a side. Once flipped, add the Swiss cheese and cook until cheese is melted and second side is cooked through.
    3. Serve on toasted/grilled buns with yellow mustard and dill pickles.
    Outdoor Grill
    1. When you are ready to cook, turn one side of the grill to low heat, and one to medium and place burgers on the medium side.
    2. Cook the first side 5-7 minutes, then flip, add a slice of Swiss cheese to each burger, and cook another 4-6 minutes.
    Grilling the buns
    1. In the last 2 minutes of the burgers’ cooking time, brush the inside of the buns with melted butter (about 3 tbsp for 8 buns), and place the buns cut side down on the grill on the low side, and grill about 2 minutes, until just charred and crisp, checking frequently to prevent burning.
    1. Once burgers are grilled and buns are toasted, assemble the burgers. Dollop equal portions of yellow mustard on each bottom bun, place the burgers on top, add a bit more mustard to the tops, and top with pickles.

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