Here we flavor sweet, beefy buffalo (bison) with smoked cheese and smoky barbecue sauce. Instead of being melted on top, cheese is used here to season the meat--adding moisture and smoky flavor inside the burger. Wild rice bulks up the serving size (and adds vitamins and minerals), while keeping it lean. Plus the flavor and chewy texture are a wonderful complement to the meat. If you can't find buffalo in your store, substitute 90%-lean ground beef.

Bruce Aidells
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2008


Recipe Summary

40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat grill to medium.

  • Place meat, rice, cheese, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, paprika, mustard, garlic, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.

  • Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, relish and horseradish in a small bowl.

  • Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 155 degrees F, 5 to 6 minutes per side.

  • Assemble the burgers on buns with the barbecue mayonnaise sauce, tomato and onion.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the barbecue mayonnaise (Step 3) for up to 5 days.

Tips: Be sure to plan ahead for cooking the wild rice--it takes 40 to 50 minutes. To cut down on cooking time, look for “quick” wild rice--a whole-grain rice that cooks in less than 30 minutes--or “instant” wild rice that's done in 10 minutes or less.

To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

Nutrition Facts

456 calories; protein 31.9g; carbohydrates 37.7g; dietary fiber 4.9g; sugars 9.3g; fat 21g; saturated fat 7.6g; cholesterol 78.4mg; vitamin a iu 1296.8IU; vitamin c 5.3mg; folate 31mcg; calcium 157.2mg; iron 3.8mg; magnesium 56mg; potassium 309.6mg; sodium 797.2mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (1)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 4 stars
Even my young kids love these. But my husband hates that they fall apart on the grill. Next time I might omit the rice and more finely shred the cheese to see if that helps. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
My family loves these burgers. Even my father-in-law who was skeptical about bison asked for the recipe so they could make these at home. I substitute quinoa or plain rice if I don't have time to cook the wild rice. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I actually haven't made this with buffalo but use ground yak instead. It is better grilled on my Traeger than cooked indoors but still very good. I suggest chopping the wild rice roughly to break up the big grains and allow it to incorporate more into the burger. A favorite of everyone I have served it to. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Juicy with rich flavor! I'm saving this recipe for use with turkey burgers and regular beef burgers...great flavor! I used brown rice and I enjoyed the consistency that rice gave the burgers. Didn't have any of the smokey cheese or BBQ sauce but did grill them and got a hint of smoke that way. This is a keeper! Pros: Moist slighty spicey held together well when grilling Read More
Rating: 1 stars
I wasted a pound of ground bison and the prep time when I tried to flip them they completely disintegrated. I hope my grill liked them the recipe is a time and money waster. Thanks. Pros: none Cons: Fell apart on the grill Read More