Chili’s Oldtimer Burger with Cheese

For a Tex-Mex restaurant, Chili’s has some pretty tasty burgers. But the real standout in the lineup is the original Oldtimer or Oldtimer with Cheese. It’s simple, flavorful, filling, and ranks as one of the chain’s most popular items.

Two copycat Chili's oldtimer burgers with cheese and French fries.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

What makes the Chili’s Oldtimer Burger with Cheese the perfect burger to enjoy at home?

You can get a decent cheeseburger anywhere, but Chili’s Oldtimer Burger with Cheese is something a lot more special. Maybe it’s the half pound of ground chuck perfectly seared to create that tasty crust, then topped with a thick slice of real cheddar cheese and placed on a warm, mildly sweet brioche bun?

Or perhaps it’s the toppings. The tart mustard, tangy dill pickles, refreshing shredded lettuce, and juicy tomato slices are nothing fancy, but they sure are delicious. It all adds up to one unforgettable burger. 

Why you’ll love this recipe 

Simplicity is the key here. There are no special sauces or an overload of toppings to hide the flavor of the half-pound of ground chuck. Each burger component contributes to the perfect combination of flavors.

Throw in the fact that they are easy to cook without the need for dragging out the grill, and you have an ultimate burger for family dinners or game days!

Ingredients you will need 

For Chili’s Oldtimer Burger recipe with cheese, you’ll need:

  • Ground chuck
  • Butter
  • Brioche hamburger buns
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Yellow mustard
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Tomato slices
  • Shredded lettuce
Copycat Chili's oldtimer burger with cheese ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient notes

Choose 80/20 chuck for the patties. You end up with dry patties that stick to the pan if you use ground beef that’s too lean. 

Don’t skimp on the cheddar cheese. Or use something you love like Swiss or American cheese. 

Don’t go with whole leaves of lettuce here. Shredding the lettuce takes only a minute, but it adds just the right amount of crunch to each bite.

Plain old yellow mustard is best. There’s no need to get too fancy. 

How to make a Chili’s Oldtimer with Cheese

To toast the buns:

  1. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. 
  2. Add half the butter to the skillet and swirl it around. 
  3. When the butter stops foaming, place two brioche buns, cut side down in the skillet, and toast for a minute. 
  4. Remove the buns from the skillet and reserve them for later.
  5. Repeat with the two remaining buns. 

To prepare the patties:

  1. Divide the ground chuck into four equal portions. 
  2. With wet hands, form the meat into four patties and place them on a plate for later. 

To cook the patties:

  1. Wrap four soup cans with aluminum foil and place them on a clean surface for later. 
  2. Brush out any crumbs from toasting the buns and return the skillet to the heat. 
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high.
  4. Season both sides of the raw patties with salt and fresh ground black pepper. 
  5. When the skillet is hot, add the patties to it. 
  6. Lightly oil a spatula and use it to press down on the patties. 
  7. Place the wrapped soup cans on top of the patties and cook for three to five minutes, depending on how you like your burgers. 
  8. Flip the patties and replace the wrapped soup cans on top. Cook for two to four more minutes.  At this point, you can start prepping the rest of the burger. See below. 
Toasting buns and cooking burger patties for Chili's oldtimer with cheese.
  1. Remove the soup cans and place a piece of cheddar cheese on top of each patty. Cover each patty with the top bun.
  2. Cook for another minute to melt the cheese. 

To assemble Chili’s Oldtimer with Cheese:

  1. Start by spreading the yellow mustard on the toasted bottom bun.
  2. Evenly space four dill pickle slices on the bun and top with slices of tomato. 
  3. Add a quarter of the shredded lettuce. 
Making and assembling copycat Chili's oldtimer burgers.
  1. When the patty is cooked, use a spatula to transfer the patty, cheese, and top bun onto the half-assembled burger. 
  2. Insert two toothpicks into either side of the bun and slice the burger in half between them. Serve immediately.
Copycat Chili's oldtimer burger with cheese and French fries on a wood board.

What to serve with it 

A burger is good on its own, but a great burger deserves terrific sides. Try these:

  • French fries. Skip the bagged frozen fries and make your own from scratch. For extra flavor scrub the potatoes well and leave on the skins. Double fry the French fries for that perfect crispy outside and fluffy interior. 
  • Onion rings. The extra crunchy batter and thin and sweet onion slices in Red Robin’s Towering Onion Rings pair well with these cheeseburgers. Of course, you shouldn’t forget the discontinued Chili’s Awesome Blossom that you can now make at home!
  • Coleslaw. The creaminess of the mayo and the zip of the vinegar make coleslaw an ideal side to serve with a Chili’s Oldtimer with Cheese. Mix up a classic coleslaw, or try this sweet and sour version

How to store the leftovers from this Chili’s Oldtimer Burger recipe

Eat assembled burgers as soon as possible for the best taste. Shredding lettuce or slicing the tomatoes makes them go bad quicker, but you can save any extra prepped veggies in an airtight container in the fridge.  

Wrap any formed, uncooked patties in plastic and store them in the fridge. For longer storage, try freezing the patties on a baking tray before transferring them to an airtight container and returning them to the freezer. Thaw the patties in the fridge before cooking. 

How long do they last? 

The patties will keep in the freezer for up to a month or a few days in the fridge.  

Use the shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes the next day. 

Copycat Chili's oldtimer burger with cheese.

More Chili’s copycat recipes

Favorite copycat burger recipes

Check out more of my easy burger recipes and the best copycat Chili’s recipes right here on Copycat!

Two copycat Chili's oldtimer burgers with cheese and French fries.

Chili’s Oldtimer Burger with Cheese

You can make Chili's Oldtimer Burger with cheese at home with this easy copycat recipe.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Burger Recipes, Chilis Recipes
Prep Time: 14 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 816kcal


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns
  • 2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 16 dill pickle slices
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 12 tomato slices
  • red onion slices


  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the butter in the skillet and swirl it around. Place the hamburger buns cut-side down in the melted butter and toast for about 60 seconds. Remove the buns from the skillet.
  • Form the ground chuck into 4 patties and place them in the skillet. Use a spatula to press down on the hamburger patties. Then take a large soup can that has been wrapped in aluminum foil and press each meat patty down onto the skillet. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, seasoning each side with salt and pepper while cooking. Top each patty with a slice of cheese.
  • To assemble the burgers, place the mustard on the bottom bun, followed by the pickles, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions. Add the burger patty and cover with the top bun. Serve immediately.


Calories: 816kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 1394mg | Potassium: 942mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1081IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 256mg | Iron: 6mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

REVEALED: Copycat Secrets for 2023

free email bonus

Yes, you CAN make it at home! I'll show you how.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

homemade Olive Garden Asiago Torgelloni Alfredo with chicken on a plate

Copycat Recipe Secrets for 2024


Yes, you CAN make it at home! 
I'll show you how.