June 25, 2012

The "Italian" Burgers

The other day I had talked about how I was attempting to try a new burger recipe this past weekend, and I did. The experiment turned out great. I decided to totally wing this burger. I thought it was an original idea, that is until I started google searching for an image that looked like my burgers. I'm a horrible photographer, I'm trying to get better about this, however our guests came late and it was dark before we finally sat down to eat so nice photos wouldn't have happened. I did find a great google image though so stay tuned [I'm a cheater, I know].

My concept was to make an Italian burger, but I guess more correctly a Caprese Burger. Mike and I love Caprese everything. Salads, pasta, whatever. I think it's part of my fixation with fresh mozzarella and basil. We usually add Chicken to anything we make concerning the combination of fresh moz, basil and tomatoes, but this time I wanted to try good ole' fashioned beef.

The burgers were a hit and I wanted to share the recipe with you, my readers. Special note: I had completely forgotten that when I started first making burger recipes that I would dice up fresh basil, just for the hell of it and shove it into the burger mixture. It was always a crowd pleaser. It took making this burger to remind me of that and I'm glad it did. I can't wait to make my classic burgers with basil soon! Special Tip: With this burger, or any burger on the grill, I would suggest not getting super low fat meat. You don't want a hockey puck when you're finished. Trust me, most of the fat will drip down into the flames. We usually go for an even ratio of fat and lean, and sometimes if we are feeling sinful we get some ground chuck. Moderation people.


The "Italian" Burger


  • 1 Package Hamburger Meat, your choice
  • 1 tomato slice per burger - sliced thin (approx 1 large tomato)
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella cheese - sliced thin
  • Leaves of fresh Basil (about 2-3 per burger) - topping and chopped into burger
  • Pesto sauce (optional)
  • Buns - We would have loved to have Ciabatta rolls but the bakery was out.
  • Garlic (1-2 cloves, to rub toasted buns)
  • Seasonings: Basic Italian Seasoning OR Oregano/Basil/Thyme/Salt/Pepper/Garlic Powder {tsp. each more if desired} Gage it on how much meat you have. I literally eyeball all of this.
  • 2-3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce {or more, I love this stuff}
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (to prevent sticking on grill)
  • 1 wedge (about a quarter) of a red/purple onion - grated into mixture. Slice the rest for topping if desired.


  1. In a large bowl dump the hamburger meat, some shredded basil if desired, your seasonings, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. 
  2. Grate onion quarter over the hamburger (this will help seal in flavor and moisture on the grill).
  3. Mix together ingredients with your hands but be careful not to over mix.
  4. Make 4-6 patties on a plate.
  5. Cut up toppings and vegetables as well as mozzarella into slices. The moz is a bit difficult to cut into even slices, I find it's helpful to toss it in the freezer for a couple minutes to toughen it up before slicing.
  6. Grill burgers.***
  7. Toast buns in either the oven under the broiler or straight on the grill. Once buns are toasted to desired color pull them out of oven/grill and rub with clove of garlic. The garlic will melt into the bun and give you the most fantastic garlic bread flavored rolls ever!
****I don't grill - so you may need to consult google for how long to grill these or have your grill master handy. Next time I will write these type of posts WITH Mike, since he does all the grilling at our house. Once the burgers have been grilled you can assemble them. Feel free to melt the mozzarella on the burgers, on the grill. We didn't do this but I bet it would be amazing!


  •  As I said the pesto is optional since you already have basil. We used this as our ketchup substitute. Spread pesto on bun, add burger, bit of mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and red onion if desired. Top with the other half of the toasted bun and enjoy! Next time I might try to make this with Chicken/Turkey Burgers in the skillet!
We added french fries and pasta salad with the burger but trust me the burger alone was a meal in itself. If you have any questions let me know. I'd love to give insight. I'm not the best recipe writer, but this ones an idea I pulled out of my own head and created for dinner for friends, Mike and myself. Enjoy!
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Allyson said...

Now that I'm not only eating hamburger meat again but actually craving it, I think we are definitely down for this. Neal made pizza burgers last week, which involved a can of tomato paste, I think. But these look DIVINE!!! I have always been a whore for caprese but after having it multiple times in Italy, it got worse. I don't even like raw tomatoes but for caprese, I will make the exception. Thanks for the recipe AND the mouth-watering image!

Rachel said...

That looks DIVINE! Omg...so good. My mouth is watering, seriously. MUST make that soon! Thanks for the recipe :)

Lora said...

I like to get leaner meat but shove a pat of butter in the raw burger before grilling. OMGood.
Nothing like mixing animal fats

robyn said...

These sounds amazing!
Worchestershire sauce is my secret ingredient for anything beefy - chili, meat sauce, sheperd's pie and burgers! So good.
Phil is looking for a new burger to try, and I just might show him your recipe...

Candice said...

That looks great! You should try it again with Kobe beef. Nom nom

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