We’re giving hamburgers an Italian twist with these easy Pesto Burgers! There’s basil pesto in the burger and as a topping so you get a burst of fresh pesto flavor in every bite. Add some cheese and tomatoes and you get juicy burgers that everyone will love.
Am I the only one who thinks burgers are like a blank canvas? Oh, sure, I love a plain juicy burger with a few toppings but I have a hard time not putting some kind of spin on them. Like how does a burger dressed up with summer pesto and all the toppings sound to you? Delicious, right?
If you’ve only been using basil pesto for pasta, I think you’re going to love this pesto burger recipe. The fresh flavors pair so well with the juicy savory beef – and we’re not just using the pesto as a topping. It’s mixed right into the patty mixture so they taste amazing.
Give Your Burgers an Italian Twist!
I think anyone who loves to make burgers has their own special way of preparing the meat and this is how we give our burgers a pesto twist:
Hamburger, pesto, salt and pepper. That’s it! Just four ingredients that you combine together and form into patties.
Speaking of patties, it’s always good to use a light hand when you are mixing the meat with the pesto and seasoning. You don’t want to overwork it otherwise your burgers will be too dense. So, mix it just until combined (using your hands is the easiest way) and then gently form it into patties by lightly pressing it together and patting it into a burger.
For the pesto, you can make it really easy and use your favorite store-bought brand. Or, use your own homemade pesto recipe.
Cook Them on the Grill for a Fast Dinner
In the summer, is there any other way to cook a burger? So, go ahead and preheat the grill to 400 degrees while you’re making the patties.
We like our burgers cooked to medium, which is mostly pink in the center or 145°F if you use a thermometer. On our grill this takes about four to six minutes per side, but depending on how thick your burgers are you may need to increase or decrease the cooking time. So, keep an eye on them while they cook.
Here are a few more tips for grilling burgers:
- Make sure your grill is nice and hot before you cook them and it’s always a good idea to scrape the grates to remove any stuck-on residue from the last time you grilled.
- Once you get them on the grill resist the urge to flip them multiple times. Let them cook on one side for four minutes or so and then flip and finish them on the other side.
- Don’t press down on the with the spatula – this just squeezes the juices out, which you definitely don’t want. We want nice, juicy burgers so no pressing!
Can I Cook Pesto Burgers on the Stove?
Yes, if you don’t have a grill you can cook the burgers in a grill pan or skillet on the stove. Heat the pan to medium to medium-high heat and use the same tips I already mentioned to cook your burgers. They will take about the same amount of time as they would on an outside grill.
Give Your Pesto Burgers the Final Touches!
Just before your burgers are done top them with a slice of mozzarella cheese and let it melt. We’ve also used provolone cheese, too, or use both for a super cheesy burger.
I like to brush the burger buns with more pesto and then top each burger with sliced tomatoes, red onions and a little pile of arugula. Or, swap the arugula for fresh basil leaves, spinach, or other lettuce that you like.
One bite of the basil pesto burger and I know you’ll be hooked like we are - it’s full of fresh flavors! This pesto burger recipe is one of our favorite summer grilling recipes. I hope you love it as much as we do!
Other Dinners You'll Enjoy
Pesto Burgers Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2/3 cup basil pesto 1/3 cup mixed with ground beef. 1/3 cup to spread on the buns
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 slices mozzarella cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 slices red onion
- 4 slices beefsteak tomato
- Arugula to top the burger
- Preheat Barbecue grill or grill pan to 400°. Combine ground beef and 1/3 cup of pesto. Add salt and pepper and mix together in a large bowl
- Divide the meat into 4 equal sized patties. Grill too desired cooking level. We wanted medium done burgers. Cook 4-6 minutes per side. Add cheese a couple of minutes before the burgers are done.
- Toast the buns on the grill for a short time. 1-2 minutes but be careful not to burn them. Brush pesto on the buns. Add tomato, then red onion and top it off with arugula.
- You can use provolone cheese for a different flavor.
- Basil or lettuce can be used in place of arugula.
These Pesto Burgers are so good! One bite and I know you’ll be hooked like we are - it’s full of fresh flavors! This pesto burger recipe is one of our favorite summer grilling recipes.
Mel is an IT guy turned blogger and is discovering his love of cooking and photography. If you ever have Fantasy Football questions, he's your guy.