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Pesto Burgers

This quick and easy burger recipe will be a hit at any party you throw. Basil Pesto is the star of the show!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Total Time13 mins
Servings: 4 burgers
Author: Cristen


  • 1 pound ground beef shaped into 4 patties of equal size and thickness, depress centers a bit
  • 1/2 tbsp Seasoned Salt to season patties with equally
  • 4 TBSP basil pesto plus more for garnish if desired
  • 4-8 large slices fresh mozzarella 1/3 inch thick or so, use as much as you'd like
  • 4 large slices country bread or crusty sourdough
  • 4 TBSP Butter
  • 1 tsp garlic salt


  • Preheat oven to 400. Preheat Grill to 400-450 degrees or until you can only hold your hand 4" over it a second or two. Shape and season patties. Grill on one side for 2-3 minutes. Flip, add one TBSP pesto per patty, add cheese, close grill and finish cooking (times will vary to achieve doneness desired and will be based on your grill temp. Use an instant read thermometer for best results.) Ours were done in about 9 minutes from start to finish. Garlic Butter Toasts: Spread bread pieces with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt, evenly. Place in preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown. (5 minutes for us, it will depend on your bread type and oven heat.) Assemble: Place cheese and pesto topped burger onto garlic butter toast. Top with additional pesto if desired. Drizzle some reduced balsamic vinegar onto burger if desired (yes, do it.)


Top Secret Mozzarella Tip: If you want 'browned' mozzarella, you'll have to do it under a mega-hot broiler for a few seconds to not over-do your burger. The grill will make it melty... but not browned like you see a tiny bit in my picture. PS: If you are pulling ice cold mozzarella out of the fridge, do yourself a favor and after you slice it, zap it in the microwave a bit, it will warm faster on the grill and speed along the final step in making those burgers (and may help you avoid overcooking!)
Burgers... don't make meatballs, get those patties nice and evenly shaped, then press your thumb gently into the center then you won't have a puffy burger.
Balsamic: Reduce a bit of balsamic by bringing it to a simmer in a small pan. DO NOT  BREATHE OVER THIS PAN OF SIMMERING VINEGAR, YOU MAY DIE. All joking aside, I did this accidentally and literally lost my breath. Reduce the mixture until it is thick, like a glaze. (This takes a few minutes of simmering, but watch your pan, swirl a bit and don't let it burn!)
Meat Swap: Try ground pork or even turkey in this burger, it will work, trust me.
What about those buns, huns? Don't serve this on a bun unless you LOVE bread so much you can't live without it in excess. This simple way to serve this burger incorporates a very welcome texture of crunchiness that I usually get from pickles or other veggies. Pesto and mozz are soft... use crunchy garlic toasts for the bed on this burger.