Freezer friendly pesto burgers

Pesto Burgers

By Polly Conner
June 27, 2018

Pesto Burgers are the bomb. They are an incredibly easy grilling recipe, a great recipe for a crowd, AND a fabulous freezer meal.

Burger on a plate and ground beef patties in a freezer bag

As we were developing a Pesto Meatball Sub recipe for our cookbook, the idea of creating a Pesto Burger was born. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.

The big flavors in pesto: basil, garlic, and parmesan cheese all taste awesome with ground beef. We highly recommend you make your own pesto. (Even better, make homemade pesto and freeze it!) If you must use store-bought pesto, we recommend using refrigerated pesto.

Also, it’s SO easy.

Just dump the pesto in and mix it up. Despite what the picture below communicates, I recommend using your hands for this job. They are your best kitchen tool. 🙂

Ground beef mixed with pesto

Another recommendation we have for these is using high quality ground beef.

Where to Get Ground Beef You Can Trust

A recipe is only as good as the ingredients in it. This is why we continually nudge people to use high-quality, organic produce and meat if possible.

One EASY way to have humanely raised 100% grass-fed beef delivered to your door is through ButcherBox.

What is ButcherBox?

ButcherBox has high-quality meat delivered to your door… easy and convenient. They carry humanely raised 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon all free of antibiotics and added hormones.

Polly Conner with ButcherBox

How to Make Pesto Burgers a Freezer Meal

Another great thing about this recipe is that it freezes beautifully.

Simply double or triple the batch and freeze the burger patties before cooking. Put them in an airtight container of some sort and freeze! When you want to eat them, thaw them out in safe way and you will never know they weren’t prepped fresh!

You’ll be so glad to have this freezer meal later down the road. 

Pesto burger freezer meal

Let’s talk grilling for a moment, shall we?

Here are some burger grilling tips:

  • Form the patties so that they are larger in circumference than the bun you plan to use. They will shrink as they cook.
  • Make sure patties are as thick or thicker on the outer edges, else they will shrink and squeeze the meat toward the center of the patty, otherwise known as the “baseball” effect.
  • Don’t overwork the meat. This results in tough burgers.
  • Let the meat sit at room temperature for a bit (like 20-30 min) before you grill.
  • Cook over a clean grill that is at medium heat. High heat will burn the burgers.
  • The oil might cause some flair ups so if you can, place them over indirect heat.
Pesto burgers on a grill

I’m sure you know this but burgers make a great meal idea for groups of people.

You can make them in advance and simply throw them on the grill when your people are ready. Set up a “burger bar” for our group and you’ll have a crowd pleasing meal in minutes.

Pesto burger in a hand

Because the pesto has some olive oil and other veggies, it brings some extra moisture and tenderness to the burger. I really loved the consistency and flavor.

Pesto burger cut in half

What to Serve with Pesto Burgers

Here are great ideas of recipes that would go great with Pesto Burgers:

Grilled Corn

Oven Baked Steak Fries

Strawberry Avocado Salad

Freezer friendly pesto burgers

Pesto Burgers: A Great Freezer Meal

  • Author: Polly
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15
  • Yield: 68 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American


These Pesto Burgers will be a family favorite for sure! Lean, flavorful and savory for the win.



  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together ground beef and pesto.
  2. Form the meat into large patties, about 1 inch thick.
  3. Over medium heat, grill the burgers about 4 minutes on each side. Add or subtract time depending on how well done you prefer your meat.
  4. Add a slice of cheese and grill one more minute to get it nice and melty. Don’t forget to toast those buns too!


Freezer Meal Instructions:

To Freeze: Patty the burgers up and place them in an airtight freezer bag. Freeze.

To Prepare: Let burgers thaw in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Follow cooking instructions above starting at step 3.

It’s also worth mentioning that they were a hit with my crew. Proof:

Girl eating a burger
Pesto burger on a plate

Looking for more ground beef recipes?

Check out our Top 10 Ground Beef Freezer Meals!

Ground beef recipes

Looking for More Grilling Recipes?

Check out our 30+ Real Food Grilling Ideas

A great round up of real food grilling recipe ideas. Lots of freezer-friendly dinners, too.

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