Pesto Burgers are the bomb. They are an incredibly easy grilling recipe, a great recipe for a crowd, AND a fabulous freezer meal.
As we were developing a Pesto Meatball Sub recipe for our forthcoming 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.
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. 🙂
Another great thing about this recipe is that it freezes beautifully. Simply double or triple the batch and freeze the burger patties before cooking. You’ll be so glad to have this freezer meal later down the road.
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.
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.
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.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together ground beef and pesto.
- Form the meat into large patties, about 1 inch thick.
- 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.
- Add a slice of cheese and grill one more minute to get it nice and melty. Don’t forget to toast those bunds 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:
Looking for more grilling recipes?
Check out our 30+ Real Food Grilling Ideas.