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Stuffed Caprese Burgers – The Stay At Home Chef

Give your burger game an Italian twist by adding a little caprese. Bite into a burger where the center is filled with ooey gooey mozzarella cheese. It’s not just the cheese, we’re bringing all the flavors of caprese. Tomato slices are a must, and we’re replacing your traditional lettuce with fresh basil leaves. What’s caprese without balsamic vinegar? We’re sauteeing onions in balsamic to complete the picture. All of this goodness is sandwiched in a buttery brioche bun. It’s a burger made in Italian heaven.

What could this pair with better than a caprese avocado salad? Or try our southwestern caprese bites for a fun twist that’ll have you reimagining the power of caprese forever!

Why Our Recipe

  • Not just topped with a slice of mozzarella. Our patties are stuffed with it to give you gooey cheese in every bite.
  • We bring the balsamic in through onions sauteed in it to soak it up.
  • Replacing lettuce with fresh basil leaves for a stroke of delicious genius.

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground Beef: Opt for an 80/20 blend for the juiciest burger.
  • Onion: use white, yellow, or even red. If you really love onions on your burger, you can even use two onions.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: a must for caprese, but you can get away without using a super high-quality balsamic since it’s cooked and reduced and soaked up by the onions. If you don’t want to use onions, opt for using a balsamic glaze and drizzling it over your burger as a condiment.
  • Tomatoes: use the good kind for this, like a hearty beefsteak, on-the-vine, or a fancy heirloom tomato.
  • Fresh Basil Leaves: buy the packages of leaves for an easy option, or pick them straight off a live plant for the prettiest option.
  • Buns: a nice brioche bun is the perfect match, but you can use any bun of your choosing. If you want to go all out, you can also make your own homemade brioche buns.

Sizing Your Patty

Shrinkage happens! To ensure your burgers fit perfectly in your buns, aim to make your patties about 1/2 inch wider than the buns all around. With a stuffed burger, you’ll do this for both of the initial thin patties. This accounts for the inevitable shrinkage that happens during cooking, giving you a perfectly sized patty that fills the bun from edge to edge.

A collage of images showing how to stuff a burger with cheese.

Stuffing Your Burger

We have you create two thin patties to make it much easier to stuff. Be sure to place your cheese in the center of the beef so that you can get a good seal around the edges and avoid having the cheese leak out. Pinch the patties tightly together and give it a good visual inspection to make sure you’ve married the two patties together around that beautiful piece of cheese.

Toasting Buns

Toasting your buns adds more texture to your burger while keeping them from getting soggy with all those toppings. Just pop them cut-side down in a skillet or on a hot grill for about 1-2 minutes until they’re golden brown. Just be sure to watch them closely so they don’t burn.

A caprese burger that has been cut in half to reveal strings of gooey melted mozzarella cheese. The burger is topped with balsamic onions, sliced tomato, and fresh basil leaves.

Burger Internal Temperatures

In the US, it’s safe to cook burgers to medium, but keep in mind that recommendations may vary in other locations.

Medium: This gives you the perfect juicy center that’s slightly pink. For the best results, remove the burgers from the pan or grill when they reach 140°F (about 5 minutes per side) and let them rest for 5 minutes. During this time, the temperature will rise to 145°F.

Medium Well: We know a lot of people waffle on pink in a burger so for the best of both worlds, medium-well will do with just a hint of pink and still a lot of juiciness. Aim for an internal temperature of 150°F and resting to 155°F which will be an extra 1 to 2 minutes per side.

Well Done: For a fully cooked burger with no trace of pink, cook to an internal temperature of 160°F or higher. Be aware that well-done burgers can be less juicy and a bit drier, but if that’s your preference, go for it! This will bring your cooking time to about 8 minutes per side.

Remember, using a meat thermometer is the best way to ensure your burgers reach the desired doneness without overcooking.

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