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Gourmet Italian Grilled Burgers

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A blend of lean ground beef and pork ensure Italian Grilled Burgers are deliciously rich, flavorful, and succulent. These perfectly grilled and juicy Italian-inspired burgers are topped with warm marinara, melted mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves. All on a grilled garlic butter bun, no less!

Blend Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs into the two meats — ground chuck and ground Italian sausage — to make the burgers. Then, spread the buns with homemade roasted garlic butter and toast them on the grill at the same time.

Each tasty burger bite tastes like an authentic Italian meatball. Buono!

Italian Burgers with Fresh Basil & Roasted Garlic Butter

Freaky Friday blog hop

Today is FREAKY FRIDAY, y’all! That may not mean a thing to you, but it’s pretty exciting for me. Freaky Friday is a fun blog project (the brainchild of Michaela from An Affair From the Heart) where a group of food bloggers secretly cook or bake a recipe from another blog they were assigned and then reveal the recipes at the same time on one Freaky Friday morning — that’s TODAY!

Freaky Friday Spring 2020 Blog Hop

Meet Michaela from An Affair from the Heart

Last year, I was “virtually” introduced to Michaela by a mutual blogging friend and once I poked around on her site, An Affair from the Heart, I knew she was truly someone special.

Michaela is mom to four children (including a set of twins!), loves to cook, bake, and entertain. I mean, really entertain. I’m talking theme parties complete with decorations, menus, and custom invitations. She’s a real party thrower!

Michaela shares some of her creative party ideas her blog, like folding bunny napkins, creating a country chic centerpiece, and even designing a festive and fun tablescape!

Not only that, Michaela shares some amazing Summer recipes. I can’t wait to try her Fried Ice Cream Pie (doesn’t THAT sound good!), Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Torte, and Old-Fashioned Strawberry Ice Box Cake — YUM!

It was really difficult to choose which recipe to feature today because so many of them sounded so good. Since May is National Burger Month, I decided to try one of her gourmet burger recipes.

I had a hard time choosing between the Red, White, and Bleu Burger, the Bloody Mary Burger, and today’s Italian Grilled Burger. Let me tell you, after tasting the Italian burger I definitely can’t wait to try the other burger recipes on her blog.

Please be sure to visit An Affair from the Heart and check out Michaela’s other delicious recipes. But first, let’s chat more about this Italian Grilled Burger recipe.

Italian Burgers with Fresh Basil & Roasted Garlic Butter on a blue plate with french fries

Italian Grilled Burgers

One thing I loved about this recipe is that it’s really simple to make. When you think about a gourmet burger, you may assume that means a lot of ingredients and special sauces to prepare.

Not with this yummy Italian Grilled Burger! The burgers are literally a pound each of ground chuck and ground Italian sausage plus Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. You don’t even need to add salt and pepper since the seasoning is all in the sausage and the breadcrumbs.

The extra fat in the sausage makes these burgers especially juicy, but not overly greasy. The texture is tender like a restaurant-quality meatball, and on the roasted garlic butter bun it’s perfection!

For the cheese, I chose to use mozzarella cheese slices, but you can also use fresh mozzarella that you slice yourself. For the condiments, just use your favorite jarred marinara sauce and fresh basil leaves. Pretty simple, right?

How long do you cook burgers on a gas grill?

The length of cooking time depends on the grill’s temperature and the thickness of the burger patty. We like to cook our burgers at a higher temperature (about 450 degrees) so we quickly get nice grill marks and seal in the juices.

Cook burgers for about 6 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook another 4 minutes on the other side.

How do you know when a burger is done?

Beef and pork burgers should be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees for safety. To be absolutely sure the burger is done, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the burger patty to test for doneness.

garlic butter for Italian burgers in a white bowl

Roasted garlic butter

In Michaela’s Italian burger recipe she toasts the hamburger buns with a smear of her roasted garlic butter — genius! To make the roasted garlic butter, simply mash a whole head of roasted garlic into softened butter. Stir in a little salt, paprika, and minced fresh Italian parsley.

You’ll have leftovers, so try roasted garlic butter on baked potatoes, corn on the cob, or even steamed broccoli.

To make garlic bread, slice a French or Italian loaf in half horizontally, then spread roasted garlic butter on each cut side and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place on a baking sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is melted. Delicious!

a head of roasted garlic on a white plate

How to roast garlic {kitchen hack}

There are several ways to roast garlic, like wrapped in aluminum foil or in a special garlic baker, but I like this kitchen hack using muffin pans.

  • Use two muffin tins to create a baker to roast garlic — you can roast just one head or a dozen at the same time!
  • Peel the thin outer skins away from the head of garlic, then slice the top off leaving the bulbs exposed.
  • Place one garlic head cut side up per each cup of a muffin tin. Drizzle each head with 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil to cover the exposed bulbs.
  • Cover the muffin pan with the second muffin tin, inverted, to create a lid.
  • Roast the garlic in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, until soft.
  • Cool completely, then gently squeeze each clove from the casing.

Fire up the grill and enjoy this other gourmet burger and sandwich recipes:

  • Blueberry Blue Cheese Bacon Burgers are dressed with basil aioli, arugula, blueberry BBQ sauce, bacon & blue cheese crumbles for just the right combination of sweet and savory.
  • Greek Turkey Burgers are so flavorful and juicy you’ll forget that they are actually healthy, too! Seasoned with Feta cheese and Greek spices.
  • Steak Sandwich with Homemade Horseradish Aioli is piled high with tender grilled flank steak and dressed with horseradish aioli, sliced tomatoes, and red onions.
  • New York Style Hot Dogs dressed with onion sauce seasoned with chili powder and cinnamon along with roasted red pepper relish are a perfect combo.

Let’s grill gourmet Italian grilled burgers!

Be sure to bring your appetite. This recipe makes 8 large burgers, or as my son-in-law would say, 8 “claw” burgers. That means you need a big claw (and a big mouth) to fit the burger in without smashing it down. Eat up!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

Please keep scrolling to see all the other fabulous Freaky Friday recipes!

Yield: 8 servings

Gourmet Italian Grilled Burgers

A sandwich on a plate, with French fries and Italian Burger

These perfectly grilled and juicy Italian-inspired burgers are topped with warm marinara, melted mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves. All on a grilled garlic butter bun, no less!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce, slightly warmed (plus more for dipping, if desired)
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese (or 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced)
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 8 hamburger buns

Roasted Garlic Butter

  • 1 whole head garlic, roasted
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, minced


Grilled Italian-Style Burgers

  1. Lightly oil the grates of a gas grill and preheat to 450 degrees.
  2. Add the ground Italian sausage, ground chuck, and Italian seasoned bread crumbs to a large bowl. Using your hands, gently combine the mixture just until the bread crumbs are incorporated. Form the meat mixture into 8 equal patties, being careful not to overly pack the meat together.
  3. Spread both sides of the buns with the prepared roasted garlic butter.
  4. Cook burgers over direct heat for 6 minutes, watching carefully for any flare ups (since there is more fat in the burger mixture).
  5. Flip the burgers and cook for 2 more minutes on the other side. Add a slice of mozzarella cheese to each burger and cook with the lid closed for a couple more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
  6. When you flip the burgers, place the buttered buns on the grill and cook until toasted.
  7. Remove the buns to a plate and place a burger on the bottom bun. Spoon warm marinara over the cheese and top with fresh basil leaves and the top bun. Serve with more warmed marinara sauce for dipping, if desired.

Roasted Garlic Butter

  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the roasted garlic.
  2. Add the softened butter, paprika, salt, and parsley and stir together until creamy.
  3. Spread roasted garlic butter on hamburger buns or use to make garlic bread.
  4. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Soften before using.


Original Italian burger recipe and roasted garlic butter recipe by An Affair From the Heart .

How to roast garlic:

Use two muffin tins to create a baker to roast garlic — roast just one head or a dozen at the same time!

Peel the outer skin from the head of garlic and slice the top off, leaving the bulbs exposed.

Place a garlic head in a muffin tin, cut side up, and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil to cover the exposed bulbs. Top with the second muffin tin, inverted, to create a lid.

Roast the garlic in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, until soft. Cool, then gently squeeze each clove from the casing.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 697Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 1085mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 38g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Sheila Thigpen, author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook, is a recipe developer, food photographer, and food writer. She spent 20+ years as a business manager in the publishing industry before she retired in 2018 to focus on her passions — cooking, photography, and writing. Living near the beautiful Smoky Mountains, Sheila and her husband have two adult daughters and two fine sons-in-law, are active in their church, love to travel, and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. Follow Sheila on YouTubePinterestInstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

Take a look at all of our 2020 Freaky Friday Spring Edition Recipes:

  1. An Affair from the Heart – Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  2. Aunt Bee’s Recipes – Homemade Loaded Queso
  3. Bowl Me Over – Crispy Smashed Potatoes
  4. Hostess at Heart – Chocolate Coffee Cake
  5. House of Nash Eats – Asian Lettuce Wraps
  6. Lemoine Family Kitchen – Easy Homemade Flour Tortillas
  7. Life, Love & Good Food – Italian Grilled Burgers
  8. Lisa’s Dinnertime Dish – Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprout Linguine 
  9. Or Whatever You Do – Air Fryer Shrimp
  10. Take Two Tapas –  Fried Mac and Cheese Balls
  11. The Foodie Affair – Strawberry Bread
  12. The Speckled Palate – Chicken Pesto Pasta
  13. West Via Midwest – Loaded Baked Potato Skins – Air Fryer Recipes
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Amy Nash

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

This is my kind of burger! I love a good gourmet burger with big, unexpected flavors and this totally checks all the boxes for me. The roasted garlic is the best part!

Jennifer Stewart

Monday 11th of May 2020

I love everything Italian, I am not sure why I haven't been making these Italian burgers sooner!! But I can't stop eating them!

Brandi Burgess

Sunday 10th of May 2020

The best idea for a burger I have ever seen! Trying this week!

Nicole Johnson

Saturday 9th of May 2020

I am a sucker for a good meatball marinara, and even a meatball sub, but I've never even THOUGHT to try a meatball burger! That's genius!

Sheila Thigpen

Saturday 9th of May 2020

haha! I know, right?

Michaela Kenkel

Friday 8th of May 2020

I am so happy that you loved these Italian burgers!! They are one of our favorites for sure! Happy to have you in our little blog hop group, Sheila!

Sheila Thigpen

Friday 8th of May 2020

They were indeed awesome! Thanks for welcoming me aboard ;)

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