These grilled cheese burgers are exactly how they sound–they’re a wonderful mashup of a grilled cheese sandwich and a cheeseburger and they turn out SO good.
I started seeing these viral grilled cheese burgers on Instagram a few weeks back and knew I had to hop on the trend and give it a try.
I thought that the smash burger was as good as it gets when it comes to homemade burgers, but boy was I wrong.
The grilled cheese burger has taken over that place in my heart and now is my go-to burger recipe.
Here’s the quick breakdown…
Seasoned, thin, grilled burger patty hugged by two slices of melty American cheese between an inside-out bun which gets toasted to golden brown, buttery perfection in a skillet.
And there’s a yummy, quick homemade burger sauce hiding in there, too.
Crack that gooey cheeseburger open and stuff it with some shredded lettuce and tomato. Time to devour.
Ground beef: I typically use 80% lean/20% fat or 85% lean/15% fat ground beef, especially with grilling, as the fat content helps lock in the moisture and prevent the patties from drying out while being cooked.
Seasonings: A blend of smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper get mixed in with the ground beef to season the patties perfectly.
American cheese: I found that using American cheese in this recipe was the way to go. It’s the classic grilled cheese kind and just melts so well.
Hamburger buns: Nothing fancy necessary here. I just used the basic, store-brand hamburger buns.
Burger sauce: The recipe for my super easy ketchup and mayo-based burger sauce is found below in the recipe card. This sauce adds just the right amount of acidity and flavor to the rest of the burger.
Butter: Toasting the assembled cheeseburgers in salted butter gives the best flavor and that incredible crispy, crunchy, golden outside texture on the buns.
Toppings: After trying a few different combinations of toppings, I decided that classic tomato and lettuce were just what the burgers needed, no more, no less.
How to Make Grilled Cheese Burgers
- Make the burger patties. Mix the ground beef with the seasonings. I like a nice, thin burger patty, so I do a modified smash burger. To do this, form the meat mixture into four even balls. Set each ball onto a roughly 8″x8″ square of parchment paper. Using another similar sized piece of parchment paper, lay it over top the ball, then set a burger press or cast iron skillet over top, applying even pressure over top to flatten into a patty of desired thickness. I like to make them about 3/4″ inch thick.
- Grill the burgers. Fire up the grill and let those patties cook for just a couple minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness.
- Make the burger sauce. Mix the mayo, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and brown sugar together.
- Assemble the burgers. Set the bottom half of the burger buns upside down on a plate. Top each with a slice of cheese, burger patty, and another slice of cheese. Then, spread a small amount of the burger sauce on the top part of the burger bun (not the cut side). Place upside down on the burger (sauce touching the cheese).
- Toast the sandwiches. Heat half of the butter in a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add two of the assembled burgers. Let cook for a couple minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and brown the other side. Wrap each burger in foil. Repeat with the remaining two burgers.
- Add fresh toppings. Pull apart that gooey, cheesy burger and add in some shredded lettuce and sliced tomato. Enjoy!
Notes & Tips
Substitutions & Additions
- Cheese: Feel free to substitute your favorite variety of sliced cheese.
- Sauce: If you prefer classic ketchup, mustard, and mayo–go for it!
- Double the patty: If you love a good double cheeseburger, simply use two pounds hamburger, twice the seasonings, and make eight patties instead of four.
- Other toppings: Make what’s already good even better by adding bacon, sautéed or caramelized mushrooms and onions, pickles, avocado, or an over-easy egg.
What to Pair with Grilled Cheese Burgers
- The classic burger + fries combo is never a let down. If you’re feeling adventurous, make your own fries or absolutely feel free to use frozen fries, like these Alexia Rosemary Fries or Sweet Potato Fries, both which I love.
- On that same note, I love pairing giant potato wedges with burgers, too. These Crispy Garlic Baked Potato Wedges are perfect.
- If you need something a littler lighter and fresher, consider a veggie side, like roasted carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower. A side salad would be a delicious pairing, too.
Storage & Reheating
I would highly recommend eating these burgers on the spot as the bun will become soggy when stored in the refrigerator. However, if you need to save some as leftovers, refrigerate in an airtight container or in aluminum foil and reheat by separating the bun and toasting in the oven or toaster oven and microwave the cheeseburger part. You may even be able to get away with air-frying at 350˚F for a few minutes to heat and crisp the entire burger up.
Another tip if you know you won’t be able to eat all of the burgers right away is to grill all of the burger patties, but wait to assemble and “grill” them on the buns until you’re ready to eat them. Simply microwave the burger patties for about 30 seconds before assembling and toasting with cheese and buns.
Other Recipes You Might Like…
- Turkey Smash Burgers
- Hot Honey Chicken Sandwiches
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwiches
- Chicken Tikka Sandwiches
Grilled Cheese Burgers
- 1 lb ground beef
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- sprinkle salt
- sprinkle black pepper
- 8 slices american cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- 2 tbsp butter
- shredded lettuce for topping
- sliced tomato for topping
Easy Burger Sauce
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. Form into four even balls.
- Tear out five squares of parchment paper, each roughly measuring about 8"x8". Spread out four of the pieces and place one burger ball onto each piece. One by one, place the extra piece of parchment paper over top each ball and a burger press or cast iron skillet on top of that. Press down and apply even pressure until the patties are about 3/4 inch thick.
- Grill the burger patties at about 400-425˚F for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they have reached desired doneness.
- Make the burger sauce. Combine the mayo, ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
- In a medium non-stick skillet, add half of the butter and set heat to medium.
- Now it's time to assemble the burgers. Set the bottom half of the burger buns upside down on a plate. Top each with a slice of cheese, burger patty, and another slice of cheese. Then spread a small amount of the burger sauce on the outside of the top part of the burger bun (not the cut side). Place upside down on the burger (sauce touching the cheese).
- Once the butter has melted, add two of the assembled burgers. Let cook for a couple minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and brown the other sides. Wrap each burger loosely in foil. Add the rest of the butter and repeat with the remaining two burgers.
- Pull the top or bottom half of the buns off of the burgers and add in the lettuce and sliced tomato. Serve with extra burger sauce if desired. Enjoy while hot and melty!
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