Super easy, with a big taste punch, this Stuffed Pizza Burger is filled with tasty provolone and Italian seasonings, then topped with pizza sauce!
Ever wonder how many foods originated as a combination of two popular dishes? Something like Blackened Salmon Tacos. This brings together popular Mexican tacos and tasty New Orleans Blackened Seafood. Talk about results!
And today, pizza and burgers are joining ranks in a Stuffed Pizza Burger. It’s a dish from my childhood, that I’d been wanting to share with my kids for ages. I still remember the delight of biting into a toasty burger for a creamy gush of molten cheese. So good I had to share!
What is a Pizza Burger
According to the Historical Market Database website, the pizza burger was first created in 1953 in Muskego, WI, not too far from my hometown. The burger was flavored like pizza and stuffed with cheese–and quickly spread across the US and Canada. At its peak there were over 1500 establishments selling the original sandwich.
I suppose the nearby origin explains why this Wisconsin gal ate so many growing up!
The restaurant became a butcher shop in 1993 but descendants of the owners still sell memorabilia and pizza burger seasoning though the Pizza-Burger System, Inc.
Do I need to put the cheese inside my pizza burger?
Most of the recipes on the internet simply put the cheese and sauce on top, so that is certainly an option. That is easier but you’ll miss the fun of the gush of cheese with your first bite! Now for me, I’m a sucker for nostalgia, and toppings alone feels a bit too close to a cheeseburger—so I’m sticking with the cheese in the middle!
Why You’ll Love This!
Tasty. With Italian spices, rich pizza sauce and cheese, the flavors are a delicious combo! I mean, how could it help but taste amazing when you combine two favorite meals!
Unusual. Come on, you know that basic burger’s getting old. Shake things up with a tasty new Pizza Burger!
Fun. What’s more fun than a meal that’s familiar and novel at the same time! Especially if you’re feeding picky kids!
What You’ll Need
- Ground beef. This is used to form the burgers.
- Italian season. This provides pizza flavor. Instructions are included to make your own blend.
- Provolone. This provides the cheesy middle (or topping). You can also use mozzarella.
- Pizza sauce. This provides rich pizza flavor. A good pizza sauce is best, but a good marinara can be substituted.
- Hamburger buns (optional). Usually these will be served on a bun. But watching carbs shouldn’t deprive you of this tasty treat—just leave off the bun!
- No special tools are needed!
Step by Step Directions
Mix Italian seasoning with the meat. Alternatively, you can sprinkle it on the inside of the patties.
Divide ground beef into 4 pieces for 4 burgers. Divide each section into two and form a top and bottom patty for each burger.
Place cheese in the center of 4 patties, avoiding the edges. Top these with the 4 remaining patties. Crimp edges to seal. Optionally, place patties in the freezer for a few minutes while pan heats.
Heat a large skillet. Cook patties until brown on bottom, then flip and continue cooking until inside of patties reaches 165 F on an instant read thermometer, about 5 minutes per side.
Set on bottom half of bun, top with pizza sauce and serve.
How to Serve
To serve this pizza burger for a healthy meal, you’ll just need a vegetable side. I love adding something casual with a burger or sandwich like coleslaw or raw vegetables and dip. Other nutritious options include Thai Carrot Slaw, Carrot Raisin Salad, or Broccoli Waldorf Salad.
Variations and Special Diets
This gives you a basic pizza burger (kind of like a cheese pizza) but there’s no reason you can’t customize it. Pepperoni lover? Add some pepperoni to the center with the cheese. Mushroom pizza fan? Top with a big scoop of sauteed mushrooms.
If you’re going low carb or keto, just skip the bun! And I’m guessing this would even work vegetarian with a veggie-based burger. In that case you might want to go with the cheese on top since some of these won’t stick together.
Tips & FAQs
I recommend forming the pizza burgers on wax paper. Although they cook up thick, each of the two patties alone is thin—and therefore sometimes difficult to get off a plate. If you are reading this too late, a thin metal spatula can help loosen things up.
You’ll want to form and seal the patties carefully so they don’t break apart and release the cheese before they’re cooked through. The blog On the Gas discusses how to make burgers that hold together at this link. To summarize, work the meat as little as possible, don’t add liquid and keep the meat cold. So I sometimes pop the uncooked stuffed pizza burgers into the freezer for a few minutes while the pan heats up!
I put a lid on the frying pan to help the beef get cooked all the way through. For best food safety, double check the final temperature with an instant read thermometer.
There are two ways to add the spices. You can mix them gently into the meat, or sprinkle on top. Mixing in tastes just a smidge better and doesn’t seem to cause any burger breakage, but I go back and forth on whether it’s worth the extra work. So sometimes I just sprinkle the seasoning on the insides of the patties before pressing together.
You’ll want to use a good pizza sauce on this since it’s important to the flavor and sometimes I like to serve extra for dipping. I do love my sauce!
Perfect Pizza Pie!
- Chicago Deep Dish Pizza from Palatable Pastime
- Chicago Style Tater Tot Pizza from Magical Ingredients
- Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Flatbread Pizza from Blogghetti
- Mellow Mushroom Pizza from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Sourdough Discard Flatbread from Jen Around the World
- Steak and Caramelized Onion Pizza from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Stuffed Pizza Burger from Art of Natural Living
- Triple Meat Calzones from That Recipe
Stuffed Pizza Burger
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning see note
- 3-4 ounces provolone or mozarella
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- 4 hamburger buns
- Mix the seasoning with the beef.
- Divide ground beef into 4 pieces for 4 burgers. Divide each section into two and form a top and bottom patty for each burger.
- Place cheese in the center of 4 patties, avoiding the edges. Top these with the 4 remaining patties, herb-side in. Crimp edges to seal. Optionally, place patties in the freezer for a few minutes while pan heats.
- Heat a large skillet until drops of water sizzle when sprinkled inside. Cook patties until brown on bottom, then flip and continue cooking until inside of patties reaches 165 F on an instant read thermometer, about 5 minutes per side.
- Top with pizza sauce and serve on a bun or off.
Originally published May 14, 2020
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