Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gluten Free Meatball Burgers on Garlic Toasted Buns

Just as the scorching sun was setting last Labor Day Monday, I threw some patties on the grill.  These aren't just any burgers... but Italian inspired Meatball Burgers!  And just like the typical meatball sandwich, these suckers are essentially the same, but in burger form, of course.  Not only are they easier to eat and slightly smaller in portion, but you don't have to worry about a meatball escaping onto the floor or worse... your lap!

They're moist due to having the same ingredients as a meatball, just a tad messy from the tangy marinara sauce and the best part.... served on a garlic toasted bun, which bumps them up a whole other level.

I have to admit, eating homemade burgers as a kid was never too exciting.  Sorry, Mom!  Plain buns, plain beef with a few sprinkles of seasoning, ketchup, lettuce and tomato.  It was too fast, too simple and the taste reflected just that.  Thankfully, she's gotten a bit fancier since then with her gourmet toppings.  :)  But these Meatball Burgers are worth the extra 20 mins to make and taste like a true restaurant burger that are a bit healthier than the one you'll order when you're out but still bursting with rich flavor.  And your guests will never know they're gluten free.

Serves 4 - 6
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 10 mins

What you'll need: 

1 slice gluten free bread (I used Udi's whole grain) cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 - 3 tbsp low fat milk
1 lb ground beef sirloin (I used 93% lean)
1/4 yellow onion (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup gluten free Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
lite provolone cheese (sliced)
marinara sauce

Garlic Toasted Buns:

gluten free hamburger buns (I used Udi's whole grain)
4 tbsp lite butter (room temperature)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
sprinkle smoked paprika 

Prep the bar-b.  Get your buns ready first.  In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic and cheese.  Spread both the top and bottom of the bun with this mixture and then sprinkle on the smoked paprika.  Set aside.  

In a small bowl, combine the milk and cubed bread and let the bread completely soak up the milk and break up, about 5 minutes.  In a medium size bowl combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, soaked bread, oregano, basil and pepper until all is incorporated.

Mold the meat into about 2 inch balls.  Then press down the balls to create flat burger patties, about a 1/2 inch thick.  Throw on the grill over medium flame.  Cook each side about 5 mins.  Don't over cook!    These are thin patties and can dry out quickly if you forget.  Keep an eye out.  After you flip, top the cooked side with a slice of provolone cheese.

Throw on the buns (face down) the same time as the patties.  Let toast until golden brown, about 5 mins.  

Heat up some marinara sauce in a small sauce pan over low heat, about 5 mins.

Assemble your meatball burger - bottom bun, a ladle full of marinara sauce, patty (with cheese) and top bun.  "Ciao" down!  :)


  1. A meatball-esque burger sounds awesome! I must admit I'm a fan of regular bugers, but you've taken things to another level here:)

    1. Me too! But sometimes you just need a little something extra, right? ;)

      Good to hear from ya!