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Italian Cheeseburgers

Served in a toasty ciabatta with melty gouda cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto aioli, this Italian cheeseburger is the perfect summer dinner idea. Packed with spicy arugula and prosciutto, is there anything more Italian in one bite?

Some of our favorite things to serve with this burger are Marinated Tomato Salad, Creamy Cucumber Salad and of course my Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon.

The Best Italian Cheeseburger Recipe

Ready in 15 minutes and loaded with fresh, smokey, and creamy flavors, this Italian cheeseburger is the perfect weeknight dinner. Spread with a homemade pesto aioli, it’ll become the emperor of your meal rotation.

With a soft ciabatta bun for extra Italian flair, this easy burger is a great way to spice things up with simple ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes and arugula. For a bit of saltiness, don’t forget the gouda and prosciutto! Topped with a juicy beef patty, it’ll become your new favorite go-to recipe.

Made fresh or prepped in advance, it’s a fuss-free burger that allows for some changes to make life easier. Feel free to swap the cheese or change the arugula for spinach. As long as you set it on the table, all’s good because life is always better when you fire up the grill.

Top bun resting on the side of the ciabatta burger.

Why This Easy Burger Recipe Works

I’ve never met a person who doesn’t like burgers, but there are plenty of reasons to really love this one:

  • Prep-friendly. Making the pesto and patties in advance will give you a head-start once you start cooking.
  • Freezer-friendly. Pop the patties into the freezer raw or cooked for an easy meal any day of the week.
  • Quick. They’re ready in 15 minutes… Isn’t it the perfect weeknight dinner?
  • Easy. No fancy ingredients or complicated steps for this recipe. It’s just like making regular burgers but with Italian flavors.
  • Versatile. Don’t worry if you haven’t gone to the supermarket in a while. You can swap out some of the ingredients for whatever you have on hand.
Ingredients for the Italian burger.

What You’ll Need

This ciabatta burger is packed with your favorite Italian ingredients. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.

For the Burgers

  • Ground beef – Ground turkey is a good substitute.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Ciabatta rolls – Pick the bun-size ones.
  • Smoked gouda cheese – Regular gouda works too. Mozzarella or any melty cheese are good swaps as well.
  • Sun dried tomatoes – Jarred ones stored in olive oil are best for this recipe.
  • Fresh arugula – Feel free to use baby spinach.
  • Prosciutto

For the Basil Pesto

  • Mayonnaise – I prefer full-fat, but you can use low-fat.
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic – Don’t use garlic powder for this.
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
Italian cheeseburger on a plate.

How to Make An Italian Cheeseburger

Making these ciabatta burgers is as easy as making regular burgers. Give it a go!

  • Make the pesto. Heat the grill the medium-high. Place the garlic in the food processor and blend it until minced. You can also use a knife to chop it finely. Add the mayo, basil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process everything until you get a smooth mixture. Set it aside.
  • Make the patties. Use your hands to form six 1/3 pound patties. Season them with salt and pepper to taste on all sides.
  • Grill them. Spray the grill grates with cooking spray or liberally rub olive oil before it gets too hot. Place the patties on the grill. Cook them for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Melt the cheese. During the last minute of grilling, add one slice of gouda on top of each burger. Cover the grill and let the patties finish cooking for the last minute. The cheese should be nice and melty. Remove them from the grill and set the patties aside.
  • Assemble the burgers. Place the buns on grill. Grill them for 1 minute. Set them aside. Spread the inside of the buns with basil pesto aioli. Top it with 1/4 cup of arugula, one patty, 2-3 sun dried tomatoes, 1 slice of prosciutto, and the top bun. Enjoy!

Tips for A Perfectly Cooked Burger

If you follow these tips, you might as well open a burger joint with how good your burgers will turn out.

  • Don’t over-shape it. Don’t keep pressing and smushing the meat to make “perfectly shaped” patties. The more you work the meat, the more flavor you lose. Stop working the meat once it’s fairly round.
  • Less is more. Although a fat juicy burger is always tempting, avoid making your patties extra thick. This will increase the cooking time but also the chances of it coming out raw. It’s better to go with 2-3 thinner patties in a burger than a huge, undercooked one.
  • Make a well. Use your thumb to make a little well in the center of each raw patty to prevent them from puffing up in the center.
  • Leave them alone. Once the patties hit the grill, resist the urge to press them down with the spatula. Pressing them will push out all the juices, drying the patties out.
  • Flip once. Don’t keep turning the burgers over and over when they’re on the grill. Let them cook for 4-5 minutes on each side and flip once. This will keep them from drying out.
Open Italian cheeseburger on a plate.

What to Serve With An Italian Cheeseburger

This Italian cheeseburger is great with traditional sides like Pommes Frites (french fries) and onion rings. For a healthier twist on these classic snacks, try my Air Fryer Zucchini Fries or Sweet Potato Fries. To keep things nice and refreshing, also add a bowl of my Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad or Tomato Panzanella Salad on the side.

Ciabatta burger on a plate.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Once fully cooled, refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. If possible, store the patties separately so that the burgers don’t absorb too much moisture from the veggies and soften. To reheat them, microwave the hamburgers for up to a minute or until warm.

You can also freeze raw or cooked patties. Cut out 6″ parchment-paper squares and place each patty in between two squares. Set the patties on a baking tray. Freeze them for 1-2 hours. Wrap each patty in plastic wrap twice and then in foil once. Place them in freezer-friendly bags or containers. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating as usual.

More Burger Recipes

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Italian cheeseburger on a plate.

Italian Cheeseburger

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 burgers 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: Italian


This 15-minute Italian cheeseburger is loaded with gouda cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto aioli, and prosciutto for the perfect bite.


  • 2lbs. of ground beef
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 ciabatta rolls (bun size)
  • 6 slices of smoked gouda cheese
  • 1218 sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup of fresh arugula
  • 6 slices of prosciutto

Basil Pesto Aioli:

  • 1/2 cup of mayo
  • 3/4 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • salt & pepper


  1. Heat grill to medium high heat, approximately 350-375°F.
  2. In a food processor add garlic clove, blend until minced. Then add in mayo, fresh basil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Blend until all are combined. Set aside.
  3. Form ground beef into six 1/3 lb. patties, and season each side with salt and pepper.
  4. Spray grill grates with PAM or rub with olive oil.
  5. Place patties on the grill and grill each side for 4-5 minutes. (DO NOT PUSH THE BURGER DOWN)
  6. Place one slice of smoked gouda on each burger for the last minute of grilling. Cover the grill and finish cooking for one minute or until the cheese in melted. Remove from grill and let sit.
  7. Place buns, inside down, on the grill. Toast for one minute. Remove.
  8. Assemble burgers – bottom bun, basil pesto aioli, 1/4 cup of arugula, cheeseburger, 2-3 sun dried tomatoes, 1 slice of prosciutto, top bun.
  9. Serve!


  • Serving Size: 1 burger
  • Calories: 560
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 823 mg
  • Fat: 35 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 43 g
  • Cholesterol: 124 mg

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36 comments on “Italian Cheeseburgers”

  1. Avatar photo
    Susie Bulloch

    I was (only a little obsessively) stalking burger recipes on foodgawker and stumbled on these beauties! They look soooo good!!

    1. hahah… we all have to do what it takes. Glad you found me Susie! And these burgers will seriously blow your mind! I might be making them again this weekend for memorial day.. well its between this one and the Southwestern Turkey Burgers. Can’t decide. 🙂

  2. Avatar photo
    Ariette Coleman

    Comfort food to the highest level! This Italian Cheeseburger looks divine! Awesome pictures too! Thank you so much for the share!

    1. Thank you so much Ariette! These really are amazing, I might be making them again this weekend for Memorial Day. 🙂

  3. Avatar photo
    Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates

    Love all the burger tips, so helpful!
    These Italian cheeseburgers looks amazing!

    1. Thanks Mariah! Burger tips are a necessity this time of year. Grilling time baby! 🙂

      Thanks for the pin!

    1. Thank you so much Aimee! 🙂 You seriously need to try it, shoot I fly out by you to make it… its that good!

  4. Avatar photo
    Maegan @thebakermama

    WOW! This burger looks amazing! Love all the tips you shared for making a great burger. Can’t wait to make this one!

  5. Avatar photo
    Amy @ A Healthy Life For Me

    I want to eat dinner at your house. This burger looks even better than the chicken bbq, which I didn’t know was possible. Pinned!

  6. Avatar photo
    Nora @ Savory Nothings

    OK, my week so far has been pretty mediocre. I need one of these burgers ASAP 🙂 They look AMAZING! Love the tips about making the perfect patty!

  7. Avatar photo
    Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    Your pictures so do the burger justice! It looks amazing (just like the previous burgers!) I need your BBQing at my house 🙂

  8. Avatar photo
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    Holy moly! That is one incredible looking burger! I am seriously wanting it in my kitchen right now. Your pictures of it are out of this world!!!

    1. Thank you so much Jocelyn, means alot coming from you girl! 🙂 And yes, you do NEED this in your kitchen … the fam will scarf it down in seconds!

  9. Avatar photo
    Nicole @ Or Whatever You Do

    I love EVERYTHING about this post. You take such fantastic photos of sandwiches! I struggle with those still. I can’t wait to try this.

  10. Avatar photo
    Becca from ItsYummi.com

    I love all of the flavors you have going on in this burger, Krista, but holy moley… that aioli! (Oooo, I rhymed!) 🙂

  11. Avatar photo
    Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar

    This is literally my dream burger! The arugula, the pesto, the sundried tomatoes! I want it now!

  12. Avatar photo
    Ali @ Home & Plate

    This burger is perfect for summer nights when the grill is open. I love smoked gouda on a burger and the pesto has got to be the best topping. Sounds perfect.

  13. My husband does the grilling and he is awesome at it. This looks so good – I love the addition of sundried tomatoes!

  14. Avatar photo
    Heather - Butter&Burlap

    Holy Moly! These burgers look AMAZING! I love all the flavors you’ve combined… I mean, WOW. Can’t wait to try this one this weekend! Pinned!