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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- Juicy Air Fryer Burgers
- The Only Turkey Burger Recipe You’ll Ever Need
- Avocado Turkey Burger with Cranberry Chutney
- The Ultimate Classic Turkey Burger Recipe
- The Best Grilled Salmon Burgers with Lemon Garlic Aioli
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
- 12–18 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
- Heat grill to medium high heat, approximately 350-375°F.
- 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.
- Form ground beef into six 1/3 lb. patties, and season each side with salt and pepper.
- Spray grill grates with PAM or rub with olive oil.
- Place patties on the grill and grill each side for 4-5 minutes. (DO NOT PUSH THE BURGER DOWN)
- 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.
- Place buns, inside down, on the grill. Toast for one minute. Remove.
- Assemble burgers – bottom bun, basil pesto aioli, 1/4 cup of arugula, cheeseburger, 2-3 sun dried tomatoes, 1 slice of prosciutto, top bun.
- 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
Keywords: Italian cheeseburger, Italian burger, ciabatta burger