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Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Burgers
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 20 slices turkey pepperoni (about 1 - 1 1/4 ounces), quartered
- 1/2 cup shredded, reduced-fat four-cheese Italian blend
- 1/2 - 1 cup pizza sauce, warmed
- 4 whole wheat buns
- Optional toppings for serving: onions, banana peppers, sliced black or green olives ... or anything else you like on your pizza
- Break ground beef apart in a large bowl and sprinkle oregano, salt, basil and garlic powder over top. Add pepperoni and cheese.
- Mix everything together until throughly combined. The key here is to be gentle and not over-mix. Over-worked burgers can be tough.
- Divide the mixture into four portions and lightly form into burgers. Compact each burger just enough that it stays together, but be very careful not to press too firmly or pack too tightly. Again, this can make your burgers tough.
- Preheat your grill, or a non-stick skillet or grill pan, on medium heat.
- Add the burgers and cook on the first side until nicely browned and mostly cooked through (about 5 minutes on the grill or in a covered skillet, or 8 minutes uncovered).
- Flip the burgers and continue cooking until just cooked through (about 3-5 minutes). Be careful not to overcook, which can cause the burgers to be dry.
- Serve your burgers on buns, topped with pizza sauce and any optional toppings you'd like.
Some burgers tend to dome up during cooking. Although we haven't had much trouble with these particular burgers doing that, there's a simple method for preventing the problem in any burger recipe: Simply press a slight indentation (just use your thumb) into the middle of each burger before cooking.
Make-ahead options: Prep the burger patties earlier in the day or up to a day ahead, then store them, tightly wrapped in the fridge, until you're ready to cook them. To prep further ahead of time, you can freeze the uncooked patties and then thaw prior to cooking.