These stuffed pizza burgers are perfect for a summer BBQ or party. They're easy to make and everyone will love them! They have an easy homemade pizza sauce, perfectly melted mozzarella cheese and are on Texas toast for an amazing flavor.
Being from New Jersey, diners were a favorite when I was a young adult. Anybody from NJ can tell you that we have a lot of great diners and they are often a go to for teens and young adults. Something to do and they have food!
One of the things that is on almost every diner menu here is a pizza burger (used to be my favorite.) They are delicious in a diner, but they are usually just topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella. Sure they are yummy, but nothing in a diner beats this stuffed pizza burger!
Ours are made with homemade pizza sauce (not marinara) and we use fresh mozzarella, but you can use regular mozzarella. Then served on Texas toast - yes the garlic bread adds an intense flavor. The Texas toast is so good that we sometimes use it for our grilled cheeseburgers too!
Get your napkins ready because these are messy but amazing!
- Ground beef - I recommend using 85% lean beef. You can use 80%, but I wouldn't go lower then that. 90% and higher tend to dry out a little bit on the grill so I do not use them when grilling pizza burgers.
- Texas toast - This is optional but highly recommended! You can use your favorite brand. We love to buy it in the bakery section of Walmart, but the frozen is great too!
- Mozzarella - You want thick slices of mozzarella. It equals out to approximately 3 ounces for the 4 slices, but don't let me stop you from using more or less! If you do not use fresh, I recommend either shredded or cutting slices off of a block of cheese. Packaged sliced cheese is usually sliced too thin but you can use it if you prefer.
The homemade pizza sauce
This is easy to make (you do not cook the sauce before using), but you can also use your favorite pizza sauce recipe or jarred sauce in it's place. These pizza burgers will still be amazing with jarred sauce.
- Tomato sauce - We use the no salt added, but you can use regular.
- Tomato paste - You will be using about half of a 6 ounce can.
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder - has to be powder for full flavor, you do not cook the sauce and minced garlic will not flavor it throughout like the garlic powder does.
- Onion powder
Making the stuffed pizza burgers
They are easy to make and we grill them, but you can always make them inside as well. I love to serve them with our foil pack ranch potatoes to make it easy, but they are amazing with grilled potato wedges too!
Making the sauce
Start with making the sauce so it is ready to put onto the ground beef once you start making them.
Mix together the tomato sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt, garlic, onion powder, pepper and sugar in a prep bowl. I whisk it together so it is mixed well.
You do not cook the sauce before using but if you make the sauce hours earlier (or using leftover sauce that was in the fridge), you will want to heat it up to room temperature before stuffing the burgers. I make it just before stuffing them so it is the right temperature.
Stuffing the pizza burgers
These are best made with a scale, but you can make the burgers any size. Just please note that if you make them bigger or smaller you need to adjust your cook times.
Measure out the ground beef into 4 sections that are about one third of a pound each. You do not want to make them much bigger, they do turn out pretty big after stuffing and putting them on Texas toast.
Take your piles of ground beef and divide them again but try for two thirds of the meat for the bottom and about one third for the top. This doesn't have to be exact by weight, but you want the top piece slightly smaller then the bottom piece.
Shape the bottom piece so it is fairly flat but comes up on the sides a little bit (like a shallow bowl) like in the top left picture above.
Add 2-3 Tablespoons of sauce to the bottoms of the burgers. It's ok to be heaping slightly, but do not add more then 3 Tablespoons or it will be hard to close the burgers. You will have plenty of sauce left, no worries you will be using that on the bread. Do not put sauce in the fridge, it is ok covered on the counter for a few minutes while the burgers cook.
Top with a slice of the mozzarella cheese. Slightly flatten the remaining pieces of beef and place them on top of the stuffed burger bottoms. They may be slightly messy here and that is ok. Try to close them the best that you can (even if it mixes a little sauce into the beef) so they do not fall apart on the grill.
Set aside at room temperature (not in the hot sun) for about 15 minutes while the grill is heating up.
Grilling and assembling the pizza burgers
Preheat the grill to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the stuffed pizza burgers onto the grill over direct heat and close the lid. Please note that we have only made these on a gas grill and have not made these on our charcoal grill. Adjust as necessary if using charcoal.
The USDA recommends ground beef be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. As much as we love our strip steaks cooked to medium, we do cook our ground beef to closer to 160. If you like it less done, adjust cook times accordingly.
Cook the burgers for 7-8 minutes before carefully flipping with a wide spatula. Try to use a spatula that the whole burger fits on so it keeps it's shape together better. Close the lid and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
The temperature of your ground beef should be 160. If you are cooking it to medium, be sure that the cheese is hot enough to be melted inside. Cook times may vary for many reasons, please check the temperature of the beef to be sure that they are ready.
During the last few minutes of cook time for the burgers, add the Texas toast to the grill over direct heat. Cook for about 2 minutes, flip and cook another 2 minutes or until desired crispiness. If using frozen, add a couple minutes to cook time.
Spread the remaining sauce across the tops of the Texas toast. Place a stuffed pizza burger on a piece of the toast and carefully place another slice sauce side down on top of the burgers.
Remove from grill and allow to sit about 5 minutes before serving. Please be careful, the melted cheese in the center is going to be hot and can cause burns.
Cooking the pizza burgers on the stove
You can cook these stuffed burgers on the stove instead of the grill. You want to follow the directions for preparing them.
Stoves vary so cook times may vary. You will want to cook the Texas toast in the oven following the instructions on the package. I do not recommend cooking the toast on the stove, it will turn out better in the oven.
Preheat a frying pan or a grill pan over medium heat on a big burner. Place burgers in the pan and cook for about 7-8 minutes. Using a wide spatula that the burgers will fit completely on, flip the burgers and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Cook until desired temperature, we recommend 160 degrees for ground beef.
Once the Texas toast is ready, remove from oven. Spread the remaining sauce over the top of all the pieces of toast. Add the stuffed pizza burger to the toast and carefully place the top slice over the burger sauce side down.
Allow them to sit for about 5 minutes before serving. Be careful, the melted cheese inside will be hot and can cause burns.
Frequently asked questions
Yes you can customize it how you want! But be careful not to add too much more to the filling or they will not seal properly. If they do not seal well, they may make a mess when flipping.
Another great option is to add it to the top of the burger before adding the top piece of toast!
You can! You can even use your favorite bread if you prefer. We love the flavor that the garlic bread adds to the burger, but you can use any bread or rolls that you like. They will still be good!
You can, but please note that marinara sauce is thinner then pizza sauce. This will make it a bit messier and some of the sauce might ooze out from the burger. It will still be good, but the pizza sauce is best here.
The Ultimate Stuffed Pizza Burger
- 1⅓ pounds ground beef 85% recommended
- 3 ounces mozzarella cheese cut into 4 thick slices, see notes
- 8 slices Texas toast
Homemade pizza sauce
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- ⅓ cup tomato paste about 3 ounces
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a bowl mix together all of the ingredients for the pizza sauce and set aside.8 ounces tomato sauce, ⅓ cup tomato paste, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Divide the ground beef into 4 piles each weighing about ⅓ pound. Then divide each pile in 2 parts - about ⅔ of the pile for the bottom part and about ⅓ of the pile for the top part.1⅓ pounds ground beef
- Shape the 4 bigger piles of beef into a shallow bowl shape about 3½ to 4 inches wide. Make sure that the beef comes up on the sides to hold the sauce and cheese in.
- Add about 2-3 Tablespoons of pizza sauce into the little bowl shape, set the sauce aside on the counter for now. Top with a slice of cheese.3 ounces mozzarella cheese
- Flatten the smaller piles of beef and place them on top of the sauce and cheese. This may get messy, but close them up with your hands as best as you can. The sauce may start to mix with the beef slightly, that's ok if it does.Set aside at room temperature (not in the sun) for about 15 minutes while grill is heating.
- Preheat grill to about 450° Fahrenheit.
- Place burgers on direct heat and close the lid. Cook for about 7-8 minutes (see notes.)
- Using a wide spatula that fits the burgers completely, flip them and close the lid.Cook for another 5-8 minutes until the temperature of the beef is 160°.
- During the last few minutes of cook time with the burgers, add the Texas toast to the grill over direct heat. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side (may need longer if frozen), until it is the desired texture.8 slices Texas toast
- Spread the remaining sauce across one side of each piece of toast. Place the burgers on the bottom pieces of toast (sauce side up so it's on the burger.) Carefully place the top piece of toast on top of the burger sauce side down (so the sauce is on the burger.)
- Remove from grill and allow to rest about 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!