Smoked Tuscan Burger w/Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Mayo

by Traci McConnell
(Weaverville, NC USA)

I love Italian food and I love burgers. I wanted to combine the 2 into one delicious dish and here it is, an Italian inspired burger. This is one that my family and I really enjoy. I hope you will as well.

Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Mayonnaise

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1 medium sized garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    ground salt and black pepper to taste


  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp TFM ground salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack
  • 6 (3 by 4-inch) pieces Italian bread, halved lengthwise
  • 6 thick slices smoked mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh arugula leaves
  • 6 paper-thin red onion slices, separated into rings


  • Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.
  • To make the pesto mayonnaise, combine in a food processor the basil and the pine nuts, pulse a few times.
  • Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes; pulse a few times more.
  • Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.
  • Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
  • Add the grated cheese and mayonnaise and pulse again until blended.
  • Add a pinch of salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  • To make the patties, combine the sirloin, sweet Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese, parsley, egg, BBQ sauce, bread crumbs, garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl.
  • Handling the meat as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well.
  • Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form the patties to fit the bread sections.
  • When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil.
  • Place the patties on the rack, cover, and cook, turning once, until done to preference, 5 to 7 minutes on each side for medium.
  • During the last few minutes of cooking, place the bread sections, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly.
  • During the last minute of cooking, top each patty with a cheese slice.
  • To assemble the burgers, spread the pesto mayonnaise over the toasted sides of the bread.
  • On each bread bottom, place an arugula leaf, red onion slice a patty, and another arugula leaf.
  • Add the bread tops and serve.

    Makes 6 burgers.

  • Comments for Smoked Tuscan Burger w/Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Pesto Mayo

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    Nov 10, 2010
    I Love This Burger!
    by: Kay

    What a great combination of flavors. My family love it!

    Nov 05, 2010
    Awesome Burger
    by: Barbara

    This is a great burger! It's so juicy and is very different than just your ordinary burger. If you are looking for something different in a burger, try this - you won't be dissappointed.

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