Caramelized Onions Burger Recipe – Juicy homemade patties topped with melted Swiss cheese, garnished with fresh arugula, and placed in between buttery brioche buns. This is the only burger recipe you’ll need all summer long!
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It’s grilling season and nothing screams summer grill recipe more than a nice juicy hamburger!
This one in particular is one of my favorites. It’s a well-seasoned juicy beef burger with a slice of melted Swiss cheese. It’s topped with fresh arugula and beautifully caramelized onions and served on a toasted buttery brioche bun.
These tasty hamburgers can be ready to serve in under 40 minutes, but if you prepare the patties and caramelize the onions the day before, they take just a few minutes on the grill!
This is the perfect burger recipe for all your pool parties, backyard cookouts, BBQs and anytime you don’t feel like heating up the kitchen!
It’s the kind of flavorful homemade burger recipe that doesn’t need any ketchup, relish, or any extra toppings. It’s perfect just the way it is.
Ingredients for Caramelized Onion Burgers
For the Burgers
- Ground Beef: I normally use either lean ground beef (80/20) so that it doesn’t release too much excess fat. We don’t want any leaner than that though, because we still want moisture and flavor from a bit of fat.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Adds a depth of flavor to the burger patties. It’s a must!
- Garlic: Minced garlic also adds an aromatic flavor. I like to mince it up so that it blends nicely and I’m not finding big chunks of garlic in the burger.
- Parsley: Fresh finely chopped parsley brightens up the burger with that fresh herb flavor.
- Salt & Pepper: Just a bit of simple seasoning to enhance the overall taste of the hamburger.
- Brioche Buns: I love soft, fluffy, buttery brioche buns but you can certainly use whatever hamburger buns you like.
- Swiss Cheese: Caramelized onions and Swiss cheese are a match made in heaven! The sharpness of the Swiss paired with the sweetness and tang of the onions is amazing.
- Arugula Leaves: Washed, dried, and fresh leaves add a slightly bitter flavor that balances out the sharp cheese, the sweet onions, and the beefy burger. Together it’s one heck of a bite!
For the Caramelized Onions
- Olive Oil & Butter: Using both oil and butter to start cooking helps to brown the onions without burning them while the butter also adds major flavor.
- Onions: Thinly sliced sweet or yellow onions are what I prefer to use. You can cook down and caramelize most onions, but these are the ones that I think deliver the best results.
- Dried Thyme & Bay Leaf: Dried herbs for extra flavor.
- Beef Broth: Use either a homemade broth or store bought, whichever you prefer. Some people make caramelized onions without broth or just water instead, but I like to add a bit of flavorful liquid to help deglaze the pan.
- Light Brown Sugar: When onions are cooked down they release their own sugars and are definitely sweeter than raw, but adding a bit of light brown sugar will help to caramelize even more.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Gives the onions that beautiful dark color, a bit of acidity, and a balance of sweetness and tang.
- Salt & Pepper: To taste.
Making caramelized onions is incredibly easy to do. Once you learn how to caramelize onions, you’ll be well on your way to making them all the time for all kinds of things. Pizza toppings, sandwich toppings, in wraps, on salads, and of course french onion soup!
How to Make Caramelized Onions
Step 1: Heat oil and melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Step 2: Add the sliced onions, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf and saute for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You’ll need to pack your patience for this. It’s not hard, but it does take a bit of time.
Step 4: Lower the heat and keep the onions warm until you’re ready to serve. If you’re making them ahead, allow them to cool completely and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix it all together using your hands, but do not over mix!
Step 2: Divide the meat mixture into 4 equal portions and take each portion and form them into patties. Make a slight indent or groove in the center of each one so that the edges are thicker than the center.
Step 3: Once the grill is nice and hot on medium-high heat, cook the patties for 10 minutes, flipping halfway. About 5 minutes per side. Add a slice of Swiss cheese to each burger patty for the last few minutes of grilling time.
Assemble Caramelized Onion Burger Recipe
If you like to toast your buns, spread a little butter on them and place them on the grill over indirect heat for a minute or so. Keep an eye out so that they don’t burn!
Place the grilled patties with melted Swiss over the bottom bun. Top with lots of caramelized onions and fresh arugula. Cover with the top bun and enjoy!
- It may seem like 2 onions is a lot, but once they cook down it won’t look like such a big amount. So, you can even make more if you plan to keep some for other recipes!
- Don’t over mix the meat mixture. Overworking it will lead to loss of moisture and dry patties!
- The indent in the center of the patty is so that it cooks evenly. Burgers tend to swell as they cook, so instead of becoming ballooned in the middle, they will just even out.
- When your burger has an internal temperature of 160 degrees, it’s done!
What is the difference between caramelized onions and sautéed onions?
It all comes down to time and temperature. When you sauté onions, you’re cooking them at a higher heat and for a shorter amount of time. Usually just to get them soft, translucent, and no longer raw.
When you caramelize them, you’re cooking them down over low heat for a long time so that they become sweet and golden in color.
Can I use a different type of cheese?
Definitely. I love Swiss and onions which is why I choose to use it, but feel free to use your favorite sliced cheese! Cheddar, provolone, or even Monterey Jack could work.
I don’t like arugula, can I swap it with something else?
If arugula is not your thing, you can use baby spinach or lettuce leaves instead.
Caramelized Onions Burger Recipe
Ingredients for the Burgers:
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 cloves garlic grated
- parsley finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 4 brioche buns sliced and grilled
- 4 slices Swiss cheese
To make caramelized onions:
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil.
- Add onions, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf. Saute on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until onions are caramelized. Stirring occasionally.
- Add broth, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Stir with a spoon until sugar dissolves. Lower the heat to very low, keep warm until ready to serve.
To make homemade burger patties:
- In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, parsley salt and pepper. Mix it all together with hands or mixer.
- Divide mixture into 4 equal portions and form them into patties. Make sure to make the center a little thinner than the edges for even grilling.
- Grill on a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side. Few minutes before patties are done grilling add sliced cheese on top.
To make caramelized onion burger:
- Place grilled patties over bottom bun, add lots of caramelized onions, and garnish it with fresh arugula leaves, cover with top bun and enjoy!
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