Italian Cheeseburgers

Italian Cheeseburgers

I love a good cheeseburger, especially in the summer.  But sometimes I need something a little bit different.  That’s where these Italian Cheeseburgers come in.

I don’t have an ounce of Italian blood in me (Polish all the way!), but that doesn’t stop me from loving Italian food.  Sauce, cheese, pasta, I love it all!  So I thought, why not take a classic American dish (the cheeseburger) and fuse it with some Italian yumminess?!  Sounded great, I just needed to make sure it stayed within healthy limits, and I succeeded.

For the meat, I used a blend of ground pork and poultry Italian sausage.  This imparts that Italian flavor, but lowers the fat content since you are using less pork and you are using poultry-based sausage.  Adding ricotta cheese to the burgers makes them super moist and creamy.  No need to go fat free with your ricotta.  It has zero flavor, and you are only using a little bit anyway.  A little fresh mozzarella on top gives these burgers that meltiness that we all crave and love.  Whole wheat buns give you fiber and whole grain goodness.

These burgers are instant portion control.  Eat one and you will be satisfied.  We paired these burgers with some grilled zucchini from our garden and a side salad.  It was the perfect amount of food.

I started by sauteeing the garlic and onions in a little bit of oil.

Then I mixed the pork, sausage, ricotta, onion mixture, panko, egg, parsley, pepper and salt in a bowl, and formed six patties.

The patties cooked up quickly, then I added the marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella.  I covered the pan to help the cheese melt and the sauce heat through.

That’s it.  That’s how easy these are to make.  Thrown them on buns and top with fresh basil and you are good to go!

Italian Cheeseburgers

Yield: 6 servings

Italian Cheeseburgers


  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound poultry Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 6 slices fresh mozzarella
  • 6 whole grain hamburger buns
  • 6 basil leaves


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions for 3 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, combine the onion mixture, pork, sausage, ricotta, egg, panko, parsley, pepper and salt. Shape into 6 patties.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook patties 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Lower heat to medium-low and add marinara sauce to pan. Lay mozzarella slices on top of patties. Cover and heat 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
  5. Place patties on buns and top with fresh basil.

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