Because you're going to be eating yummy Thanksgiving leftovers for days. Turkey sandwiches. Turkey pot pie. Turkey paninis! Stuffing sandwiches. Yes, carb on top of carb... seriously, try it! And all of the fixin's for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Delicious, comforting food that'll have you rummaging for your Thanksgiving pants ASAP.
In light of this turkey surplus, I thought we could all use a dinner idea that's a bit un-Thanksgiving-y that won't involve you phoning the local pizza joint. Oh, but you'll still get the same flavors you love about pizza. Intrigued? Mm hmm.
The inspiration for these pizza burgers came from my friend, Val. The past few months she's been on a mission to become more comfortable around the kitchen. I love getting daily reports on what's for dinner (can I come?) and providing helpful (I hope!) tips and suggestions. There's nothing that excites me more than people I love becoming passionate about food!
One day, she told me about pizza burgers she was making for dinner. And then we went on a rather lengthy tangent. Talking about what to add to said pizza burgers. This cheese! That sauce! Ooooh, and some garlic. It's fascinating how one's mind can wander at work at nine in the morning.
What a heroic burger to rescue us from the turkey woes! The marinara and garlic flavors permeated the beef, creating a super moist patty that would've been yummy on its own. But, I then I really did it with the pepperoni. I couldn't wait to bite into the slightly spiced center with melty gooey mozzarella. I highly recommend using string cheese for extra string-y-ness.
It was so good that I was moved to take an action shot for full effect. Yeah, you know you want some of this!
1 1/3 pounds lean ground beef
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Italian bread crumbs1/4 teaspoon pizza seasoning (oregano and basil will do)
1 string cheese, cut in 4 equal pieces and cut in half
Sliced pepperoni (about 12 slices)
Kaiser rolls or your favorite burger buns
4 slices provolone cheese
Preheat grill/grill pan/panini press/oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, 1/4 cup marinara sauce, egg, garlic, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, and pizza seasoning. Blend with hands until evenly mixed. Divide meat into 4 equal portions.
Begin with one portion of the ground beef mixture and divide it equally in half. Flatten each into a patty. On one half, place three slices of pepperoni in the middle, top with two pieces of string cheese. Top with one more slice of pepperoni and remaining half of burger. Seal edges of burger by pressing patties together. Repeat with remaining burgers.
Cook burgers on grill 5 to 8 minutes on each side. (If cooking in oven, burgers should be done in 10 minutes.) Meanwhile, toast buns. Spread a bit of marinara sauce on bottom half of bun, top with burger, one slice of provolone cheese, and a bit more marinara sauce before topping with bun. Serve immediately and enjoy your turkey-less meal!