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Pesto to the Rescue!

Last night we invited another family over for a burger cookout. Ever feel like making different burgers like the fancy restaurants make? Sounds really good, but when you have kids the burgers can’t have a ton of crazy ingredients. (You can just hear the whining when they detect a slight change from plain hamburgers, then the fake gagging. No drama here, right?) We found the perfect burger to make, the Pesto Burger, a burger with just one extra add-in to the meat for maximum taste!

Weather has been beautiful so grilling out was on the agenda! But, even though I checked the weather, this time of year I really never know how the day is going to turn out weather-wise. That’s right, we were all set to grill outside and it started to rain. Not just the light drizzle you can grill out in…a LOT of rain. So, instead of panicking like I have done sometimes, I checked the recipe. There is a grilled version and a broiled version on the recipe! So here’s how we made a great burger that our kids even enjoyed (which is saying something for a handful of 4- and 5-year old boys!)

I doubled the recipe since I wanted to make more than four burgers. But, if you want to make 4 burgers as the recipe states, here is how to do it. Place 1 ½ pounds ground beef into a large bowl and add in 1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce. Then mix well. You can find the pesto sauce in the refrigerated pasta section or in the pasta aisle of the grocery store.


Shape the ground beef mixture into 4 patties about 3/4 inches thick. The burgers were not real thick which helps so the burger cooks through rather quickly. We placed the patties onto the broiler pan about 7 inches from the heat.

After the burgers were under the broiler, I made the pesto spread! Super easy! Mix 1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce with 1/4 cup mayonnaise.

Stir well and set aside.

Then cut up 4 leaves of romaine lettuce and slice 1 medium-sized tomato. The hamburger buns were already cut and ready to toast.

About this time, the burgers should be ready to flip. The timer was set for 6 minutes.

After the inside meat temperature reaches 160° F (this is about a medium-cooked burger!), add a slice of Land O Lakes 4-Cheese Italian Blend Cheese to each burger and broil a minute or two until the cheese starts to melt.

When the burgers are cooked remove them from the broiler. Next, take the hamburger buns and place onto a baking sheet, cut-side up. Broil 6 to 8 inches away from the heat until toasted. This only will take a minute or two, so don’t walk away!

Layer the bottom half of the bun with a leaf of romaine lettuce and a slice of tomato.

Add the cooked burger with cheese

Spread the top half of the bun with the pesto-mayonnaise spread and place on the burger.

Dinner is served! Pesto comes to the rescue for making the perfect “upscale” burger without the hassle of a thousand fancy ingredients. 4 Cheese Italian Blend cheese was a great choice for the burgers as it added just the right amount of “zip” (that’s a technical cooking term, right?). Our Pesto Burgers tasted incredible, but being able to hang out with friends even on a rainy evening made it the perfect end to a great weekend! I hope you decide to try these burgers for your next cookout!

Come back in a few days when Mallory makes a festive cookie pop perfect for Flag Day or for Fourth of July.

Alex is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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