Meatball Burgers

Meatball Burgers | A Teaspoon of Happiness
This recipe is not dairy free. It was published before Simply Whisked went dairy free, but I have chosen not to remove it as a reference for incoming traffic. Feel free to swap dairy free substitutes for the ingredients to make it dairy free.

Football season is officially upon us and there’s going to be a lot of grilling and tailgating in the coming months. That means burgers – and hot dogs and brats and chips & dip. Well, I’ve never been a very big of a fan of burgers.

I was strictly a chicken nugget girl growing up, and cheeseburgers continue to be pretty low on my list of favorites (unless they’re all fancied up with unique toppings and buns).

Meatball Burgers | A Teaspoon of Happiness

So what’s a girl like me to do when it comes to football season and everyone wants burgers? Create a delicious and easy alternative to the good old burger, of course! Enter, the meatball burger.

I’ve combined the traditional easy of grilling with my love of Italian food to make one of the best burgers I’ve ever eaten. I’m so excited to share them with you guys.

It’s basically a meatball sandwich in burger form, but grilling burger patties over some charcoal is a lot easier than busting out a slow cooker to keep those meatballs warm all day, especially if you’re tailgating.

Plus, it’s just fun to do something new once in a while.

Meatball Burgers | A Teaspoon of Happiness

All I did was mix together some ground beef and ground pork with my favorite meatball mix-ins like pecorino romano cheese, basil and garlic.

I decided to swap my usual milk-soaked bread binder for some breadcrumbs and milk, and it made things come together a little quicker. Once the seasonings were evenly combined with the meat, I formed the mixture into 8 burger patties.

Meatball Burgers | A Teaspoon of Happiness

That’s where you would stop if you were preparing them ahead of time for grilling. Keep them separated with a bit of parchment or wax paper and refrigerate until you’re ready to put them on the grill.

You can easily make the sauce the night before, too.

Then, when you’re ready, cook them just as you would any other burger, as long as the center reaches 145˚F so that the pork is thoroughly cooked.

Top the cooked burgers with sliced mozzarella and the sauce and serve on a fancy hamburger bun or ciabatta roll.

More great burger recipes: banh mi turkey burgers15 perfect burger recipes / baked hamburgers / spicy chicken sliders / hoisin burgers


Meatball Burgers

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


  • Sauce:
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Burgers:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (parmesan cheese can be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Mozzarella cheese, for topping burgers
  • 8 burger buns or ciabatta rolls, sliced


  1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and allow sauce to simmer while preparing the burgers.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the meatball ingredients until evenly combined. Form into 8 separate burger patties.
  3. Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium. Place burger patties in the skillet and saute for 5 -6 minutes per side. In the last two minutes of cooking, top patties with mozzarella cheese.
  4. To assemble the burgers, add a portion of to the bottom of each bun. Top with a burger patties, another layer of sauce and bun tops.


  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  • Reply
    gaston hammer (@84__gaston)
    September 20, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Hmm! We would enjoy eating some any day!***

  • Reply
    September 20, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    These are genius! I took could skip the burger.. but a meatball burger? I’m ALL about that. Yum!

  • Reply
    Regina @ Leelalicious
    September 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I know I would LOVE these! Meatball subs were my favorite sandwich to get at Subway. So they must also be great on burgers 😉

    • Reply
      Melissa Belanger
      September 23, 2014 at 2:48 am

      Yeah! They’re even better because the little tiny meatballs don’t fall out when you bite into the sandwich!

  • Reply
    sarah s
    July 2, 2015 at 9:59 am

    These are awesome! 2 THUMPS up!!!

  • Reply
    sarah s
    July 2, 2015 at 10:01 am

    These are delicious! Two thumbs up! 🙂

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