Dried Tomato Pesto-Filled Burgers

Dried Tomato Pesto-Filled Burgers

These inventive burgers have a layer of tangy dried-tomato pesto in the center. The jalapeño mayonnaise gives them extra zip.

Sunset AUGUST 2003

  • Yield: Makes 6 burgers


  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons drained (reserve 2 tablespoons oil) coarsely chopped oil-packed dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef round or sirloin
  • 1/3 cup beer
  • About 1 teaspoon salt
  • About 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns (about 3 oz. each), split in half horizontally
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 oz.; optional)
  • Jalapeño mayonnaise


1. In a blender or food processor, whirl parmesan cheese, pine nuts, dried tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, and 2 tablespoons reserved oil from dried tomatoes until mixture is a chunky paste, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. In a large bowl, mix ground beef with beer, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper until well combined. Divide meat mixture into 12 equal portions and flatten each portion into a 4-inch round.

3. Top each of 6 of the rounds with about 1 tablespoon of the dried-tomato pesto. Top with remaining 6 rounds, pressing edges together to seal.

4. Lay burgers on a barbecue grill over a solid bed of hot coals or high heat on a gas grill (you can hold your hand at grill level only 2 to 3 seconds); close lid on gas grill. Cook burgers, turning once to brown both sides, until meat around filling is no longer pink (cut to test; note that pesto is reddish brown), 6 to 8 minutes total. Also lay bun halves, cut side down, on grill and toast 1 to 2 minutes.

5. With a wide spatula, transfer burgers to bun bottoms. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top each burger with about 2 tablespoons feta cheese, if desired. Cover with bun tops. Serve with jalapeño mayonnaise to add to taste.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 601
  • Calories from fat: 40%
  • Protein: 34g
  • Fat: 27g
  • Saturated fat: 8.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 54g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Sodium: 1414mg
  • Cholesterol: 76mg