Becky Luigart-Stayner
Hands-on Time
24 Mins
Total Time
29 Mins
6 servings (serving size: 1 burger)

These saucy, family-friendly burgers might be best eaten with a knife and fork. If you'd like to go bunless, serve over spaghetti with extra sauce. We enjoyed these with a side of macaroni salad.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Step 2

Bake rolls according to package directions. Split rolls.

Step 3

Remove casings from sausage. Combine sausage, chopped basil, and next 5 ingredients (through ground sirloin) in a medium bowl. Divide beef mixture into 6 equal portions with moist hands, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Press thumb in center of each patty, leaving a nickel-sized indentation.

Step 4

Place patties on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 6 minutes. Turn patties over; grill 2 minutes. Sprinkle cheese evenly over patties, and grill 6 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes.

Step 5

Place 1 basil leaf on bottom half of each roll; top each with 1 patty, 1 tablespoon marinara sauce, and roll top.

Chef's Notes

This updated version of Italian Meatball Burgers is based on a recipe that originally ran in Cooking Light, August 2007. The recipe was retested and updated for Cooking Light Crave!, Oxmoor House, 2013.

Ratings & Reviews

JennHalt's Review

September 04, 2013
Oh, baby. I have been making this for years now. I pulled up the recipe again on-line though to make them again recently. I have made this burger countless time for special occasions. Everyone always asks for the recipe. Recently, I made the burger mixture but made the meat into meatballs and added them to the "Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce" Cooking Light recipe (also available on-line). My family adored me :)!

EDB123's Review

October 26, 2012
Loved this burger, used spicey Italian turkey sausage instead of sweet, and used ground turkey instead of sirloin. Also added extra garlic powder. Great burger, will make again.

gchang55's Review

September 17, 2012
great for sunday grilling. used 96/4 sirloin to make it a little healthier. still very good. made it with tomato stack salad, went great together

JessieSalem0423's Review

September 03, 2012
Amazing! I used ground turkey instead of beef and they were awesome. I made them for a neighborhood party and everyone LOVED them.

ShannonBischel's Review

July 03, 2012

aryzek's Review

November 05, 2011

mezwiz's Review

July 11, 2011
This is one of my hubby's favorite burger recipes and it's super easy and quick to make! I've made this for company as well as for a couple that just had a baby and I always get rave reviews and requests for the recipe. Also, instead of using the jarred pasta sauce, I use CL's recipe for homemade marinara. I make up a big batch of it and portion it out then freeze the portions for future use.

JessicaLuu's Review

July 12, 2010
After taking my first bite I knew I would be making this again and again. I love the combination of meats, and I am now a huge fan of Italian sausage and fennel. I didn't feel like opening a huge jar of tomato sauce for like 2 tablespoons, so I used leftover pesto, and it was awesome.

lwallb's Review

June 26, 2010
Delicious! I was a bit heavy-handed with my fresh mozzarella and also topped the burgers w/ fresh basil leaves and thinly sliced red onion. I opted for ciabatta rolls, as well. Definitely something I'll make again...maybe even try to lean up the meat a bit more.

LauraLeigh8's Review

May 16, 2010
A very tasty burger I will definitely make again. I couldn't find sweet Italian turkey sausage so I substituted the regular (pork). Also, I broiled instead of grilling because I don't have a BBQ. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. As for the cheese, I bought a good quality fresh mozzarella (not part-skim) as per the recipe, and found that to be plenty of cheese. Next time I think I'd like to try it open-faced on a slice of toasted french bread. Yum!