Take Out at Home: Deluxe, Stuffed Burgers

I’ve been on a burger kick lately. After a great workout last night, I was in the mood for some high-quality comfort food. I knew I needed a fast meal, as there was a line of severe weather headed our way, and the Davenport community is prone to losing power (this has happened over dinner before leading to a pretty significant dinner FAIL of a casserole). I’ve been on this kick of trying to recreate restaurant meals at home. While I’ve never had the Minnesota-famous, “Juicy Lucy,” I figured it would not be hard to replicate the concept.

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The Juicy Lucy is a Minnesota original. Featured on shows like Man vs Food and Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, this burger classic is the center of a hot debate with two bars (just down the street from each other) claiming ownership of the creation. Regardless of who started it, the stuffed burger is definitely on trend right now.

If you are looking for carb-conscious, diet-friendy eats, turn back now. The rest of this post is about my quick, indulgent way to make stuffed burgers at home.

This meal was purely thanks to the grocery store: I used pre-made burgers as the base, layered with some slices of smoked cheddar cheese, and layered the second patty on top, being very careful to crimp edges together tightly. This is what allows the cheese pocket to become the molten, gooey core the Juicy Lucy is famous for. The real question was cook time. I used a SCREAMING hot skillet to get a solid sear on the outside (about 5 minutes a side) and then I threw it in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes to cook through. This is where you have to play around a bit. Depending on how thick your patties are BEFORE the cheese, the type of cheese you use, and how done you prefer your burger will change your overall cook time. 15 minutes total was perfect for mine. Once I removed the burger to let rest, I quickly toasted the buns in the same skillet so that they stood up to the burger. Dress with your favorite toppings. See below for other meat, cheese, and topping options I brainstormed for variations on a great stuffed burger.

  • The Italian Burger:
    • Use Italian sausage instead of ground beef to make the patty. Stuff with a combo of parmesan cheese and mozzarella. Top with marinara sauce
  • The Pizza Burger:
    • Use regular ground beef. Stuff with mozzarella and pepperoni slices. Top with green pepper, onion, etc (pizza toppings). Top with marinara sauce
  • The Greek Burger:
    • Use ground beef or ground lamb if you can find it. Stuff with feta and goat cheese. Top with kalamata olives, green pepper, cucumber, pepperoncini (if you like spice), red onion, etc (Greek salad toppings). Top with tzatziki sauce.
  • The Western Burger:
    • Use ground beef or ground bison. Stuff with a combo of smoked cheddar, sharp cheddar, and pepperjack cheese, and bacon crumbles.  Top with onions/onion strings, more bacon (it is a splurge night after all). Top with BBQ sauce.
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