Grilled Italian Chicken-Pork Burgers with Pesto
A recipe for handmade burgers made with ground chicken and pork with plenty of Italian seasonings, grilled to juicy perfection and topped with a spicy pesto. Time to get cooking!
Hey, it’s still grilling season here, baby! I know summeris coming to a close, but the weather is OUTSTANDING and all the games are starting up. It’s no better time to bust out that grill and get cooking. For me, this is a quick and easy meal because I made the burgers about a month ago and froze them. This is when Patty and I pulled out the meat grinder attachment to our KitchenAid and ground down about 10 pounds of meat for making burgers and sausage. See: Grinding Meat with a Meat Grinder – The Why and the How. We enjoy grinding our own meats so we can make unique blends for burgers and sausages that you normally won’t find in the store or even the butcher. Like this particular burger – ground chicken and pork seasoned with Italian seasonings.
You don’t have to do your own grinding if you don’t want. Just head out to your local grocer or butcher and pick up some ground chicken and pork, then get mixing. But if you’d like to do the grinding, I suggest using pork shoulder, as it will result in juicy, flavorful burgers you’ll want to try again and again. Make extras! They grill up quickly and you can whip up the pesto while the burgers are sitting on the grill. Pesto is one of life’s gifts to us all, and luckily, it’s incredibly easy to make.
Take a look at the burgers. Don’t they look juicy and inviting?
Oh yeah. JUICY! Melt a bit of cheese over them then top them with sliced tomatoes and your homemade spicy pesto. The pesto is very slightly spicy, by the way, because I included a roasted jalapeno pepper in the mix. Traditional pesto does not include chili peppers, but you know me, I always want just a bit of spice and heat to my dishes. Leave it out if you must. But don’t forget — #JalapenoLove #JalapenoObsession. Can’t help myself.
Let me know if you try grinding your own meats for this, or if you go the store bought route. I’m genuinely curious how this turns out for you. It is easily one of our favorites. One bite and we were like, YES!!! I hope you enjoy the recipe.
Patty’s Perspective: Of all the different recipes we made when we had our fun day of grinding meat, this is by far my favorite. Chicken burgers can be easily dry but the pork really balances it out. This burger was so unbelievably juicy. And you can’t go wrong adding more cheese and some amazingly juicy fresh heirloom tomatoes. Just be sure to have a good solid bun that will hold up to all that juiciness.
- 12 ounces chicken
- 12 ounces pork
- ½ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ½ - 1 teaspoon of:
- Toasted fennel crushed
- Red pepper flakes
- 1 jalapeno pepper roasted and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup fresh basil
- Handful of almonds lightly toasted
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup olive oil or more as desired
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Smoked gouda cheese slices
- Sliced tomato
- 4 toasted buns
Combine all of the burger ingredients in a large bowl and hand mix. Do not overmix. Form into 4 6-ounce patties.
For the pesto, add all ingredients to a food processor except the oil. Process until chunky. Stream in olive oil and process until blended. Set aside.
Heat your grill to medium heat and add burgers. Cook 4-5 minutes per side, then lower heat and close the lid. Cook another 5-6 minutes, or until cooked through yet still moist.
Add cheese and cover. Allow cheese to melt.
Serve onto buns topped with tomato slices and pesto. Enjoy!