This onion burger recipe is definitely for the onion lover with sautéed onions mixed in and grilled onions on top. So juicy and flavorful with added barbecue sauce and melted cheese, it will be your new favorite burger, perfect for summer grilling!
My husband will tell you he doesn’t have a favorite food, and while this is mostly true, I will say that he would be crazy sad without ice cream and burgers in his life.
This burger recipe is one of his favorites. And mine, too! There’s nothing like a good juicy burger! We’re a big onion-loving family, so another reason why this Onion Burger gets made all the time.
Ingredients you need for this Onion Burger
- Lean ground beef
- Sweet onions
- Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Hamburger buns
- Barbecue sauce and Mayonnaise
- Your favorite fixins (plus suggested ones below)
Tips for the best burger
- Don’t over mix! Over mixing the ingredients can lead to a tough burger.
- Sauté a diced onion and add that to the beef. Caramelizing the onion adds so much flavor and moisture to the burger.
- Shape the patties into a uniform size and thickness, so they cook evenly.
- Make a wide, shallow depression in the patty, to prevent the burger from puffing up and shrinking while cooking. (See notes below.)
- Refrigerate them for at least one hour before placing on the grill. This helps them hold their shape while cooking.
- Brush both sides with a little vegetable oil before refrigerating. This helps lock in moisture, so the exterior doesn’t dry out.
- Heat the grill and oil those grates well, to prevent sticking.
How to know when the meat is fully mixed?
I like to use my hands when I mix everything together – it’s the best way to feel when the mixture has been combined. Sprinkle the seasonings and sautéed onion over the raw beef, then gently fold to incorporate. Take a small piece, about the size of a quarter, and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Turn your palm facing down…if the meat sticks, you’re done mixing!
How to prevent burgers from shrinking
I used to always make an indentation, using my thumb, in the center of the beef patties, but that really only prevented the burgers from puffing up. The best way to reduce puffing and shrinkage is to make a wide, shallow depression in the patty.
Shape the patties so that the outer 1/2-inch parameter is slightly taller than the middle.
Make Ahead and Freeze for Later
- You can form the patties ahead and store in the refrigerator, tightly sealed, for up to 2 days, or freezer for up to 2 months, keeping in mind the longer they’re frozen the more they can lose their optimal flavor.
- To freeze, mix your ingredients as instructed, form the patties, and place them flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for a few hours until completely solid. Then transfer to a bag, either flat or stacked, separating each patty with some parchment paper.
- If you’re in a hurry, or simply forgot to defrost your burgers, you can grill them while still frozen, but it will take a bit longer obviously.
- Any leftover cooked burgers need to be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freezer for 2 months.
What can I serve with a burger?
When it comes to toppings for a burger, there are a ton of choices, including the classic fixins like lettuce, tomato, and pickles, but my onion jam, bacon jam, or dill pickle dip will take your beef patty to the next level!
If beef isn’t your thing, check out this Turkey Burger recipe – it’s amazing!
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion , finely diced
- 1 small sweet onion , sliced 1/2-inch thick circles
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 4 hamburger buns
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- lettuce, tomato, pickles , for serving
- Warm oil over medium-high in a medium nonstick skillet. Saute onion until soft and starting to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
- In a large bowl, thoroughly combine beef, barbecue sauce, and cheese. Add in the cooked onions; season with salt and pepper. Don't over-mix.
- Divide mixture into 4 equal patties 3/4-inch thick. With your thumb, gently make a slight indentation in the center of each patty (this will help them from puffing up during cooking.) Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Fire up an outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Spray grill grates thoroughly. For medium doneness (145°F), grill for 3 minutes, flip, grill for 5 more minutes. Grill the onion slices at the same time, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove burgers and onions and allow to rest. Toast the buns on the grill for 30-60 seconds.
- Mix the mayo and barbecue sauce together.
- Serve on toasted buns with the mayo/bbq mixture and toppings of your choice.