Italian Meatball Burgers

5 from 1 vote
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Parmesan and dried herbs infuse these Italian Burgers with savory Italian flavor so they taste like meatballs! These juicy burgers are topped with tangy tomato sauce and melted mozzarella and served on toasted gluten free ciabatta rolls.

Melted cheese and vegetables top an Italian burger.

Why You’ll Love This Italian Burgers Recipe

  • Cuisine Inspiration: Italian-American
  • Primary Cooking Method: Grill
  • Dietary Info: Gluten-free option, Low carb option
  • Skill Level: Easy

I’m a burger kinda girl, but I want an epic burger. Sometimes it’s stuffed burgers. Other times it’s fully loaded burgers. And then there are the times when I take another mouthwatering food I love and turn it into a burger.

Like meatballs, but made into burgers, this Italian burgers recipe is loaded with flavor from the parmesan and garlic in the patties plus the tomato sauce spooned over their tops. I love cooking these burgers on the grill during the summer but you can just easily cook them in the oven. This is a great way to add all the Italian flavors you love to a traditional burger!

  • Flavorful. If you love meatballs but want something a little heartier, these Italian burgers are your best bet! They are my meatball version of a burger, much heartier and packed with herby, savory goodness.
  • Easy. Similar to making a regular burger, Italian burgers don’t need a lot of effort to prepare. Simply mix the filling, form the patties, and cook!
  • Gluten Free. Use gluten free rolls or mushroom “buns” to keep these burgers gluten free. The rest of the ingredients are already naturally gluten free.
Bright tomato and crisp lettuce are packed between portobello mushroom caps for an Italian burger.

What You’ll Need

I’ve outlined the ingredients in these Italian burgers below. Don’t forget to check the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.

  • Ground Beef: I prefer to use lean ground beef but you can use whatever kind of ground beef you prefer.
  • Parmesan Cheese: You can use shredded or grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Parsley
  • Italian Seasoning: If you don’t have Italian seasoning you can substitute dried basil, oregano, or a combination.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Tomato Sauce: Use homemade or store-bought tomato sauce.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: I use slices of mozzarella rather than shredded cheese, although shredded cheese will work in a pinch.
  • Ciabatta Rolls: Use regular or gluten-free rolls, depending on what you need. You can make a batch of Gluten Free Hamburger Buns or make your burgers slider-size on Gluten Free Hawaiian Rolls.
  • Romaine Lettuce and Tomatoes: To garnish.
The ingredients for Italian burgers are shown labelled: meat, Italian seasoning, tomato sauce, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, slied mozzarella, rolls, lettuce, and tomato.

Recipe Variations

When you’ve mastered this Italian burgers recipe, go ahead and try a few variations. Check out some suggestions below, or get creative:

  • Add sausage – You can make these burgers even more hearty by adding 1 cup of sausage crumbles to the beef.
  • Top with prosciutto – Or, chop up prosciutto and stir it into the beef before you form the patties!
  • Make them with turkey – If you want to go a bit lighter, substitute ground turkey for the beef and make turkey burgers. Easily turn them vegetarian by using your favorite plant-based meat.
  • Mix in fresh basil – For even more fresh Italian flavor, chop up fresh basil and mix it into the patties.
  • A different cheese – Swap the mozzarella for another Italian cheese such as provolone or fontina.

How To Make Italian Burgers

Get an idea of how to make this recipe through the photos below. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card lower down.

  • Make patties. Combine the ground beef, parmesan cheese, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  • Mix. Gently mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Form patties. Divide the mixture into six equal-sized balls and press into patties.
  • Press. Make an indentation in the middle of each patty.
  • Grill portabellos. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, then add the mushrooms if using.
  • Add burgers. Place the burgers with the indentation side down and grill for 5-8 minutes per side.
  • Add tomato sauce. Top each burger with a tablespoon of tomato sauce.
  • Top with cheese. Then add a slice of mozzarella and grill until the cheese melts.
  • Serve! To serve, Place burgers on rolls or mushroom caps and top with romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes.

Tips for Success

Try a few of these tips to help your burgers cook evenly and to perfect doneness. And don’t forget to toast the buns!

Make the best burgers:
  • Form even patties. Try to use about the same amount of meat and filling per patty. This will help them to cook evenly and finish at the same time. You can use a food scale if you have one to make equal-sized burgers.
  • Use a meat thermometer. An instant-read thermometer will help you know when the burgers are safely cooked to your preferred level of doneness. Aim for 130°F for medium-rare, 140°F for medium, 150°F for medium-well, and at least 160°F for well-done burgers.
  • Grill or not. You can cook these burgers on the grill or use your oven, it’s up to you. Follow the instructions, but cook the burgers for about 20-25 minutes in an oven heated to 350°F.
  • Toast the buns. No matter what kind of roll or bread you use, your burgers will taste so much better if you toast the buns! Split the bun in half, brush each half with a little melted butter if you like, and place them cut-side down on the grill for about 10 seconds until golden.
An Italian burger is sliced to show its meaty interior.

Proper Storage

These burgers are best eaten fresh and hot! But you can save any leftovers for another time. Here’s how to do it:

  • Fridge – Store the burgers without rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat – Place the burgers on a microwave-safe plate and heat them in the microwave on 1-minute intervals until they’re heated through and the cheese is melted. You can then add them to the rolls or eat them without rolls.
An Italian burger is served on a bun and topped with melted cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Make It A Meal

Round out these hearty Italian burgers into a complete meal with a salad, or make homemade gluten free bread to go with them instead of store-bought rolls! Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve burgers:

An Italian burger topped with cheese, tomato and lettuce on a bun.
5 from 1 vote

Italian Burgers

These juicy Italian Burgers are topped with tangy tomato sauce and melted mozzarella and served on toasted gluten free ciabatta rolls for a twist on a traditional hamburger.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 27 minutes


  • 2 pounds ground beef, 80-85% lean recommended
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 6 tablespoons tomato sauce, plus additional for serving, if desired
  • 6 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 6 ciabatta rolls (regular or gluten free), or twelve “slider” size portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed, rubbed with about a teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkled with a bit of kosher salt
  • romaine lettuce
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced


  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, parmesan cheese, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic. Gently mix together until thoroughly combined. Divide into six equal-sized balls and press into patties no more than ½-inch thick. Using your thumb, make an indentation into the middle of each patty.
  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the burger with the indentation side down, close the cover, and grill for 5-8 minutes per side, flipping once, to desired doneness. For the last couple minutes of grilling, with the side with the indentation up, top each burger with a tablespoon of tomato sauce and a slice of mozzarella cheese. Then close the grill until the cheese is melted
  • If you are using portobello buns, grill the mushrooms alongside the burgers or roast in a 450°F oven for about 10 minutes, or until tender.
  • Place burgers on rolls or mushroom caps and top with romaine lettuce and sliced tomatoes. Serve with additional tomato sauce, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Italian Burgers
Amount Per Serving (1 burger)
Calories 463 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 121mg40%
Sodium 960mg40%
Potassium 682mg19%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 46g92%
Vitamin A 690IU14%
Vitamin C 7.3mg9%
Calcium 262mg26%
Iron 4.1mg23%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.


  1. Hi Brianne!! That looks so good! And the mushroom bun! I usually forgo the bun and use a lettuce wrap. We would love for you to share this at our Dishing It & Digging It Link Party!

  2. Looks delicious! For the last several years, I was told to avoid gluten, but that my testing for celiac was negative. Just within the last two years, I was definitely diagnosed with celiac. So I always tell people to err on the side of 100% gluten free, even if you are just “gluten sensitive.” (Easier said than done, I realize!) Your photos are awesome, and I want that burger! #HomeMattersParty

  3. This looks so delicious! Any low-carb option that looks this good is worth a shot if you ask me! Can’t wait to give it a try. Thanks for the recipe!

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