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Italian Pizza Burgers

Italian Pizza Burgers

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This lean beef burger is flavorful and juicy! A red wine tomato sauce tops the gourmet burger along with melted mozzarella cheese. Serve open face on garlic toast or on garlic toasted buns! So delicious; you’ll consider serving these at your next dinner party!


1 1/4 ounces sliced pepperoni, finely chopped4 garlic cloves, finely chopped3/4 cup onion, finely chopped2 tablespoons olive oil1 (14.5 ounce) can Red Gold® Petite Diced Tomatoes 14.5 oz, drained and juice reserved1 egg2 tablespoons whole milk1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs3/4 teaspoon salt, divided1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper,, divided1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed1 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, divided1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided1 teaspoon sugar1/2 cup dry red wine3 tablespoons Red Gold® Tomato Paste 6 oz6 slices garlic bread, or ciabatta buns


  • Toast garlic bread according to package directions. Set aside.
  • In small skillet add olive oil, onion, garlic, and pepperoni. Cook 3 to 4 minutes over medium high heat. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, milk and bread crumbs. Add ground beef, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, crushed red pepper, crushed fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella cheese. Add 1/3 cup of the onion and pepperoni mixture and 1/2 cup of the drained petite diced tomatoes. Gently blend all ingredients together with clean hands until combined. Shape into six (6) equal sized burger, about a half inch thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  • To make the sauce add remaining onion and pepperoni mixture back to the skillet. Over medium heat add the wine and simmer to reduce by half. Add 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, tomato paste and stir to combine. Add remaining diced tomatoes and reserved juice. Gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Preheat oven broiler to high.
  • In a non-stick skillet over medium heat add 3-4 burgers (depending on skillet size). Cook burgers for 7 minutes and gently flip and cook an additional 7 minutes or until internal temperature reads 160º degrees. Removed cooked burgers to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with remaining burgers. You could also cook burgers on a grill or grill pan.
  • Place the 6 slices of garlic bread (or buns) on a baking sheet tray, top each piece of bread with a burger and spoon tomato sauce over the top, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Place under broiler 2 to 3 minutes to melt cheese. Carefully remove and serve.
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