Italian Sausage Meatball Burgers

Allow me to start this entry by saying in advance that these were the best burgers we had yet. Any criticism is minor from start to finish. Now, on to the good stuff.

Italian Sausage Meatball Burgers with Fresh Mozzarella and Marinara Sauce

Italian Sausage Meatball Burgers with Fresh Mozzarella and Marinara Sauce

These burgers were simple to make with, besides the meat, ingredients I always have on hand. There was not a lot to them in the line of additional ingredients but that didn’t seem to matter. This recipe will be a keeper for us and I’m happy to say we have 2 patties saved in the freezer for a rainy day. The other thing to note before the recipe is that I divided the mixture up into 5 patties instead of 6 so they wouldn’t be too small. Next time I would make the patties even thinner to have more surface area for the sauce and cheese. They puff up so much when they are grilled.

Taste: 9. This was a delicious yet savory meatball covered in fresh mozzarella and marinara sauce. What could be better?
Creativity: 3. The same reasons that made it delicious also made it not very creative. This was essentially just a flattened meatball and sauce on a hamburger bun.
Appearance: 8. The burger patty was thick with right amount of sauce, cheese and grease. There was nothing fussy about it, it just looked like a good burger. It had that special burger glow that I’ve come to find in restaurant burgers (not usually in my lean, low fat creations).
Burgerliciousness: 8. Loved it! It looked good and it tasted good. It was just a simple burger that would be an excellent base recipe for different kinds of sausage and matching sauces. The fresh mozzarella was delicious!
Overall: 7.

All things considered, this was the best burger we’ve had yet. The only adjustments I would make next time would be the addition of some onion, fresh garlic and bread crumbs to spread out the patty a little more. I served these burgers with a panzanella salad based on a recipe I found in a Weight Watchers magazine. The salad was bright and crispy and packed with veggies which was a needed partner for the carnivorous burgers. Below is the recipe from Cooking Light with no modifications.

Italian Sausage Meatball Burgers

8 ounces sweet turkey Italian sausage
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound ground sirloin
Cooking spray
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
6 (2-ounce) Italian bread rolls, split
3/4 cup fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce (such as Muir Glen)

Prepare grill. Remove casings from sausage. Combine sausage, oregano, basil, salt, fennel seeds, garlic powder, and ground sirloin. Divide beef mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.

Place patties on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes. Turn patties over; grill 2 minutes. Divide fresh mozzarella cheese evenly over patties, and grill an additional 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes.

Place rolls, cut sides down, on grill rack; grill 1 minute or until toasted. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each roll; top each serving with 2 tablespoons sauce and top half of roll. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 375 (33% from fat)
Fat: 13.9g (sat 5.3g,mono 4.4g,poly 1.7g)
Protein: 28.1g
Carbohydrate: 32.7g
Fiber: 1.8g
Cholesterol: 80mg
Iron: 4.5mg
Sodium: 894mg
Calcium: 130mg
Bruce Weinstein, Cooking Light, AUGUST 2007

Light Panzanella Salad

Light Panzanella Salad

The panzanella salad I fixed was a delicious side for these burgers. Cucumber, red onion, bright tomatoes and fresh mozzarella came together with toasted bread cubes and Italian dressing with basil and Romano. Panzanella is a traditional Italian salad that was traditionally fixed when women needed to get rid of their stale bread but didn’t want to waste it. Since I don’t have a week old loaf of Italian bread lying around, I toast up some whole wheat bread and use that instead. The below recipe is my adaptation.

Light Panzanella Salad

1 cup coarsely chopped tomato
1 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup sliced red onion
3 slices light whole wheat bread, toasted and cubed
1/3 cup diced fresh mozzarella
1/3 cup light Italian dressing — I like Ken’s Light Northern Italian with Basil and Romano
Sprinkle of oregano
Sprinkle of fresh black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. I would recommend not adding the bread until right before serving time. If you are using actual stale bread, soak it in the Italian dressing for 3 hours before serving. Serves 4.
Now, for me, the best part of the meal came at the end. I was good this week so I was treated to a cupcake! Yay! I carefully selected a chocolate cupcake with buttercream frosting. The cupcake was moist and delicious with a LOT of frosting. My favourite kind! See if you can guess who this cupcake is supposed to represent.

Cookie Monster Cupcake

Cookie Monster Cupcake

Next up: beef!


~ by canadianbaconette on May 7, 2009.

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