This Blue Cheese Burger recipe with caramelized onion marmalade is all decadence on the outside, with a healthy sneak within. I’ll keep the secret if you do!
My healthy burger trick: make the patties with a mix of lean ground beef and black beans!
- Black beans are inexpensive and full of healthy plant-based protein and fiber.
- Beef gives you savory flavor, protein, and zinc, but you don’t need as much of it when your patties are a mix.
I make a mean black bean Vegan Burger and stellar turkey burgers too (especially these Teriyaki Burgers), but combining beef AND beans didn’t occur to me, until I watched Rachel Ray do it on the Food Network years ago.
Because these blue cheese burgers require less beef, they are less expensive, healthy, more budget friendly, and planet friendly.
They are everything I want a burger to be (and more):
- Classic, yet contemporary.
- A little fancy, but not fussy (like these Italian Turkey Burgers).
- Healthy, while still tasting indulgent (this Portobello Mushroom Burger follows this school of thought).
- Memorable (like these Salmon Burgers), and totally tasty!
How to Make a Blue Cheese Burger
With a combination of black beans, beef, blue cheese, and caramelized onion marmalade, these burgers are an irresistible flavor mash-up between two buns.
- Ground Beef. To keep things healthy I opt for 90% lean ground beef.
- Black Beans. These magic little beans lighten up this recipe, while still providing essential protein.
- Egg. Acts as a binding agent to help the patties stay together while cooking.
- Dijon Mustard. Adds a little zip and bite to the patties.
- Worcestershire Sauce. Compliments the beef and contributes a savory element to contrast the sweet onion marmalade.
- Blue Cheese. Pungent, tangy, and creamy. It gives these black and blue burgers richness.
- Red Onions. Caramelize and reduce beautifully to make the sweet, colorful marmalade that gets piled high on these burgers.
- Balsamic Vinegar. Balances the sweetness of the onion marmalade by adding a little acidity.
- Brown Sugar. Helps the onions caramelize and gives the marmalade additional nuance.
- Caramelize the onions. Set aside.
- Mash up the black beans in a large bowl.
- Add the egg and spices and stir to combine.
- Add the beef and mix until everything is incorporated.
- Shape into patties, then brush both sides with mustard.
- Cook the burgers, flipping once.
- Top with blue cheese and onion marmalade. Serve on toasted buns of your choice. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftover burger patties, in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Onion marmalade may be kept in a separate airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Gently warm marmalade in the microwave until heated through. Warm the patties in a skillet, covered, with a bit of water to keep them from drying out. Top with blue cheese, broil to melt and then serve topped with marmalade on buns.
- To Freeze. Cooked burger patties may be kept frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Reversible Cast Iron Grill Plate. Create a smokey grilled flavor indoors on your stovetop.
- Silicone Spatula. For flipping burgers, pancakes, and more without damaging your cookware.
- Large Skillet. This cast iron skillet is affordable and versatile.
Frequently Asked Questions
Because of its soft, creamy texture, blue cheese melts quickly and smoothly when warmed.
Don’t be put off by its appearance or smell. Despite being called “stinky cheese”, blue cheese is actually rather delicious. Most varieties have a strong, pungent flavor that is both sharp and salty. If you’re new to the blue cheese game, try a mild variety, such as Gorgonzola
Yes. While all varieties of blue cheese are flecked with mold that’s totally safe to eat, they can still spoil (by growing mold you don’t want to eat). For freshness, keep blue cheese blocks wrapped tightly in plastic and crumbles stored in containers with tight-fitting lids.
An egg is often added to burger recipes where other ingredients are mixed into the ground meat (like black beans) to help bind everything together.
Blue Cheese Burger
For the Onion Marmalade:
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
For the Black Bean Beef Burgers:
- 1 can black beans (15 ounces) rinsed and drained
- 1 large egg beaten
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing skillet
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard divided
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound 90% lean ground beef
- 8 ounces Gorgonzola cheese or other mild blue cheese, crumbled
- 6 whole wheat hamburger buns lightly toasted
- To prepare the onion marmalade, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add onions, brown sugar, and salt. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dark golden brown and tender. Add balsamic vinegar and cook 2 additional minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a large oven proof skillet over medium high. Place rack in the upper third of your oven and set oven broiler to high.
- Next, prepare the burger patties by mashing the black beans in a large bowl. Add beaten egg, 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and worcestershire. Mix until incorporated.
- Add beef and stir in gently with a fork, being careful not to compress the meat. Divide the mixture into 6 portions and shape into approximately 3 1/2 inch-wide patties. Brush each side of the patties with remaining mustard.
- Brush the skillet with extra virgin olive oil to prevent sticking. Add the burgers to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the mustard forms a golden crust. Flip, top with blue cheese, then cook for 3 additional minutes, longer if you prefer the burgers more well done.
- During the last moments of cooking, place the skillet under the oven broiler for 30 seconds to finish melting the blue cheese.
- Top blue cheese burgers with a heaping spoonful of onion marmalade and serve immediately on toasted buns.
- TO STORE: Keep leftover burgers, deconstructed, in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. Onion marmalade may be kept in a separate airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently warm marmalade in the microwave until heated through. Reheat the burgers in a nonstick skillet with a bit of water, covered to help them steam and not dry out. Top with blue cheese, broil to melt and then serve topped with marmalade on buns.
- TO FREEZE: Cooked burger patties may be kept frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator prior to reheating.
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