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Marsala Burgers

August 20, 2009


We’ve made Giada’s veal Marsala quite a few times over the past year since we discovered it and have just fallen in love with this recipe.  Unfortunately, it’s never been pretty enough to photograph and blog about but I finally get to share it with you here now!  When Kyle and I were trying to decide on a few different burgers to serve at our “sliders extravaganza” that we hosted for our parents a few weeks ago, we agreed that adapting this recipe into a burger was definitely something worth trying.

And boy was it delicious!!  I’m a big big fan of the flavor of Marsala and this burger was dripping in it.  There aren’t many meals that I’m actually sad when it’s over but this was one of them.  I couldn’t get enough of the mushroom sauce…and that’s coming from someone who is not a fan of mushrooms!  The recipe was easy to adapt into burgers and we cooked the burgers in a cast iron skillet, rather than on the grill, and then made the mushroom Marsala sauce in the drippings from the burgers, just as you would do if you used veal in the recipe.


If you’re wondering about this so-called “sliders extravaganza”…we decided on four different burger flavors: blue cheese sirloin with red onion jam, a pressed burger with manchego and jalapeno aoili, caprese, and these delectable Marsala burgers.  I made a ton of little tiny burger buns, probably even smaller than traditional slider-size buns, and we topped all of the burgers except this burger on the buns.  The Marsala burgers were set a top some crusty French bread – the perfect vessel for these burgers.  So if you’re looking for a burger that’s a little more exciting than what you’ve been making all summer, definitely give this one a shot.  I promise you won’t be sorry!


Two years ago: Spicy Black Bean Cakes


Marsala Burgers

source: Smells Like Home, recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 12 oz ground beef (85%/15% works well here) or ground chuck
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sweet Marsala
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • crusty French bread baguette
  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Shape the ground beef into 4 oblong patties, about 4 inches long each. Drizzle the patties with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; repeat on the opposite sides. Cut the french bread into pieces a little shorter than each of the patties and set aside.
  3. Brown the patties in the skillet on both sides until the burgers are medium rare.  Transfer the burgers to a plate and keep warm; leave the juices in the pan.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the shallot and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil, if necessary. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender and the juices evaporate, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add the Marsala. Simmer until the Marsala reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the rosemary sprig. Simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Return the burgers to the skillet. Cook burgers until they are medium, turning to coat, about 1 minute. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add 1 oz of cheese to the top of each burger and cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt, about 2 minutes.
  5. When the cheese has melted, remove the burgers from the pan and place on the French bread.  Top the burgers with Marsala sauce and then the top of the French bread. Serve hot.
18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 12:08 pm

    Oh my goodness I absolutely LOVE marsala. But topping a burger this way? GENIUS!!! I think I could smother anything in marsala sauce and be happy but this burger idea is so awesome. I can’t wait to try it!

  2. August 20, 2009 12:48 pm

    Wow those amazing!! I must try this recipe soon!

  3. August 20, 2009 1:07 pm

    OMG, those look amazing!! They’re going on my to-make list.

  4. insanelygoodfood permalink
    August 21, 2009 6:10 am

    MMMM… I need to make reservations at your restaurant! :o)

  5. August 21, 2009 3:32 pm

    What a yummy idea!

  6. August 21, 2009 9:02 pm

    Those burgers look so good! Great idea!

  7. Steve permalink
    August 23, 2009 6:54 am

    Sweet marsala ? Is that a store bought item in a jar?

    • smellslikehome permalink*
      August 23, 2009 7:25 am

      store bought – i get mine in a liquor store.

  8. August 24, 2009 9:15 pm

    I LOVE Chicken Marsala, so this is on my list to cook soon!

  9. August 26, 2009 1:08 pm

    oh my, do these look incredible!

  10. thecookingnurse permalink
    August 27, 2009 4:37 pm

    Great pic’s, I want one of these right now!

  11. August 29, 2009 3:11 am

    The burger looks so mouth-watering!

  12. September 1, 2009 12:58 pm

    We enjoyed this recipe on Saturday and my husband “Mmmmed” his way through the meal. Wonderful. I’ll be posting the recipe on my blog with a link back to yours. Your pictures turned out much better than mine. And your cheese is white — white sharp cheddar?

  13. Melissa permalink
    September 4, 2009 3:50 pm

    I recently made these, except subbed caramelized onions for the mushrooms. They were so good!I’m so happy you came up with this idea!

  14. Bethany permalink
    April 8, 2010 2:40 pm

    yeah…now for some reason that split pea soup I was gonna make tonight for dinner doesn’t sound so great?! Could these ‘burgers’ look any tastier??!! WOW…I’m gonna bookmark this and make it soon…suffer through my split pea soup tonight 😛 Thanks for sharing!


  1. The Mushroom Channel » Blog Archive » Recipe of the Week Part Deux: Marsala Burgers from Smells Like Home
  2. Recipe of the Week Part Deux: Marsala Burgers from Smells Like Home | Mostly Mushrooms
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