Burger-flavored pizza! Make this cheeseburger pizza with ground beef, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and special sauce for a midweek party.
I regretted letting our kids order a cheeseburger pizza from our local chain pizza business the first time we tried it. It works surprisingly. My family says this pizza tastes like burgers from a burger business “run by more than four guys,” if you catch my drift.
Cheeseburger pizza has a sesame seed crust covered with “special sauce” and sharp cheddar cheese. It’s then topped with ground meat, pickles, tomato slices, and additional cheese.
My family loves pizza Fridays, and we’ve cooked cheeseburger pizzas several times, but never the same way. Start with the original recipe and experiment with toppings, crust, and cooking method as you get comfortable.
Best Ground Beef Ratio
I like to make this pizza with the same ground beef as my burgers. Ground chuck (80/20) is my favorite burger meat since it has a lot of fat (the “20”) to flavor and keep it moist. Use ground beef with at least 10% fat since it will be cooked twice—first in the skillet to brown it and then in the oven to bake on the pizza. Nobody likes dry burger meat on pizza.
Seasoning the meat before browning helps seal in the flavors. Cooking with onions enhances flavor. After cooking, the seasoned ground beef can top the pizza crust.
Substitutes and Variations
- Customize your cheeseburger pizza. I love bacon cheeseburgers, but maybe your pizza has bacon and mushrooms.
- This recipe uses homemade, store-bought, or mix pizza dough. With shop assistance, this pizza is convenient.
- Thousand Island dressing can replace secret sauce. Use a bottle of your favorite burger joint’s sauce instead.
- I like dill pickles on pizza because they’re flavorful. Use bread and butter pickles for a sweeter contrast.
- Replace sharp cheddar with Colby jack, mild, medium, or Swiss cheese.
- Instead of sesame seeds, sprinkle everything bagel seasoning, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, or poppy seeds on the crust.
- Other toppings are endless. You must pick up the slice within reason. Add cooked bacon, mushrooms, pickled jalapeño pieces, or sautéed green peppers to your cheeseburger pizza.
- Cheeseburger pizza is wonderful when baked, but grilling it is better!
- Sharp cheddar cheese melts finest when shredded at home. Pre-shredded cheese’s anti-caking coating limits melting.
After baking, add lettuce for texture. Add pickles and tomatoes then.
Pan prep ingredients
- 3-tablespoon cornmeal Secret Sauce
- 1-cup mayonnaise
- minced yellow onion
- 2-tablespoon ketchup
- 1-tablespoon yellow mustard
- lemon juice
- sweet paprika
- Pizza salt
- 1-pound ground chuck
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2-teaspoon steak or burger seasoning
- Fully-risen 1-pound ball pizza dough
- Flour for dough-forming
- 1 yolk
- cold water
- 2-tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 1/4–1 1/2 cups Secret Sauce (or Thousand Island dressing), split 2 1/2–3 cups (12 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup dill pickle slices
- 10 half-cherry tomatoes 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
- Pre-heat the oven.
- Cornmeal a 12-14-inch pizza pan. This prevents pizza dough sticking to the pan. Rest the pan.
- Secret sauce: Whisk the mayonnaise, yellow onion, ketchup, mustard, lemon juice, sweet paprika, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. While cooking the ground meat, let the smooth mixture sit at room temperature or in the fridge to let the flavors combine. 1 1/4–1 1/2 cups of sauce.
- Brown ground meat and onions: Ground beef and onions in a big skillet. Sprinkle burger seasoning over the steak and onions and turn the stove to medium-high. Since the meat’s fat renders, no oil is needed.
- After turning on the stove, break up the meat and toss in the onions and spices with a spoon or spatula.
- Cook the beef for 10 minutes until no pink remains. Drain most of the fat with a big spoon and discard. Put the skillet away.
- Pizza crust pre-bake: Lightly flour hands and rolling pin. Roll the dough into a circle 1-2 inches bigger than your pizza pan.
- Refrigerated pizza dough requires less flour to mold than room temperature dough.
- Whisk egg yolk and cold water in a small bowl to make egg wash.
- Egg wash a 1-1/2-inch perimeter around the pizza dough. Pizza crust is made by rolling the pizza edges 2 inches toward the center of the circle. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the crust’s egg wash. Prick dough in the center of the pan with a fork.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Complete baking: Remove the pan when the pizza dough is gently browned and blistered.
- Spread 1 1/4 cups of secret sauce on the pizza crust with a broad spoon. Top the sauce with half of the shredded cheddar cheese, then the seasoned burger-onion mixture. Next, add the pickles, tomatoes, and cheese.
- Bake for 10–12 minutes until the cheese melts and the crust is golden brown.
- Garnish and serve: After baking the pizza, let it cool for 1-2 minutes before topping it with shredded lettuce and the remaining 1/4 cup of secret sauce.
- Put the sauce in a piping bag, squeeze bottle, or plastic food storage bag and cut the tip for easy pouring.
- Hot-cut and serve. This pizza tastes best fresh.