I love all the flavors of caprese, so making garlic pesto caprese burgers just seemed like the logical next step.

The juicy beef patty has pesto mixed in, and then we grill it and top it with melty Havarti cheese, tomatoes, crispy lettuce and a tasty garlic mayo between a toasty brioche bun.

I’ve never really been a hamburger girl. I’ve always thought they were too dry and grainy. I realize that may not seem too American to hate a hamburger, but I think I may always prefer a panini, turkey club or something of that sort. Well, that’s not true. Lately I’ve been trying hamburgers to see if I could find one I like. This garlic pesto caprese burger, well, I secretly kinda loved it…

a photo of a garlic pesto burger topped with melted havarti cheese, pesto, bright red tomatoes all on a brioche bun.

Ingredients for Garlic Pesto Caprese Burgers

This is just an overview of the ingredients you will need to make these scrumptious burgers. For all the measurements and instructions for making the recipe, scroll down to the recipe card at the end of the post.

For the Burgers

  • Ground Beef Chuck: Go to your butcher and ask for a mix of this and ground sirloin. Having a good blend of meat makes a huge difference when it comes to flavor.
  • Ground Sirloin: Combined with the beef chuck, it creates such great flavor.
  • Pesto: You can make your own or buy some at the store.
  • Salt and Pepper: adds flavor
  • Brioche Hamburger Buns: You want a really good quality bun that is hearty enough to hold up to a juicy burger but also not so heavy that it takes away from the flavor of the burger.

Burger Toppings

  • Green Leaf Lettuce: We love the way green leaf lettuce looks and tastes.
  • Campari Tomatoes: These tomatoes have such great flavor, but if you can’t find them, you could go with a vine ripe tomato.
  • Havarti Cheese: adds creaminess and just a touch of sweetness that is perfection on this burger
  • Balsamic Glaze: You would use just balsamic vinegar if you don’t have a glaze.

For the Garlic Mayo

  • Light Mayo: You don’t have to use light mayo, but it really tastes great and I like it to be lighter.
  • Dijon Mustard: adds a little tanginess
  • Garlic: adds flavor
  • Salt and Pepper: adds flavor
a photo of a garlic pesto burger with the top bun missing so you can see the tomato slices dripping with balsamic glaze

Which Cheese is Best for Caprese Burgers

I decided that since we were doing a caprese style burger, then we might as well add Mozzarella, but ultimately it was the Havarti Cheese that really won us over. There’s slightly more flavor than mozzarella, yet it still melts down beautifully. The flavor is subtly sweet with a light note that pairs it perfectly with garlic and pesto.

How to Avoid Burger Shrinking when Cooking

I have discovered a little trick to keep them nice and even and it’s much easier than you would think. Simply place the burger patties on parchment or a platter and press gently into the middle to make a little indentation, about the side of a large thumb.

a photo of a garlic pesto caprese burger with the top bun off so you can see the bright red tomato slices drizzled with balsamic glaze.

Three Ways to Ruin a Burger

When looking for the perfect hamburger I’m a big believer that three things can make or break the burger.


The quality of the bun is highly important because it’s the very first thing to hit your tongue. When it’s a heavier meat like beef, it’s best to stick to a light bun that will add to and not detract from the flavor of the sandwich. Look for brioche, challah or a classic white that’s a high quality brand. We love then it’s a little toasted too. It adds a wonderful texture and flavor.

a photo of an open brioche bun laying face up on a wooden cutting board you can see the grill marks on the bun and there is a small bowl of pesto sitting next to it and a plate of lettuce and tomatoes.


The next part of the burger that you will bite into is the sauce and I’m a big fan of a darn good sauce but I also recognize that grilling should feel low-key. For this reason, buy a better quality mayo and then stir in flavor accompaniments such as fresh garlic, salt and pepper.

a photo of a burger with the top bun removed with a garlic aioli, green leave lettuce, melted havarti cheese and bright green pesto on top.


Finally, what you need the most in a good burger is a very good meat. In this case, you’re going to walk on over to the butcher and request both ground chuck and ground sirloin. The flavors in ground chuck and sirloin. These cuts have a beautiful fat content and are perfect for amping up flavor!

Storing and Reheating a Burger

I have two words…just don’t! Haha…once a burger is assembled, it should be eaten immediately and won’t keep well for long. The bun gets soggy, the cheese gets chewy and the lettuce wilts. It’ just not pretty!

If you want to store a burger for later, store everything separately. Then heat the patty in the microwave or stove top, toast the bun, and assemble all the layers right before serving.

a photo of a juicy pesto burger on a toasted brioche bun topped with melted havarti cheese, pesto, lettuce, garlic aioli and tomato slices drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

Nothing says summer like burgers on the grill, but this isn’t any ol’ burger, this one is loaded with pesto and all those perfect caprese flavors! These garlic pesto caprese burgers should be the first recipe on your list of gourmet burgers to try this summer!

More Outrageous Burger Recipes to Try:

Garlic Pesto Caprese Burgers

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Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes


For the Burger Patties

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef Chuck
  • 1/2 Pound Ground Sirloin
  • 1/4 Cup Pesto
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Burger Toppings

  • 4 Brioche Hamburger Buns
  • 4 Leaves Green Lettuce
  • 2 Campari Tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 Slices Havarti Cheese, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Glaze

Garlic Mayo

  • 1/2 Cup Light Mayo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, small, minced
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste


For the Garlic Mayo

  • Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
    1/2 Cup Light Mayo, 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard, 2 Cloves Garlic, Salt and Pepper

For the Burger Patties

  • Transfer the pesto to a bowl with the ground meats and a pinch of salt and pepper, gently knead to blend.
    1 Pound Ground Beef Chuck, 1/2 Pound Ground Sirloin, 1/4 Cup Pesto, Salt and Pepper
  • Form the mixture into four 4-inch patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush the burger patties lightly with olive oil. Add a small indentation in the middle to keep the meat from puffing up and shrinking.
    Olive Oil
  • Grill the burgers over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Flip the burgers, top them with cheese slices and close the grill to allow more melting. Cook for 3 minutes longer for medium-rare and 5 minutes longer for well done.
    4 Slices Havarti Cheese

Assemble the Burgers

  • Meanwhile, grill the buns until lightly toasted, then spread some of the garlic mayo on the bottoms.
    4 Brioche Hamburger Buns
  • Place lettuce on the mayo followed by the burgers on the lettuce. Top with more pesto, tomatoes and a drizzle of balsamic glaze or just balsamic vinegar.
    4 Leaves Green Lettuce, 2 Campari Tomatoes, 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Glaze


Serving: 1gCalories: 792kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 43gFat: 53gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 149mgSodium: 938mgPotassium: 710mgFiber: 2gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 1142IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 298mgIron: 5mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 + BEST Easy Beef Recipes for Dinner, America’s Best 4th of July Desserts, Recipes and Sides, Over 500 Family Dinner Recipes Ideas, Top 10 Delicious Easy Hamburger Recipes

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