Baby Burgers with Fresh Mozzarella

I love a really good burger regardless of its size, choice of toppings or seasonings. When I lived in Chicago my go-to burger joint was T’s in Andersonville (since closed). I would occasionally pony up to the bar on Monday’s for a double pint of Blue Moon and a ridiculously delicious burger with a side of garlic mayo for my fries. In Pittsburgh, Tessaro’s makes its way to the top of my list for juicy wood-fired beefy goodness.

My longtime friend Mary writes her own food blog called Food o’ del Mundo. So when she asked if I was interested in contributing a guest post for her June Burger EXTRAVAGANZA Month, I exclaimed “absolutely!”

The saying “good things come in small packages” is true when it comes to these cute burger bites. What makes them unique is the bacon is mixed into the ground beef before being cooked. Yum!

Baby Bacon Caprese Burgers

4 strips bacon, roughly chopped
1 lb. ground beef
4 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
8-10 fresh basil leaves
2 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced
1-2 Tbl. mayo or Dijon mustard
8-10 mini buns or dinner rolls
salt and pepper

Cook the chopped bacon in a medium fry pan until crisp. Drain the bacon bits on paper towels and allow to cool. Toss the ground beef and cooked bacon in a medium mixing bowl until the bacon is completely incorporated into the meat.

Portion the beef into 2-3 oz patties. You should get 8 -10 patties out of a pound. The diameter should be slightly larger than the mini buns. A medium sized ice cream scoop works really well. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Grill or fry the burgers for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. Place a single burger inside each bun. Then layer each burger with mozzarella, basil leaves and tomatoes. Spread a small dollop of mayo or Dijon mustard on the inside part of each top bun. Makes 8-10 burgers, depending on the size.

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