Stuffed hamburgers may require an extra baby step or two, but the effort-to-enjoyment ratio is sky-high! Our step-by-step instructions show you how to make stuffed burgers at home. Use one of our great stuffed burger recipes or dream up your own fillings to stuff a burger.

By Sheena Chihak
Updated April 06, 2021
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Stuffed hamburgers are an amazing upgrade from your standard burger fare. Better yet, they're much easier to make than they look. Use our Test Kitchen's tips below as a master recipe for stuffed hamburger patties. Once you know how to stuff a burger, give some of our other great stuffed burger recipes a go. Choose from our tangy Mediterranean-inspired filling, spicy Mexican-inspired filling, or simply fill the patties with cheese or your own creative fillings. You'll be making stuffed burgers for the family all the time after acing this burger technique.

person handling raw beef in glass bowl
Credit: Scott Little

Step 1: A Perfect Meat Mixture for Stuffed Hamburgers

Most stuffed burger recipes start with ground meat and a handful of seasonings. There's also usually an egg involved—this helps bind the meat so the stuffed hamburgers don't fall apart during cooking. This basic recipe for stuffed hamburger patties serves four. To make the meat patties, start by mixing together the following ingredients:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Then add:

  • 1¼ pounds lean ground beef or turkey.

Mix well, then set this mixture aside.

Step 2: Great Fillings for Stuffed Hamburgers

Stuffed hamburgers can be filled with a variety of ingredients. At its most basic, you can simply use shredded cheese for the filling. Some of our favorite cheeses for stuffed hamburgers include mozzarella, blue cheese, feta cheese, and cheddar. Use about 2 Tbsp. of cheese per burger.

You can also add other ingredients to the filling such as fresh or dried herbs, spices, chopped olives, green onions, chiles, bell peppers, or dried fruits. Use about 2 Tbsp. of filling per hamburger. Here are two terrific fillings for stuffed burgers to get your creative juices flowing:

Fiesta Filling for Stuffed Hamburgers: In a small bowl stir together ¼ cup shredded Mexican-style cheese blend, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped tomato, 2 Tbsp. finely chopped and seeded jalapeño pepper, 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro, and 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced green onions.

Greek Filling for Stuffed Hamburgers: In a small bowl stir together ¼ cup finely chopped, seeded tomato, 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese, 2 tsp. finely chopped onion, 2 tsp. finely chopped pitted ripe olives, ¼ tsp. red wine vinegar, ¼ tsp. olive oil; and ⅛ tsp. dried oregano. Cover; chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

cutting meat into patties
Credit: Blaine Moats

Step 3: How to Right-Size the Meat for Stuffed Hamburgers

One of the only challenges to making stuffed hamburgers is making each patty just the right size. Follow these simple tips to achieve the perfect stuffed burger size:

  • After mixing the meat mixture for your stuffed hamburger patties, place the mixture on a cutting board or work surface. Shape the meat mixture into a large, flat rectangle.
  • Score the rectangle crosswise into four equal sections using a knife.
  • Cut lengthwise down the middle, making eight equal-size portions of meat.
using hands to make patties
Credit: Blaine Moats

Step 4: How to Shape Patties for Stuffed Hamburgers

Now that you have eight equal-size squares, use your hands to lightly but firmly press each portion into a 4-inch patty.

placing top on stuffed burgers
Credit: Blaine Moats

Step 5: How to Stuff a Burger

Place 2 Tbsp. of the desired filling in the center of each of four of the patties, spreading filling to within ½ inch of edges (be sure to leave a border to allow room to seal the patties). Top with remaining patties, pressing edges together to seal.

stuffed burger in press
Credit: Yunhee Kim

Making Stuffed Burgers Using a Burger Press

If you end up making stuffed burgers a lot, a stuffed burger press ($10, Bed Bath & Beyond) might be a worthy investment. These gadgets make it easy to shape the burgers into just the right size and to seal the twin patties together; many of these tools even have a feature that presses an indentation into one of the patties to allow you to easily fill your stuffed hamburgers. Follow the manufacturer's directions for using your stuffed burger press.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burger with Red Onion and Spinach
Credit: Andy Lyons
Roasted Garlic-Mozzarella Burger

Step 7: How to Cook and Serve Stuffed Hamburgers

To make stuffed burgers on the stove, heat a grill pan or a 10-inch skillet ($18, Walmart) over medium heat. Cook for 7 minutes and turn burgers carefully using a wide spatula ($12, Bed Bath & Beyond); cook for 5 to 8 minutes more or until burgers are done (make sure they reach 160°F for beef burgers or 165°F for turkey burgers). If desired, toast the hamburger buns.

Serve the stuffed hamburger patties in buns; if you wish, add complementary toppings and/or condiments to the burgers. For example, for our fiesta-stuffed hamburgers, try topping with additional shredded cheese, plus tomato slices, and slather some guacamole on the bottom bun.

Looking for more ideas for what to put in stuffed burgers? Check out these terrific stuffed burger recipes. Start your game night with mini stuffed sliders. Enjoy some smoky flavor with BBQ-cheddar stuffed burgers. Go tangy with some blue cheese. Add some veggies to the mix with our roasted pepper-stuffed burgers or mushroom-stuffed burgers.

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