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  • Writer's picturedeborahreinhardt

Big Beefy Onion Burgers

Vidalia onions, provolone cheese, and dry onion soup mix provide big flavor to ground beef for a tasty grilled summer burger.

thick hamburger on pretzel bun with sautéed onions and melted white cheese on a white plate
Big Beefy Onion Burger

Americans love their burgers. A 2022 study revealed that 58 percent of us will order a burger from a menu, totally 60 burgers per year. And now that grilling season is officially on, with July 4 just around the corner, I’m guessing burgers will be sizzling in backyards throughout the land.

While there’s nothing wrong with the classic American cheeseburger with cheddar, pickles, lettuce, and a favorite condiment, I’m partial to my Big Beef Onion Burgers inspired by what Mom used to give Dad to slap on the grill. She simply added dry onion soup mix to her burgers, but this version triples the funky onion flavor without taking over the beefy burger.

And because they are in season now, look for Vidalia onions. Georgia’s gift to grill masters everywhere, these onions are slightly flatter in shape have less sulfur and more sugar content.

Who else remembers the Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” commercials? The catch phrase debuted in 1984 and was delivered by unknown actress Clara Peller as she, along with two other granny types, examined a puny hamburger by a fast-food competitor. The phrase made the late-night talk show rounds, was turned into a song by Nashville artist Coyote McCloud, and even permeated the 1984 presidential election.

I think there’s a place for the thin, crispy diner-style burgers, but sometimes, I just need a thick, beefy chew, and Big Beefy Onion Burgers fit the bill. You’ll need a bit of patience to cook down the onion, but it’s worth the extra effort. So, let’s get grilling!

To make my Big Beefy Onion Burgers, which yields four servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds ground chuck (80/20 fat content)

  • 1 tablespoon dry onion soup mix

  • 1 large Vidalia onion

  • 1 teaspoon oil

  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

  • 4 slices provolone cheese

  • 4 pretzel buns

  • 1 teaspoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions for Big Beefy Onion Burgers

Bring ground beef to room temperature. Grate a tablespoon of onion and cut remaining into slices.

In a skillet over medium heat, add oil and onion slices. Cook onion down until they turn very soft and are a deep brown color. This will take at least 30 minutes. When onions have cooked down, add balsamic vinegar. If you don’t have that in your pantry, Worcestershire sauce is a good substitute.

When you’re ready to mix the beef, break up meat into a large bowl. Add grated onion, dry onion soup mix and pepper. Gently combine using your hands. Form into 4 patties.

At this point, you can cook the patties on the stovetop using a grill or skillet. I grilled them outside but recommend using a skillet on the grill. This will prevent all the juicy goodness from dropping into the briquettes or charcoal. I grilled the first side of each patty 6 minutes then flipped the burgers (only flip once) until internal temperature reached 160 degrees F (per USDA guidelines).

Just before the burgers are finished, top each with a slice of cheese and allow to melt. When burgers are finished, take off grill, allowing juices to redistribute and rest for at least 5 minutes, 10 preferably.

While the grill/grates are hot, butter the inside of pretzel buns and place on grill for 2 to 3 minutes, just to create the char marks and toast the bread.

Now you can build this delicious, beefy burger! Place a patty on the bun bottom, top with cooked onions and close the lid. I didn’t add any condiments, but you do you. Serve with whatever summer side you like. Give these Big Beefy Onion Burgers a try and let me know what you think.


If you like my onion burger, you'll love this next recipe!

Here’s another option for big, beefy flavor that’s great for the grill. Mom’s Mock Filet Mignon. Download the recipe now and you can enjoy her beefy dish this weekend.

About the blog

Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today so you won’t miss a single delicious detail.

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