Marsala Onion Burgers

by Melissa on September 4, 2009

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to make these burgers. Not just because I had a half bottle of Marsala wine to use up, but because the flavor combination of the savory burgers, sharp cheddar cheese and a sweet Marsala sauce sounded amazing. The original recipe calls for mushrooms, but we do not like mushrooms, so I made the sauce with caramelized onions instead. I was so happy with how these burgers came out. I would highly recommend them next time you are looking for something other than a plain old cheeseburger, you won’t regret it. I’ve typed up the recipe below as I made these, but if you like mushrooms, be sure to check out Tara’s blog for the original.


Marsala Onion Burgers

  • 12 oz ground beef (85%/15% works well here) or ground chuck
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium vidalia onion, sliced 
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 ounces assorted mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup sweet Marsala
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • crusty French bread baguette

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

Shape the ground beef into 4 oblong patties, about 4 inches long each. Drizzle the patties with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; repeat on the opposite sides. Cut the french bread into pieces a little shorter than each of the patties and set aside.

Brown the patties in the skillet on both sides until the burgers are medium rare.  Transfer the burgers to a plate and keep warm; leave the juices in the pan.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the onion and salt. Cook over medium-low heat until onions are very soft and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and  sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the Marsala and simmer until the Marsala reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the rosemary sprig. Simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Return the burgers to the skillet. Cook burgers until they are medium, turning to coat, about 1 minute. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add 1 oz of cheese to the top of each burger and cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt, about 2 minutes.

When the cheese has melted, remove the burgers from the pan and place on the French bread.  Top the burgers with Marsala sauce and then the top of the French bread. Serve hot.

Source: Adapted from Smells Like Home.

You may also like:

Like this post? Share with your friends!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

John W September 5, 2009 at 8:46 am

nice burger recipe melissa. but imo, french bread does not make a good hamburger bun. did you eat one like that? squished out all over the place? and then you had to saw back and forth a little like a shark to complete the bite?


Melissa September 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm

John- Thanks for the comment. I actually liked the texture and flavor of the french bread with these burgers and did not have a problem eating them. I also bought very fresh french bread, and like I said, they were delicious. I am sure a traditional hamburger bun would work just as well for you.


Joelen September 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

I love the way marsala is used here! So creative and I’m sure just as good using ground chicken for chicken burgers!


Kerstin September 5, 2009 at 12:52 pm

What flavorful burgers, they look great with those yummy onions and cheese!


Kate September 5, 2009 at 8:47 pm

OMG – my favorite part is the baguette! I want a burger on baguette SO badly right now!


BMK September 5, 2009 at 9:30 pm

These look so yummy. I’m going to have to try this one soon.


Colleen September 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm

YUM – I am definitely making these very soon!


Elizabeth September 6, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I have a half a bottle of Marsala to use up and this looks great. I know what’s going on my menu next week.


woods4 September 7, 2009 at 10:04 pm

love the looks of this recipe!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: