Pesto Burgers

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After we purchased half a cow I knew I had to start eating beef  a little more often. J has a big appetite, but I don’t think he can eat 170 pounds of beef by himself in a year (7 ounces a day, 3.25 pounds a week).  Last summer we had tons of basil left over, so I froze a few batches of pesto that I brought to school with me. I froze the pesto in 1/4 cup portions, which worked out perfect for this recipe.  I served the burger with beer bread and sautéed green beans and onions.

Pesto Burgers 


  • 20 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup frozen pesto, thawed


  1. Mix the pesto with the ground beef and form into 5-6 burgers.
  2. Grill burgers using an outdoor grill or George Foreman grill.


Pesto Meatballs


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easier clean-up.
  2. Mix the pesto with the ground beef and form into 1″ meatballs.
  3. Place the meatballs about 2″ apart on the pan.
  4. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

Serve over pasta, on a sandwich, or as an appetizer. You can also freeze these for future use. I recommend you individually freeze the meatballs so you can take out as many as you need (vs. having to thaw the entire package). To do this, line a cookie sheet with cling wrap and place the meatballs on the pan. Freeze for 1 – 2 hours on the pan. Remove from the freezer and place into a freezer bag.


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