This grilled cheese burger was inspired by the Sonic Grilled Cheese Double Burger, a delicious mash up of a grilled cheese and a cheeseburger. The patties are thin, slightly crispy, and loaded with buttery goodness, similar to a Culver's ButterBurger (if you're from the Midwest) or a Five Guy's burger (if you're from the East Coast).
I love a good home-grilled cheeseburger, but sometimes I'm craving an indulgent, greasy fast-food-style burger. If that's what you're craving, look no further. This Sonic-copycat burger is great for any occasion when you want to have fast-food burger night at home.
- Ground beef- we use and recommend 80% lean ground beef. We do not recommend anything leaner--it's just not the same.
- Worcestershire sauce
- Butter- we use unsalted
- Onion- we use a sweet onion. Any yellow or white onion will do.
- Texas toast or thick sliced bread- we're talking about loaves like this, not the frozen Texas toast with cheese. Any thick sliced bread works--the Trader Joe's thick cut Brioche loaves work really well too.
- American cheese
- Mayonnaise, mustard, or ketchup for topping
- Other ingredients: black pepper, salt, and garlic powder
See recipe card for amounts.
Step 1: Prepare the ground beef. Add 4 tablespoons of butter, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, and garlic powder to a large mixing bowl and mix until combined. Then add the ground beef and mix until the butter mixture is combined with the beef (I just use my hands).
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and pop into the freezer for 15 minutes. This step ensures that the butter doesn't melt out when it's added to the hot pan.
Step 2: Toast the bread. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a large cast-iron pan or griddle over low heat. Once the butter is melted, add the bread to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until lightly toasted. Remove the toast from the pan.
Step 3: Cook the onions (optional). If you don't like onions, you can skip this step (but actually don't skip this step because they're SO GOOD). Add 2 more tablespoons of butter to the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Once melted, add the onions and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent and slightly golden-brown. Once cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside.
Step 4: Cook the burgers. Remove the ground beef mixture from the freezer and roll into 6 balls. Place 1 or 2 balls into the hot cast-iron pan (medium-low heat), cover with a square of parchment paper, and press down with a large metal spatula or burger press until thin. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until slightly crisp on the bottom, then flip, add cheese, and cook for another minute. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining patties.
Step 5: Compile the burgers. Add two burger patties, cooked onions, and desired toppings to each burger. We like a combination of mustard and mayonnaise.
Alternative topping ideas
- Cooked mushrooms
- Green chiles
- BBQ sauce
Frequently asked questions
You can, but you'll have to turn the heat a little higher. Part of the magic of the cast-iron is how well it maintains and transfers heat. I'd turn up the heat a full level higher than in the instructions if you're using a regular non-stick pan.
That's ok. The goal is to keep the ground beef and butter as cold as possible so the butter doesn't melt out while cooking. Just keep the butter as cold as possible before mixing it with the ground beef, and don't add it until you're ready to cook the burgers.
You can! It'll be more like a regular double-cheeseburger than a grilled cheese burger, but it'll still be delicious!