Grilled Teriyaki Burgers Recipe

Burgers can seem like a less-than-exciting option for dinner unless you dress them up a bit, which is exactly what recipe developer Kate Shungu is doing here. In this dish, she's going with an Asian-slash-tropical theme, flavoring her burgers with teriyaki sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds and then garnishing them with grilled pineapple and roasted red peppers. "The flavors are reminiscent of a teriyaki dish that's typically served over rice," she says — but of course, this version comes on a bun and goes great with a side of fries.

This burger recipe is highly adaptable, so you can make a few tweaks based on your preferences or the ingredients you have on hand. Opt for 80% or 90% lean ground beef instead of the 85% lean meat Shungu favors, or swap it out for ground turkey or plant-based patties. You can also use a different type of breadcrumbs or even cracker crumbs if you don't have panko, while canned pineapple rings are a convenient swap if you don't want to go through the hassle of cutting a pineapple.

Gather the ingredients for grilled teriyaki burgers

To make the patties, you'll mix ground beef with teriyaki sauce, panko breadcrumbs, green onions, and sesame seeds. Pineapple rings and roasted red peppers go atop the burgers, while canola oil is used for cooking. You're also going to need a few brioche buns to hold everything together.

Step 1: Heat up a grill

‌Preheat grill to medium heat.

Step 2: Mix the beef with breadcrumbs and seasonings

In a large bowl, gently stir together ground beef, 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, panko breadcrumbs, green onions, and sesame seeds.

Step 3: Shape the burgers

Form beef mixture into 4 patties, each about ¾ inch thick.

Step 4: Oil the grill grates

Dip a paper towel into the canola oil. Using tongs so you don't burn yourself, brush the grill with the paper towel to oil the grates.

Step 5: Grill the pineapple on one side

Place pineapple rings on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until grill marks appear.

Step 6: Grill the pineapple on the other side

Flip pineapple rings and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until slightly tender. Remove from heat.

Step 7: Grill the burgers on the first side

Place beef patties on the grill, cover, and cook for 4 minutes.

Step 8: Flip the burgers

Flip patties and continue cooking for an additional 4–6 minutes, or until the beef reaches your desired doneness.

Step 9: Coat the burgers with teriyaki sauce

Remove patties from the grill and brush evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce.

Step 10: Toast the buns

Place brioche buns, cut side-down, on the grill. Heat for 2–3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.

Step 11: Build the burgers

Place the bottom buns on a serving platter. Top each with a beef patty, a pineapple ring, a slice or 2 of roasted red peppers, and a top bun.

Step 12: Eat the burgers while they're hot

Serve immediately.

How do you grill pineapple?

If you're going to grill a pineapple, there are two ways to go about it. The easiest way is to use canned pineapple rings, but if you prefer the tarter taste of fresh pineapple, you'll need to do some prep work. Not only do you need to peel the pineapple, but you'll also need to core and slice it. Shungu suggests cutting the rings ½ inch thick so they're sturdy enough to hold together on the grill. As for the coring job, she prefers a cylindrical cherry pitter, but a small circular cookie cutter or shot glass would also work. Yet another option is to use a pineapple slicer, as this handy gadget will peel, core, and slice the fruit all in one step.

Once you've sliced and cored your pineapple, you'll then need to prepare the grill. "Since pineapple has naturally occurring sugars in it," Shungu explains, "it has a tendency to stick to the grill." That's why you need to grease the grates, as this will allow the pineapple to lift right off the grill when it's done cooking. This same tip, Shungu says, may also keep fish from flaking on the grill.

How do you add more flavor to burgers?

"The key to a restaurant-quality burger is building the flavor and varying the textures," Shungu shares. That's perhaps why restaurant chains like Red Robin cultivate lengthy menus of burgers topped with tasty combos like barbecue sauce, cheddar, and caramelized onions or bacon, eggs, and American cheese. 

In this particular burger, the green onions and teriyaki sauce mixed into the meat provide fresh fragrance and an umami boost, while grilling the pineapple deepens its flavor and makes the fruit even sweeter. The red peppers, too, are more flavorful because of the roasting, adding a sharpness that contrasts with the rich beef.

As for the texture, the pineapple and peppers make for a much heartier mouthful than classic lettuce and tomato, while the sesame seeds inside the burger patties (instead of atop the buns) provide a little bit of crunch from an unexpected direction. Even the step of grilling the buns works to provide some textural contrast, as they're lightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Next time you devise a custom burger recipe, consider these tips on creating complementary textures and flavors.

Grilled Teriyaki Burgers Recipe
4.9 from 18 ratings
Add a tropical, sweet and savory twist to the classic burger with grilled pineapple, roasted red peppers, and teriyaki sauce.
Prep Time
15
minutes
Cook Time
15
minutes
Servings
4
burgers
burger with pineapple and peppers
Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 ¼ pounds 85% lean ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 pineapple rings from 1 fresh pineapple, peel removed and cored
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
  • 4 brioche hamburger buns, sliced
Directions
  1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
  2. In a large bowl, gently stir together ground beef, 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, panko breadcrumbs, green onions, and sesame seeds.
  3. Form beef mixture into 4 patties, each about ¾ inch thick.
  4. Dip a paper towel into the canola oil. Using tongs so you don't burn yourself, brush the grill with the paper towel to oil the grates.
  5. Place pineapple rings on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until grill marks appear.
  6. Flip pineapple rings and cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until slightly tender. Remove from heat.
  7. Place beef patties on the grill, cover, and cook for 4 minutes.
  8. Flip patties and continue cooking for an additional 4–6 minutes, or until the beef reaches your desired doneness.
  9. Remove patties from the grill and brush evenly with the remaining 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce.
  10. Place brioche buns, cut side-down, on the grill. Heat for 2–3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Remove from heat.
  11. Place the bottom buns on a serving platter. Top each with a beef patty, a pineapple ring, a slice or 2 of roasted red peppers, and a top bun.
  12. Serve immediately.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 589
Total Fat 31.4 g
Saturated Fat 9.2 g
Trans Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 96.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 42.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Total Sugars 18.0 g
Sodium 1,006.5 mg
Protein 33.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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