Make juicy apple burgers with sharp cheddar cheese and caramelized onions on homemade buns to welcome fall cookout season, with a new savory recipe to utilize fresh apples.
This Recipe is Sponsored by Starr Ranch Growers and JUICI Apples. All thoughts and text are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that help make Two Cups Flour possible.
I’m a huge burger connoisseur here. But not just any regular all beef burger. In fact, my favorite burger recipes are a mixture of meats, veggies, and fun toppings.
I love highlighting different ingredients in new fun ways. And now, so excited to share this new recipe inspired by fresh gala apples from Starr Ranch Growers.
Making Apple Burgers
Summers are known for burger season, grilling out, and loading your plate with fixins while enjoying the warm weather. However, I love the transitional time when Fall is creeping in, jeans are the perfect attire and bugs aren’t after my meal.
To celebrate this change of seasons, I partnered with Starr Ranch Growers to combine fresh fall apples with my love for burgers.
Starr Ranch has been growing apples in the state of Washington for over 85 years. They offer a variety of apples, including the vibrant juicy Gala feature in this recipe.
Apple burgers consist of patties made with a mixture of pork, beef, and shredded apples. Ingredients added to enhance the flavor are fresh sage, brown sugar, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
The fresh sage adds a lightness and compliments the fruit throughout the burgers. And the brown sugar adds a little sweetness with dijon for a balanced flavor profile.
Now, that the burger patties are made, it’s time for the fixins aka the toppings. I chose extra sharp cheddar for these burgers, with fresh leafy green lettuce, a few thin apple slices, and lightly caramelized onions. Ticking all the texture boxes here!
Finally the burger bun is a soft seeded brioche made with onions and sweet potato puree. You can check out my Homemade Burger Bun Recipe for 12 delicious fresh buns. You may have a few leftover, but they are great for making a breakfast sandwich the next morning.
Smear on a little aioli, mayo, or your fav mustard to the underside of the top bun and enjoy!
Ingredient You Will Need
Homemade Burger Buns
A delicious burger needs a tasty bun. My homemade burger buns are a fluffy brioche flavored with roasted sweet potato puree, caramelized onions, and a seeded top. Easy to make and a perfect addition to your cookout. This recipe makes 12 buns, so you can save some for breakfast sandwiches or lunch the next day.
Starr Ranch Gala Apples
The best part about these burgers are the shredded apples inside the meat patty. No need to peel the skin, just remove the core and stem. Grade the fresh apple and mix right into the meat for extra moisture and apple flavor.
I also love the crunch of fresh apples slices layered amongst the caramelized onions and cheese when building your burger. Add just a couple or up to four thin slices. The Gala apples are soft enough that you can bite into them with ease, while still giving a little texture difference.
Sage is such a wonderful herb to pair with apples, pork, and cheese. It’s earth, slightly peppery and lemony flavor profile is a wonderful additive to season this fall burger.
Just a little butter, heat and slices of yellow onions will add a whole new taste party to your burgers. The longer you cook the onions the more golden they will become.
I prefer mine soft with dark golden edges. Cook yours about 10-15 minutes extra while stirring for more caramelization. If they start to stick to the pan, just add in a little water and keep stirring.
Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Apples and cheddar cheese are such a nostalgic childhood snack and a great burger topping combo. Whether you go for extra sharp or Vermont white cheddar, add the cheese while the burgers are grilling to melt.
Lettuce and Aioli
I’ve made these burgers with both leafy green lettuce and baby spinach. Both are equally tasty and pair nice with a simple aioli slathered on the underside of the top bun.
These burgers are the perfect size for a single portion meal. This recipe makes 8 burgers with patties that are about ¾ inch thick and 4 inches wide after cooking.
To make thinner burgers, simply weigh and divide the meat into 12 portions. Form into patties a little wider than bun size. The meat will shrink as it cooks.
Pair these apple burgers with your favorite fries, potato salad, or homemade potato chips. Enjoy outside with friends, maybe pair with an apple forward hard cider too!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large yellow onions peeled
- 1 Starr Ranch Gala Apple core and skin removed, skin intact, shredded
- 1.5 pounds 80/20 ground beef
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage finely chopped
- 8 slices extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 Starr Ranch Gala Apples core and stem removed, thinly sliced
- fresh leafy green lettuce
- aioli or mayo as needed
Homemade Burger Buns
- Make burger buns according to recipe a couple hours before ready to make burgers. You can also make the buns the a day ahead and store in an air tight container at room temperature.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat until melted and sizzling. A large saucepan will help keep onion slices from flipping out onto stove as you stir. This also gives the onion slices plenty of room to cook without being stacked on top of each other.
- Cook the onions while gently stirring, until they are soft and starting to turn translucent, about 1–2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook onions, stirring every few minutes. Stirring gently prevents them from sticking to the bottom of pan and burning on edges.
- Allow onions to cook until golden blonde in color, around 15–20 minutes. If onions are getting too brown for your liking, just reduce heat. Or continue to cook and stir an additional 10-15 minutes on low, for darker more caramelized onions.
- Remove from heat and set aside for topping burgers later. You can place them in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Combine beef, pork, brown sugar, mustard, salt, pepper and grated apple in a large bowl. Gently mix together with hands.
- Weigh and divide meat into 8 balls. Form into patties slightly larger than buns.
- Prepare grill or large skillet to medium heat. Cook until desired doneness. about 4 minutes on each side for medium.
- Place cheese on burger slices to melt while still warm.
- Slice homemade burger bun in half. Place leafy green lettuce on bottom bun to prevent getting soggy from meat patty.
- Place thin gala apple slices onto lettuce.
- Set cheese covered burger patty onto apple slices. Top with caramelized onions.
- Spread aioli or favorite sauce on underside of top bun. Place top bun on burger and enjoy!