Italian Sausage Burgers with Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Aioli
You know we love a good burger mashup—so when we saw this epic creation from Chef Andrea, we were smitten. A cross between an Italian sandwich of sausage and peppers and a classic cheeseburger, it starts with ground Italian sausage blended with oregano and parsley. The patties are seared with melty mozzarella and sandwiched between brioche buns, then finished with crunchy pickled pepperoncini and a creamy roasted red pepper aioli.
Total cook time
- 4 brioche buns
- 2 romaine hearts
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 2 stalks celeries
- 1/4 ounce oregano
- 1/4 ounce parsley
- 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage
- 4 cloves garlic
- 4 ounces mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- black pepper
Slice buns open horizontally, if they arrived whole. Halve romaine hearts lengthwise and rinse thoroughly, then thinly slice leaves crosswise, discarding tough stems. Rinse remaining produce. Halve grape tomatoes. Thinly slice celery. Finely chop oregano and parsley leaves, discarding stems. Finely chop roasted red peppers and place in a small bowl. Thinly slice half of mozzarella; cut remainder into .25-inch cubes.
Place buns cut-side down in a large pan over medium heat. Toast, working in batches as needed, until light golden and warmed through, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to serving plates. Reserve pan for the next step. In a medium bowl, combine oregano, parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, then add sausage. Using your hands, mix well, then form into 4 equal patties, about 1 inch thick. Using your thumb, create a dimple on top of each (see recipe tip).
Return pan from buns to medium heat with 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add burgers and sear until browned on bottom, 5 minutes. Flip, top with sliced mozzarella, cover pan, and sear until burgers are cooked through and no longer pink and cheese is melted, 5 minutes more (see recipe tip). Transfer burgers to a plate and set aside.
While burgers cook, mince garlic and, still on cutting board, sprinkle over .125 teaspoon salt. Using a large knife, carefully scrape over mixture at a 45° angle, pressing down. Repeat until garlic is broken down and a paste forms.
Add mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, and half of garlic paste to bowl with roasted red peppers and stir to combine. Season with salt and black pepper as desired to make roasted red pepper aioli. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining garlic paste, remaining sherry vinegar, .25 cup olive oil, .125 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to fully combine to make vinaigrette.
Add romaine, grape tomatoes, celery, and cubed mozzarella to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Top bun bottoms with burgers, dollop over red pepper aioli, and top with pepperoncini. Finish with bun tops. Serve Italian sausage burgers with salad and any remaining aioli for dipping. Dig in!
All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.