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Mouthwatering Minnesota Juicy Lucy Burger Recipe

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Bring the oozy wonders of this Minnesota classic into your humble abode with our Juicy Lucy recipe, and get ready for a feast like no other with this iconic cheeseburger that even has a seal of approval from a former U.S. president!

Juicy Lucy Burger (sliced in half)

Jucy/Juicy Lucy Burger Recipe

While the true origins of this American showstopper may be hotly contested to this day, there’s no denying that putting the cheese inside the burger patty before cooking it was a stroke of genius!

Whether you’ve got a big party on the horizon or you’re having some cheeseburger-loving friends around for drinks and games, you can have so much fun with a Juicy Lucy. It’s ideal for gatherings, parties, celebrations, and so much more.

Juicy Lucy Burgers (sliced in half)

What is a Juicy Lucy Burger?

The Jucy/Juicy Lucy has had plenty of time in the limelight, with features in the likes of Time magazine and various food shows like the hugely popular Man v. Food.

To this day, two Minneapolis bars, Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club, claim to be the true founders of this burger. Matt’s Bar spells it without the “i”, while the 5-8 Club uses the normal spelling of “juicy”.

While the rivalry continues to this day, the key feature of a Jucy/Juicy Lucy is the arrangement of the melted cheese, which instead of being placed on top of the burger patty, is instead sealed inside two burger patties before being put on the grill.

Believed to have gained significant popularity in the 1950s, today plenty of chefs and creative foodies offer this oozingly satisfying cheeseburger with a range of toppings and sides not only throughout the U.S., but other countries too.

Variations

The beauty of the Juicy Lucy is that you have so much freedom to make it your own, as with any hamburger or cheeseburger. If you need a little inspiration, consider some of these mouthwatering variations:

Original: Use Cheddar cheese for your cheese stuffing with beef patties.

Classic: Our recipe is based on the classic recipe, which sandwiches plenty of good ol’ American cheese between the beef patties.

Blue cheese: Also dubbed the Blucy, switch a generous amount of blue cheese for a burger with plenty of sharpness and tang.

BBQ: Simply top the patty with barbecue sauce for a BBQ-style Juicy Lucy with plenty of sweet, tangy, and spicy notes.

Bacon and Cheddar stuffed: Some people take inspiration from the cheese stuffing, and use bacon strips and Cheddar as their stuffing for a truly indulgent and juicy burger. Finish it with a good squeeze of BBQ sauce.

Spicy: Want to add some heat to your Juicy Lucy? You can try adding chopped chilis or peppers, like jalapenos, with the cheese to your stuffing, or use a chili or pepper-infused cheese, and/or top it with hot sauce.

Pepperoni pizza: Now we’re getting creative! Try it with a sliced pepperoni and mozzarella cheese stuffing, and fuse two of America’s most beloved dishes, pepperoni pizza and the cheeseburger, together!

This really is barely scratching the surface. Look hard enough, and you’ll find all kinds of Juicy Lucy variations online, from Philly Cheesesteak to mac and cheese!

Recipe Ingredients

To make our classic Juicy Lucy recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Juicy Lucy Burger (ingredients on a wooden board).

For 2 burgers:

  • Ground Beef (85% lean 15% fat) – 12 oz (340 grams)
  • Onion – 1 medium onion
  • Salt – 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp fine/table salt)
  • Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cheese (melting like American or Cheddar) – 2-4 slices (to taste)
  • Burger Buns – 2

Step 1 – Chop and grill the onions for about 5-7 minutes.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (grilling onions).

Step 2 – Add the seasonings to the ground beef and combine everything with your hands.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (mixing the ground beef and seasonings).

Step 3 – Split the beef into 4 equal balls (about 3 oz or 85 grams each)

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (shaping the patties).

Step 4 – Press the patties. You can do this one of two ways:

4a – With your hands.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (shapping the patties).

4b – Using a pot or a pan or anything with a flat bottom, press it between two baking paper pieces.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (shapping the patties).
Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (shapping the patties).
Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (shapping the patties).

Step 5 – Put the cheese in the middle of two patties. We used about 2 slices of American each. If you don’t want that much cheese, just use one. The original Juicy Lucy uses Cheddar.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (adding the cheese).
Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (sealing the burger).

Step 6 – Cover with the other two patties and press to close them (pinching the sides sealed shut).

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (sealed burger).

Step 7 – Shape it as evenly as possible.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (sealed burgers).

Step 8 – In a cast iron pan, over medium-high heat, add the patties and cook for about 5 minutes on one side.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (cooking burger in cast iron pan).

Step 9 – Flip and cook for another 4 minutes on the other side until the burger is done. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the middle.

Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (cooking burgers in cast iron pan).
Juicy Lucy Burger Step-by-Step Recipe (cooking burgers in cast iron pan).

Serving Suggestions

Step 10 – Serve with grilled onions. You can add optional toppings such as dill pickles. We also added yellow mustard and ketchup. You can use whatever toppings you desire (the original is garnished just with the grilled onions).

Juicy Lucy Burgers

Step 11 – Enjoy while the cheese is warm. Make sure you don’t burn yourself if the cheese is too hot/gooey in the middle!

Juicy Lucy Burgers cut in half

As with so many different cheeseburgers, you could also consider:

Bun: We’ve stayed true to the classic recipe with a soft, white sesame seed bun, but you could try it in a sweet brioche bun, soft and crusty bread roll, and plenty of others.

Fries: No cheeseburger is complete without a side of hot, crispy French fries, right? You could also serve it with sweet potato fries.

Coleslaw: Great as a burger side, you could also consider plenty of other mixed salads, such as a potato salad like our Olivier salad.

Simple salad: Toss a few greens and diced onion in a bowl with a simple vinaigrette, and serve the burger with a simple green side salad.

Juicy Lucy Burgers cut in half

The possibilities are endless with this beloved cheeseburger. If you’ve got a big gathering on the horizon and you need to feed plenty of hungry mouths, consider this mouthwatering take on the cheeseburger as one of your party foods.

Seeing that melted cheese ooze from the middle of the juicy burger patty never gets old, I can assure you!

Juicy Lucy Burgers cut in half

Juicy Lucy Recipe Card

Yield: 2

Juicy Lucy Burger

Juicy Lucy Burger
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (340 grams) ground beef (85% lean 15% fat)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp fine/table salt)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2-4 slices cheese (melting like American or Cheddar)
  • 2 burger buns

Instructions

  1. Chop and grill the onions for about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the seasonings to the ground beef and combine everything with your hands.
  3. Split the beef into 4 equal balls (about 3 oz or 85 grams each).
  4. Press the patties. You can do this one of two ways:
    a – With your hands.
    4b – Using a pot or a pan or anything with a flat bottom, press it between two baking paper pieces.
  5. Put the cheese in the middle of two patties. We used about 2 slices of American each. If you don’t want that much cheese, use one slice.
  6. Cover with the other patty and press to close them (pinching the sides sealed shut).
  7. Shape it as evenly as possible.
  8. In a cast iron pan, over medium-high heat, add the patties and cook for about 5 minutes on one side.
  9. Flip and cook for another 4 minutes on the other side until the burger is done. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the middle.
  10. Serve with grilled onions.

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Author

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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