Chicago Style Pizza Burger

Pairs well with:

Cabernet Sauvignon

This rich red easily complements your homemade chicken dishes, red meats, game, and mildly seasoned pastas.

This burger takes the tastes of a Chicago style pizza and meshes them with a burger.The meat is flavored with spices used in Italian sausage, a Chicago favorite, and the burger is then assembled in the same way as Chicago deep dish pizza. In Chicago style pizza the cheese is on the bottom, with the toppings next, and the sauce last, which is how this burger is put together. Here I add an extra crust, to make it more of a pizza meets burger taste.


1 12-oz can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons dried granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Sutter Home Cabernet Sauvignon

2 pounds 80/20 ground chuck
2 tablespoons of minced garlic packed in water
1 teaspoon dried fennel seed
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup chopped white onions
1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms

2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, for brushing on the grill rack

1 package (2 crusts) of Mama Mary’s 12″ pizza crusts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil

1 small green pepper cut into thin slices.
6 slices provolone cheese
6 slices mozzarella cheese


Preheat a propane grill to high. This will be about 400 or 450 degrees.

To make the sauce, mix tomato paste, red pepper, granulated garlic, basil, oregano, sugar, water, and the cabernet sauvignon wine together in a small grill safe pan. A small cast-iron skillet of about 6 inches works perfectly. Put this on the grill, on indirect heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning. This can be removed during cooking if more room on the grill is needed, just make sure it is hot when the time comes for assembly.

To make the patties, combine the chuck, minced garlic, parsley, pepper and salt. Try not to handle too much, but still ensure that the spices are thoroughly mixed in. Divide into six even balls and form them into circular patties approximately half an inch thick. Loosely cover and set aside until grill is ready.

To prepare the toppings, put the canola oil in another small grill safe pan (again, cast iron works perfect) and heat on the grill. Add the onions to the pan and sweat them until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft.

For the buns, cut each pizza crust into six even wedges. Cut the lip of the crust off of six of these pieces. Mix together the olive oil, oregano, and basil. Brush the top of each wedge liberally with the spiced olive oil mixture.

When the grill is ready and the mushrooms and onions are done, brush the grill rack with vegetable oil. Place the patties on the rack, cover and cook, turning once until done to preference, about 2-3 minutes on each side for medium. Move patties to indirect heat and add a slice of green pepper, some of the mushroom and onion mixture (about 2 heaping tablespoons full), a slice of provolone cheese, and a slice of mozzarella to each patty. These are done when the cheese is melted. While the cheese is melting, place the pizza crust wedges, oiled side down, on the grill to toast. Pay careful attention to them and pull off when slightly crispy and warm.

To assemble the burgers, place a burger patty upside down on one of the pizza crust wedges with a lip, so that the cheese is on the bottom and there is a naked burger facing you. Slather the naked part of the burger liberally with the pizza sauce and top with a pizza crust wedge without a lip, oiled side down. Eat hot and enjoy!