Caesar Salad Burger

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Burgers are a pretty popular meal in my house. But we don’t make your typical burgers very often. We like to vary the meats and toppings. Chicken, Turkey, and beef are always rotating. And then there is the constant experimentation of flavors and styles. That is how I landed on the Caesar Salad Burger.

Caesar Salad Burger

Typically what I like to do is think of a food that we all love – maybe a style of food or a flavor profile – and figure out how to turn that into a burger. This one is no different. I started with grass-fed ground beef (we like to get it from a local farmer just outside of town) and combined the hallmark flavors of Caesar Salad – Parmesan cheese, black pepper and garlic. I like to mix my own patties because I think the handmade patties is just prettier – more appealing.

Then I mixed up some classic Caesar Salad – romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, black pepper and Caesar Dressing. Top the burger with that once it’s grilled and put it all on a toasted Brioche Bun. to make the buns I put them all face up on a cookie sheet and brush them with melted butter mixed with parsley and garlic powder. Put that in the oven and toast it until golden brown.

I served it with homemade beer battered onion rings, but you could do sweet potato fries, corn salad, garlic Parmesan rice or any number of other sides. Check out the Side Dishes & Sauces Recipe Collection

If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now let’s get cookin’!

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Caesar Burger

Putting the classic flavors of Caesar Salad on a Bun
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword burger, dinner, hamburger, main dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

For the Burger

  • 2 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Egg beaten
  • 3 Garlic Cloves minced
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese shredded
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 6 Brioce Hamburger Buns
  • 4 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley

For the Salad

  • 2 Romaine Hearts chopped
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded
  • ½ cup Caesar Dressing
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Preheat Grill to 400deg. Preheat oven to 450deg
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients for the burgers (beef, Parmesan, egg, garlic, salt and pepper). Then shape into patties roughly 3½ inches wide by ¾ inch tall.
  • Once the grill is heated up, put burgers on and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and let rest at least 5 minutes before building burgers.
  • While the burgers are grilling, place buns, face up, on a cookie sheet. Combine melted butter, garlic powder and parsley and brush on to buns. Put in oven for 8 minutes (or until golden toasted)
  • In a salad bowl, combine the ingredient for the salad and place in fridge until ready to build burgers.
  • To build the burger, simple take bottom bun, top with burger, then some of the Caesar salad and the top bun. Enjoy!

Notes

You can also pan fry the burgers if you don’t have a grill. Use a medium-high heat pan with about a tbsp of oil. Same cook time. 

Lemon Dill Orzo Salad

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Every summer my family uses our grill for most dinners – so the meat is usually easy to figure out. So then it becomes all about the side dishes – what can I do with the side dishes to keep it interesting? That’s how I came up with this Lemon Dill Orzo Salad. I was trying to develop something that was still a cold salad but not just some greens and veggies.

Lemon Dill Orzo Pasta

This salad is perfect for potlucks and picnics because it travels very well and actually gets better the longer you let it sit once you combine everything. It is super easy to put together quickly – you can basically prep all the veggies and make the dressing in the time it takes for the bacon bits to crisp up and the orzo to cook.

Prepping the cucumbers is an important step in the process though. You want to make sure that you remove all the seeds from the cucumber so that you don’t end up with a soggy mess of an Orzo Salad. First you want to peel the cucumber, then cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and then cut the cucumber into chunks. It takes an extra minute or two but it is so worth it!

The versatility of this side dish is another great selling point. It can go with pretty much any protein – grilled chicken, steaks, burgers, grilled pork, even shrimp or fish. And the Orzo just makes it sound more fancy! If you need more side dish ideas check out my Side Dishes & Sauces Recipe Collection.

I think this dish will definitely be a great addition to your potluck menu collection. If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!

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Lemon Dill Orzo Salad

A perfect side dish for any picnic, potluck or backyard BBQ!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Orzo Salad, Pasta Salad, Salad, Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Orzo Pasta
  • ½ lb Bacon cut in ½ in pieces
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers diced
  • ½ Red Onion diced
  • 1 English Cucumber peeled, seeded, diced

For the Dressing

  • 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 2 Lemons
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Parsley

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta
  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add bacon piece and cook until crispy. Remove to a plate with a paper towel and let cool until ready to add to salad
  • Add orzo to boiling water and cook as directed on package. Drain and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process.
  • In a large serving bowl, zest both lemons and then juice both lemons. Add all ingredients for the dressing and whisk together.
  • Fold orzo into dressing until well coated. Then add in bacon and vegetables. Serve right away or cover and put in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Turkey Club Wraps – a dinner on the go

Turkey Club Wraps are great for those days that you have very little time to make dinner – maybe you have to get to a ball field right after work or you want to get some lake time in before the sun goes down. It is also an excellent recipe for those times when you forgot to take something out for dinner! You can also make this one ahead of time and just store them for later (just don’t cut them in half until you are ready to serve them up.)

Homemade on a Weeknight does not mean that you have to cook every night – sometimes it means pulling together a great variety of ingredients to make a delicious meal. The assembly of these wraps is the real key to success! Over the years I have made tons of wraps (I worked my way through College at a sandwich counter!) and I have learned some tricks! The biggest one so many people miss is putting a little smear of cream cheese on the outer edge of the tortilla. This makes a nice little seal for the tortilla flap when you roll it up!

Turkey Club Cream Cheese Placement

You can use the basic concept of these wraps to make a vast variety of wraps with whatever you have on hand – they don’t have to be Turkey Club Wraps every time. The cream cheese and the combo of veggies and meat are the essentials – after that you can go wild with ingredients. Some great things to try are Chicken Strips, Alfalfa Sprouts, Ham, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Ranch Dressing, Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Romaine Lettuce, Carrots, Steak strips…the list goes on and on. They also make a great meal to use of leftovers.

Turkey Club Ingredients
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I think this dish will definitely be a great addition to your weekly menu rotation. If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!

Order the Weeknight Cookbook Today!

Have you been scrolling through the food pics on this site and drooling? Do you need a go-to collection of recipes to sit down with each week to make your meal plan? Maybe it’s that you are just ready to start making meals at home with real ingredients to get your whole family on the healthy track? Well you are in luck! You can now purchase your own copy of the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook through Amazon today! It is available in Paperback or eBook Versions!

Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook by Estelle Forrest

The Homemade on a Weeknight cookbook has 100 dinner recipes – divided into 5 categories:

Along with a collection of Side Dishes & Sauces to make every night of the week homemade! The ingredients are simple and easy to find in most grocery stores. You will find a variety of variations listed at the bottom many of the recipes as well as side dish suggestions.

You will also find Plating Notes on several recipes. This will help you make your food look as good as it will tastes. I have found that it’s especially important to make the plates looks appealing when you are trying to get your kids (or partner!) to try something new. The way you plate the meal also helps people to know “how” to eat the dish – sometimes a meal is better to eat all mixed together and sometimes it should be taken on in stages.

Right to left & Top to Bottom: Bacon & Bleu Steak Stuffed Potatoes, Pasta Salad, Huevos Rancheros, Sweet Pepper Nachos, Iberian Chicken, and Shrimp Burrito Bowls

Every one of these recipes have been made in my own kitchen and tested out on my husband and kids! I have spent hours and hours tweaking and trying new things so that I could create this collection of recipes. This weeknight cookbook is by no means a diet plan – Homemade on a Weeknight is a lifestyle plan. It is designed to help you and your family fall in love with eating real food at home any night of the week.

Taco Pasta Recipe Video

Check out my first very recipe video! I am sharing the Taco Pasta recipe from the Ethnic Adventures section of my cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight! This dish is super easy to make – less than 30 minutes! And most of the ingredients are things that everyone has in their cupboards already, making it budget friendly.

Taco Pasta

This recipe came about by trying to find a variation on mac and cheese. What kid does not love mac and cheese – but how do you liven it up so the adults in the family will eat it too? Simple – add some meat, some green chilies, tomato paste, and some spices and you have Taco Pasta.

You can use any type of short pasta – shells, penne, rotini, cellantini, elbows, seriously any type of short pasta! And you can also change this recipe up a little by using Ground Beef instead of Ground Turkey or you could could give it a little more kick by using Pickled Jalapenos instead of Green Chilies! I usually serve this with a little Southwest Side Salad (lettuce, black beans, tomatoes, carrots, shredded cheese, tortilla strips and Avocado Ranch!)

I really hope you all like this video – it was very fun to make! And you can see one of my sons’ little hands helping me out!

Sausage & Peppers with Beer Cheese Pasta

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My family loves pasta dishes and I absolutely love to make sauces from scratch. It gives me a chance to be really creative with different flavor combinations.

So many people are scared to make a sauce and reach for a packet or jar instead. It really is not that difficult at all – if you can whisk you can make a sauce! And when you make a sauce from scratch you can save your family from a lot of preservatives and other additives that they put in to make them “shelf-stable”. That’s what Home Cookin’ is all about!

All you need is a way to thicken it (butter or oil, and flour, cornstarch or wine), some liquid (broth, milk, heavy cream) and then your desired flavoring (citrus juices, cheeses, pureed veggies, etc.) With these three basic things, you can make so many different combinations of sauces to go with any protein, pasta, rice or veggie!

This dish is one of the fastest Weeknight meals you can make and it is so full of flavor. The Beer Cheese sauce comes out so silky smooth. It is important that you use a Lager for this because they have a lighter flavor, it won’t over power the dish with hoppy-ness. If you use a stronger beer like an IPA or Stout, you will get a much stronger beer flavor. I also would steer clear of any type of fruity beer flavoring for this particular sauce – it may not blend with the cheese well since the fruit flavor maybe magnified when you cook it down. I like to use Pub Beer from 10 Barrel Brewing.

Sausage & Peppers with Beer Cheese Pasta

Plating is also a big part of this meal. Everyone eats with their eyes first – and this dish can easily be a feast! Almost every pasta dish I make, I like to serve in a shallow pasta bowl – like this one by Corelle. It is a 20 ounce shallow bowl that keeps the dish together while still letting it be beautifully presented. And the sprinkle of parsley makes just about any dish look picture ready.

Another great thing about making Pasta and Sauce dishes for my family is that I don’t have to make two meals (a low carb meal for me) because I can just make a bowl with the meat and veggies and still get in on that yummy sauce!

I think this dish will definitely be a great addition to your weekly menu rotation. If you like this recipe and want to get more like it, you can purchase the Homemade on a Weeknight Cookbook in Paperback or Kindle (eBook) versions through Amazon.

Now Let’s Get Cookin’!

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Sausage & Peppers with Beer Cheese Pasta

A simple Beer Cheese Sauce over pasta with Chicken Sausage and Peppers
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Home Cookin’, Pasta, Sauce, Sausage
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Author Estelle Forrest

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Chicken Sausage (any flavor) cut in 1-in chunks
  • 3 Bell Peppers (any color) cut in 1-in chunks
  • 1 ½ lb Short Pasta (spiral, shell, penne, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Parsley (dried)

For the Beer Cheese Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Flour (AP, Whole Wheat or Almond)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 12 oz Lager
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded

Instructions

  • Prepare all of the ingredients. Start water boiling for pasta.
  • In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add oil, sausage, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Let cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add peppers. Reduce heat to medium and cook for same amount of time as pasta. Add pasta to boiling water and cook as directed on package.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add salt and garlic powder. Whisk in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Still whisking, pour in lager and continue to stir for 2 more minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and cook another 3 minutes then add cheese by the handful, stirring to incorporate each time.
  • Once pasta is done, drain and rinse with cool water to arrest cooking process. Return to pot and pour Beer Cheese Sauce over top and half of parsley. Combine until pasta is thoroughly coated.
  • Plating Notes: In a shallow bowl, fill bottom with a portion of pasta.Top one half of bowl with sausage and pepper mixture and garnish with remaining parsley.

Cookbook ready for purchase

The Cookbook is on sale NOW!

Cooking is one of the great gifts you can give to those you love.

— Ina Garten

It is official! All the hard work of cooking and creating recipes over the last year has finally come to print in my first ever Cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook. You can purchase your own copy – either Print or Kindle here on Amazon

The cookbook is divided into 5 categories: Home Cookin‘, Let’s Get Fancy, Ethnic Adventures, Soups, Salads & Bowls, and Healthier Fare. There is also a section on Side Dishes & Sauces so that you can easily make full meals – any night of the week!

I cannot wait to hear what you think about the recipes! Please take a moment to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram!

I will also be using this blog to share new recipes as well as plating ideas, How-to’s and (coming soon!) recipe videos so you can see the dishes come to life!