You may or may not know this, but the Juicy Lucy was first invented here in Minnesota in Minneapolis.  Depending on who you talk to it was first invented at either Matt’s Bar or The 5-8 Club.  If you don’t know what  a Juicy Lucy is, it’s essentially a cheeseburger with the cheese on the inside of the burger.  So when you bite into it, the cheese oozes out and the burger stays nice and juicy.  I have had the pleasure of having one of these creations at The 5-8 Club and it was quite delicious!

This is my twist on the the Juicy Lucy.  I made it Italian style by stuffing it with fresh mozzarella, pancetta and pesto.  Then I topped it with marinara sauce.  It had great flavor from the pesto and the pancetta and the cheese oozed out quite deliciously when we bit into them.

Italian Style Juicy Lucy

  • 2 lbs ground beef (I use 90% lean)
  • 2 oz pancetta, diced
  • 3 oz fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 4 tsp prepared pesto
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • hamburger rolls

Cook pancetta in a small skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Drain on paper towels.

Form ground beef into 8 patties.

Top each of 4 of the patties with 1/4 of the mozzarella, pancetta and pesto.

Cover each of the patties with the remaining patties, making sure the seams are well sealed.

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a  large skillet (I used a cast iron skillet) over medium heat.

Cook patties for about 10-12 minutes per side, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, slice rolls in half and drizzle cut sides with olive oil.

Toast in a second skillet over medium heat.

Peel and cut garlic clove in half.  Rub cut side of garlic on each of the rolls once they’re toasted.

Place cooked burgers on the bottom of each roll and top with 1/4 of the marinara sauce.


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