I’ve partnered with Kraft and Collective Bias to create this delicious Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger. This classic, homemade cheeseburger is loaded with your favorite burger toppings, and it’s the perfect way to welcome the start of grilling season! #SayCheeseburger #SoFabCon14 #CollectiveBias
Did you guys notice all of the commercials over the winter for Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburgers? Well, I did. My outdoor thermometer was sitting somewhere far south of 32°F, and every time I turned on the tv, I saw a Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger staring back at me. Gee, thanks. How about rub in the fact that it’s not grilling season just a little bit more? Well, guess what? Now it’s grilling season! I’ve concluded that my outdoor thermometer was in fact not broken, and it’s finally warm outside again.
One of the first meals I crave when the grill returns to life every year is just a delicious, classic cheeseburger. And after seeing those commercials all winter, I decided to mix up the bread choices a bit and make this burger on a fresh ciabatta roll. Sure, it’s a bit different than a normal hamburger bun, but it was still delicious. And, of course, I topped these bad boys with a thick slice of Kraft Natural Colby Jack Cheese. (I’m also particularly fond of Kraft’s Pepper Jack slices, too.) This Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger was a great way to kick off what I hope is a very, very long grilling season this year! I have some really, really exciting news to announce! I was recently chosen to be a Kraft VIP Brand Ambassador at the upcoming Social Fabric Conference! I use Kraft products regularly in the Spiced kitchen, so I’m sure you can imagine how excited I was to hear this news! I almost always grab a pack of Kraft Naturals sliced cheese during my weekly grocery store runs at Walmart.
I personally find that Kraft’s sliced cheeses have the best flavor, so it was a no-brainer for me to use Kraft cheese when making this delicious Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger! My favorite flavor is Pepper Jack, but I decided to go a little less spicy this time and use Kraft’s Colby Jack cheese for these burgers. I’m actually heading out to the Social Fabric conference in just a couple of hours, so stay tuned for more about the conference in future posts! (If you’re following Spiced on Instagram and Twitter, then be sure to tune in over the next couple of days…rumor has it that a ride in the Weinermobile may be in order!)
But back to these delicious Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburgers! Aside from the bun-switcheroo, this is essentially my classic grilled hamburger recipe. I always make my own burgers. It’s not difficult to do at all, and it sure beats the heck out of those flat pre-formed patties from the store. Nope, I want a big, thick juicy burger loaded with all of my favorite toppings. Like pickled jalapenos. I love pickled jalapenos on burgers! Funny story: when I was visiting Nashville for my sister’s wedding a couple of years ago, my wife and I had lunch with my Dad at the Jack Daniels Saloon. I saw a burger on the menu that was loaded with jalapenos. Thinking that this would be something akin to my homemade burgers, I ordered it. Turns out the jalapenos weren’t really pickled. (Pickled jalapenos are usually a good bit milder.)
Our waitress probably got tired of refilling my water. And I got tired of wiping the tears from my eyes. But I’m pretty sure it was one of the highlights of the weekend for my Dad. I was talking to him just the other day, and he said “Remember that time in Nashville when you ordered that burger with all those Texas pickles on top?” “Yes, Dad, I do remember that.” How could I forget?
Despite my jalapeno story above, this burger is really not spicy. I promise! I mean, you can make it spicy if you want. But you don’t have to. I remember when I first learned how to make a burger. I was living in Baton Rouge, LA after college, and my neighbor was nothing short of a grill master. I learned many tricks from him, and we spent many nights (and days) in front of our grills. This classic homemade burger is really quite simple, and the flavor will knock your socks off. That is, if you wear socks in the summer. The secret ingredient? An egg. Yup, that’s right. An egg. I mix an egg in for every 1-1.5 pounds of ground beef to help hold the burger together. To compensate for the extra liquid from the egg, I toss in a handful of bread crumbs or crumbled saltine crackers. I kid you not when I say this is one of the best burgers you’ll ever eat!
Ciabatta Bacon Cheeseburger
- 8 thick-cut slices of bacon
- 16 oz. ground beef
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp onion diced
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup bread crumbs or crumbled saltine crackers
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 ciabatta rolls halved
- 4 slices Kraft Big Slice Colby Jack cheese
- favorite burger toppings tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, pickled jalapenos, mayo, mustard, etc.
- Using a large fry pan or skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels and pat dry; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper. Mix until well combined.
- Shape mixture into 4 patties. (Tip: Make the patties slightly thinner in the center. This will give the burger a better shape once cooked.)
- Grill burgers on medium-high heat until cooked.
- Place the ciabatta rolls on the grill for 1-2 minutes (optional).
- Assemble the burgers with bacon and cheese. Add your favorite burger toppings.