Cheeseburger Pizza

A pizza that tastes just like a burger! Make this cheeseburger pizza recipe―topped with ground beef, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and special sauce―and turn a regular weeknight into a party.

Slice of Cheeseburger Pizza on Small Plate, and in the Background, Another Slice on a Plate and More Pizza on a Circular Wooden Tray

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

The first time we had a cheeseburger pizza from our local chain pizza store, I just knew I'd regret allowing our kids to order it. Surprisingly enough, though, it works. My family raves that this pizza tastes just like the burgers we get from a burger joint "run by more than four guys," if you catch what I'm laying down. 

If you've never had a cheeseburger pizza before, it's exactly what it sounds like: a sesame seed pizza crust is smothered in a "special sauce" and topped with sharp cheddar cheese. Then, it's topped with savory ground beef—seasoned just as you would your juicy burgers—plus pickles, fresh tomato slices, and more cheese. 

Because pizza Fridays are my family's thing, we've made cheeseburger pizzas more times than I can remember, but we've never made it the same way twice. Start with the classic recipe, but experiment with the toppings, crust, or cooking method as you become more familiar with it. 

The Best Ground Beef Ratio

I prefer to use the same type of ground beef when making this pizza that I use for my burgers. Ground chuck (80/20) is my go-to burger meat because it has a good amount of fat (where that "20" comes from) which helps flavor the meat while also keeping it juicy. Since the ground beef will be cooked twice, first in the pan to brown it and second in the oven while baking on the pizza, it's important to use ground meat with at least 10 percent fat in it. No one wants bone-dry burger meat on their pizza. 

Another key to its flavor is seasoning the meat before it's browned to seal in the spices. Cooking it with the onions adds even more flavor. Once the seasoned ground beef is fully cooked, it’s ready to top the pizza dough. 

Slice of Cheeseburger Pizza on Small Plate Next to a Circular Wooden Tray with More Pizza and a Pizza Wheel and on the Counter, a Kitchen Towel

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

Swaps, Subs, and Variations

  • Your cheeseburger pizza is your masterpiece, so customize it with your favorite toppings. I'm always down for a bacon cheeseburger, but maybe your pizza looks like a bacon and mushroom cheeseburger pizza.
  • Use a homemade, store-bought, or packaged mix pizza dough for this recipe. One of the appealing parts of this pizza is its convenience, especially when you get some help from the store. 
  • The secret sauce can be swapped out for a Thousand Island dressing. If your favorite burger joint has its own sauce, pick up a bottle and use that instead.  
  • Because dill pickles impart a more savory flavor, that's what I prefer to top my pizza with. However, if you're into a sweeter contrast, use bread and butter pickles instead. 
  • Replace the sharp cheddar cheese with Colby jack, mild or medium cheddar, or Swiss cheese. 
  • Sprinkle everything bagel seasoning, garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, or poppy seeds on the crust instead of sesame seeds. 
  • The rest of the toppings really are endless. Well, I mean, within reason, you still need to pick up the slice, after all. Add cooked, crumbled bacon, sliced mushrooms, pickled jalapeño slices, or sautéed green peppers with the burger meat and onions to vary your cheeseburger pizza. 
  • Baking your cheeseburger pizza in an oven is delicious, but grilling this pizza is clutch!
Slice of Cheeseburger Pizza on Small Plate, and in the Background, Another Slice on a Plat and More Pizza on a Circular Wooden Tray, and a Kitchen Towel

Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

Beefy Dinners for Busy Families

Cheeseburger Pizza

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings

Shredding your sharp cheddar cheese at home is the best way to get that ooey-gooey melt on it. Pre-shredded cheese is coated in an anti-caking mixture that inhibits its full melting potential. 

For more texture on the pizza, top the pizza with the lettuce after it's baked. You can throw on more pickles and tomatoes then, too.

Ingredients

For prepping the pan

  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal

Secret Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced

  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pizza

  • 1 pound ground chuck

  • 1/2 yellow onion (about 1 cup), minced

  • 2 teaspoons burger or steak seasoning

  • 1-pound ball pizza dough, fully risen

  • Flour, as needed for shaping the dough

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 1 tablespoon cold water

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups Secret Sauce (or Thousand Island dressing), divided

  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 3/4 cup dill pickle slices

  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

Special Equipment

  • 1 (12 or 14-inch) pizza pan

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). 

    Sprinkle a 12-14-inch pizza pan with the cornmeal. This will keep your pizza crust from sticking to the pan later. Set the pan aside.

    Cornmeal Sprinkled onto a Pizza Pan

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

  2. Prepare the secret sauce: 

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yellow onion, ketchup, yellow mustard, lemon juice, sweet paprika, and salt until smooth. Once the mixture is smooth, allow it to sit at room temperature or in the fridge to allow the flavors to combine while you start cooking the ground meat. You’ll have between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 cups of sauce.

    Bowl of Special Sauce Ingredients (Salt, Paprika, Ketchup, Minced Onions, Mayonnaise, Mustard, and Minced Pickles) for Cheeseburger Pizza Topping

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Special Sauce Whisked Together in a Bowl

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Simple Tip!

    This sauce can be made a week in advance.

  3. Brown the ground beef and onions:

    Add the ground meat and onions to a large skillet. Turn the stove up to medium-high heat and sprinkle the burger seasoning over the beef and onions. Cooking the meat this way eliminates the need for additional oil in the pan, as the fat will render from the meat.

    Once the stove has been turned on, start breaking up the meat and mixing in the onions and spices with a spoon or spatula. 

    Cook until the meat is fully cooked and no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Use a large spoon to drain off most of the fat; discard the fat. Set the skillet aside, off the heat.

    Ground Beef and Onions Stirred in a Skillet as They Cook on a Stove for Cheeseburger Pizza Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Cooked Ground Beef and Onions in a Skillet for Cheeseburger Pizza Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

  4. Par-bake the pizza crust: 

    Lightly flour your hands and a rolling pin. Roll the pizza dough out into a circle that's 1-2 inches larger than your pizza pan. 

    Simple Tip!

    Pizza dough that’s straight from the fridge is easier to shape than room temperature dough, as you need little to no flour to keep it from sticking.

    Prepare the egg wash in a small bowl by whisking together the egg yolk and cold water. 

    Brush a 1 1/2-inch border around the outer rim of the pizza dough with the egg wash. Roll the edges of the pizza in 2 inches towards the center of the circle to create the pizza crust. Brush a light layer of the egg wash onto the crust you've just formed and sprinkle the sesame seeds onto the egg wash. Use the tines of a fork to prick holes in the dough in the center of the pan. 

    Slide the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.

    Cheeseburger Pizza Crust Carefully Stretched onto Pizza Pan

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Fork Used to Poke Holes into Cheeseburger Pizza Crust

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Cheeseburger Pizza Crust Edges Slightly Folded in and Topped with Sesame Seeds

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

  5. Assemble and finish baking: 

    Once the pizza dough is lightly browned and has blistered slightly, remove the pan from the oven. 

    Use the back of a wide spoon to spread 1 1/4 cups of the secret sauce onto the pizza crust. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheddar cheese over the sauce, then top the cheese with the seasoned burger-onion mixture. Next, arrange the pickles and halved tomatoes on top of the beef and top with the remaining cheese. 

    Bake the pizza until the cheese is fully melted and the pizza crust is golden brown in color, 10-12 minutes. 

    Simple Tip!

    If you are using a 12-inch pizza pan, you may need a little less sauce and cheese.

    Special Sauce Spread onto Par-Baked Cheeseburger Pizza Crust, and Surrounding the Pizza Pan, Bowls of Toppings

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Cheeseburger Pizza Topped with Cooked Ground Beef, Pickles, and Cherry Tomatoes, and Next to It, a Bowl of Cheddar Cheese and Another Bowl with More Cherry Tomatoes

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

    Baked Cheeseburger Pizza Next to a Bowl of Cherry Tomatoes and Another Bowl of Shredded Lettuce

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

  6. Garnish and serve: 

    Once the pizza is fully baked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 1-2 minutes before sprinkling it with the shredded lettuce and drizzling the remaining 1/4 cup of secret sauce over it. 

    Simple Tip!

    For easy drizzling, put the sauce in a piping bag, squeeze bottle, or plastic food storage bag and then snip off the tip.

    Cut and serve while hot. This pizza is best when eaten on the same day it's prepared. 

    Did you love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

    Cheeseburger Pizza Topped with More Pickles, More Cherry Tomatoes, and Shredded Lettuce

    Simply Recipes / Marta Rivera

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
689 Calories
47g Fat
38g Carbs
28g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 689
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 61%
Saturated Fat 15g 75%
Cholesterol 126mg 42%
Sodium 1056mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 370mg 28%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 406mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.