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Hamburger with caramelized onions and grilled pineapple

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Some of my friends are not too much into sweets or cookies, so lately, since I’ve been on a Holiday cookie baking craze, I’ve started receiving threats complaints from them to stop posting pictures of cookies and requests to finally post something more meaty. Well, what could be more meaty than a hamburger? Especially, a juicy hamburger with caramelized onions, grilled pineapple, topped with melted cheddar cheese, tomato slices and red onion:

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I’ve had a hamburger with a grilled pineapple for the first time in Hawaii, and ever since I began to appreciate the addition of something sweet to the grilled beef. Because the pineapple is somewhat acidic, even a little bit tart, but yet sweet – it combines perfectly with a hamburger meat, cutting through the fat and creating a balance of flavors!

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I like to serve these hamburgers open-faced – that way you can really see the grilled pineapple on top, and I don’t like too much bread with meat anyway. But, it’s up to you – use a whole bun or only half of it!

Hamburger with caramelized onions and grilled pineapple

Total Time: 60 minutes

Yield: 4 servings (4 hamburgers)

Hamburger with caramelized onions and grilled pineapple


    Caramelized onions:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 onions, medium or large, sliced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Burger patties:
  • 1 pound ground beef (80% lean)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • slices of cheddar cheese
  • Grilled pineapple:
  • 4-8 large pineapple slices or rings (I like to use a fresh whole pineapple)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Other fixings:
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted and warmed
  • lettuce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced red onions


    How to caramelize onions:
  1. First, we need to caramelize the onions, prior to grilling the burgers and the pineapple. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on high heat in a large skillet, when oil is heated, add sliced onions and cook on high heat for about 10 minutes, constantly stirring with spatula. The onions should start to brown, but without burning (a couple of onions may be burnt here and there, but overall they should not be charred). Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking onions for 10 more minutes, continuing to stir, as onions brown even more without burning. At this point add just a pinch of salt over onions. Continue cooking for 10 more minutes on medium or low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure onions don’t stick to the bottom of the pan or burn. Total you should have cooked onions for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle onions with a small amount of balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Using spatula, mix the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan and coating onions with a pinch of balsamic vinegar you just added.
  2. To make hamburgers:
  3. Make 4 equal hamburger patties out of ground beef. Season both sides of each patty with salt and pepper. Because the ground beef has been refrigerated before you formed the patties, allow the burgers rest at room temperature, for about 20 minutes, while the grill heats up.
  4. Heat a gas grill to high heat, about 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Brush both sides of each hamburger patty with vegetable oil (otherwise, they will stick to the grill). Grill hamburger patties for about 3 minutes on the first side. Flip them over, and cook the other side of each hamburger patty for 4 minutes for medium-rare burgers or 6 minutes for well-done burgers. In the last minute of cooking, arrange a slice or two of cheddar cheese on top of each hamburger patty to melt.
  6. To grill pineapple:
  7. In a microwave, melt honey just a little bit, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and combine – in a medium bowl. Add pineapple slices (or rings) to the bowl and stir to coat the pineapple slices.
  8. At the same time you’re grilling hamburgers, place pineapple on the grill and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and keep warm.
  9. To assemble burgers:
  10. Arrange lettuce on the bottom of each bun. Place grilled hamburger patties (covered with melted cheddar cheese) on top of lettuce. Top each burger with caramelized onions, then tomato slices, and red onion slices. Finally, add grilled pineapple slice(s). Close with the top bun, if desired, or serve these as open-faced hamburgers.



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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • [email protected]'s Recipes December 30, 2013, 4:46 am

    wow who said burgers can’t be delicious and healthy? This looks droolworthy, Julia.

  • Denise [email protected] Brazil To You December 30, 2013, 9:28 am

    This looks terrific, Julia! What a scrumptious way to welcome 2014! Happy New Year!!!

  • Monique December 30, 2013, 9:31 am

    Julia..I love to bake..like ou..but don’t eat sweets..where I do succumb..is adding sweet to meat..such as asian chicken dishes .. and burgers:) I like a sweet addition..This looks fantastic.

  • The Café Sucre Farine December 30, 2013, 11:23 am

    Now that’s a burger Julia! Wow, I love the savory sweet combo! I’ve heard that burgers are one of the hardest things to photograph but you’ve done a wonderful job, very mouthwatering! Happy New Year!

  • Ashley December 30, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Holy burger! This looks amazing Julia! I love adding grilled pineapple to my burgers but I’ve never also added caramelized onions! Such a great idea!

  • Consuelo @ Honey & Figs December 30, 2013, 5:29 pm

    I don’t like too much bread with my meat either, and pinneaple is one of my very favorite fruits, so I’m sure I’d adore these. They look gorgeous and your pics are terrific! I loooove them <3
    Happy New Year Julia! x

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen December 31, 2013, 7:44 pm

    Your burger with grilled pineapple looks scrumptious, Julia! Love the addition of caramelized onions, too. Gorgeous photos as always, my friend. Thanks for sharing! And…warmest wishes to you and yours for a happy and healthy New Year! xo

  • Layla @ Brunch Time Baker December 31, 2013, 8:50 pm

    This burger is so tropical! I’ve added all different kind of things to my burger but never pineapple! This is such a great idea. The photos are amazing, I just want to dive into the screen and grab that burger!

  • Suzanne Perazzini January 1, 2014, 2:51 am

    That looks like a very juicy burger. Happy New Year, Julia.

  • [email protected] Riffs January 1, 2014, 1:03 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a burger topped with pineapple before. But I love the idea! Maybe add a piece of bacon, too. 😉 Thanks for this, and Happy New Year!

  • Farah @everylittlecrumb January 1, 2014, 11:45 pm

    I’ve just gotten into pineapples as a pizza topping, and I can so get on board with this idea! That hamburger looks insanely good!

  • [email protected] January 2, 2014, 12:53 pm

    What a fantastic idea for a burger! Got to try it! Happy New Year! 🙂 ela

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet January 2, 2014, 10:11 pm

    I need this tropical burger! Fabulous! Pinned!

  • Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen January 3, 2014, 6:48 am

    I love the flavor that pineapple gives to all the dishes it’s mixed into! This burger looks sooo divine!

    • Julia January 6, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Thank you! 🙂 I love pineapple too!

  • Aunt Clara January 3, 2014, 9:35 am

    Wow, I gotta make that one for the husband. It sounds like a very interesting combination.

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy January 4, 2014, 7:58 pm


  • [email protected] January 6, 2014, 9:46 am

    That looks like the most amazing burger ever Julia! Happy New Year!

    • Julia January 6, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Thank you, Christin! Happy New Year to you!

  • Daniela January 6, 2014, 2:29 pm

    Julia, this Hamburger looks amazing!
    It’s a brilliant idea to give it a little twist by adding pineapple.
    Love the combination of flavors between spicy and sweet.

    • Julia January 6, 2014, 2:37 pm

      Thank you, Daniela! 🙂 I love combining spicy and sweet too!

  • laurasmess January 8, 2014, 1:32 am

    Oh my gosh… that caramelized pineapple looks absolutely divine. Love the addition of the onions (all melted into that cheesy goodness!) too. A perfect burger Julia… definitely a worthy advocate for all of the cookie overload we’ve had recently (not that I’m complaining. I love cookies!) xx

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan February 13, 2014, 10:10 am

    Caramelized onions and pineapple make me feel like its summer – at least in my belly! 🙂

  • Carole from Carole's Chatter April 27, 2017, 3:39 pm

    Hi Julia, love this. Would you like to share this with the other participants in Food on Friday over at Carole’s Chatter? I have a weekly link up party – each week there is a different ingredient or theme. The current theme is BBQ!

    You can see upcoming themes in one of the pages at the top of my home page. If you would like to join in the fun please schedule a reminder for each week. The collection starts at 7am Friday New Zealand time – which might be some time Thursday your time – aren’t time zones confusing? Well they confuse me! Hope to see you soon. Cheers, Carole

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