Italian Pizza Burgers


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8 3/4 oz. Sliced Pepperoni (finely chopped)
28 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped)
5 1/4 cups Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
3/4 cup Olive Oil
1-#10 can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes
10.5 lbs. Ground Beef
7 Eggs
3/4 cup Whole Milk
1 3/4 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 1/2 tbsp. Salt (divided)
1 1/4 tbsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper (divided)
2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
2 tsp. Fennel Seeds (crushed)
3 tbsp Italian Seasoning (divided)
7 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded (divided)
1/2 cup Sugar
3 1/2 cup Dry Red Wine
1 1/3 cup Red Gold Tomato Paste
42 Garlic Bread or Ciabatta Buns


  1. Toast garlic bread according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet add olive oil, onion, garlic, and pepperoni. Cook 3 to 4 minutes over medium high heat. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, milk and bread crumbs.
  4. Add ground beef, ¾ Tablespoons salt, ¾ Tablespoons pepper, crushed red pepper, crushed fennel seeds, 1 ½ Tablespoons Italian seasoning, and 3.5 cups of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  5. Add 2 ⅓ cup of the onion and pepperoni mixture and 3 ½ cup of the drained petite diced tomatoes. Gently blend all ingredients together with clean hands until combined. Shape into 4 oz burger patties, about a half inch thick. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
  6. To make the sauce add remaining onion and pepperoni mixture back to the skillet. Over medium heat add the wine and simmer to reduce by half. Add 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, tomato paste and stir to combine. Add remaining diced tomatoes and reserved juice. Gently simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  7. Preheat grill to high.
  8. Place burgers on the grill and cook about 3 minutes on each side or until desired internal temperature.
  9. Spoon tomato sauce over burger and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cook until melted.
  10. Place a burger on top of a piece of garlic bread or bun.