Salsa Verde Burgers with Fontina Watermelon and Basil

Salsa Verde Burgers with Watermelon and Basil Recipe #ASpicyPerspectiveSalsa Verde Burgers with Fontina Watermelon and Basil, vibrant twist on classic American comfort food.

Salsa Verde Burger with Fontina Watermelon and Basil
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I bet you had no idea when I posted Creamy Avocado Salsa Verde on Monday, that I was scheming behind the scenes.

It was all part of the master-plan to introduce you to this oddly intriguing hamburger.

Salsa Verde Burgers with Watermelon and Basil Recipe


We eat a lot of hamburgers. Although my hubby would gladly dine on fine cuisine anytime the opportunity arises, he’s really a burger and pizza kind of guy.

Needless to say, when your husband craves hamburgers all the time, you find ways to get creative with them. We’ve made a plethora of hamburger recipes over the years.

Our latest creation, Salsa Verde Burgers with Fontina Watermelon and Basil, is essentially a glorified cheeseburger. The patty is a simple beef patty topped with rich melty fontina cheese. All the bells and whistles are in the “fixins.”

Salsa Verde Burgers with Watermelon and Basil Recipe

Instead of using plain-jane lettuce and tomato, we decided to give basil leaves and watermelon a go.

Watermelon mimics the moist clean texture of a good slice of tomato, but offers a much sweeter bite. The delicate essence of licorice from the basil leaves, is the perfect accompaniment to the watermelon and salty cheese. Finally, creamy and zesty Salsa Verde gives the burger the necessary kick of acidity and spice to create the perfect balance of flavors.

You may ask, why watermelon? Tomatoes are so ripe and plentiful this time of year; why mess with a good thing?

If you must have a tomato on your burger, I understand. Yet, watermelon is definitely worth giving a try. Sometimes all a run-of-the-mill dinner needs, is a kick in the pants and a new ingredient.

Salsa Verde Burgers with Watermelon and Basil Recipe

How to Make Perfect Hamburger Patties:

  • Don’t overwork the meat; it will get tough. Gently toss in the seasoning, keeping the ground meat loose.
  • Use a knife to separate the meat into equal portion, so you don’t have 3 uniform burgers and one “baby” burger.
  • Press the meat into a ball, then flatten on wax paper and reform the edges.
  • MAKE A DENT IN THE CENTER. The middle of a patty tends to puff while cooking. If you don’t do this, you’ll end up with hamburger balls.
  • Make the patties slightly larger than the buns. They shrink while cooking and will end up being the same size.
  • A little pink in the center is a good thing. You don’t want to eat raw burgers, but try not to overcook the patties. Pink = Juicy!

How to Make Perfect Hamburger Patties

Serve These Burgers With:

Homemade Napa Chips

Grilled Corn with Smokey lime Mayo

Peach and Basil Salad

Provencial Style Potato Salad

Other Great Summer Burgers:

Ahi Tuna Burgers

Pineapple Chorizo Burgers

Szechuan Burgers

Greek Style Burgers

Spicy Black Bean Burger ~ Eat Live Run

Tuna Burgers ~ Sippity Sup

Salsa Verde Burgers with Watermelon and Basil Recipe

Salsa Verde Burgers with Fontina Watermelon and Basil

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Salsa Verde Burgers with Fontina Watermelon and Basil - Summer's Best Burger!
Servings: 6 Servings
Nutrition Facts
Salsa Verde Burgers with Fontina Watermelon and Basil
Amount Per Serving (1 burger)
Calories 769 Calories from Fat 378
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 65%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 139mg 46%
Sodium 891mg 37%
Potassium 822mg 23%
Total Carbohydrates 56g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 24g
Protein 40g 80%
Vitamin A 43.2%
Vitamin C 30%
Calcium 20.8%
Iron 79.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 6 slices fontina cheese
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 6 slices watermelon
  • 12-18 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup Salsa Verde
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the grill to high heat. Portion and form the ground beef into six hamburger patties, making an indentation in the centers. Salt and pepper both sides of the patties.

  2. Slice the watermelon into 1/3 inch slices. Use a biscuit cutter to cut watermelon circles.
  3. Grill the hamburgers for 3-5 minutes per side. Add the fontina slices to the top of each patty 1 minutes before removing from the grill. Tent with foil to keep warm.
  4. Toast the buns on the grill for 30-60 seconds, until char marks form.
  5. Layer the bun with 2-3 large basil leaves, a watermelon circle, the patty with cheese, and top with a large spoonful of salsa verde. Serve immediately.

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61 comments on “Salsa Verde Burgers with Fontina Watermelon and Basil

  1. raquel erecipeposted August 4, 2011 at 6:30 am Reply

    wow some kind of fruit burger love the idea.

  2. Steve @ HPDposted August 4, 2011 at 6:54 am Reply

    when i saw the picture, i thought you were using beets, which is actually a common burger topping in new zealand.

    and when i read the salsa recipe yesterday, my first thought was, that would be so good on a burger.

    bittman did a thing on grilled veggies a couple of weeks ago, and recommended grilled watermelon as a meat substitute on a burger. so i’m guessing a grilled watermelon on top of a grilled beef patty would work as well.

    great tip on the dent concept!


  3. The Elegant Eggplantposted August 4, 2011 at 9:06 am Reply

    Your pictures are unbelieveable. I love how creative this burger is… looks totally delish!

  4. Katarinaposted August 4, 2011 at 7:06 am Reply

    This is a great combination :) Looks so yummy!

  5. RavieNomNomsposted August 4, 2011 at 8:13 am Reply

    What an interesting and creative combination! This is an absolute must try for sure. I would never think to put watermelon with a burger, but now that I think about it I am sure the flavors compliment each other rather nicely.

  6. [email protected]posted August 4, 2011 at 8:50 am Reply

    Spicy salsa, juicy burger and sweet juicy watermelon- my mouth is watering. This is really something special-Great post-Buzz Buzz!

  7. Curtposted August 4, 2011 at 8:50 am Reply

    You’re very creative! I’d have never considered a watermelon slice on a burger. That’s a nice fat burger too. I’m a burger and pizza kinda guy too!

  8. My Kitchen in the Rockiesposted August 4, 2011 at 9:08 am Reply

    Hi Summer, That is a great looking burger! I totally have to try the watermelon addition, love it.
    I weigh my patties and use a nut jar lid lined with plastic foil to press them into the round shape. It works wonderfully. Hope you are having a great summer with your kids. Kirsten

  9. Nikitaposted August 4, 2011 at 9:10 am Reply

    Wow, I love that you used watermelon to replace the tomato- I will have to try that! The salsa verde also looks amazing.

  10. Jeanetteposted August 4, 2011 at 10:35 am Reply

    Now that is an interesting and unusual burger – would never have thought to use watermelon in a burger! Very creative and your salsa verde goes perfectly ;)!

  11. mjskitposted August 4, 2011 at 10:55 am Reply

    This is probably one of the most unique recipes I’ve seen in a while! Great job! Love everything about it – salsa verda, watermelon – and it’s a burger! Yum!

  12. Barbara | Creative Culinaryposted August 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm Reply

    Makes me crave a big, juicy burger. I’m game…heck if I just made goat barbecue I can surely try watermelon on a burger!

  13. Kathleenposted August 4, 2011 at 12:03 pm Reply

    Love this combo. Whoda thunk watermelon? Brilliant!!!

  14. carolinaheartstringsposted August 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm Reply

    What a wonderfully different burger. I love the melding of all the different items. Delicious I am sure. Come over and see us today. We have a really delicious Southern favorite.

  15. Susanposted August 4, 2011 at 12:12 pm Reply

    WHAT!!!???!!! Watermelon, basil, and salsa verde? That burger is one pampered bit of beef! I am intrigued!

  16. Tricia Bposted August 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm Reply

    I don’t even like ground beef that much but now all I can think about is Having a burger with sweet melon! Thanks a lot !!! ;)

  17. krystina mullerposted August 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm Reply

    OMG! THE BEST burger I’ve EVER had!
    Thanks so much for sharing ;-D.

  18. Lindaposted August 4, 2011 at 12:33 pm Reply

    Wow.. watermelon on a burger! That’s a real twist! I could so see your salsa verde topping this so nicely. Very creative, can’t wait to try it out.

  19. Angie's Recipesposted August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm Reply

    Talk about the creativity! And 2nd photo makes my mouth droooooooooooooooooooooooooool. I meant it.

  20. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Dessertsposted August 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm Reply

    Watermelon – now that is creative! Never would have known by the way you cut them – sneaky!

  21. Cindy B.posted August 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm Reply

    Very original! I like that, sometimes it good to mix things up a little bit. That’s where great recipes comes from.

  22. Carolynposted August 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm Reply

    Watermelon on a burger? Okay, I’d give it a whirl. Why not!

  23. MaryMohposted August 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm Reply

    What a special burger…with watermelon!! Has to be good for summer.

  24. Emilieposted August 4, 2011 at 4:10 pm Reply

    Could this possibly be more vibrant and beautiful? What a delicious-looking burger! We rarely get hungry just looking at photos, but this one has us running home to create this dish!

  25. [email protected]posted August 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm Reply

    OMG. Watermellon on a burger?????? YES! And you even made it look so pretty with those perfect round watermellon slices. I have got to try this!

  26. Georgia Pellegriniposted August 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm Reply

    This has seriously rocked my world. I really, really want to eat this as soon as possible.

  27. thisoldbroadposted August 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm Reply

    This sounds like an extraordinary burger! Watermelon.. who’d have thought! Thanks for sharing, this will liven up our grilled burgers this weekend.

  28. Oh, Sommer, those burgers are amazing. The cheese oozing down the side; no wonder your husband could eat those time after time. I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to try this with watermelon. I’d like to say yes, but I don’t know. I agree about the pinkness of the meat though. In fact, I lean towards more light red than pink. :)

  29. Annposted August 4, 2011 at 5:11 pm Reply

    Absolutely fabulous! Believe it or not – I’m the eccentric, yet amiable aunt in my family! You made me smile!

  30. Shirleyposted August 4, 2011 at 5:37 pm Reply

    I have my doubts about watermelon in savory recipes, but this looks so good and juicy I’d eat it!

  31. torviewtorontoposted August 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm Reply

    watermelon in the burger wow innovative lovely loaded burger

  32. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom}posted August 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm Reply

    I love that you used watermelon on a burger! Dishes that combine sweet, savory, and spicy are faves. I bet the flavors marry perfectly!

  33. [email protected]posted August 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm Reply

    I just pulled this up and this is so what I need right now! Minus the watermelon, plus a tomato slice. :))

  34. Hester Casey @ Alchemy in the Kitchenposted August 5, 2011 at 4:58 am Reply

    Wow! That really is a crazy aunt of a burger! Tho, as you say, they’re the ones you most look forward to seeing. Stunning, mouthwatering photos. You’ve just set off a burger craving. Must… have… watermelon…

  35. Dmarieposted August 5, 2011 at 6:53 am Reply

    you sure have piqued my interest to try one!!

  36. Parsley Sageposted August 5, 2011 at 7:54 am Reply

    That’s like the coolest idea EVER! My next burger will most definitely rock some watermelon :) Buzzed

  37. Maris (In Good Taste)posted August 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm Reply

    Such creativity! Looks delicious!

  38. Sippitysupposted August 5, 2011 at 5:27 pm Reply

    Thanks for the link that is so nice. now let me revel some in your creation. GREG

  39. Mandy @ Cater to Meposted August 5, 2011 at 5:46 pm Reply

    Okay, this is the COOLEST thing I have ever seen. I only recently tried watermelon with cheese, and have seriously been having it at least once a week since. This like likes such a great way to turn that obsession in to something a little more substantial and creative! Love it.

  40. alyceposted August 6, 2011 at 2:25 pm Reply

    Very interesting. I think you are on to something here.

  41. Monetposted August 7, 2011 at 8:25 am Reply

    I’m officially drooling (this happens often when I visit here). What a great flavor combination. This looks so delicious, and it is a yummy way to start my Sunday morning. I hope you have a beautiful day full of laughter and love, my friend!

  42. Helenaposted August 7, 2011 at 9:55 am Reply

    Hello I really like your blog. I think you have much imagination and interesting dishes, I’ve done one of your recipes and I really liked. Greetings from Spain.

  43. megan @ whatmegansmakingposted August 7, 2011 at 11:12 am Reply

    never thought of watermelon on a hamburger! It sounds intrigueing… :) Thanks for the burger tips – I need them!

  44. 5 Star Foodieposted August 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm Reply

    I love the idea of a watermelon in the burger, very neat!

  45. Debi Shawcrossposted August 7, 2011 at 7:48 pm Reply

    I know I love watermelon and basil together, why not add a burger and some cheese?

  46. Bonnie at Sweet Lifeposted August 8, 2011 at 1:42 am Reply

    I would love to try this burger!! water,melon with salsa verde, really does it get nay better..i think not..

  47. Kitaposted August 8, 2011 at 6:56 am Reply

    oooh this burger does look pretty freakin outstanding!

  48. Magic of Spiceposted August 8, 2011 at 5:29 pm Reply

    Very creative and very summer loving style burger :) Truly great flavors working together here!

  49. carrianposted August 8, 2011 at 7:42 pm Reply

    This looks so incredible!

  50. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted August 9, 2011 at 6:56 am Reply

    This is officially the most creative burger I’ve seen in quite some time. And that’s saying something…with all the twists on burgers that are out there!

  51. marlaposted August 9, 2011 at 8:26 am Reply

    This is a whole picnic in a burger! The watermelon is thrilling :)

  52. Feast on the Cheapposted August 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm Reply

    Oh my goodness, I love that avocado salsa verde. This whole thing looks fabulous!

  53. Priscilla - She's Cookin'posted August 10, 2011 at 11:30 am Reply

    You’re so clever! I’m tasting the amazing flavors as I type :)

  54. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidenceposted August 10, 2011 at 11:35 am Reply

    Beef + Watermelon + Basil. Yum. Thoughts on grilling the watermelon disks?

  55. biancaposted August 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm Reply

    That looks incredible!!!

  56. RisaGposted September 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm Reply

    Sounds like an interesting combination of flavors. Don’t think I would like it but I might give it a go. Don’t think anyone else around here would try it though.

  57. Tiffanyposted August 14, 2012 at 10:45 am Reply

    LOVE your fontina-watermelon combo. I just put grilled peaches on my burger two days ago and folks looked at me like I was crazy! I’d eat two of your burgers (with a veggie pattie of course…)

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  59. Logan Paveglioposted April 26, 2013 at 11:25 am Reply

    Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site. These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. –

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