Classic American Cheeseburger

No ratings yet
Pin RecipeJump to RecipeComments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This classic American cheeseburger recipe turns out the juiciest, most flavorful burgers every time. Simply seasoned beef patties are grilled to perfection and topped with melty American cheese, fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, and onion.

A classic American cheeseburger on a plate with french fries.


Who can honestly say they don’t crave a big, juicy burger sometimes? I don’t know many people who can. It’s a pretty universally loved sandwich. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the best burger recipe ever. Thick, juicy, flavorful patties are sandwiched between two buns, along with melty American cheese, crisp lettuce, tomatoes, and zingy onion slices. Throw in some ketchup and mayo, and you’ve got yourself the perfect, classic American cheeseburger.

Why This Is The Perfect Cheeseburger Recipe

I’ve made some big claims about this being the best cheeseburger recipe ever. And I stand by them. Here are some of the reasons you have to try this recipe.

  • Flavorful. Each juicy bite of these perfectly seasoned, expertly grilled burgers is exploding with nostalgic flavor from the savory patties and the American cheese.
  • Customizable. I love how easy it is to tailor these burgers to your taste preferences. Try ground turkey or chicken instead or ground beef, and feel free to play around with toppings and condiments.
  • Crowd favorite. Everyone loves a classic American burger. It’s one of those things that, when done right (and this recipe does it right), will have the whole dinner table sighing with satisfaction.
Labeled ingredients for classic American cheeseburgers.

Ingredient Notes

Ready to get cooking? Here’s what you’ll need for this perfect cheeseburger recipe. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • 98% lean ground beef – You can use a fattier beef if you like. You could also use ground turkey, ground chicken, or vegan ground “meat.”
  • Onion – Onion powder will also do the trick.
  • Garlic – You could use garlic powder instead.
  • Breadcrumbs – I suggest using unseasoned breadcrumbs so that you have more control over the flavor of the final product.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Egg
  • American Cheese slices – This is the good ol’ fashioned American way, but feel free to use a different cheese. Cheddar, pepper Jack, Swiss, or even blue cheese would be delicious. Not a cheese person? Leave it off!
  • Hamburger buns
  • Condiments – I went with ketchup and mayonnaise, but you could get fancy with Thousand Island dressing or garlic aioli.
  • Toppings – I topped these cheeseburgers with tomato slices, red onion sliced, and lettuce leaves. Check out the section below titled “Cheeseburger Topping Ideas” for more ideas.

How to Make a Classic American Cheeseburger

  • Make the patties. Mix together the ground beef, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and egg. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape into patties.
  • Prep the grill. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat (400°F).
  • Grill. Grill the patties for 4 to 5 minutes on either side with the grill lid closed.
  • Make it cheesy. Top each patty with 1 slice of cheese, close the lid of the grill, and cook for an additional 1 minute or until done. Remove the patties from the grill.
  • Toast the buns. Grill the buns cut side down for 1 minute.
  • Assemble. Spread mayonnaise and ketchup on bun bottoms, top each with a slice of cheese, and then add the lettuce, tomato, burger patty, and red onion. Close the burgers with the top buns.
  • Serve. Serve warm with your favorite side dish/es.

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t over-handle the meat. When mixing the ground beef with the onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and egg, mix just until everything is combined. No more. Over-handling the meat will end you with tough, dense burgers. For similar reasons, handle the meat mixture gently when forming it into patties.
  • Press the patty down in the center. Before grilling, press the center of each patty down slightly. This will help ensure they do not puff up too much as they cook.
  • Hands off. Once the burger hits the grill, you want to leave it alone. Flip once and only once and let the grill do the rest. Moving and flipping the patties too much will cause them to lose some of their juices, ending you with potentially dry burgers.
  • Use a meat thermometer. To ensure that your burgers are cooked to your liking, use a meat thermometer. Insert it into the center of the largest patty. It should read 160°F to 165˚F. Some people prefer their burger medium to medium-rare (135˚F to 145˚F), but I don’t suggest consuming undercooked ground beef.
  • Let it rest. Once the burgers are cooked to your liking, allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. This will give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout each patty, ending you with consistently juicy, flavorful bites.
Two hands holding up a burger.

Cheeseburger Topping Ideas

  • Additional protein – Try adding cooked bacon and/or a fried egg to your burger.
  • Onions any way – Raw, caramelized, pickled, or in onion ring form, these aromatic veggies make for an excellent burger topping.
  • Veggies – I love adding sautéed mushrooms and/or bell peppers to my cheeseburger. Looking for a little heat? Try some sliced or pickled jalapeno.
  • Fun with cheeses – I used American cheese, but you could swap it out for cheddar or pepper Jack. You could even get fancy and try some crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese.
  • Other toppings – Feel free to add pineapple rings, pickles, avocado, chili, slaw, and/or {insert other fun burger topping here].
  • Additional condiments – Guacamole, bacon jam, Thousand Island Dressing, BBQ sauce, chutney, pesto, garlic aioli.

Serving Suggestions

There’s nothing quite like a classic burger and fries combo. Make these easy Air Fryer Frozen French Fries or try something a little more adventurous. These Cajun Fries are my current fave. Looking to round out your meal with a little vegetable matter? Serve this American cheeseburger with a green salad (I have been partial to this Green Goddess Salad) or a fresh, crisp Coleslaw. These burgers also go great with other backyard BBQ sides such as this Lightened-Up Creamy Potato Salad or this Strawberry Avocado Pasta Salad with Balsamic Glaze.

Piled high burger served with french fries.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • To store. Seal the fully cooled cheesy burger patties in an airtight container. Ideally, you would do this before assembling the burgers. If the burgers are already assembled, disassemble them and seal only the patties in an airtight container. The rest won’t keep well. You can store the patties in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat. Arrange the leftover patties in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 350°F for 8 minutes or until heated through. You can also microwave patties in 30-second intervals until warm. Assemble the burgers with fresh buns and toppings just as you normally would.

More Burger Recipes To Try

I’ve been on a burger kick lately. This classic rendition is great, but I have a few recipes for other, not-so-classic burger variations that I am excited for you to try.

Pin this now to find it later

Pin It
No ratings yet

Classic American Cheeseburger

Bite into this delicious and juicy cheeseburger with melted American cheese, fresh tomato, crisp lettuce, onions and lean ground beef. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 serves


  • 1 pound 98% lean ground beef
  • ½ cup finely diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic,, minced
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper,, to taste
  • 1 egg,, lightly beaten to break up the yolk
  • 8 American Cheese slices,, divided
  • 4 hamburger buns

For Serving

  • ketchup
  • mayonnaise
  • tomato slices
  • red onion,, thinly sliced
  • lettuce leaves
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Combine the ground beef, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and egg; mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Divide the mixture into four equal portions; shape into a patty about 4 inches wide.
  • Preheat a gas grill to 400˚F.
  • Arrange the burgers on the grill, and press down the center of each patty with your thumb to make an indentation. Close the lid.
  • Cook the burgers, turning once, until browned on both sides and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes.
  • Top each patty with 1 slice of cheese and continue to cook for 1 minute or until the cheese begins to melt.
  • Remove from grill and set aside to rest for at least 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the buns, cut side down, on the grill, and cook until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
  • Spread mayonnaise and ketchup on the bottom bun.
  • Add the remaining cheese slices over the mayo and ketchup. Then, add lettuce, tomato, the burger patty, and sliced red onion.
  • Top with a bun and serve.


  • Mix Gently: Combine the meat with the ingredients until just mixed to avoid tough burgers.
  • Indent Patties: Press down the center of the patties before grilling to prevent puffing.
  • Minimal Flipping: Flip burgers only once on the grill to retain juices.
  • Meat Thermometer: Use a thermometer to check for doneness; aim for 160°F to 165°F for safety. Though I advise against it (ground beef is not a steak), if you’d like a medium-done burger, aim for 140 to 145˚F.
  • Rest Before Serving: Let burgers rest for at least 5 minutes post-cooking for juicier results.


Serving: 1burger | Calories: 512kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 153mg | Sodium: 1107mg | Potassium: 585mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 564mg | Iron: 5.3mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Did you make a recipe? Leave a rating

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating:


  1. Rachel Cartucci says:

    Yeah,now I am so hungry! HA! Looks pretty awesome!

  2. Ramona says:

    Burgers! Mmmmmmm!!

  3. Rose says:

    Looks delicious !

  4. A_Boleyn says:

    Classic cheeseburger cooked on the bbq … simple and tasty. And the weather is finally getting mild enough to be able to bbq outside.

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) says:

    There’s nothing better than a from-scratch burger, this is perfect for the weekend!

  6. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven says:

    Now that’s an awesome-looking burger! Love a good ‘ol American burger with all the works. pinned!

  7. Matt Robinson says:

    If I make this for my older son, I will be his hero. This looks incredible, love the presentation. Everything about this is classic and I can’t wait to make a few soon. Thanks!

  8. Amanda says:

    This burger looks fantastic! One of my favorite things about summer is grilling. We’ve already started at my house.

  9. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite says:

    This burger looks freakin amazing!!!