Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray

Best Selling Author and Television Personality
Cooktracks — Rachael Ray

Pepperoni Pizzaiola Burger with Sweet Heat

Rachael Ray's Pepperoni Pizzaiola Burger

Step into this TV icon and best selling author’s home kitchen as she walks you through a pepperoni-topped burger with Calabrian chili honey.

*COOK’S NOTE: Mix hot honey ingredients before starting recipe.

If you’re cooking along with us at home, find the ingredient and preparation list below, or listen and enjoy for your next meal inspiration.

Makes 3 Burgers (depending on the size you form the patties, Rach explains).


For the hot honey

  • 1 cup mild honey such as Italian Acacia, light in color/flavor
  • 3 Tablespoons Calabrian chili paste, or sambal oelek or sriracha

For the burgers

  • 1/2 stick good quality pepperoni, casing removed and very thinly sliced OR ¼ pound large deli-sliced pepperoni
  • 1 pound ground beef, 80:20 blend
  • Salt and coarse black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • About 1/4 cup, a small handful, chopped flat-leaf parsley 
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano or 1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1-2 teaspoons anchovy paste or minced anchovies or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon hot water
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil 
  • 1/4 – 1/2 pound sliced mozzarella or provolone cheese or a combo 
  • 3 fresh, crusty Kaiser rolls, split (plain or sesame)
  • Drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil, optional
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
  • Garlic pickle spears, to serve
  • Large cast iron skillet, or other large skillet, to cook burgers
  • Small mixing bowl, to make flavor paste
  • Large mixing bowl, to mix ground beef
  • Baking sheet, to cook pepperoni and toast buns
  • Parchment paper, to line baking sheet


Preheat oven to 375°F  and line medium baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange pepperoni on parchment and bake to crisp, but not brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer the pepperoni to a paper towel-lined plate. Discard the parchment, keep the tray out and switch oven to broil.

Place beef in mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic and parsley to beef.

In a small bowl, combine sun-dried tomato paste with anchovy paste and hot water, then add mixture to beef. Mix well to combine and score meat into 3 even portions, Form wide patties, not too thick, and thinner at center than edges for even cooking.

Preheat large cast iron skillet, griddle pan or outdoor grill to medium high heat.

Drizzle olive oil or vegetable oil into pan and add patties. If your patties are very thin, cook 4-6 minutes, turning occasionally. If thicker, cook 7-8 minutes, turning occasionally. Melt cheese over the patties in the last minute or so, covering with a lid or piece of foil. Transfer patties to a plate so they don’t overcook while you toast your buns.

Char the split rolls under broiler to toast and darken edges. Don’t take your eye off of them. Assemble burgers: bun bottom, drizzle of good quality EVOO, cheeseburger patty, pepperoni, torn basil, Sweet Heat Honey and bun top. Serve with garlic pickle spears along side


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