We’ve made Giada’s veal Marsala quite a few times over the past year since we discovered it and have just fallen in love with this recipe.  Unfortunately, it’s never been pretty enough to photograph and blog about but I finally get to share it with you here now!  When Kyle and I were trying to decide on a few different burgers to serve at our “sliders extravaganza” that we hosted for our parents a few weeks ago, we agreed that adapting this recipe into a burger was definitely something worth trying.

And boy was it delicious!!  I’m a big big fan of the flavor of Marsala and this burger was dripping in it.  There aren’t many meals that I’m actually sad when it’s over but this was one of them.  I couldn’t get enough of the mushroom sauce…and that’s coming from someone who is not a fan of mushrooms!  The recipe was easy to adapt into burgers and we cooked the burgers in a cast iron skillet, rather than on the grill, and then made the mushroom Marsala sauce in the drippings from the burgers, just as you would do if you used veal in the recipe.


If you’re wondering about this so-called “sliders extravaganza”…we decided on four different burger flavors: blue cheese sirloin with red onion jam, a pressed burger with manchego and jalapeno aoili, caprese, and these delectable Marsala burgers.  I made a ton of little tiny burger buns, probably even smaller than traditional slider-size buns, and we topped all of the burgers except this burger on the buns.  The Marsala burgers were set a top some crusty French bread – the perfect vessel for these burgers.  So if you’re looking for a burger that’s a little more exciting than what you’ve been making all summer, definitely give this one a shot.  I promise you won’t be sorry!


Two years ago: Spicy Black Bean Cakes


  • Cook Time: 20min
  • Yield: 4 servings


12 oz ground beef (85%/15% works well here) or ground chuck
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 oz assorted mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup sweet Marsala wine
½ cup low-sodium beef broth
1 fresh rosemary sprig
4 oz sharp cheddar or fontina, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 crusty French bread baguette


  • 01

    Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.

  • 02

    Shape the ground beef into 4 oblong patties, about 4 inches long each. Drizzle each side of the patties with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut the french bread into pieces a little shorter than each of the patties and set aside.

  • 03

    Brown the patties in the skillet on both sides until the burgers are medium rare.  Transfer the burgers to a plate and keep warm; leave the juices in the pan.

  • 04

    Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and ½ tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Add the shallot and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add another ½ tablespoon of the olive oil, if necessary. Add the mushrooms and sauté until tender and the juices evaporate, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Add the Marsala. Simmer until the Marsala reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and the rosemary sprig. Simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes.

  • 05

    Return the burgers to the skillet. Cook burgers until they are medium, turning to coat, about 1 minute. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.  Add 1 oz of cheese to the top of each burger and cover the pan to allow the cheese to melt, about 2 minutes.  When the cheese has melted, remove the burgers from the pan and place on the bread.  Top the burgers with Marsala sauce and then the top piece of bread. Serve hot.

Smells Like Home original | Marsala recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis