One of my favorite Food Network Stars, Giada, created this brilliant, all-American, grill-ific meal that combines the best of both worlds – pizza and burgers!  I gave it a mini-makeover to make it healthier by:

  • Switching the sourdough rolls for 100% whole wheat buns for added fiber (or you can go completely “bunless”).
  • Subbing extra lean organic ground chicken meat instead of ground sirloin beef to save calories and saturated fat.

I also made mine without cheese but for my husband we used reduced fat shredded cheese.

Toppings included avocado, fresh sliced tomato and onions.  I tested it out with the marinara sauce and that worked well too.

Giada’s concept is really great for those who love all the amazing flavor of pizza but want to stick to a protein-filled meal on the grill.

Serving Size: makes 4 burgers


  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup shredded, reduced fat mozzarella and Parmesan (optional but still delicious without)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound extra lean ground chicken meat
  • 4 100% whole wheat burger buns
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • Topping suggestions: avocado, fresh basil leaves, sliced tomatoes, marinara sauce, sliced olives, roasted red bell peppers, arugula, ketchup or any of your favorite pizza toppings



  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill
  2. In a food processor, pulse together the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, cheeses, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Process until blended
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the chicken and, using a wooden spoon, stir until combined
  4. Form the mixture into 4 patties
  5. Grill each side until cooked through, 6 minutes on medium-low heat
  6. Allow to rest for 5 minutes
  7. Brush the cut side of the rolls with olive oil and grill until lightly toasted, about 1 minute
  8. Place the burgers on the buns, add toppings and enjoy!


Can also be served without the bun if you are gluten-free or carb-free.  It is delicious on top of arugula with sliced avocado and dipped in garlic marinara sauce. Enjoy!

Giada’s original recipe can be found here.