mediterranean hamburger recipe

Mediterranean Hamburgers

This recipe is a good demonstration of how a combination of salt and MSG increases umami, decreases sodium, and makes food taste even better. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mediterranean
Keyword hamburger, less sodium, msg recipe
Servings 4


  • 1 lb. ground beef 85% lean
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano leaf
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground fennel seed it may be necessary to grind your own fennel seeds in a coffee or spice grinder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ¾ tsp. salt/MSG mixture
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ cup spicy pesto pesto mixed with hot sauce to taste
  • radicchio leaves
  • arugula leaves
  • tomato slices
  • red onion thinly sliced
  • fresh basil leaves
  • warmed focaccia bread (or fresh buns) split


  1. In a bowl, mix beef, oregano, garlic, fennel seed, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt/MSG mixture, and black pepper until the mixture becomes elastic. Form 4 burgers.

  2. Cook burgers on the grill or in a sauté pan until completely cooked through. They should not be red or pink in the middle when done.

  3. Serve on focaccia that has been coated with spicy pesto. Serve with radicchio, arugula, tomatoes, red onion, and basil leaves so that your guests can personalize their burgers.