When I was a kid, my family had a favorite vacation spot in southwest Florida. Driving from the airport to our final destination, we would always pass a burger joint called Juicy Lucy’s. I was excited by it, as it shared my name, and I begged to stop every time we drove by. When the family finally gave in, I got to try one of Jucy Lucy’s burgers. It was delicious but very different. It was inside out! I bit into the burger, and warm and gooey cheese came pouring out.

As I got older and began experimenting with food and cooking, I developed this recipe ‒ a gourmet take on the Juicy Lucy from my childhood.

Juicy Lucy Burgers with Homemade Chipotle Ketchup

Serves | 6 |

Chipotle Ketchup

  • 15 oz tomato sauce or tomato purée
  • 6 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • ½ roasted red bell pepper (jarred or fresh)
  • ½ cup raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp celery salt
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Juicy Lucy Burgers

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tsp truffle salt ¾ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¾ cup shredded and lightly packed smoked Gouda
  • 6 hamburger buns, grilled or lightly toasted

| Preparation – Chipotle Ketchup | Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Stir and press the mixture through the sieve using a rubber spatula. There should be about 2½ cups of ketchup in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

| Preparation – Juicy Lucy Burgers | Mix the ground beef and spices until thoroughly combined. Divide the meat evenly into 6 large balls. Divide each of the 6 balls of meat in half. Lightly flatten out the halves into ¼- to ½-inch-thick rounds. Place 2 Tbsp of Gouda in the center of 6 patties. Place the other 6 patties on top of the patties with the cheese. Seal the edges of each burger by pressing them together with your fingers. Lightly press the closed patties in your hand until slightly firm.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the burgers and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the burgers to a plate, tent them with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve the burgers on hamburger buns with chipotle ketchup and your choice of toppings.


The Fat That Binds. It’s normally a good idea to seek out ground beef with a lower fat content, but when you’re making inside-out burgers, fattier beef is needed to help the patties bind around the cheese and hold together during cooking. If the burger is made with lower-fat beef, the seal holding together the two patties will most likely split, and all of that delicious cheese will be lost.

Thick and Chunky. If you like chunky-style ketchup, simply skip straining the mixture through a sieve.

The Meat Cheat. It can be tricky to check for correct seasoning in raw meat. One way to test the flavoring is to cook a small ball of the seasoned meat in a skillet and then taste to make sure you’ll be happy with the finished product.


Join FEAST and Schnucks Cooking School on Wed., July 25, at 6pm to make the tasty dishes in the menu below. Tickets are just $45 for a night of cooking, dining and wine. RSVP at schnuckscooks.com.

The menu:

  • Juicy Lucy Burgers with Homemade Chipotle Ketchup
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob
  • French Fries with a Fried Egg
  • Raspberry Shortcake


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