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These breakfast burgers are inspired by a favorite Jersey Shore watering hole, C.J. McLoone’s. I’ve never eaten one for breakfast, but hoo boy, they make a fabulous dinner.

a breakfast burger with cheddar, bacon, and fried egg on a brioche bun
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Why you’ll love this recipe

I’m as big a fan as anyone of a well-crafted classic burger. But sometimes you want to stack a little more personality on top. With beautifully cooked bacon and a fried egg layered in, this breakfast burger has a strong point of view that’s easy to agree with.

It gets all the details right with its:

  • Simple yet flavorful 1/3-pound patties
  • Made-to-order bacon and egg
  • Toasty, tender, buttery brioche buns
  • Classic duo of the perfect lettuce and tomato
  • Strong condiment game

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls

For the burgers

  • I apply the same sourcing standards to these burgers as I do to all meat. Start with great-tasting, good-quality ground beef. For me that means 100% grass-fed and grass-finished meat. For burgers, 80-85% lean works beautifully.
  • A soft, rich brioche bun is my favorite for most burgers, including this one. But you can buy any good-quality soft hamburger buns — or even level it up and make your own with my favorite recipe.
  • You can use your favorite bacon here, whatever it is. Sometimes I gravitate toward super thick-cut bacon, but here it’s not necessary. Applewood-smoked, uncured bacon is my favorite.
  • Extra-sharp cheddar melts well but still packs a super-savory, creamy punch. I prefer the semi-controlled chaos of shredding it on the large holes of a box grater and letting it melt over the sides of the burger. Or you can slice it fairly thin and tile the slices over the burger’s surface.
  • A gorgeous fried egg tips this stack into breakfast burger territory. In the photo above, I accidentally broke the yolk and didn’t bother to fry a new egg (womp womp), but you’ll do better if you want to. Here’s where you can learn about all the different types of fried eggs.

For the toppings

  • If it’s tomato season, any sliceable type will work beautifully. During the rest of the year, a nice ripe plum tomato will give you well-behaved, consistent results.
  • For the lettuce, I recommend a nice soft leaf with a bit of crunch, such as butterhead, little gem, or baby romaine (pictured).
  • We’ll make full use of two classic burger condiments: good old ketchup (I use Heinz) and mayo. My strong preference for burgers is the umami-forward Japanese-style Kewpie mayo, but you can use regular mayo if that’s what you’ve got.
  • Use a really good-quality butter if you can. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn’t have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.

My favorite sources for meat & pantry staples

For years, I’ve been sourcing our meat from ButcherBox. We love this curated meat delivery service, which provides grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, organic chicken, and more from small farms direct to the customer. You can learn more in my extensive Butcher Box review and unboxing.

I love Thrive Market for a wide variety of products. Often described as one part Whole Foods, one part Costco, they’re a membership-based online market for healthier products at discounted prices. Plus, they’re mission-driven, engaged in the community, and not currently owned by a giant corporation. You can learn more in my Thrive Market review and unboxing.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a gorgeous batch of breakfast burgers. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Butter and toast the buns, and cook the bacon to your liking.
  2. Fry up your eggs.
  3. Shape, season, smash, and sear the burger patties to perfection, then top with the cheese, cover, and melt.
  4. Build your perfect burgers. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

These burgers are quick and easy to make and are really at their best right after cooking, so I don’t recommend making them in advance. That said, sometimes I’ll make a double batch of the cheeseburgers and the bacon as low-key meal prep for a second night of the week.

You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and reheat in the toaster oven or microwave. Toast the buns, fry the eggs, and assemble the burgers shortly before serving.

More favorite burgers

a breakfast burger with cheddar, bacon, and fried egg on a brioche bun

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a breakfast burger with cheddar, bacon, and fried egg on a brioche bun
5 from 2 votes

Breakfast Burgers

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
These breakfast burgers are inspired by a favorite Jersey Shore watering hole, C.J. McLoone's. I've never eaten one for breakfast, but hoo boy, they make a fabulous dinner.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound (454 grams) 80-85% lean grass-fed ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 brioche hamburger buns
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ounces (85 grams) extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded or sliced
  • 1 ripe plum tomato, cut into 6 thin slices (ends reserved for another use)
  • 3 leaves soft lettuce
  • ¼ cup (68 grams) ketchup
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) Kewpie mayonnaise

Instructions 

  • Divide the beef into three equal portions and shape into patties. Sprinkle on both sides with the salt and pepper.
  • Butter the inside faces of the buns.
  • Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium for two minutes.
  • Place buns buttered sides down and toast for a few minutes, until light golden brown on the undersides.
  • Transfer buns to serving plates and raise heat to medium-high.
  • Cut bacon slices in half and arrange in a single layer in the skillet. Cook over medium heat until crisped to your liking. Drain on paper towels and pour all but a tablespoon or two of the bacon fat out of pan.
  • Crack eggs into pan and fry to your liking. Transfer to a plate until serving time.
  • Place patties onto skillet and use a sturdy metal spatula to firmly smash each one until it grows in diameter by about an inch. After this, absolutely ignore the burgers for about three minutes, until the undersides are brown and crisp at the edges and any juices on the surface are hot and bubbly.
  • Flip each burger and top with one ounce of the cheddar.
  • Cover skillet and continue cooking for another minute or two, until cheese is almost melted.
  • Remove from heat and place burgers onto buns.
  • Stack each burger with one egg, two slices tomato, and one leaf lettuce, torn to fit, if necessary.
  • Divide ketchup and mayo among top buns and spread to the edges. Close each burger and serve right away.

Notes

  1. I apply the same sourcing standards to these burgers as I do to all meat. Start with great-tasting, good-quality ground beef. For me that means 100% grass-fed and grass-finished meat. For burgers, 80-85% lean works beautifully.
  2. A soft, rich brioche bun is my favorite for most burgers, including this one. But you can buy any good-quality soft hamburger buns — or even level it up and make your own with my favorite recipe.
  3. Use a really good-quality butter if you can. Here and virtually everywhere, I start with a cultured, salted butter from grass-fed cows. This sounds fancy but doesn't have to be. Kerrygold, for example, is sold in most supermarkets at a reasonable price.
  4. Extra-sharp cheddar melts well but still packs a super-savory, creamy punch. I prefer the semi-controlled chaos of shredding it on the large holes of a box grater and letting it melt over the sides of the burger. Or you can slice it fairly thin and tile the slices over the burger's surface.
  5. You can use your favorite bacon here, whatever it is. Sometimes I gravitate toward super thick-cut bacon, but here it's not necessary. Protip: save the bacon fat to use in place of the fat called for in other recipes.
  6. If it's tomato season, any sliceable type will work beautifully. During the rest of the year, a nice ripe plum tomato will give you well-behaved, consistent results.
  7. Dill pickle chips are the classic move. I also adore full-sours for a slightly different flavor profile. You can't go wrong with either.
  8. For the lettuce, I recommend a nice soft leaf with a bit of crunch, such as butterhead, little gem, or baby romaine (pictured).
  9. My strong preference for burgers is the umami-forward Japanese-style Kewpie mayo, but you can use regular mayo if that's what you've got.
  10. These burgers are quick and easy to make and are really at their best right after cooking, so I don't recommend making them in advance. That said, sometimes I'll make a double batch of the cheeseburgers and the bacon as low-key meal prep for a second night of the week.
  11. Store leftover patties and bacon in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and reheat in the toaster oven or microwave. Toast the buns and assemble the burgers shortly before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1burger, Calories: 653kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 19g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 365mg, Sodium: 1348mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Burgers
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

Hungry for more?

Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

Hungry for More?
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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