Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers with Bacon & Crunchy Apple Slaw

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Burger night just got even better with this easy Grilled Blue Cheese Burger recipe! These grass-fed beef burger patties are studded with crumbled blue cheese & crispy bacon so each bite bursts with flavor & texture. Simply grill the burgers until charred & smoky, then serve them on toasty buns with homemade creamy blue cheese burger sauce & crunchy apple slaw. These grass-fed blue cheese burgers are great for a special weeknight meal, at backyard BBQ or Father’s Day cookout – they're always a hit!

Less than 10 ingredients required & ready in 45 minutes or less. Make ahead-friendly with easy meal prep tips provided!

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A side angle shot of a finished grilled blue cheese burger atop a plate with a large bite taken out of it. The plate sits atop a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin that sits atop a dark gray textured surface. The burger is sandwiched between a burger bun with sliced tomato and lettuce sandwiched underneath and with creamy blue cheese sauce spooned over top the burger patty. Three burger patties and crunch apple slaw sit alongside the burger on the same plate.

Take Burger Night to the Next Level with a Grass-Fed Grilled Blue Cheese Burger!

This burger recipe is an all-time favorite here at the PWWB House. It’s inspired by my mother-in-law’s epic gorgonzola stuffed burgers, which are studded with crispy bits of bacon & served alongside grilled apples. The balance of rich beef, funky cheese, & crisp bacon is totally crave-worthy – Chris is absolutely smitten with them.

Over the years, I’ve played with her recipe & these grilled blue cheese burgers are the result! A fresh & crunchy apple slaw provides amazing textural contrast, while the char-grilled burgers have extra bold flavor thanks to New Zealand grass-fed beef. If you’ve never tried it before, the quality & flavor of New Zealand grass-fed beef is absolutely incredible. New Zealand cattle graze in beautiful & biodiverse green pastures, which results in naturally leaner & more flavorful grass-fed beef – it’s perfect for grilling season (& really, all year-round)!

And despite using only a handful of ingredients, these grass-fed beef burgers are seriously bold & flavorful. Every bite tastes totally steakhouse-worthy – you’ll be amazed they came together in just 45 minutes with less than 10 ingredients! They’re simple enough for a weeknight meal but also special enough for summer celebrations like Father’s Day. It just doesn’t get better than that!

A close up shot of four grilled burgers stuffed with blue cheese and one burger bun are arranged atop a ceramic plate that sits atop a dark gray textured surface. Surrounding the plate is a bowl of creamy blue cheese sauce, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, a small ceramic bowl filled with crunchy apple slaw.

Blue Cheese Burger Recipe Highlights

This blue cheese burger recipe is a guaranteed new fave because it’s…

  • PACKED WITH BOLD FLAVOR. Naturally rich & earthy grass-fed & finished beef from New Zealand is the perfect pairing for creamy, funky blue cheese & crispy bacon.
  • SPECIAL-YET-SIMPLE. All of the big flavor comes from just 10 ingredients & 45 minutes of prep. Minimum effort, maximum reward!
  • MEAL PREP PERFECTION. Blue cheese burger patties are great to make ahead of time, whether you’re prepping for a quick weeknight dinner or a festive summer cookout. When dinner rolls around, all that’s left to do is light grill & enjoy!

A top-notch burger night, indeed! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

Key Ingredients for a Blue Cheese Burger with Bacon

Blue cheese burgers ingredients arranged on a dark gray textured surface: New Zealand grass-fed ground beef, bacon, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, kosher salt & ground black pepper, mayonnaise, buttermilk, chives, and garlic powder.

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

You need less than 10 ingredients to make this grass-fed burger recipe, many of which are probably already in your kitchen. An overview of the key ingredients:

  • New Zealand grass-fed ground beef – High-quality grass-fed beef from New Zealand plays a big role in the flavor & texture of these burgers. Its flavor is rich, earthy, & delicate all at once – so good. Learn more below!
  • Blue cheese – There are many types of blue cheese with varying levels of pungence. For example, gorgonzola & Danish blue cheese offer milder flavor while Roquefort & Stilton tend to be more intense. Feel free to play around with the varieties you love most!
  • Bacon – Crispy bits of bacon are such a fun addition to burger patties. I suggest using center-cut bacon for the best balance of flavor & texture.
  • Burger flavor boostersWorcestershire sauce is my secret ingredient for homemade burgers! Its depth really brings out the naturally rich flavor of beef. A little bit of Dijon mustard also adds brightness to complement the richness of these blue cheese burgers beautifully.
  • For serving – Here at the PWWB House, we top our blue cheese burgers with creamy blue cheese burger sauce & crunchy apple slaw, but you can also keep it simple with classic lettuce, tomato, & onion – your call!

Easy Blue Cheese Swap! ⇢ If the funk of blue cheese isn’t your thing, sharp cheddar is a great substitute in this recipe. Rather than serving with a creamy blue cheese sauce, try a homemade aioli – or skip the sauce altogether!

Ingredient Spotlight:

New Zealand Grass-Fed Beef

If you’ve never tried it before, New Zealand grass-fed beef is really special! New Zealand’s pristine environment & temperate climate makes it one of the best places in the world for pasture farming. New Zealand cattle graze freely in lush green pastures, giving the animals a nutrient-rich diet that leads to more complex flavor. 

As a bonus, the positive impacts of New Zealand grass-fed beef extend beyond its amazing flavor. Generations of New Zealand farmers have worked hand in hand with nature, creating a holistic approach to farming focused on soil health, animal welfare, & thriving farm communities. This commitment to the land gives New Zealand one of the smallest environmental footprints of any red meat production system in the world!

Get shopping! Find New Zealand grass-fed beef at a store near you!

How to Make Blue Cheese Burgers

Mixing & forming blue cheese burger patties couldn’t be easier! Here’s what you’ll do:

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Cook the bacon. Par-cook some bacon until the fat begins to render but the bacon is not quite crispy. Finely chop into small pieces, which will blend nicely into the grass-fed ground beef burger patties. Why? ⇢ Quickly rendering the bacon builds flavor & prevents flare ups on the grill. The grill handles the rest of the cooking!

2

Mix the burger blend. Add New Zealand grass-fed ground beef, chopped bacon, crumbled blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, & Dijon mustard to a bowl & use your hands to mix. Don’t overwork the meat more than you have to. Why? ⇢ The secret to juicy, tender burgers is delicately handling the meat. Mix until just incorporated & then stop!

3

Form burger patties. Divide the grass-fed burger mixture into 4 equal portions, then use your hands to form 1-inch thick patties. I like using a burger press to ensure each burger is nice & compact. Tip! ⇢ Use your fingers to create a small indent in the center of each patty to help prevent the burgers from swelling on the grill.

Meal Prep Tip!

Make burger night even easier by forming the blue cheese burger patties ahead of time. Separate the patties with wax paper to prevent sticking & store in the fridge for up to 3 days. At dinnertime, all you have to do is preheat the grill & get cooking – easy! Refer to the Recipe Notes, below, for more storage & meal prep guidance.

How to make grilled blue cheese burgers, step 5: Grill the blue cheese burgers. A close up shot of a gas grill with flames coming through the grates as four blue cheese burger patties are grilled atop the grates. One of the patties is being lifted just above the grates with a metal grill spatula with smoke rising off of the hot grilled burger patty.

Blue Cheese Burger Night Grilling Tips & Tricks

Preheat the grill for medium-high direct heat cooking, about 450-500 degrees F. Once the grill reaches cooking temperature, there’s no need to rush getting the burgers on. Let the grill continue to heat for a few extra minutes so the grill grates get nice & hot. This helps ensure the burgers sizzle when you throw them on, rather than stick.

Need extra help? Learn all about How To Light A Grill.

Chill before you grill! Place the blue cheese burger patties on a small baking sheet & pop them in the freezer while the grill preheats. This helps the burgers bind together, making them easier to handle & helping them cook more evenly. A total pro move!

Grease the grill grates. It’s never fun when burgers stick to the grill. To prevent sticking, generously oil a wad of paper towel & run it over the grill grates using grilling tongs. Tip! ⇢ Since the grill grates are super hot, it’s best to use a high smoke point oil here – avocado, grapeseed, etc.

Don’t press down on your burgers as they cook! The temptation is real, but pressing down on burger patties with a spatula as they cook is a serious no-no! Doing so pushes out all their juices & almost guarantees you’ll end up with a dry burger – no good!

*More Grilling Tips & Tricks

Grilling doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating, we’ll show you how!

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The Best Blue Cheese Burger Toppings & Other Serving Suggestions

Of course, you can simply enjoy your blue cheese burgers on their own…but I think burger night is best with a couple of flavorful & easy-to-make toppings. In this case, creamy blue cheese sauce & crunchy apple slaw complement these burgers perfectly.

Four grilled blue cheese burger patties arranged atop a ceramic plate sit a dark gray textured surface. Surrounding the plate is a bowl of creamy blue cheese sauce, another plate filled with sliced tomato and lettuce, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, a small ceramic bowl filled with crunchy apple slaw, and burger buns resting atop a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin.

⇢ For an extra blue cheese kick: Blue cheese burger sauce.

This blue cheese burger sauce is cool & creamy, all with an extra hint of blue cheese. It’s SO good & seriously easy to make! Simply mix mayonnaise, buttermilk, crumbled blue cheese, fresh chives, & garlic powder in a bowl. To serve, add a big dollop of sauce on top of your grilled grass-fed burgers.

Prep tip!Make blue cheese burger sauce ahead of time so there’s one less thing to prep at dinnertime. Store it up to 1 week in the fridge. If you have any leftovers, it’s also fantastic served alongside wings or veggies! Feel free to use a store-bought blue cheese sauce for extra convenience.

⇢ Our fave blue cheese burger topping: Crunchy apple slaw!

My mother-in-law likes to grill sliced apples for her gorgonzola burgers, but I prefer keeping them raw to preserve their delicious crunch. Tart Granny Smith apples are my go-to – they’re a great balance to the rich blue cheese & grass-fed beef. Simply mix shredded apple with shredded cabbage & thinly sliced red onion. Bring it all together with a spoonful of the blue cheese burger sauce & a squeeze of lemon juice.

Enjoy it as a simple creamy-tangy side dish or scoop it right on top of your blue cheese burgers for extra texture & freshness. It’s CRAZY good!

A side angle shot of a finished grilled blue cheese burger atop a plate. The plate sits atop a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin that sits atop a dark gray textured surface. The burger is sandwiched between a burger bun with sliced tomato and lettuce sandwiched underneath and with creamy blue cheese sauce and crunch apple sauce atop the burger patty. Three burger patties and crunch apple slaw sit alongside the burger on the same plate.

Other ideas for blue cheese burger toppings:

Feel free to top these blue cheese burgers with whatever you love most! A classic combination of lettuce, tomato, & sliced onion is always great. If you love a good condiment, I recommend aioli or Dijon mustard (or create Dijonnaise by mixing the 2 together – my fave!)

A side angle shot of a woman's hand holding up a finished grilled blue cheese burger with a bite taken out over a ceramic plate. The plate sits atop a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin that sits atop a dark gray textured surface. Another burger patty along with crunchy apple slaw rest atop the plate in the background.

I can’t wait for you to try these Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers! They’re so simple to make & so special to serve – I know you’ll love them just as much as we do! If you do give them a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations!

Burger Night is the Best Night! We LOVE epic burgers. Be sure to try our Best-Ever Grilled Turkey Burgers, Bacon Cheddar Cheese Burgers, or Grilled Black Bean Burgers next. ♡ Happy cooking!

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A side angle shot of a finished grilled blue cheese burger atop a plate. The plate sits atop a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin that sits atop a dark gray textured surface. The burger is sandwiched between a burger bun with sliced tomato and lettuce sandwiched underneath and creamy blue cheese sauce atop the burger patty. Three burger patties and crunch apple slaw sit alongside the burger on the same plate. In the foreground rests a small ceramic bowl filled with creamy blue cheese sauce with a gold spoonful of creamy blue cheese sauce resting on the bowl.

Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers with Bacon & Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: Sandwiches & Burgers, Main Dishes, Beef Recipes
  • Method: Grilling & Smoking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers are one of our all-time favorite summer dinners here at the PWWB House!

Inspired by a version my mother-in-law often makes – Chris is absolutely smitten with them! – these grass-fed beef burger patties are studded with crumbled bleu cheese & crispy bits of bacon. Simply grill until perfectly charred & serve with cool & creamy blue cheese sauce & fresh & crunchy apple slaw for amazing textural contrast.

Since the ingredients list is simple, it’s important to use the best you can find. Grab a nice blue cheese (as mild or pungent as you like!) & be sure to look for New Zealand grass-fed ground beef – it has seriously bold & earthy flavor that’s great for grilling. (Check the Recipe Notes, below, to learn more about New Zealand grass-fed beef!)

Simple enough for a weeknight meal but also special enough for summer celebrations like Father’s Day, I hope you love these Grilled Blue Cheese Burgers just as much as we do! ♡


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound New Zealand grass-fed ground beef
  • 8 slices center-cut bacon (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • for serving, as desired: burger bunscrunchy apple slaw (see Recipe Notes) or other toppings of choice (e.g. lettuce, tomatoes, thinly sliced onion, etc.), condiments of choice (e.g. bleu cheese sauce (below), mustard, etc.)

for the creamy blue cheese sauce: 

  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 2 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to seasonBlue cheese burgers ingredients arranged on a dark gray textured surface: New Zealand grass-fed ground beef, bacon, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, kosher salt & ground black pepper, mayonnaise, buttermilk, chives, and garlic powder.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium heat, about 450-500 degrees F.Weber Genesis II Propane Grill on a deck.
  2. Par-cook the bacon: Add the bacon to a skillet over medium heat (on the stove, not the grill). Cook 2-3 minutes per side, until the bacon begins to render but is not totally crispy. The goal is to simply par-cook the bacon since it’ll finish cooking in the blue cheese burger patties on the grill. Remove from the heat. Once cool enough to handle, finely chop into small pieces.How to make blue cheese burgers, step 2: Par-cook the bacon. Five pieces of center-cut bacon par-cook in a stainless steel frying pan. The frying pan rests atop a dark gray textured surface with a black and white window-pane patterned linen napkin placed alongside.
  3. Form the blue cheese burger patties: To a medium bowl, add the New Zealand grass-fed ground beef, chopped par-cooked bacon, crumbled blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, & Dijon mustard. Season generously with ground black pepper as desired. Use your hands to mix until just combined – overworking the blue cheese burger mixture will lead to tough burgers, so take care not to overmix. Divide the burger mixture into 4 even portions, about 1/3 pound (5.3 ounces) each. Using your hands or a burger press/mold, form each portion into a 1-inch thick patty, pressing a small indent in the center of each patty to prevent the burgers from swelling on the grill. Place the formed blue cheese burger patties on a plate or a small baking sheet. Set aside.
  4. Mix the creamy blue cheese sauce: Add the mayonnaise & buttermilk to a medium bowl, whisking well to combine. Fold in the crumbled blue cheese, chives, & garlic powder. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir to combine, tasting & adjusting seasonings as desired. Set aside for blue cheese burger assembly, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. How to make blue cheese burgers, step 4: Mix the creamy blue cheese sauce. A small glass mixing bowl sits atop a dark gray textured surface filled with the ingredients to make a creamy blue cheese sauce: mayonnaise, buttermilk, crumbled blue cheese, chives, garlic powder, and a gold spoon for mixing. Surrounding the bowl is a white ceramic bowl filled with ground black pepper, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin, a stainless steel measuring cup that was filled with mayonnaise, and a small white ceramic bowl filled with blue cheese crumbles.
  5. Grill the blue cheese burgers: Just before placing the burgers on the grill, generously oil a wad of paper towels. Use grilling tongs to run the oiled paper towels over the grill grates, generously oiling the grates. Place the blue cheese burger patties directly on the grill grates. Grill 3-5 minutes per side, keeping the grill lid closed as the burgers cook. If you’d like to top your blue cheese burgers with cheese, do so when there are 2 minutes left of grilling time. Once cooked to desired doneness (3 minutes per side yields medium doneness on our grill), transfer the blue cheese burger patties to a small baking sheet or plate & let rest for a couple minutes before serving. Four grilled blue cheese burger patties arranged atop a ceramic plate sit a dark gray textured surface. Surrounding the plate is a bowl of creamy blue cheese sauce, another plate filled with sliced tomato and lettuce, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, a small ceramic bowl filled with crunchy apple slaw, and burger buns resting atop a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin.
  6. Serve blue cheese burgers as desired, on toasted buns with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, & a generous spoonful of the prepared blue cheese sauce. Enjoy!A side angle shot of a finished grilled blue cheese burger atop a plate with a large bite taken out of it. The plate sits atop a white and black window-pane patterned linen napkin that sits atop a dark gray textured surface. The burger is sandwiched between a burger bun with sliced tomato and lettuce sandwiched underneath and creamy blue cheese sauce atop the burger patty. Three burger patties and crunch apple slaw sit alongside the burger on the same plate. In the foreground rests a small ceramic bowl filled with creamy blue cheese sauce.

Notes

  • Ingredient Notes:
    • New Zealand grass-fed ground beef: If you’ve never tried it before, the quality & flavor of New Zealand grass-fed beef is absolutely incredible! New Zealand cattle graze in beautiful & biodiverse green pastures, which results in naturally leaner grass-fed beef with extra bold, earthy flavor. It’s perfect for blue cheese burgers & anything else you throw on the grill this summer! Learn more & find New Zealand grass-fed beef at a store near you! 
    • Blue cheese: The awesome creamy, funkiness of blue cheese (bleu cheese, gorgonzola) pairs really well with the naturally rich & earthy flavor of New Zealand grass-fed ground beef. Like any other cheese, there are many varieties of blue cheese with differing amounts of flavor, funk, & pungence, so you can make your burgers as mild or as funky as you like based on the blue cheese you use. If you’re not a fan of blue cheese, the flavors in this burger (& the crunchy apple slaw, below), also work well with sharp white cheddar. Swap the crumbled blue cheese for an equal amount of freshly grated sharp white cheddar.  
    • Easy buttermilk substitute: Buttermilk’s tanginess is key for a blue cheese sauce with rich flavor. If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by adding 1 scant teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to a scant 1/4 cup milk of choice. Let the mixture sit for a minute to thicken slightly, then stir to combine. 
    • Easy Add-On ⇢ Crunchy Apple Slaw: With a little extra slicing, you can serve your blue cheese burger with an awesome crunchy apple slaw, using some of the blue cheese sauce as an easy slaw dressing! To a large bowl, combine 2 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 1/2 small cabbage), 2 Granny Smith apples (cored & julienned into fine strips), & 1 small red onion (thinly sliced). Spoon some of the blue cheese sauce over top, squeezing the juice of 1 lemon & seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Toss to combine well, tasting to adjust seasonings as desired. This slaw is great served right on the grilled blue cheese burgers or as a simple creamy-tangy side dish. 
  • Stovetop blue cheese burgers: If you do not have access to an outdoor grill, you can also cook these blue cheese burgers on the stovetop using a grill pan or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the blue cheese burgers, working in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pan, & cook according to Step 5 of Recipe Directions, above.
  • 10-15 Minute Meal Prep: While there’s a few components involved in this blue cheese burger recipe, you can easily cut down on active prep time at dinnertime by prepping one or two in advance. Pick & choose from:
    • Prep the blue cheese sauce according to Step 4 of Recipe Directions, above. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (10 minutes active prep)
    • Prep & form the blue cheese burger patties according to Steps 2-3 of Recipe Directions above. Transfer the formed patties to an airtight container, separating them with a piece of wax or parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. When you’d like to make dinner, simply preheat the grill & get cookin’ – easy! (15 minutes active prep)

Keywords: blue cheese burger recipe, burgers stuffed with blue cheese, grass-fed beef burgers

Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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Jess of Plays Well With Butter stands on a deck behind a stainless steel Weber Genesis II propane grill. In the background, a blossoming tree & a house with beige siding.