Grandma's Italian Meatball Fried Hamburger

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I can remember when I was seven years old, Grandma had a good friend named Theresa. Everyday after school I would rush to go home, Theresa lived in one of my parents small apartments in a two family home in Upstate N.Y.  She would always make me something and it was from scratch and fresh! My favorite was her fried hamburger with fresh parsley and slivers of garlic. I was too young to ask for a recipe but I have spent years duplicating her taste. I finally came to realize its not going to happen. She put love in her cooking to please someone else, that would be me this certain instance, I loved these hamburger so much, so etched in my mind forever will be the taste she made no one could match, the aroma alone as I walked up the steep stairs to her apartment still lingers and that was many many years ago.

I sure do love fresh garlic cooking, this burger has turned the American hamburger Italian for sure,  using just a little Italian flair.

I was use to having so much snow in Upstate NY growing up,  we never grilled  outside, it was a rare occasion. Most of the time everything sauteed in a pan of olive oil or melted butter. The flavor was amazing and everything came out  awesome.
Grandma would just love to torture the neighborhood to with her meatballs they were also the best every!.....all you could smell  is that garlic frying for hours after they were all eaten. oh no they lasted just a few minutes with my two brothers around. We sure had alot of company visit at dinnertime... and she'd feed them all, that's what Italian mom's  and grandmom's do, and I took right after them for sure! Grandma and Theresa sure knew how to cook!

So here is both ways of what I can remember or recreate,  for those not so lucky to grill outside I can tell you this fried in olive oil or  butter still is the tastiest!

1 pound of ground chuck ( she would always use one that had fat (fat is flavor you know~)
2 cloves of chopped chunky garlic
2 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
1 egg ( recipe calls for 1 egg to every pound of hamburger)
1/4 cup Italian flavored bread crumbs
2 tablespoon grating cheese
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
Mix together till everything blends together with your hands....(whatsamatter for you? you no likeagetyou hands dirty?) Grandma speaking broken English!
Shape into round  extra large meatballs and flatten with the palm of your hand. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, if needed.

You want authentic this is a recap of my childhood memories of after school snacks...and yes, I miss grandma, mom,and always will  have a special place for Theresa with wonderful flavorful memories ! Now with all the news on how bad it is to cook in butter or fry we all try to cook to a healthier living style, we have them once in a blue moon fried now.  I don't know why.... when grandma lived to be 94 and no one ever told her she had high cholesterol, but who knew for sure back then? Oh well...maybe I wouldn't be so lucky. So here is both versions:

 Original option:

In a large fry pan, melt two tablespoon of  olive oil or butter , add slivered cloves of  garlic in the oil and fry burger on both sides till desired doneness, I like well done or very crispy outside.

 Serving suggestions, Use a garlic bread version for your roll, brushed with olive oil spices and garlic... top hamburger with fresh tomato sauce and a slice of mozzarella or provolone, lettuce, tomato. You can dress it up anyway you like.

Healthier Version:
Heat your grill, lightly spray with butter flavored oil, place patties directly on grill cook till meat is cooked to your preference. Serve exactly as above suggestions.


  1. Claudia, I am going to make these - your healthier version anyway. lol. We love these kind of sandwiches.

  2. great memories,claudia!the smell of garlic reached me...

  3. Italians did indeed saute or fry everything in butter or olive oil. Stick to the olive oil mostly and you are just fine. And sauteeing first in garlic = yes, she knew what she was doing. I'd have a garlic laden hamburger any day of the week.

  4. Wow, not that is some kind of burger:) I love the smell of garlic...Fantastic!

  5. Those sound delicious!! I've been craving burgers but wanting something different. I'm thinking that these might be the ticket!! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love this Italian style burger! Every time I come here I become immersed in my own memories. My Great Grandma lived to be 92 and my Grandma 89. It must be all that olive oil and garlic!

  7. Fried or grilled...I would enjoy this either way!

  8. The burger looks delectable and satisfying!

  9. Now that is one nice sandwich!

    Bon appetit!

  10. That.
    SO GOOD.

    Loving the post! All of it!

  11. Claudia, it's a truly awesome looking burger and I'm sure it taste delicious.

  12. You say the same thing as I do about grandma and the cholesterol. Mine lived to 83, never was sick! I think they ate cleaner, as in no processed stuff. Your burger looks fabulous!!! I remember a boyfriends "ma" making these, yum.

  13. I think I would love to grow up with your grandmother! This sounds so tasty.

  14. Now this is my kind of sandwich!!!


Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email