Air Fryer Juicy Lucy Burgers are stuffed burgers with loads of melty cheese. They are easy to make in the air fryer and ready in minutes. Inside out cheeseburgers are the ultimate comfort food and an upgraded version of delicious air fryer burgers.
This may be the best stuffed burger you’ll ever make. The beef is juicy and tender and cooked to perfection in the air fryer. Inside? That’s the best part, in my opinion. It’s cheesy goodness. I love getting gooey cheese in almost every bite.
You don’t have to use a BBQ and can make these beef burgers all year long if you like. I know I don’t like barbecuing in the freezing cold of winter here in Canada. Plus my BBQ is usually covered with a foot of snow and ice. You can definitely make traditional grilling recipes in the air fryer (best appliance EVER!).
These delicious burgers only take about 20 minutes to cook from start to finish. You can also make ahead if you like to save time when you get home from work. Pop them in the air fryer and then dinner is served. The perfect busy day dinner!
Why You’ll Love This Stuffed Cheeseburger
- Loads of melted cheese in the middle of the burger make this burger extra special and yummy.
- Easy recipe for the whole family to enjoy.
- Makes a juicy burger with amazing flavor (the onion soup mix adds an extra kick of taste).
- If you love a regular cheeseburger, you will enjoy this awesome burger.
- Easier than cooking on a charcoal grill.
- Ready to eat in about 20 minutes.
- The burger sauce is incredible and is perfect to use to dip french fries as well.
- Ground beef (80/20)
- Onion soup mix
- American cheese slices
- Black pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- Hamburger buns
- Lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions (for toppings)
Homemade Burger Sauce Ingredients
- Pickle juice
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
How to Make Air Fryer Juicy Lucy Burgers
- Step One: Preheat the air fryer to 400℉ (if your model allows for pre-heating).
- Step Two: In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper with clean hands. Mix well.
- Step Three: Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts and form into thin patties. You can use a biscuit cutter if you wish.
- Step Four: Cut each slice of American cheese into quarters and stack the pieces on top of each other.
- Step Five: Place one stack of cheese in the center half of the patties, leaving a little space around the edges.
- Step Six: Top each of the cheese-covered patties with another half of the patties and pinch the edges together to seal.
- Step Seven: Spray the inside of the air fryer with an oil spray and place the burgers in the air fryer basket.
- Step Eight: Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Step Nine: While the burgers are cooking, make the homemade burger sauce by combing all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well.
- Step Ten: Assemble the burgers with the buns and your favorite toppings and burger sauce.
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What to Serve with the Perfect Juicy Lucy
- French fries or sweet potato fries
- Onion rings
- Coleslaw – Try our Chipotle Coleslaw.
- Baked beans
- Corn on the cob
- Potato salad
- Tossed salad
Variations and Substitutions
- Substitute the ground beef with ground turkey, ground chicken or ground pork.
- Switch out the cheese. You can try cheddar cheese, colby jack cheese, monterey jack cheese, swiss cheese, pepper jack cheese, or even blue cheese if you wanted to be different.
- Use a homemade onion soup mix if you have it or use other spices like garlic powder, smoked paprika, and Italian seasoning.
- Instead of seasoning with table salt, try kosher salt.
- Use your favorite hamburger buns or other type of bread or bun like whole wheat buns, pretzel buns, brioche buns or ciabatta bread.
- Adjust the burger sauce ingredients to your liking. Add more or less mustard, ketchup or pickle juice or add other kinds of condiments like BBQ sauce or hot sauce.
Other Juicy Lucy Burger Variations
- Breakfast Burger: Top the burger with a fried egg, bacon, and avocado and enjoy a burger for breakfast!
- BBQ Burger: Mix BBQ sauce into the ground beef mixture and top the cooked burger with more BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, and crispy fried onions.
- Mediterranean Burger: Mix feta cheese and chopped sun-dried tomatoes into the ground beef mixture. Top the cooked burger with tzatziki sauce, sliced cucumbers and sliced red onions.
- Mexican Burger: Mix taco seasoning into the ground beef mixture and top the cooked burger with salsa, guacamole and shredded cheese.
Store any leftover burgers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also wrap them in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave for a few minutes until heated through.
Can You Freeze Air Fryer Burgers?
Yes, you can freeze air fryer burgers. I recommend freezing them raw and uncooked. The burgers will retain their juiciness this way.
To freeze, form the ground beef mixture into patties according to the recipe card directions. Place the burgers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they aren’t touching each other. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the burgers until they are solid (about 1 to 2 hours). Once frozen, transfer the burgers to a freezer-safe container or a freezer bag. Label with the date and name of the recipe.
Store the burgers in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook, thaw them out overnight in the fridge and then cook according to the directions in the recipe.
Make Ahead Instructions
Yes, you can make the juicy lucy burgers ahead and store them, covered, in the fridge for up to a day. You can also freeze the raw burgers if you are making them longer than a day ahead of time.
What is a Juicy Lucy?
So what the heck is a juicy lucy burger? It’s a cheeseburger that has cheese stuffed inside the patty instead of on top of it. So basically, just another way to make a cheeseburger!
Its origins are disputed. Some say it was first created at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, MN in the 1950s. Others say it came from another restaurant in the area, the 5-8 Club. Either way, this classic burger has been around for awhile and isn’t going anywhere!
- Use ground beef with a higher fat content, like 80/20. It will make the burger juicy and flavorful. It may be labelled as medium ground beef.
- Don’t use PAM or other aerosol cooking sprays in the air fryer. It can damage the enamel. Use an oil sprayer filled with a high heat oil like grapeseed oil to grease the air fryer so the burgers don’t stick.
- Be careful to not overcrowd the air fryer basket. You may need to work in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature of your burger is at least 160°F.
- Use clean hands to mix the ground beef mixture together. It’s messy, but much easier than trying to use a spoon.
- Make small thin beef patties. You’ll be putting them together with the cheese in between so they need to be on the smaller side.
- The first time you make the recipe, keep an eye on the burgers as cooking times can vary across different air fryer models.
You can also make juicy lucy cheeseburgers in the oven. Bake on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for 20 to 25 minutes at 375F.
You might also enjoy our Oven-Baked Cheeseburgers.
Feel like grilling your burgers instead? You can do that, too. Grill on medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remember to lightly grease your grill so the burgers don’t stick and to be careful flipping them so you don’t break the seal and let all that cheese out.
FAQs about juicy lucy burgers
Air Fryer Recipes
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Air Fryer Juicy Lucy Burgers with Homemade Burger Sauce
- Preheat the air fryer to 400℉ (if your model allows for pre-heating).
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper with clean hands. Mix well.
- Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts and form into thin patties.
- Cut each slice of American cheese into quarters and stack the pieces on top of each other.
- Place one stack of cheese in the center half of the patties, leaving a little space around the edges.
- Top each of the cheese-covered patties with another half of the patties and pinch the edges together to seal.
- Spray the inside of the air fryer with an oil spray and place the burgers in the air fryer basket. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked through.
- While the burgers are cooking, make the homemade burger sauce by combing all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mixing well.
- Assemble the burgers with the buns and toppings of your choice and burger sauce.