Cast iron skillet cheeseburgers or smash burgers are quick and easy. Made with simple ingredients and ready in just 15 minutes, they are incredibly juicy and full of flavor. It is a perfect way to get dinner to the table quickly and a meal the whole family will love.
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I love a good cheeseburger. And while we love to fire up the grill and cook burgers outside, it can take a while to heat up, especially if you use charcoal.
Sometimes we need dinner quickly and don’t have the extra time to wait for the grill to do its thing.
That is why we love the cast-iron skillet cheeseburger. It is sometimes called the smash burger due to placing the meatball on the skillet and smashing it flat.
Skillet burgers are fast to make, and the burger patties stay incredibly juicy. You will need a good stack of paper towels while you eat these.
For a gourmet burger, try cooking up some air fryer onion rings, placing one or two right on the burger, and serving the rest on the side with a dish of creamy dip. Sour cream and chive dip is a favorite and takes only minutes to prepare.
Ingredients & Substitutions
For a full list of ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
You only need a few ingredients to make cheeseburgers at home on the cast iron skillet. Most of your ingredients will depend on how you like to top your burgers.
The ingredients you want to start with are:
Lean ground beef – I find anything from 80-85% lean is a good place to start. The bit of fat helps add flavour, but there isn’t so much fat that the burgers will be swimming in it as they cook. However, you can use anything you have on hand.
Salt & Pepper – The only seasonings you need are salt and pepper. I like to sprinkle both sides of the patty liberally. However, you can use some granulated garlic if you like, seasoning salt, or even barbecue seasoning if you prefer.
Cheese – Use your favorite here. I often use the inexpensive American cheese slices on my cheeseburger. It’s not the type of cheese I recommend often; they melt easily and are handy to keep in the refrigerator. You can use anything you like; Swiss, cheddar, gouda, and Monterey Jack all work well.
Hamburger buns – Again, just use your favorite. Choose something with a bit of chew that can hold up to the juicy burger. You can select fancy brioche rolls or simple Kaiser-style rolls. The choice is yours. But if you have the time, they are even better when you use Homemade Burger Buns.
You will also want something to top your burgers. Do you like to keep it simple, or do you like to load them up? Some suggestions are:
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced tomato
- Sliced or sautéed onions
- Sautéed mushrooms
- Burger sauce
The best part about skillet cheeseburgers is that they are quick and require minimal cookware.
You will need a good, heavy cast iron skillet. A heavy non-stick skillet will do if you don’t have a cast iron skillet.
- Place the skillet on the stove on medium-high heat (a 12-inch skillet is perfect for 4 burgers)
- Form the beef into 4 large meatballs.
- As soon as the skillet is hot, drop the meat balls into the skillet leaving plenty of room around them.
- Now smash the meatballs flat with a spatula. The flatter you smash them, the quicker they cook.
- After smashing the patties, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Pro-Tip – Ensure the skillet is sizzling hot before adding the burgers. Not only will this help get a nice sear, but it will help ensure the burgers don’t stick to the pan.
- Allow to cook for about 4 minutes, then flip the patties and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 3 minutes, then add the cheese and place a lid on the pan.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes longer, until cheese is melted, and then serve.
What to serve with skillet cheeseburgers
There are so many great options to serve with cheeseburgers.
If I’m in a real hurry, I might just toss some frozen french fries in the air fryer as they only take about 15 minutes to cook.
Other frequent choices are a simple Caesar salad or garden salad.
If you are looking for a more substantial side, some great choices to try are:
Bacon parmesan pasta salad
Roasted rosemary potatoes
Air fryer tater tots
Corn and Black bean salsa with some tortilla chips (this salsa also tastes great on top of burgers!)
Of course, there is also nothing wrong with eating these cheeseburgers all on their own, especially if you’ve loaded them up with toppings. Don’t forget the homemade burger sauce!
While many burger patties contain breadcrumbs, these burger patties are 100% gluten-free. They are made from nothing but beef, salt, and pepper.
Yes, you can. You can follow the same method as listed below to make these cheeseburgers with ground turkey. Just be extra careful to make sure they are cooked all the way through. The internal temperature for turkey burgers should be 165°F.
More Quick Meals
Quick Skillet Cheeseburgers
- 1 Pound lean ground beef
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4 Slices cheese any cheese you prefer
- 4 hamburger buns
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Place large skillet on the stove on med-high heat (12 inch skillet is perfect for 4 burgers)
- Form the beef into 4 large meatballs
- When the skillet is hot, drop the meatballs into the pan leaving plenty of space in between.
- With a spatula, press the meatballs flat. The thinner you press them, the faster they will cook. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
- Allow to cook for approximately 4 minutes, then flip the burgers and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 3 minutes, then place a slice of cheese on each patty.
- Cover with a lid and cook another 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Serve on burger buns with desired toppings.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
This post was originally published in 2019. It has been updated for content and user experience.