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Quick Cast Iron Skillet Cheeseburgers

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.

Cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato on a wooden cutting board.
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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.

Cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato and a side of French fries.

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
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
Four raw beef meatballs, four hamburger buns, cheese slices, lettuce and tomato.


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.
Four hamburger patties in a cast iron skillet.

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!

Open burger with patty with cheese on one half and lettuce and tomato on the other half and a side of fries.


Are burger patties gluten-free?

While many burger patties contain breadcrumbs, these burger patties are 100% gluten-free. They are made from nothing but beef, salt, and pepper.

Can I make cheeseburgers with ground turkey?

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.

Two cheeseburgers with lettuce, tomato and sauce and French fries.

More Quick Meals

Printable Recipe

Cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato on a wooden cutting board.

Quick Skillet Cheeseburgers

These quick skillet cheeseburgers are incredibly juicy and are on the table in just 15 minutes. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
4.82 from 11 votes
Print Pin Save Recipe Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Deanna


  • 1 Pound lean ground beef
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 Slices cheese any cheese you prefer
  • 4 hamburger buns

Topping suggestions

  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • 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.


If you like your buns toasted, brush with butter and toast face down on a separate skillet, or place them under a broiler for 1-2 minutes. 


Estimated Nutrition Facts
Quick Skillet Cheeseburgers
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

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This post was originally published in 2019. It has been updated for content and user experience.

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Recipe Rating


Saturday 6th of January 2024

We steam the hamburger buns, by placing them on top of the cheeseburger when it is almost done! Place the skillet lid over the skillet until the cheese is melted, and then transfer the whole burger onto the plate. This is sooo good. A nice soft warm delicious Cheeseburger with a delicious bun! Anyone else do this? It seems it only happens in my family!


Friday 28th of January 2022

I made this for dinner and it was fantastic! I love the idea of forming it into meatballs first for even sizing. We topped the cheeseburgers with mushrooms and grilled onions. So delicious!


Wednesday 2nd of February 2022

Thank you! Mushrooms are my favourite topping for sure. So glad you enjoyed them.


Thursday 9th of April 2020

I can't believe how easy it is to make burgers like this. Our whole family loved them.