Gourmet Red Wine Onion Burger

red wine onion burger with fries and a pickle on a wooden board

This Feast & Merriment Recipe was featured in Greenwich Lifestyle magazine!

Few men (and women!) can resist a good all beef burger! However, there is a big difference between a good burger and great burger. A great burger is well seasoned, juicy, and oozing with flavors that elevate the beef rather than disguising it. There is no argument that beef pairs very well with onions and red wine, which is exactly what this recipe uses to take this burger to a whole new level!

The secret ingredient to this blissful burger is an onion jam that is caramelized with a hearty red wine, red pepper chili flakes, fresh thyme, salt & pepper. The onions are cooked on low and quite slow, which creates an almost jam like consistency, perfect for spreading on a burger. These onions are savory, sweet, salty & spicy which is a winning combination on beef.

To make this burger, there are three steps. First, you must make the onions, which can be made up to three days in advance. Next, once the onions are ready, it’s time to cook and assemble the burger. The final step to this burger is to pair with a good bottle of red wine, kick back and enjoy!

Step 1: make the onion jam

The red wine onion jam is delicious! It can be used not only on a burger but really good on grilled chicken or on a gourmet grilled cheese! The onion jam can be made at least 3 days in advance or frozen up to about 3 months. It is a little time consuming to slowly reduce the onions so making it ahead is always a plus.


  • 2 large red onions, sliced 1/4 inch
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup hearty red wine, such as cabernet.
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

This recipe yields about 1 cup of onion jam.


Heat a heavy bottom dutch oven or a skillet pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Add the onions and stir to coat for about 3 minutes. Set the heat to low and stir occasionally for about 30-35 minutes. (Be sure to adjust the heat up or down as needed. The onions should not brown, they should slowly “melt.”)

Once the onions are soft and the white parts have become translucent, Add the red wine, salt, pepper, red chili flakes and sugar. Stir to combine. Raise heat to medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Gently boil for about 3-5 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated. Taste for seasoning. The onions should be tender, sweet & spicy.

Step 2: Make the burger


  • All beef burger patty(s)
  • Brioche buns
  • Aged cheddar cheese – thickly cut
  • Arugula
  • Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper
  • Onion jam


Season fresh beef burgers with kosher salt & fresh ground pepper on both sides. Grill to a medium rare temperature (or desired doneness). Melt a generous amount of aged, sharp cheddar cheese on top. Remove burgers from the grill to a sheet pan and tent with foil. Let the burgers rest for 3-5 minutes. (Don’t skip this step!) Meanwhile, heat the onion mixture & lightly grill burger buns.

To assemble, coat the bottom of buns with a tablespoon of dijon mustard. Top with a handful of arugula, then the burger with the melted cheese, then a generous portion of the caramelized onions. Serve with your favorite bottle of red wine!

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