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Baked Wild Rice Burgers

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2/3 cup cooked and drained wild rice
2 tablespoons honey mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
1-1/4 pounds 85% lean ground beef
4 Havarti or Colby cheese slices
4 English muffins, split and toasted

Baked Wild Rice Burgers

Baked Wild Rice Burgers are so delicious and easy to bake to crispy perfection in the oven with a cast iron skillet.

  • Serves 4
  • Easy

About This Recipe

Burgers are … tricky. They can be good or bad depending on how you handle them, what you add to the meat, and how you cook them. Should you grill them? Sauté them? Broil them? There are recipes for all of those methods. But here’s the secret for my favorite kind: Baked Wild Rice Burgers.

Yes, the method I like best is to bake them, in a hot cast iron skillet. My burgers have to be crispy on the outside, with that deep brown crust color that means tons of flavor. And they have to be cooked to 160°F because I am not about to risk food poisoning.

Did you know that you can buy pre seasoned cast iron skillets? It used to be that it took hours and hours (or years and years) of work or cooking with cast iron skillets to get that hard, shiny, nonstick coating that is the reason people love that type of skillet. So buy one!

If you don’t want one, you can use a very sturdy (and I mean sturdy) sheet pan with sides instead. And whichever pan you use, be very careful. They get really hot in the oven and it’s easy to burn yourself moving them in and out.

Now to the burger. I put wild rice in mine (I try to put wild rice into just about anything) and it adds a wonderful texture and sweet and nutty note. Some Worcestershire sauce adds color and flavor and moisture to the burgers. And honey mustard adds a sweet note with a tangy flavor. Serve with My Mom’s Potato Salad, of course.

So what are you waiting for? Go make some!

How to make the best Baked Wild Rice Burgers

  • Handle the meat as little as possible for the most tender burgers. Mix with your hands just until combined.
  • You can use drained canned wild rice in this recipe, or cook some, cool, and drain.
  • A really hot pan will immediately sear the burger and the meat will start to caramelize, creating a wonderful crisp crust.
  • Do not move the burgers for four minutes, and they will release easily when it’s time to flip them.
  • You can use ketchup in place of the honey mustard, or add some beef broth instead. You just need some moisture so the burgers stay juicy.

Why this recipe works

  • The hot pan causes an immediate sear, so the burgers are crisp.
  • The wild rice helps keep the burgers tender because it interferes with the protein web.
  • And the Worcestershire sauce and honey mustard add moisture and flavor.
  • I think that the oven is a gentler way to cook the burgers, too, without the searing fire of the grill, which can reach up to 500°F. So they stay more tender and juicy.

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Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put a 12-inch seasoned cast iron skillet or a sturdy baking sheet with sides in the center of the oven. Turn on your exhaust fan.


In a medium bowl, combine the wild rice, honey mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper and mix. Add the beef and mix gently just until combined.


Shape into four patties that are about an inch wider than the English muffins. Press a wide indentation into the center of each patty so they don't puff up while baking.


Using oven mitts, carefully remove the skillet or pan from the oven and put on the stovetop. Plop the patties on the pan and do not move them. Get the skillet or pan back into the oven.


Bake for four minutes, then remove the pan and flip the burgers. Return to the oven and bake for another 6 to 10 minutes or until a food thermometer registers just above 155°F. Test by inserting the thermometer probe into the side of the burger.


Remove the skillet or pan from the oven, place on the stovetop, and top each burger with the cheese if you are adding it. Cover with foil, tenting it over the burgers so it doesn't touch the cheese, and let stand for 3 minutes. If you aren't adding cheese, let the burger rest, covered, for three minutes anyway to help the juices redistribute inside the burger and so the temp rise to 160°F.


Assemble your burgers with the buns. I also like to use lettuce, avocado, mayonnaise, and more mustard, but you can use anything you want, from garlic sauce to ketchup.


Linda is a bestselling cookbook author and home economist who has written 54 books (53 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies) since 2005. She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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