Open Face Burger Recipe

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Published: 05/23/2019 | Updated: 02/07/2024

These open-face burgers resemble homemade sloppy joes but taste more like your traditional cheeseburger recipe! They’re perfect for a quick dinner recipe using ground beef and even better because you can make your meat ahead of time and freeze it!

a white plate with open faced cheeseburger sloppy joes

I’ll be honest with you; I almost didn’t post this recipe because the photos aren’t too appetizing. I mean, aside from the fact that photography is a weak point with me, it’s just not a photogenic food!

But I decided to go ahead and share this open-faced burger recipe anyways for a couple of reasons:

  • They come together quickly and are perfect for an easy, cheap dinner using ground beef burger patties!
  • I love that it’s a great way to use up ingredients that are leftover from another meal. I’ll explain more later, but I’m a huge fan of no food waste, so this is big to me!
  • The ground beef mixture can be made ahead of time and frozen, and hopefully, you guys know by now that freezer meals have my heart!
  • It’s a great way to sneak veggies in if you have kids who wrinkle their noses at them.
  • And I also wanted to share it because it’s a delicious, almost nostalgic meal that everyone in the family will love!

Then in addition to not looking too appetizing, I was also stumped on what to call them! They’re cheeseburgers but they’re not in a patty shape. They’re sloppy joes in appearance but taste more like a cheeseburger. I mean, this one threw me for a loop.

But then I came back to “but, but they’re good and easy, so you must share!”. So we’re going with open-face burgers, and we’ll just let your family call them whatever they want after they get hooked on them!

How to Make Open Face Burgers

Start by heating up a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 pound of ground beef and 2 tablespoons of chopped yellow onion. Cook, occasionally stirring, until the meat is no longer pink.

Then add the following ingredients to your ground beef mixture:

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Mix it all together well and cook for about 5 minutes or until it’s slightly thickened. The cornstarch will help it thicken up, so it isn’t all runny when you try to add it to your hamburger buns.

Then add about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to your meat mixture and stir until it’s melted. Remove from heat and set aside for a couple of minutes.

Take 4 hamburger buns and split them in half. On a baking sheet, lay your hamburger buns cut side up. Then spoon your hamburger mixture evenly over all 8 bun halves.

cookie sheet with hamburger buns piled with cheeseburger sloppy joe mix

Top each with about 1 tablespoon of cheddar cheese grated.

cookie sheet lined with hamburger buns with cheeseburger sloppy joes with shredded cheese on top

Put in the broiler until cheese melts. You want to be really careful watching them while you’re broiling because it only takes about 30 seconds to go from “oh my gosh, they look perfect!” to “oh crap, they’re burnt and now we have no dinner!”.

I put my oven rack about 6-8″ from the heating coils and 4 minutes was perfect for me. Your meat is already hot; you just want to toast up those buns and melt that cheese!

cookie sheet with baked open face sloppy joes

Substitutions and Tips for Open Face Cheeseburgers

  • If you don’t feel like chopping an onion for only 2 tablespoons, you can substitute it with 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder what I like to do, though, is to buy a bag of frozen chopped onions. It comes in handy for your favorite recipes like this that don’t need an entire onion!
  • You can also substitute the minced garlic for 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • I adore tomatoes and put them in everything, but you can always leave them out if you aren’t a fan. If you don’t have fresh tomatoes, you can use a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes instead (drained).
  • Recipes like this are perfect for adding in extra veggies. I’ve added chopped mushrooms, diced green pepper, grated carrots, and even chopped spinach before! Fried onion rings can also be added for an additional flavor and texture.
  • You can really use whatever flavor of cheese you prefer for this recipe. Swiss cheese would work well in this dish as well. You can even skip the shredded cheese on top and just put a slice on top to melt.
  • We have 4 people in our family, so if I buy hamburger rolls for one meal, there are always some leftovers! This is a great recipe to use them up before they go bad! I’ve even used hot dog rolls for this recipe! Just tear them apart down the middle and pile the meat mixture on top the same way.
  • If you want to make these ahead, the meat mixture freezes beautifully. Follow the directions to cook it through in the skillet . Let cool and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Although, if you have a vacuum sealer, you can get even longer out of it! This is great to have on-hand for a quick, last-minute meal!

a white plate with baked open face burgers

Looking for more Dinner/Lunch recipes

Check out these dinner/lunch recipes! Whether you’re in a rush or just want something different, these recipes will have you cooking in no time.

a white plate with baked open face burgers
Print Recipe
4.50 from 2 votes

Baked Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes

These open faced sloppy joes taste just like a cheeseburger! Easy to make and the meat can even be frozen after it's cooked for future meals! 
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 minutes
Total Time14 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: open face burger
Servings: 4
Calories: 547kcal
Author: Natalie Dixon


  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 2 Tbsp. Onion chopped
  • 2 tsp. Cornstarch
  • 2 Plum Tomatoes diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Oregano dried
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded
  • 4 Hamburger Rolls


  • In a large skillet, cook ground beef and diced onion over medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook until meat is no longer pink.
  • Sprinkle cornstarch over cooked meat and stir in. Add diced tomatoes, garlic, Worestershire sauce, oregano and salt. Stir well to combine and cook for about 5 minutes or until it is slightly thickened.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese and stir well to combine. Cook for another minute or so until the cheese is melted.
  • Split the hamburger buns in half. Place the split buns on a cookie sheet with the cut side up. Divide the meat among the 8 halves of the buns. Top each one with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.
  • Broil for about 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately. 

In conclusion, the open-face burger is a quick and easy meal that can be enjoyed by everyone. This recipe is a great way to get your daily dose of protein and vegetables, and it can be easily customized to your liking. You can try open face chili burger or open faced hamburger with gravy.

open face burgers

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Merry Lee Lander
    August 28, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    I toasted my buns with butter just a little first before adding the topping. I also used a little chilli powder in meat mixture. It was delicious! I continued to eat long after I was full.

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