Johnsonville No Ordinary Burger Contest

Many people consider Memorial Day to be the unofficial start of summer.  And since it’s only a week away those of us who don’t have plans in place are most certainly working on them.

I think I’ll be attending a local minor league game, with a nice tailgate party beforehand.  If you’re tailgating like me, or even if you’re just having a big old fashioned cookout at your place, you’re probably coming up with some ideas on what to make.  If you’re the type to come up with your own recipe or if you already make burgers that knock it out of the park, you should check out this contest from Johnsonville:

No Ordinary Burger Contest
Enter the Johnsonville No Ordinary Burger Contest…You Could Win $10,000!

Ordinary is out. It’s time to take your burger’s flavor to EXTRAORDINARY, with Johnsonville Bratwurst, Italian, Cheddar and Chorizo Patties!

From now, until July 3, 2012, share your unique Johnsonville Burger recipe and you could win $10,000! Simply select any variety of Johnsonville Patties, let the creative juices flow and show us what you create.

Select finalists will be chosen to participate in a cook-off LIVE on NATIONAL TELEVISION this August, and the winner will receive the $10,000 grand prize!

Good luck, and happy grilling!

For more information, prizing details, offical rules and to enter visit

I’ve had a chance to come up with a recipe to submit and I think it’s something that you’ll all like.  When I think of summer the 1st thing that comes to mind is fresh ripe veggies.  It’s hard to resist that perfect tomato or those wonderfully aromatic herbs  Since we’ve been fortunate to have a very warm spring we’re seeing a lot of those types of things already.  Because of that I decided to stick with the KISS mentality that I like to use in my tailgating planning, and come up with something that highlights those flavors, all while keeping it simple enough to do in the parking lot.  Part of the contest rules state that you have to use one of the 4 Johnsonville burger pattie varieties.  To me, tomatoes and herbs really scream Italian.  Thankfully they offer a Mild Italian Sausage burger that would work quite nicely.  As such I present the Italian Summer Burger.

While the name is less than awesome, this burger is a celebration of the fresh tastes of summer while keeping sort of an Italian flare. We combine fresh ripe tomatoes with the wonderful smell and flavor of fresh basil, all on a juicy Italian sausage burger. To increase the flavor and creaminess we dress each burger with provolone cheese and garlic and herb mayonnaise. Super simple to make, this burger should be a summer favorite for everyone be it at home, camping, or even tailgating.

Prep Time: 20

Cook Time: 20

Makes 6 burgers


6 – Johnsonville’s Mild Italian Sausage Patties (1 package)

2 – Fresh Ripe Tomatoes

Fresh Basil (12-18 leaves)

~6 Tbsp = Store Bought Garlic and Herb Mayonnaise (I used Kraft)

6 – Buns

6 – slices Provolone Cheese

Salt and Pepper – To Taste

Olive Oil to drizzle


Prep: First you’ll slice the tomatoes into 1/4″ slices. Next pull off the basil leaves from the stems. Place these into a grill basket and drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread roughly a tablespoon of the mayo on each bun.

At the grill: Grill the sausage patties for about 8 minutes on each side at a medium low heat. Make sure they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Watch out for flare ups as these have a tendency to drip. About 3-4 minutes before those are done place the grill basket containing the tomatoes and basil on the grill. You’ll know when these are done when the tomatoes start to shrivel. With about 2 minutes to go place a slice of provolone on each burger.

Assembly: On each bun place 1 pattie with cheese, 2-3 slices of tomato, and a couple of basil leaves on each burger. Enjoy.

That’s it!  The wife really liked these, and I have to say that they were pretty darn good.  The burger pattie stayed nice and juicy, aka flavorful, and the basil really upped the ante a lot.  I can definitely see myself making these again in the future.  It’s probably too simplistic to win a contest like this, but they say “less is more” so we’ll see.  Either way feel free to enter with your own recipe and then share the link with us.  We’d love to see what our readers are coming up with.