Spa Swiss Mushroom Burgers

This is a recipe that I have developed with carefully chosen ingredients to produce a creative. colorful and healthier twist to a traditional dish.

On the rare occasion I prepare a hamburger, this is my favorite recipe. I like to make this on our sailboat. To adapt this for boating or camping, see my notes below.

These mushroom and swiss cheese burgers can be served on a bun if you’d like, but I suggest serving them on a colorful bed of fresh arugula and a slice of ripe tomato or onion. Not only does arugula taste good but it is a nutrient-dense food rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene, potassium, folate, Vitamin K and magnesium.

Have you heard that making a dimple on top of the raw ground beef patty helps prevent it from getting tall in the middle as it cooks? Some people recommend an indent the size of a thumb print but I find that the burgers still shrink. A better way is to make a wide depression that makes the burger look like a plate. This will avoid a tall mountaintop in the middle and shrinkage.

Spa Swiss Mushroom Burgers

Makes 4 servings

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, preferable naturally-raised, without antibiotics or hormones.

Salt and pepper for seasoning

2 tsp Trader Joe’s Garlic Olive Oil

8-ounce package sliced mixed or cremini mushrooms

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

4 slices Swiss cheese

4 cups Arugula

Optional toppings: sliced red onions, sliced tomatoes, avocado


Shape the ground beef into patties to your desired thickness and size and make a large indentation in each middle. The burger should look like a dinner plate, lower in the middle with a raised “rim” edge around the edge. Season with salt and pepper. If you will be grilling the burgers later, put patties on a plate and cover and refrigerate.

If you are packing for a camping or boating trip, don’t make the indent as it will disappear during storage. Pack on the reserved Styrofoam tray with wax paper or plastic wrap in between layers of hamburgers. Put in a gallon zip top resealable bag.

When you are ready to prepare the burgers, prepare the grill. Set the grill to medium and lightly brush the grill grates with vegetable oil. Grill the patties, indentation-side up, until marked on the bottom, about 5 minutes.

Prepare the dinner plates with a bed of arugula and any other vegetables you have decided to use.

Meanwhile get the mushrooms ready: heat 2 teaspoons garlic olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook 2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Back to the burgers…Flip and cook them until marked and slightly firm, about 3 more minutes for medium doneness. See my notes on grilling time below. Don’t let them get overdone or they will be tough and dry. Use a digital thermometer to check the temp. I like to pull mine off as they approach 154 degrees.

After the burgers have been removed from the grill, place a slice of swiss cheese on top.  Place burger on prepared bed of vegetables and divide the sautéed mushrooms on top of the burgers.

Recipe Notes

Make sure not to overcook your burgers. Use a meat thermometer like this top rated one.

Ground beef must be cooked to 160 degrees to be safe. Of course, with carryover cooking, you’ll want to pull your burgers at 155°F (68°C) to achieve the best temp and results. For medium-rare burgers, cook for 5 minutes total (135°F). For medium burgers, cook for 6 to 7 minutes total (145°F)

RV or Boat Recipe Notes

  • Pre-shape the burgers and put in double gallon zip top bags. Plan this meal for one of your first on your trip as you do not want to store ground beef more than a couple days. Pack the hamburger patties in a way that they don’t get squished.
  • Pack 4 slices of cheese and put in sandwich size double zip top bags.
  • Pack a small bottle with 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce.
  • Pack a bottle of Trader Joe’s Garlic Olive Oil. I keep this on the boat.
  • Pack 4 cups arugula.
  • Pack a red onion or tomato if you’d like
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