Mini Burgers with Red Pepper Ketchup and "Special Sauce"

Making foods in miniature can tempt even the pickiest of eaters. In this recipe, homemade dipping sauces replace store-bought ketchup while adding a boost of nutrients. The special sauce is a great place to hide veggies—try adding grated bell pepper, minced celery or zucchini instead of the carrot and pickles.

Regan Burns Cafiso

Mini Burgers with Red Pepper Ketchup and "Special Sauce"

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    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for the red pepper ketchup 1/4 cup chopped pickles, for the special sauce
    1/2 a medium sweet onion, chopped, for the red pepper ketchup 1 tablespoon ketchup, for the special sauce
    3 tablespoons tomato paste, for the red pepper ketchup 1 tablespoon grainy mustard, for the special sauce
    1 16-ounce jar roasted red bell peppers, drained, rinsed, and coarsely chopped, for the red pepper ketchup 1 teaspoon cider vinegar, for the special sauce
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, for the red pepper ketchup 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, for the special sauce
    2 teaspoons granulated sugar, for the red pepper ketchup 1/2 teaspoon celery seed, for the special sauce
    1 teaspoon dry mustard, for the red pepper ketchup Coarse salt and ground pepper, for the special sauce
    1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, for the red pepper ketchup 1 pound ground chuck (85 percent lean), for the burgers
    Dash of hot sauce (optional), for the red pepper ketchup Coarse salt and ground pepper, for the burgers
    1/2 cup mayonnaise, for the special sauce 12 mini buns (also called "party rolls" or "dinner rolls"), split, for the burgers
    1/2 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt, for the special sauce Burger toppings, such as sliced cheese, lettuce, sliced tomato and pickles
    1/4 cup grated carrot, for the special sauce

    directions

    Prep: 20 min Total: 30 min (Quick)
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    • 1

      To make the red pepper ketchup: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and just beginning to brown. Stir in the tomato paste and cook one minute; add the red peppers, sugar, vinegar, dry mustard and salt. Reduce heat to low and partially cover pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes; stir in hot sauce. Transfer mixture to a blender and process until smooth.

    • 2

      To make the special sauce: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to use.

    • 3

      To make the burgers: Heat broiler with rack 4 inches from heat. Shape beef into 12 small patties and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Season patties with salt and pepper and broil for 4 minutes (for cheeseburgers, top with cheese during the last 20 seconds of cooking.) Remove from oven and place patties on buns; garnish with desired toppings. Serve mini burgers with red-pepper ketchup and special sauce for dipping.

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