Sweet and Savory Burger with Fig Jam, Goat Cheese, and Arugula

Spicy beef, tangy goat cheese, sweet fig jam, and earthy arugula all combined in this flavorful burger. This dish is perfect for grilling by the pool, or if you're like me and don't have a yard (or a grill for that matter), it can be easily accomplished on the stove top with a cast iron skillet.  

These ingredients are simple enough, but by making a few small efforts, each one can be enhanced for extra flavor. Toasting the buns prevents sogginess from the jam soaking into the bread. Drizzling the arugula with olive oil, and seasoning with salt and pepper brings out more flavor.  Placing the goat cheese on top of the patties while they're grilling softens up the cheese to make it easier to spread (and so you don't get a huge glob of cheese interfering with the other flavors). 

Sweet and Savory Burger with Fig Jam, Goat Cheese, and Arugula

makes two burgers


  • 2 burger buns
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fig Jam (I like Trader Joe's)
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1 large handful of arugula
  • Olive oil


I made these burgers in my kitchen, and even though the post is written based on that, don't be afraid of recreating this on your grill.

Preheat oven to 350. Place buns on a baking sheet, and toast in oven for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, drizzle olive oil over arugula, season with salt and pepper. Give it a toss.

In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Mix with your hands. (NOTE: any time you handle raw meat, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching anything else). Form beef into two patties.

Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat. Melt butter or oil in skillet, and carefully place patties in pan. Always lay meat away from you to avoid splattering hot oil on yourself. Let patties cook for about 2-3 minutes before flipping (cooking time will depend on how thick your patty is). Once flipped, place goat cheese on each patty to warm and soften cheese. Cook second side for 2-3 minutes.

Assemble! Spread fig jam on the bottom bun. Place patty on top of fig jam. Top patty with arugula. Top arugula with top bun.