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Rocco DiSpirito's Healthy Cheeseburger Recipe Is Delicious

Burgers are an essential part of any grillmaster's menu, but the calorie count? Let's just say it's high. But chef Rocco DiSpirito of Z Living's popular show Now Eat This!, has come up with a cheeseburger recipe that cuts the calories in half without skipping out on any of that classic burger taste and juiciness. No, really!

When coming up with the recipe, DiSpirito explains: "A cheeseburger sure sounds good right now. Thankfully, for my health's sake, that wasn't the only thing rattling around my brain. I had to think about how to create a healthy cheeseburger. I know that sounds like the untimate contradiction—'healthy' and 'cheeseburger'—but I think I got it: This one is fewer than half the calories of a typical one you'd get at a restaurant. I even made my own 'special' sauce to go with the burgers by blending fat-free mayonnaise, sugar-free relish, and reduced-sugar ketchup."

Now, fire up those grills and get to work!


  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 16 ounces 90% lean ground beef, formed into 4 patties
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices 2% reduced-fat-milk cheese, such as Borden's 2% Milk Reduced-Fat Sharp Singles
  • 1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons no-sugar-added sweet relish, such as Mt. Olive
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sugar ketchup, such as Heinz
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce, broken in half
  • 4 slices tomato
  • 4 slices red onion


  1. Preheat a grill pan over high heat.
  2. Split the buns in half, and spray the split surfaces lightly with cooking spray. Place the buns, cut side down, on the grill. Allow the buns to char slightly, and then transfer them to a platter.
  3. Hold the grill pan away from the stove while you coat the surface with cooking spray. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper to taste. Place the burger patties on the grill, and cook for about 2½ minutes per side for rare. During the last minute, put 1 slice of cheese on each burger.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sweet relish, and ketchup. Set aside.
  5. To assemble the burgers, place the burgers on top of the bottom buns. Pile lettuce, tomato, red onion, and Russian dressing on top of each burger, and set the bun tops in place. Serve.