Burger Bowls Are Everything You Love, Minus the Bun!

Burger Bowl

Best burger bowl recipe

Who needs a bun?! Not you! A Burger Bowl is all about the best part of the burger—juicy ground beef, melty cheese, and all the fixins. And like any good burger, it also has a special sauce that brings it all together!

Best burger bowl recipe

Why You’ll Love This Cheese Burger Bowl Recipe

  • Burgers Without the Carbs. Eliminate the bun and you have a low-carb burger to satisfy your keto cravings! I always find it unwieldy to eat a burger in a lettuce wrap, but a hamburger bowl? MUCH easier.
  • Customizable. Just like Air Fryer Hamburgers, you can top your burger bowl with all of your favorite burger toppings to put your own spin on this recipe. Have it your way!
  • Easy Weeknight Dinner. This recipe is really just a matter of browning the beef, stirring together the sauce, and prepping the toppings. There’s nothing to it!
  • Highly Meal Preppable. I also love cheese burger bowls for lunch; just make the ground beef in advance and store it separately from the toppings. 
Overhead view of cheese burger bowl

How to Make a Burger Bowl

The Ingredients

  • Ground Beef. You can use ground turkey if you prefer Turkey Burgers. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce. Umami bomb! 
  • Romaine Lettuce. I much prefer romaine to iceberg, but you do you.
  • Cherry Tomatoes. While thick slices of beefsteak tomatoes are perfect for a traditional burger, cherry tomatoes are better for a burger bowl.
  • Pickles. I recommend dill pickle chips or buy whole pickles or spears and chop them up. (Refrigerator Pickles are also fantastic if you’re feeling ambitious.)
  • Cheese. Shredded sharp cheddar cheese is a classic burger pairing, but any cheese you like on your burgers will be just fine here.
  • Red Onion. Or Quick Pickled Red Onions if you prefer a little less bite.
  • Sesame Seeds. We may not have the bun, but you can still include the sesame seeds!
  • Frozen Sweet Potato Fries. For a low carb burger bowl, skip ‘em. But if you can’t have a burger without fries, you can sit next to me—and add some fries to your bowl.
  • Secret Sauce. A Greek yogurt based sauce with pickle juice and mustard for pep and zip.

The Directions

Overhead view of sweet potato fries on sheet pan
  1. Make the Fries. Cook them according to the package directions. (Or make Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries.)
Ground beef browning in skillet
  1. Brown the Beef. Sauté with the salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce until it’s browned and cooked through.
Bowl of burger sauce with spoon
  1. Make the Sauce and Assemble. Stir together the sauce ingredients, then divide the ground beef and toppings into bowls. Drizzle the burger bowls with the sauce and ENJOY!
Overhead view of components for burger bowl

Recipe Variations

  • Vegetarian Burger Bowl. Use plant-based ground beef or tempeh, or cut a grilled portobello into strips for a burger bowl inspired by my Portobello Mushroom Burger. Make it vegan by swapping the yogurt and milk in the sauce and cheese for plant-based alternatives.
  • Blue Cheese Burger Bowl. Swap the cheddar for blue cheese and the toppings for caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms, a la my Blue Cheese Burger.
  • BBQ Burger Bowl. Swap the special sauce for Barbecue Sauce. A scoop of Healthy Coleslaw makes an excellent topping for this one!

Burger Bowl Cooking Tips

  • Get a Head Start. To make dinnertime a breeze, you can chop the vegetables, shred the cheese, and mix the sauce in advance. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
  • Add Oil for Leaner Meat. If you use turkey or lean ground beef, add olive oil to the pan to keep it from sticking.
  • Serve Immediately. For the best texture and flavor, serve the bowls immediately after assembling. This way, the lettuce remains crisp instead of wilting!
Overhead view of burger bowl with secret sauce
Best burger bowl recipe
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Burger Bowl

This burger bowl recipe is everything you love without the bun! Juicy ground beef, all the toppings, and a drizzle of special sauce.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 -3 bowls
Calories 754kcal
Author Erin Clarke / Well Plated

Ingredients

For the Bowls:

  • 1 pound ground beef*
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 head romaine lettuce shredded
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup dill pickle chips or chopped dill pickle spears
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sesame seeds optional
  • 2 cups frozen sweet potato fries optional—I used Alexia foods

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup or French dressing or Sriracha
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk plus more to thin as needed

Instructions

  • If cooking sweet potato fries, prepare them in the oven or the air fryer according to package directions.
    Overhead view of sweet potato fries on sheet pan
  • Heat a skillet over medium high. Add the beef and saute, breaking apart the meat (if using 80% or 85%, you won’t need to add any oil). Season with theh salt, pepper, and Worcestershire. Continue cooking, breaking apart the meat, until it is browned and completed cooked through.
    Ground beef browning in skillet
  • Stir together the sauce ingredients: yogurt, pickle juice, mustard, ketchup, onion powder, garlic powder, and 1 tablespoon milk. Add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you have a thick but drizzle-able consistency.
    Bowl of burger sauce with spoon
  • Divide the fries, lettuce, tomato, pickles cheese, onions, and beef between 2 bowls. Drizzle over the top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and DEVOUR!

Notes

*If using 90% or leaner beef, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet with it to prevent sticking.
  • TO STORE:  Burger bowls are best enjoyed fresh, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 day, or 3 to 4 days if you store the components separately instead of assembled.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat the ground beef in a skillet or in the microwave, then add the toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 754kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 183mg | Potassium: 1.087mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1.891IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 328mg | Iron: 6mg

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