Give into your burger cravings while staying true to your health goals with this Loaded Healthy Burger Bowl Recipe! Perfect for a Whole30, paleo, or keto diet, this low-carb burger in a bowl tastes just like the real deal. No need for hamburger buns!
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
Quick: In the fast-paced modern world, convenience is key! Our Whole30 Burger Bowl is perfect for busy weeknights and is designed to save you precious time in the kitchen. With a few simple steps, you’ll have a scrumptious meal ready to devour in no time.
Easy: No need to be a culinary genius to whip up this easy dinner recipe. Burger salads are straightforward and beginner-friendly. This will quickly become one of your favorite meals!
Healthy: We believe that healthy eating should never mean sacrificing taste. Every ingredient in this burger bowl is Whole30-approved, ensuring that you’re nourishing your body with wholesome, unprocessed goodness. Fuel your body while delighting your taste buds!
Use Leftovers: Waste not, want not! If you have leftover burgers from a previous grilling session, this recipe is your ticket to culinary brilliance. Give those patties a new lease on life and transform them into a stunning Burger Bowl creation.
Tastes Like a Juicy Burger: Prepare for a flavor explosion! Our Whole30 Burger Bowl recipe captures all the mouthwatering goodness of a traditional burger without the bun. The combination of perfectly seasoned protein, fresh toppings, and our special big mac sauce will make your taste buds sing with joy.
Fits many diets: Not only are these burger bowls paleo and whole30 friendly, but they’re also low carb and great for the keto diet as well! Opt for sugar-free ketchup in the burger sauce, and limit the number of onions you add as a topping. Perfect for the whole family!
🗝️ Key Ingredients & Substitutions
Ground Beef or Burger Patties: Ah, the star of the show! Whether you use a leftover burger patty or create your own cooked ground beef deliciousness following the recipe below, the choice is yours. Feeling adventurous? Swap out the beef for ground chicken or ground turkey for a lighter twist on these burger salad bowls. I often use leftover patties from my Burger Recipe with Worcestershire Sauce if we’ve grilled at the weekend and have extra burgers!
Greens: It’s all about that fresh, crisp base! Choose from an array of leafy greens like spinach, kale, arugula, romaine lettuce, or butter lettuce to provide the perfect bed for your burger bowl creation. Get your green on and elevate your bowl to the next level. I always opt for a mixed bag of spring greens.
Tomatoes: Time to add a burst of juicy goodness! Ripe, succulent tomatoes bring a tangy and refreshing element to your burger bowl. Experiment with different varieties like cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes for an extra pop of color and flavor.
Pickles: Get ready for a zesty, crunchy kick! Tangy dill pickles provide the perfect textural contrast to your protein. Look for sugar-free or naturally fermented options to keep things Whole30-compliant and pack that extra punch.
Caramelized Onions: If you’re looking to take your burger bowl to new heights, caramelized onions are the way to go. Our Caramelized Red Onion Recipe is so simple, and to make it whole30, just skip the honey. However, if time is of the essence, feel free to skip this step and still enjoy a fantastic flavor experience. Sliced raw onions work well too, any color like red, yellow, or white onion. I always prefer red onions for their sweetness.
Special Sauce: Time to get saucy! Our special sauce will elevate your deconstructed burger bowls to a whole new level of deliciousness. There are just 4 simple sauce ingredients: mayonnaise (homemade is best!), Whole30 ketchup, yellow mustard, pickles, plus a little pickle juice from the jar. Skip the ketchup if you can’t find a whole30 brand, or try paleo ketchup instead if you don’t mind the sweeteners. This Whole30-compliant sauce will have you licking your lips in pure satisfaction.
🥣 How to make Loaded Burger Bowls with Special Sauce
Begin by cooking the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the ground beef turns brown and is no longer pink and drain any excess fat. Add the coconut aminos, tomato paste or ketchup, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for 5 more minutes.
If you’re using leftover burgers, reheat burgers in the oven, toaster oven, skillet, microwave, or grill. My absolute favorite way to reheat a burger is in the air fryer! When they’re ready, dice them up so they’re easy to eat in a salad.
While the beef is sizzling away, gather your greens, tomatoes, pickles, and caramelized onions (if you’re feeling fancy) or you can just slice raw onions, and whip up that tantalizing special sauce.
How to make the Special Sauce
In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, whole30 ketchup, yellow mustard, diced pickles, and a splash of pickle juice. I use homemade garlic mayonnaise. If you aren’t making your own, add a little garlic powder to the sauce.
Assemble the Burger Bowls
Once your ground beef is cooked to perfection, it’s time to assemble your loaded burger bowls. Start with a generous bed of your chosen greens, layer on that flavorful ground beef mixture or a diced leftover juicy patty, and top it off with an array of fresh tomatoes, tangy pickles, and—if you’re going all out—those heavenly caramelized onions. Finally, drizzle that special sauce, adding a burst of flavor that ties it all together.
If, by some miracle, you have leftovers, fear not! Simply store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, ensuring that your next meal is just as scrumptious as the first.
If you have an extra special sauce left over, store it in a separate airtight container or a jar. I like to make the special sauce ahead so that I have it on hand for salads, and it’s also great as a dip!
Remember, the fresher, the better. However, we have a feeling that once you experience the magic of the Whole30 Burger Bowl, leftovers will become a thing of the past.
🪄 Recipe Notes & Tips
Ground beef temperature: Cooking ground beef to perfection is an art form. Ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature and savor the juicy deliciousness without any worries. This is especially important if you’re reheating burgers for earlier. Make sure the burger reaches 72°C/165°F. Safety first, flavor always!
Other burger bowl toppings: Want to add a little crunch? Try crispy bacon. Craving creaminess? Slice up some creamy avocado. The possibilities are endless, and your taste buds are the guide. Check below for more toppings and additions to add to your healthy burger bowls.
Meal prep: For those days when time is not your ally, prep your ingredients ahead of time. Chop those veggies, pre-cook the beef or dice a leftover burger patty, and have your special sauce at the ready. This way, you can create a burger bowl masterpiece in minutes when the craving strikes.
Whole30 ketchup: Most commercial ketchups are not whole30 friendly, and are loaded with sugar. My keto Ketchup Recipe is paleo and sugar-free, however, it’s not whole30 friendly either. Primal Kitchen makes an excellent whole30-compliant ketchup, and it’s easy to find online.
🍽️ Variations and Other Healthy Toppings
Different meats to try:
Turkey burgers: Lean, mean, and oh-so-satisfying, a turkey burger bowl is a great option.
Chicken burgers: Light and flavorful, a delightful twist on tradition.
Lamb burgers: Take a walk on the wild side with the rich and robust flavors of lamb.
50/50 ground beef and pork: If you want burgers that are the juiciest, try mixing ground beef and pork together. Make sure you cook it well as undercooked ground meat can cause food poisoning.
Favorite Burger Toppings:
Sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries: A touch of sweetness and a satisfying crunch to complement your burger bowl. Make your own at home or try making them in the air fryer! My Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries are perfect for a burger bowl tonight!
French fries: Crispy, golden perfection that adds a hint of indulgence to your meal.
Crispy bacon: Because bacon makes everything better, and loaded burger bowls are no exception.
Onion slices: These sharp and sweet rings bring a burst of flavor and texture to your bowl.
Rich avocado: Creamy, luscious, and packed with healthy fats. Avocado takes your burger bowl to new heights of deliciousness.
Cheese: If you’re not doing a whole30, shredded cheddar cheese is one of the most classic burger toppings to add. Other cheeses like feta or blue cheese are also great additions to any keto burger bowl.
😋 More healthy recipes you will love
- Whole30 Ground Beef Recipe Collection
- Air Fryer Hamburgers
- How to Season Frozen Burgers
- How to Freeze Homemade Burgers (Raw or Cooked)
- Whole30 Chicken Salad with Grapes
- Keto Sloppy Joes
Have you made this recipe? I’d love to know <3 Tag me (@makehealthyrecipes) on Facebook and Instagram, Pin it on Pinterest, and please give it 5 stars with a review below! Don’t forget to subscribe to the email list (top right of this page) for sparkly new recipes in your inbox.
Healthy Burger Bowl Recipe
Ground Beef Mixture (see note 1 for leftover burger option)
- 750 g extra lean ground beef
- 1.5 tablespoons Whole30 ketchup bbq sauce or tomato paste (see note 2)
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise homemade or store-bought, see note 3
- 4 tablespoons ketchup
- 4 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder optional
- 12 pickle slices chopped
- splash of pickle juice
- 3 bags of salad greens of choice baby spinach, arugula, spring mix, etc.
- 16 cherry tomatoes diced
- Sliced pickles to taste
- Sliced or caramelized onions to taste, see note 4
- Other toppings as desired get creative!
Ground Beef Mixture
- To start, cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the ground beef turns brown and is no longer pink, and drain excess grease (if needed). I slowly tip the pan over a jar and hold the cooked ground beef back with a slotted spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients: coconut aminos, ketchup, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes and set aside.
- Another option: Dice up leftover burger patties instead if you happen to have some on hand. Check out this post on How to Reheat a Burger.
- In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, ketchup, yellow mustard, diced pickles, and a splash of pickle juice.
- Tip: I use homemade garlic mayonnaise. If you aren't making my mayo recipe, add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder to the sauce.
Assemble the Burger Bowls
- In a large bowl (I use pasta bowls), start with a generous bed of your chosen greens, layer on the seasoned ground beef mixture or burger patties, and top it off with diced fresh tomatoes, tangy pickles, sliced or caramelized red onions, and any other burger toppings you desire. Finally, drizzle the special sauce, and serve!
- Leftover burgers: Diced leftover burgers work really well in this recipe and are often what I use instead of the ground beef mixture in the summer after grilling.
- Ketchup: Primal Kitchen is a good whole30 compliant brand. Otherwise, use tomato paste or if you're okay with sweeteners, try my Paleo Keto Ketchup Recipe. Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce is great too!
- Mayonnaise: My homemade mayonnaise recipe is whole30 and keto-friendly, as well as delicious! It already has garlic in it so no need to add garlic powder if you use it.
- Caramelized Onions: Check out my post on How to Caramelize Onions for Burgers. Perfect for burger bowls!
- Ground beef temperature: Cooking ground beef to perfection is an art form. Ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature and savor the juicy deliciousness without any worries. This is especially important if you're reheating burgers for earlier. Make sure the burger reaches 72°C/165°F. Safety first, flavor always!
- Other burger bowl toppings: Want to add a little crunch? Try crispy bacon. Craving creaminess? Slice up some creamy avocado. The possibilities are endless, and your taste buds are the guide. Check the full post for more toppings and additions to add to your healthy burger bowls.
- Meal prep: For those days when time is not your ally, prep your ingredients ahead of time. Chop those veggies, pre-cook the beef or use leftover burgers, and have your special sauce at the ready. This way, you can create a burger bowl in minutes when the craving strikes.