These loaded burger bowls are a healthier option for whenever the burger craving hits. Seasoned ground beef and your favorite burger toppings on a bed of crisp lettuce and drizzled with a tangy honey mustard vinaigrette, these bowls, or burger salads, are easy to make and totally customizable.
How about a big, fat loaded bacon cheeseburger, but make it salad? Yes please! It’s all the taste of a loaded burger while packing in the healthy veggies in a big salad. Doesn’t get much better than this. Burger bowls or “burger salads” are my go-to way of making burgers at home.
What are burger bowls?
Think burrito bowls but the burger version. It’s all the best things about your favorite custom burger in salad bowl form. Instead of a bun, you’ll add your favorite burger meat and toppings onto crispy lettuce and drizzle it with my version of special sauce. I love this recipe because I’m all about the toppings on burgers and when it’s in a bowl, you can go totally wild and load it up with as much as you want.
Ingredients and subsitutions
The best part about burger bowls is that, just like regular burgers, people can pick and choose their toppings and everyone is happy. Also, we’re packing in a healthy amount of veggies so it’s a win win!
You can use burger patties or seasoned ground beef crumbles. If ground beef isn’t your thing, you can use ground turkey, ground bison or even make a vegan or vegetarian version with a plant-based meat alternative.
Pile everything on top of a bed of fresh, crispy lettuce and dig in. I like to use romaine lettuce as I find it stands up best in these loaded burger bowls. You could any kind of sturdy lettuce for the base such as iceberg, little gem, leaf or butter lettuce.
For the toppings, get creative with it! Here are some ideas:
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Crispy bacon
- Thinly sliced onions
- Crunchy pickles
- Cheese please!
- Other toppings you could try – fried egg, caramelized onions, mushrooms, sliced jalapeños or even green chiles.
For the sauce, I love a sweet and tangy honey mustard drizzle. Pro tip – for an extra kick, use hot honey in the sauce to give it a little heat!
Ranch is also a great option if you don’t want to make your own sauce. Truth – I hate ketchup, but if a “special sauce” ketchup and mayo mix is more your style, do you, boo!
How to make loaded burger bowls
These bowls or burger salads come together so quickly. I like to start by making the honey mustard vinaigrette so the flavors have time to meld while I prep the rest of the ingredients.
Start by washing and thoroughly drying your lettuce. You don’t want wet or soggy lettuce in these bowls. You could also skip this step and pick up a bag of pre-washed romaine leaves.
Next, gather all of your favorite burger toppings.
For the burger meat, cook up some seasoned, crumbled ground beef. If you’re cooking out or feeding a crowd, just throw a burger patty in your bowl and proceed. Having the option of making a bowl instead of buns or lettuce wraps is a great way to lighten it up and get in some extra veggies.
Assemble your bowl, drizzle with sauce and dive in!
Tips for making the best burger bowls
- Make sure your lettuce base is super fresh and that you dry it thoroughly. There are a lot of toppings in these bowls and you don’t want limp, soggy greens at the bottom.
- Don’t overcook your ground beef! No one likes dry, chewy hamburger meat. Also use a slotted spoon when removing it from the pan to drain the excess fat.
- If you’re making burger patties, melt the cheese right on it just like you would a regular hamburger, then add it to your bowl.
This recipes is super flexible and perfect for feeding one or a crowd. You can mix and match the ingredients to accommodate nearly all dietary needs including keto, low-carb and Whole30!
Leave a comment below if you try the recipe!
Loaded Burger Bowls
For the burger meat
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Black pepper to taste
For the honey mustard sauce
- ¼ cup good mayo
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle juice see substitution in notes
- pinch of salt
For assembling the bowls
- 8 cups about 2 medium heads chopped romaine lettuce
- ½ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onions
- 6 slices cooked crumbled bacon
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup shredded cheese
- ¼ cup dill pickle slices
- Start by mixing all of the ingredients for the sauce so that the flavors have time to meld. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in ground beef. Add seasonings as it cooks, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook beef just until it's no longer pink, do not overcook.
- Add lettuce to the bottom of large bowls. Top each bowl with seasoned ground beef, burger toppings and drizzle with sauce.