Skip the hamburger bun and try these Loaded Burger Bowls. This fun and easy weeknight dinner is made with real ingredients and comes together in just 30 minutes. Serve them with my homemade burger sauce and Air Fryer Carrot Fries for a meal the whole family will enjoy.
📋 About the Recipe
- Just 30 minutes - Burger bowls are great for busy weeknights when you need something quick and easy. You can also try this cheeseburger tater tot casserole for a simple burger-inspired recipe.
- Meal prep friendly - Just store the toppings, beef, and burger dressing separately and build your salads right before enjoying.
- Customizable - I'm sharing my favorite burger bowl toppings with you here - some classic, and some extras. Use what you love and add your favorites! Make your burger bowl your own.
- Hearty - Skipping the bun makes this burger bowl lighter and lower in carbs, but don't be afraid to load it up with your favorite toppings. A salad can be just as satisfying and filling!
A few notes about the ingredients:
- ground beef - I recommend using high quality, grass fed beef when making homemade burger meat. Grass fed beef contains significantly less overall fat than grain fed beef, making it a much leaner, healthier option. I used 80% lean, 20% fat.
- bacon - Similar to the beef, I recommend using high quality, uncured bacon free of nitrates and nitrites. It's minimally processed with no artificial ingredients.
- cheese - Any cheese will work here, but I use and recommend cheddar cheese for a classic cheeseburger bowl. Shred your cheese at home for optimal texture and flavor.
- pineapple - Fresh, grilled pineapple is amazing on burger bowls and burgers in general!
- pickles - Bread and butter or sliced dill pickles will add the perfect mild, tangy flavor to your burger bowl, balancing the savoriness of the beef and bacon and sweetness of the pineapple.
- Worcestershire sauce - Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid made of vinegars, molasses, garlic, onion, anchovies, and seasonings that adds tons of flavor to the burger meat. Always read the label when picking a Worcestershire sauce, as many brands use "fake" ingredients to mimic the flavors of anchovies and onion. The brand Lea and Perrins is a great, authentic choice.
- Prepare the burger bowl toppings: Chop the vegetables, grill the pineapple, and oven bake the bacon. Set them aside in individual bowls.
- Cook the ground beef: Heat a skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Add the ground beef and start to break it up with a spoon. Season with Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir together and break the beef up into crumbles. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the beef is completely cooked through, taking care not to overcook it.
- Load up your burger bowls: Add a layer of romaine to the bottom of your burger bowl, then top with ground beef. Check out this easy tutorial on how to cut romaine lettuce!
- Add bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, pickles, diced tomatoes and diced red onion to taste.
- Finally, add on your sliced avocado and grilled pineapple.
- Serve burger bowls drizzled with the homemade burger sauce or on the side.
- Enjoy while the ground beef is still warm!
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Ground beef substitutes: If you're out of ground beef or are looking for a lighter burger bowl protein, try ground turkey, chicken patties, or even my BBQ pulled chicken for a BBQ twist. For a fall-inspired twist, try these apple turkey burgers instead.
- Topping substitutes: Make this loaded burger bowl your own by adjusting the toppings to suit your cravings. Use my suggestions as a guide to use what you like and leave out what you don't.
- Burger sauce substitutes: The burger sauce is super simple to make and adds a ton of flavor to the burger salad. If you're looking for a quicker substitute, try a store-bought Thousand Island dressing.
❄️ How to Store
To store: If making burger bowls for meal prep, store the ground beef and all the burger bowl toppings in separate air tight containers for up to 3 days.
To freeze: Freezing these ingredients is not recommended.
To reheat the beef: Reheat ground beef in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat the beef in the microwave with a splash of water in 30 second bursts until warm. Be careful not to overheat, as this will dry out the beef.
First, buy a pre-sliced pineapple, canned pineapple rings, or cut a fresh pineapple into rings yourself. Then, grill the pineapple slices in a very hot grill pan or on your bbq grill lightly sprayed with non stick spray until seared (about 2-3 minutes on each side).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the bacon strips on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes, or until your desired level of crispiness is achieved. Then, transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess fat.
Grass fed ground beef is significantly lower in saturated fat. It also contains more Omega-3 fatty acids and is higher in antioxidants. Overall, it is better for you than grain fed, non-organic varieties of beef. And as an added bonus, it is more flavorful too!
Nitrates and nitrites are often added to meats to add flavor, prevent bacteria growth, and preserve the color of the meat by keeping it red or pink. Uncured, nitrate and nitrite free bacon is fresher because it uses less preservatives and is less processed in comparison to lower quality meats.
💭 A Couple More Tips
Try serving your burger bowls with homemade pomegranate bbq sauce instead of my classic burger sauce.
🍴 Related Recipes
Share your cooking with me! If you make this recipe, I'd love to know! Tag @yourhomemadehealthy on Instagram or leave a comment with a rating and some feedback at the bottom of this page!
Loaded Burger Bowls
For the Ground Burger
- 1 pound grass fed natural ground beef (16 ounces) I used 80% lean, 20% fat
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large head of romaine lettuce chopped
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 30 bread and butter or dill sliced pickles
- ¼ red onion diced finely
- 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 pineapple sliced and grilled
- 10 slices uncured natural bacon (no nitrites or nitrates) cooked until crispy
For the Burger Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons diced bread and butter or dill pickles
- 1 ½ tablespoons ketchup
- 2 teaspoons pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon dried minced onion
- ½ teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Prepare the topping ingredients by chopping the vegetables, grilling the pineapple, and cooking the bacon. Set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Add the ground beef and start to break it up with a spoon.
- Season with worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir together and break the beef up into crumbles. Cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the beef is completely cooked through, but don't overcook it.
- Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisking to combine.
- Add the lettuce to the bottom of each individual bowl. Top each with a scoop of ground beef.
- Add the rest of your favorite toppings. Then, drizzle the burger sauce over top.
- Serve while the ground beef is still warm.
- Grass fed beef provides more flavor, as well as a healthier alternative. I like to use 80% lean and 20% fat (as opposed to 90% lean and 10% fat or lower) so the beef doesn't become dry and chewy.
- Ground turkey or ground chicken are also great alternatives to the ground beef. You can also use turkey bacon in place of the pork bacon.
- If you like a lot of sauce, double the sauce recipe.
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