Craving a burger but don't want the bread? This Burger Bowl uses romaine lettuce as a base, and is topped with ground beef, onion, tomato, and pickles and drizzled with a delicious sauce. All of the flavors of a burger, but lightened up!
As much as I love a classic burger, I might like this burger bowl even more. And honestly, just because you're doing a Whole30 doesn't mean you can't enjoy a burger! You definitely can, but in bowl form.
I got the inspiration for this recipe after creating these steak fajita bowls. I figured if fajitas can be made without tortillas, a burger can easily be made without a bun.
This bowl features all of my favorite foods, plus a simple and very delicious special sauce that you're going to want to eat by the spoonful (seriously though).
- The bowl itself is filled with nutritious foods like sweet potatoes, lettuce and tomatoes, and it's easy to customize to your liking
- The sauce is kinda sorta similar to my bang bang sauce, but different enough to pair SO well with ground beef
- Add sweet potato fries on the side to make it even more filling low carb dinner recipe
- Ground beef - Or, substitute ground turkey or even ground bison if you prefer.
- Lettuce - Romaine is the go-to lettuce for burgers, but you can of course use any kind you'd like.
- Onion - Red onions or yellow work just fine
- Tomato - No substitution
- Pickles - Any variety you'd like. As I mentioned, this bowl is easy to customize to your liking!
- Potatoes - The potato fries make this dish even more filling! I like using sweet potatoes, but russet potatoes work too.
Step 1: Make the fries. Start by cutting the potatoes into wedges (or fries), then place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400° for about 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
Step 2: Cook the meat. While the fries are baking, place the ground beef into a skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook it over medium heat, breaking it up with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until it's no longer pink.
Step 3: Make the special sauce. Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 4: Assemble the bowl. Use the chopped lettuce as the base of your bowl (think of it as a giant salad). Then, add the ground beef on top, along with the onion, tomato, pickles, and sweet potato fries. Drizzle everything with the special sauce and dig in!
Tips and tricks
- Add-ins: Want to bulk up this burger bowl even more? Try adding avocado, bacon, mushrooms, and/or cheddar cheese (if you're not wanting it to be Paleo/Whole30)
- Love pickles? Add a teaspoon (or more!) of pickle juice to the special sauce
- Make sure to use Whole30-compliant mayo, or whip up my super easy avocado oil mayonnaise
- Not doing a Whole30? Feel free to use rice as a base for this bowl instead of lettuce.
- Looking for a side of veggies? Try these easy sautéed asparagus or even these honey roasted tomatoes as a delicious side dish.
Can this be made vegetarian/vegan instead?
Yup! Simply use your favorite plant-based meat alternative (think: impossible burger/beyond meat), and use a vegan-friendly mayo for the sauce.
How should leftovers be stored?
Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You could also make the sauce and store it in a separate small container or jar and store it for up to 2 weeks. Pair it with these air fryer chicken tenders or skillet roasted fingerling potatoes as as dipping sauce.
More easy Whole30 recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Burger Bowl (Paleo, Whole30)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 heads romaine lettuce chopped
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 large tomato sliced
- ⅓ cup dill pickles or more
for the special sauce:
- ¼ cup mayonnaise whole30 compliant
- 3 tablespoon ketchup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°. Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges, or a bit thinner for fries and place them on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or oil of choice), then bake them for 18-20 minutes, flipping half way through.
- While the fries are baking, cook the meat. Add the ground beef to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Cook the beef, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to break it up and cook it until it's no longer pink.
- Make the sauce: whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Assemble the bowl(s): Add the romaine to the bottom of you bowl, then top it with the cooked ground beef, onion, tomato, and pickles, then place the sweet potato fries to the side. Drizzle with the sauce and enjoy!
Ashley Hauck says
I was looking for a lighter version of something to cook on Labor Day. Decided to make this and loved it. It’s a really different take on a burger but fresh and delicious. My husband was a little skeptical but even he loved it! Another win!