My burger salad bowl is lower carb and delicious! Take a juicy burger, still sizzling from the grill, plop it on top of vibrant greens and surround with all the fixings, including a tangle of crisp fried onion strings, blue cheese, and a dollop of secret sauce…now that’s a good idea!
Pull up a fork for #5 in my Main Course Salad Challenge where I’m sharing hearty main course salads to inspire you to go green once a week this season, and hopefully beyond.
You don’t have to follow a keto or low carb diet to appreciate today’s main course salad recipe. It’s everything you love about burgers (except the bun) combined with everything you love about a spring salad, and voilà! You’ve got a lovely meal that’s light on the carbs and big on flavor.
Here’s a recap of my main course salad recipes so far ~ they’re all winners:
Main course Salad #1 ~ Salmon Cobb Salad
Main Course Salad #2 ~ Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (balela salad)
Main Course Salad #3 ~ Shrimp Taco Salad
Main Course Salad #4 ~ Chopped Chef Salad with Creamy Sweet Onion Dressing
I like to serve two small hamburger patties per person, so I get three salads out of a pound of ground beef. To feed more people allow an additional 1/3 pound meat per person.
a burger salad is a way to cut down on animal protein without giving it up entirely.
the secret sauce is easy to make
Feel free to tweak it and keep yours a secret…I’m happy to share mine:
- ketchup (have you tried jalapeño ketchup? I’m crazy for it)
- mustard, Dijon of course
- chili powder
- smoked paprika
- onion salt
- garlic powder
how to cook a juicy burger on the stove
If you aren’t ready for grilling just yet, or maybe you don’t have a grill, you can make a great burger on the stove.
1. When making your patties don’t compact the meat, leave it as loose as possible. Form the patties with a little indent in the middle, this allows the burgers to stay more or less flat as they shrink up during cooking, rather than seizing into little rounded balls.
2. Heat a little oil in a pan until hot and then brown the burgers on one side until nice and caramelized, this will just take a minute or so. Flip, let cook for a few seconds, then cover and turn the heat way down. Let them cook for about 5 minutes, or just until done the way you like them. This essentially steam cooks the meat so it doesn’t get tough and stays moist, leaving the outside nicely caramelized. Larger burgers will take longer.
3. Don’t ruin your burgers by cutting into them to see if they’re done…use an instant read thermometer, the rule is that ground beef is safe at 160F
4. This is controversial but I am usually happy when I see 145F because the meat will continue cooking as it sits. If I wait until the meat is at the recommended temp in the pan, I find it results in overcooked meat.
5. I don’t recommend going rogue and cooking burgers rare or medium rare…the risk isn’t worth it.
food styling tips
- Use a pretty lettuce like red leaf or a curly green variety so you get that nice ruffling at the edge. Arrange it so that the ruffled edges show. Discard any wilted, browned, or tired leaves. The inner leaves are usually the best.
- I shaved my carrots in long strips using a vegetable peeler.
- Small cucumbers work great for salads, and I run the tines of a fork down the length of the cuke, all the way around. When I slice it I get an interesting textured edge.
- Watermelon radishes are a nice touch if you can find them, they’re fuchsia inside with a green rim, thus the name. I thinly sliced mine on a mandoline slicer, and then cut some flower shapes with a tiny vegetable cutter.
- If prepping veggies a head of time, make sure to cover them with a wet paper towel, then plastic, and refrigerate.
- Never cut tomatoes until you are ready to serve.
Burger Salad Bowl
- 1 lb ground beef 20%fat
- 1/3 cup very finely minced onion
- 1 Tbsp A1 sauce
- 1/2 tsp onion salt
fried onion strings
- 1/2 medium onion very thinly sliced
- vegetable oil for frying
- 6 leaves of red leaf lettuce washed, and dried
- 1 medium carrot peeled and then shaved into strips
- 1 to mato cut in wedges
- 1 small watermelon radish sliced into very thin rounds
- 1 small cucumber sliced
- 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbled
- 1/2 cup picked red onions
- a bunch of small radishes trimmed and halved
secret sauce ~ mix together:
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp ketchup I love spicy ketchup
- 1 tsp mustard
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp onion salt more to taste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- To make the burgers gently combine the meat with the onions, A1 sauce, and onion salt. Form into 6 small patties, being careful not to over-work the meat. Make little indentations in the middle of each patty, this will help the burgers cook evenly. Cover and refrigerate.
- Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a skillet over medium high heat for a couple of minutes. Separate the slices of onion into rings, and drop them into the hot oil. They should sizzle on contact, and if they don’t, your oil isn’t hot enough. Fry the onions, stirring often, for a couple of minutes until golden. Do this in batches so you don’t crowd the pan. Add more oil if necessary. Drain the onions on paper towels and lightly salt them.
- Build your salad bowls by putting the leafy greens in the center of three large individual salad bowls (this will be where your burgers will go.) Surround the lettuce with the carrots, tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, picked onions, and crumbled cheese.
- Meanwhile wipe out the skillet you used for the onions and add a tsp oil. Heat the pan over medium high and then brown the burgers for a couple of minutes on the first side until nice and browned. Flip, and cook for a minute more, then turn the heat down and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, or just until they’re done to your liking.
- Place 2 burgers in the center of each of your bowls, top with the secret sauce and fried onions. Serve immediately.