These Burger Bowls have all the yummy flavors of hamburgers, including lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles but without the bun. Instead they are layered into bowls on top of cauliflower rice for a lower carb meal option. The Thousand Island dressing makes them irresistible!
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Last year when I did the Whole30 I fell in love with Burger Bowls. I had come across the idea when I was searching for Whole30 recipes on Pinterest. If you are not familiar with burger bowls, they are basically a grain-free way of enjoying the delicious flavors of a hamburger but without the bun. The hamburger meat is crumbled and browned in a skillet and then the ingredients are arranged in a bowl and eaten with a fork.
This is a version I created for Healthy Seasonal Recipes because I know you all are going to love them too! Once you try them, have fun mixing up the ingredients to customize them how you like them.
Ingredients For This Recipe
For The Crumbled Meat Mixture
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground turkey or beef
- 1 large finely diced red onion, divided
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
For The Dressing
- ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt (you can sub mayo or Whole30 compliant mayo to make dairy free and/or Whole30 compliant)
- 2 tablespoons ketchup (use Whole30 compliant/sugar free if desired)
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon celery salt
To Assemble The Bowls
- 1 ½ cup shredded lettuce, optional
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 4 cups frozen cauliflower rice, heated
- ½ cup sliced dill pickles
- 1/4 cup of the diced onion (you’ll cook most of the onion with the beef mixture)
- Plus the beef mixture and dressing
How To Make Burger Bowls
Make The Beef or Turkey Mixture
- Combine the beef or turkey, all but 1/4 cup of the onion, the mushrooms and the salt and pepper in a hot skillet.
- Cook it and break it up so that it resembles meat for pasta sauce or tacos.
- Note that the mushrooms will let off a lot of liquid as they cook. This is normal. Keep cooking until it evaporates, the onions are soft and the meat is cooked through.
- Take the meat off the heat and add in the Worcestershire sauce.
Make The Dressing
- The dressing I serve with these bowls is like Russian or Thousand Island dressing, which is like the famous “special sauce” many associate with hamburger sauce.
- This dressing, made with yogurt instead of mayo, is very similar to the one I use in my Vegetarian Reuben Sandwiches.
- To make it, whisk the yogurt (or mayo if you prefer), ketchup, vinegar, mustard, relish and celery salt to combine it.
- If you do not love this flavor combo, grab another dressing recipe from my archives. There are tons! The Blue Cheese Dressing would be awesome!
Assemble the Bowls
Heat the cauliflower rice according to the package instructions. (I just microwave it in a glass measuring cup until it is piping hot.)
I like to use a shallow pasta bowl like these to serve portions of this recipe.
- Start with the cauliflower rice and lettuce.
- Then spoon on the beef or turkey mixture.
- Top with tomatoes, pickles and onion.
- Drizzle the dressing at the end.
FAQs for This Recipe
This recipe can be made low carb with 9 g net carbs if you use mayonnaise instead of yogurt and use sugar free ketchup.
To make this recipe Whole30 compliant, simply sub Whole30 compliant mayo for the yogurt. Make sure other ingredients are also compliant including the ketchup, relish, pickles and mustard.
With mayonnaise, each serving will be 485 calories.
Absolutely! I recommend using shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack or Muenster cheese. If you love blue cheese, try a half ounce, crumbled over each bowl. Cheese will add about 110 calories per ounce.
A good rule of thumb is that any topping that is good on burgers is also good on burger bowls. Try crumbled bacon, a fried Eggs, hot or sweet peppers or avocado. You can also substitute another “base” instead of cauliflower rice. I have also made these with zucchini noodles or zucchini cut into ribbons. You could also use cooked spaghetti squash.
Make Ahead Tips
- If you are a meal prep lover then you will love this recipe because the meat reheats beautifully. It can be made up to four days ahead.
- The dressing can also be made ahead as well. The veggies for the topping can also be prepared and stored separately if you like.
- It is important to wait to assemble them after the meat is reheated because the meat and cauliflower rice is best served warm.
- To reheat the meat and cauliflower rice, portion them into a bowl and microwave for two minutes or until steaming hot. Alternatively, you can heat the meat on the stovetop with a little broth or water. Heat until steaming hot.
- The meat can be frozen up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
More Recipes You May Like
These Low Carb Mexican Stuffed Peppers are also super fast for busy nights and great if you are watching your carbohydrates.
This recipe for Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage is another grain-free weeknight meal that the whole family can enjoy.
If you are a bowl lover, there are several others here on Healthy Seasonal! This Chicken and Quinoa Bowl with peanut dressing is a flavor explosion! These Quinoa and Lentil Bowls are a vegan option for meatless Monday. These Vegetarian Burrito Bowls are made in an instant pot and are fun to customize. These Grain Free Mongolian Beef Bowls are another option for folks who are limiting their grains.
If you love burgers on actual buns I have a bunch of those too! These Grilled Chicken Zaatar Burgers are good as are these Beef, Portobello and Swiss Cheese Burgers. You can also go veggie with these Black bean burgers or these Southwest bean burgers.
Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review.
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
These Hearty lower-carb Burger Bowls are ready in less than 30 minutes. They have all the flavors of hamburgers but without the bun! There’s a Whole30 compliant option and one for making it even lower in carbs.
For The Meat Mixture
1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
1 large finely diced red onion, divided
8 ounces mushrooms, finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey or beef
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
For The Dressing
½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt (sub mayo to make dairy free or whole30 compliant)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
½ teaspoon celery salt
For The Bowls
4 cups frozen cauliflower rice
1 ½ cup shredded lettuce, optional
1 large tomato, diced
½ cup sliced dill pickles
- Make meat: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Reserve ¼ cup diced onion for garnish. Add the remaining red onion, mushrooms and turkey or beef to the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until the meat is cooked through and the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle Worcestershire sauce over the meat and stir to incorporate. Remove from the heat.
- Make Dressing: Whisk yogurt, ketchup, vinegar, relish, mustard and celery salt in a small bowl.
- Meanwhile, heat cauliflower rice according to package instructions.
- Assemble Bowls: Divide cauliflower rice among four shallow bowls. Top with the meat, dividing evenly. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, pickles and the reserved red onion. Drizzle over the burger bowls and serve.
Make Ahead and Reheating Instructions:
The meat and dressing can be made up to four days in advance. Keep separate. To reheat the meat and cauliflower rice, portion them into a bowl and microwave for two minutes or until steaming hot. Alternatively, you can heat the meat on the stovetop with a little broth or water. Heat until steaming hot. Assemble as directed.
For Low Carb Option:
Substitute mayonnaise for the yogurt, and use sugar free ketchup. With these alternatives, the calories will be 485 per bowl, 8 g net carbs (13 g total carbs and 5 g fiber.)
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 330
- Fat: 19 g
- Saturated Fat: 6 g
- Carbohydrates: 16 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 30 g
Keywords: Burger Bowls, Low Carb Burger Bowl, Deconstructed Burgers, Whole30 Burger Bowl
The burger bowl was so good! I used ground turkey, brown rice as a substitute for the cauliflower rice and I had accidentally bought spicy ketchup and it worked out perfectly. Every bite was so yummy! It was also super easy to make which is a must in my household.
That sounds great, Sara. I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!
Just wanted to let you know that my wife and I tried this recipe the other night. It so happens that my inlaws were there too. They like the recipe so much that they ask for the leftovers to go!
Anyways, thanks a lot for sharing this. Excited to send the next recipe here to my wife.
Have a great day!
Whoa! This looks so satisfying! I would demolish a bowl of this. Thanks for the recipe!
I am so glad to hear it. Thanks so much!
Thank you for the inspo and recipe, this made a delicious quick dinner that my whole family enjoyed. Between their sports practices and my even boot camps, I’m always in crunch time to make dinner- – so I went ahead and prepped the meat and salad ingredients before leaving so I only had to assemble when I got home!
Wohoo! So glad you all liked it and that the meal prep options worked out for you.
It was so delicious that I think I want to make it again tomorrow. Thanks you so much for sharing.
Wow! I would say that is a great endorsement! Thank you for coming back to let me know you liked it.
So fun and delicious! I like that you can customize each bowl to your liking! Perfect for summer!
Thank you Kelly!
Yum! All the taste of a burger without all the carbs! Loved the idea of adding cauliflower too.
Hi Tina. I am glad you like the idea and the cauliflower rice. It helps to make the servings a bit more generous.
OMG! I think you are a food genius! Can’t believe this is not THE idea of the year for low-carb foodies!
Ha ha! I have to say, when we tried them for the first time, we fell in love with them. I love the fact that my kids will eat them happily too!