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Macro Friendly Loaded Burger Bowls With Special Sauce

published: March 8, 2023

updated: October 24, 2023

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Calling all hamburger lovers! Are you looking for an easy and delicious way to get your fix of ball park style burgers? Then this macro-friendly loaded hamburger bowl recipe is the perfect answer.

This fun twist on traditional burgers brings the flavor, texture, and convenience of a classic burger into one handy bowl but without the bun. With layers of seasoned ground beef, cheese, sweet pickles, juicy tomatoes, crisp lettuce toppings, PLUS a special sauce; this no fuss dish comes together in less than 20 minutes. Whether you're feeding yourself or your family; this flavorful meal will leave everyone at the table satisfied!

Burgers are a beloved food whether you’re cheering on your favorite team or simply enjoying a burger at your local diner. Growing up, I loved going to my brother’s baseball games just so that I could get a hamburger and pickle. Enter burger bowls! Burger bowls are like the deconstructed version of your favorite burger. All the great flavors you love, but piled high on a bed of lettuce for something light yet still oh-so satisfying!


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3 Reasons Why You Will Love This Macro-Friendly Loaded Burger Bowl Recipe

delicious burger bowl high protein
  1. Explosion of flavor: These jazzed-up hamburger bowls bring together all the fan-favorite flavors—including sweet pickles, crunchy lettuce, zesty special sauce and sharp cheddar cheese — plus juicy tomatoes and mustard seasoned beef. Talk about deliciousness!
  2. Easy to assemble: Cook up these burger bowls for a quick and easy weeknight meal! The majority of the prep can be taken care of while you brown your ground beef – simple, delicious, time-saving bliss. PLUS, these bowls are perfect to throw into your meal prep rotation!
  3. Full of color: From a dietitian’s perspective, I love that these bowls are full of colorful produce which means you are getting more nutrition into each bite! Beef is also a powerhouse of nutrition, providing protein plus B-vitamins, zinc and iron – essential nutrients to keep your engine running!

Similar burger recipe you may also love: The macro-friendly Big Mac wrap recipe!

Ingredients

  • Ground beef: I used 93/7%, but you can use whatever kind you want. You may also use ground turkey if you’re looking for a lower fat option. 
  • Steak seasoning, Worcestershire and Dijon mustard: These will add flavor to the meat to really  bring out the hamburger flavor! 
  • Chopped romaine lettuce: This will be used for the base of your salad. 
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Shredded cheddar cheese 
  • Bread and butter pickles: I used a sugar free variation found at Kroger, but Mt.Olive also has one with no added sugar. 
  • Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, garlic powder, and paprika: For the ketchup, I used Heinz No Sugar. For the mayonnaise, I used Hellman’s light mayo. All of these ingredients are used for the special sauce! 

Kitchen Tools Required

  • Medium sized skillet 
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Small bowl
  • Chopping board 
  • Knife 
  • Medium bowls for serving

How to Make Loaded Burger Bowls

  1. Prep all your salad ingredients – chop the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc. 
  2. Make the beef. In a medium skillet, add beef and steak seasoning. Cook on medium heat until browned, breaking into pieces as you go. When done, remove from heat and stir in Worcheshire sauce and Dijon mustard. 
  3. While the beef cooks, make the special sauce. Add the mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, pickle juice, garlic powder, and paprika to a small bowl jar and stir to combine. 
  4. Once ready to assemble bowls, divide the lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, cheese, and ground beef between 4 medium bowls. Top with special sauce and enjoy!
toppings for burger bowl
burger bowl sides
yummy sauce
sauce for burger bowl
burger bowl sides
overhead shot of burger bowl ingredients
burger bowl top shot
close up of burger bowl

Swaps or Alternatives

If looking to bring the fat content down, you can use ground turkey for another great protein option! 

The fun part about this recipe is that they are completely customizable! You can leave off what you don’t like and add YOUR favorite toppings whether it's avocado, bacon, pepper jack cheese, an egg.. the options are endless! 

Quick Tip(s)

To make this a quick and minimal prep recipe, I recommend prepping your veggies first, so that once the meat is cooked, you can throw your salad together. Then when cooking the meat, mix together your special sauce and you’re all set!

If preparing bowls for meal prep, I recommend using a multi compartment container to keep the vegetables soggy from the meat. If you don’t have one, you can also place your meat into the container first, then top with your choice of vegetables. I also like using individual sauce cups to keep some of the toppings separate like cheese, pickles, and the special sauce. 

FAQs

Do you serve this bowl warm or cold?

Either way! Storing your food separately can save time when it's time to reheat. I usually add the beef in its own container for easy microwaving. Then all you have to do is throw all the ingredients into a bowl and enjoy!

Macros & Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 bowl with 1 tbsp special sauce

MacrosNutrition
Calories311
Protein29.5g
Carbs11.9g
Fat16.3g

Healthy Burger Bowls with a Special Sauce

Jessie Hulsey
This high protein loaded burger bowl recipe has 29.5g of protein and comes with a special sauce, which sets you up for a perfect, filling and satisfying lunch or dinner!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 311 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Medium sized skillet
  • 1 Wooden spoon
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 Small bowl
  • 1 Chopping board
  • 1 Knife
  • Medium bowls for serving

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. ground beef (I used 93/7)
  • 1 tbsp steak seasoning
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 cups chopped romaine
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup pickle chips
  • ½ cup sliced red onion
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat

Special Sauce Dressing

  • 2 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • ½ tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp chopped pickles
  • 1 tsp pickle juice (from the pickle jar)
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika

Instructions
 

  • Prep all your salad ingredients – chop the lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc.
  • Make the beef. In a medium skillet, add beef and steak seasoning. Cook on medium heat until browned, breaking into pieces as you go. When done, remove from heat and stir in Worcheshire sauce and Dijon mustard.
  • While the beef cooks, make the special sauce. Add the mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickles, pickle juice, garlic powder, and paprika to a small bowl jar and stir to combine.
  • Once ready to assemble bowls, divide the lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, cheese, and ground beef between 4 medium bowls. Top with special sauce and enjoy!

Notes

Feel free to swap or add different toppings to your preference! Taste and nutrition content may vary depending on ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcalCarbohydrates: 11.9gProtein: 29.5gFat: 16.3g
Keyword high protein
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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About the author, Jessie Hulsey

Jessie is a recipe creator and registered dietitian consultant, specializing in weight management, healthy aging, and behavioral nutrition in Atlanta, GA. To lean into her creative side, she loves all aspects of recipe development and food photography. When not working, you can find Jessie at the dog park with her husband and pup, playing in her garden, and scoping out new restaurants!

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