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Can’t decide between a burger and a salad? Enjoy both with our delicious Burger Bowl recipe!
Jack and I have been on a big salad kick lately – and this fantastic Burger Bowl is our latest favorite salad.
This is a filling dinner salad – with cold crisp lettuce, seasoned ground beef, a variety of vegetables you’d typically see as toppings on a burger, homemade sesame seed bun croutons, and – of course – a ‘special sauce’ dressing that brings all of the flavors together in one every bite!
Your taste buds will get the same satisfaction of eating a popular fast food burger – but your meal will be little bit healthier thanks to all of those fresh vegetables!
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Seasoned ground beef – Start with an 80/20 ground beef mix. It will get seasoned with a variety of spices and Worcestershire sauce.
- ‘Special Sauce’ – We make our own mayonnaise and relish-based sauce that is flavored with French dressing, spices, and pickle juice to name a few of the ingredients.
- Lettuce – We used Romaine lettuce in our recipe today, but iceberg or other favorite salad greens will work equally as well.
- Pickles – Include dill pickle slices with the ridges – just like you’d see served on your favorite burger.
- Onions – We prefer thinly-sliced red onion in our salads, but you could slice or chop up a sweet onion instead.
- Tomatoes – Juicy, diced tomatoes add a bright pop of color and fresh flavor to the salad.
- Cheese & Bacon (optional) – Although we didn’t add cheese or bacon to the salad you see in our photos, you can definitely add some if you’d like. We’d recommend shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for easy eating.
- Sesame Seed Croutons – Transform sesame seed buns into light and crispy croutons to top your salad.
Chef’s Tip –
Buy 80/20 ground beef – then drain the rendered fat off after cooking. This will yield a better-tasting, moister cooked beef than using a lower fat content ground beef to start. (Fat = flavor!)
How do I make a Burger Bowl?
- Saute the ground beef in a little bit of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and a variety of spices. Drain off the excess fat and set aside.
- Mix up a special sauce. Combine mayonnaise with yellow mustard, French dressing, sweet relish, dill pickle juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic powder.
- Cut sesame seed buns into cubes, then toast in melted butter, paprika, salt, and garlic powder.
- Chop lettuce, tomato, and onions and drain the pickle slices. Shred the (optional) cheese if you plan to add it to your Burger Bowl.
- Assemble the salad in individual serving bowls as shown in our photos. Or toss the salad ingredients with the cooked beef and special sauce, then divide and serve in bowls. Top with croutons on each portion and serve immediately with more special sauce on the side.
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Frequently asked Questions
Can I make the Burger Bowls ahead of time? The beef can be cooked ahead, the sauce made in advance and the salad ingredients prepared. But do not assemble until ready to eat. You will want to reheat the ground beef before serving as well.
How do I store the leftovers? Store any leftovers in the refrigerator – but note that this is the type of salad that will probably get soggy by the next day. We suggest combining only as many servings as you plan to eat, then save the remaining leftover ingredients in separate containers in the refrigerator. Then, assemble your salad just before serving.
You may enjoy these other dinner salad recipes:
- Taco Salad
- Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
- Caesar Salad with Grilled Caesar Chicken
- Chef’s Salad
- Zesty Shrimp Salad
Seasoned Ground Beef mixture
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1 tablespoon finely minced sweet onion
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice (from the jar of dill pickle slices)
2 teaspoons white or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
4 sesame seed burger rolls, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
12 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped (1-2 heads)
2 medium tomatoes, cored and diced
1 small red onion cut into thin slices
20 dill pickle slices (the kind with the ridges are the best)
Optional… Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.
Once hot, add ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, paprika and Worcestershire sauce.
Break up as it cooks and cook until no longer pink. Pour into a colander over a bowl and set aside. Discard the fat and liquid that drains into the bowl.
Make the special sauce by whisking all of the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium heat, place cubed bread, melted butter, salt, garlic powder and paprika and toss and cook for up to five minutes to toast the bread. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, place the romaine, tomatoes, onions slices, pickle slices and optional chopped cheese and toss with the drained cooked ground beef and the special sauce.
Portion into four bowls then top each with the croutons and serve.
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