Who needs a bun? Try this delicious bunless burger instead. Simply sandwich your fillings between two beef patties, and have at it!
You can add mustard, mayo, cheese and veggies in between the layers, or just a slice of cheese for the simplest version. Either way, I suspect you won't miss the bun.
I used to love bread, but now I consider it as an unnecessary filler (Though I still have several good recipes for keto bread). I'd much rather have an extra delicious beef patty than have just one patty sandwiched in bread!
Bunless burger is such a wonderful solution for those on a low carb or keto diet. And no, I don't miss the bun! When you get used to eating low-carb, you no longer "need" bread to hold your burgers or hot dogs.
You'll only need a few ingredients to make these tasty keto burgers. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Ground beef patties: I prefer a mix of 85/15. Leaner than that is too dry, in my opinion. And in this particular recipe, I prefer to use pre-formed patties. They are more uniform and they keep their shape better when cooked than the ones I shape by myself from a package of ground beef.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the patties could end up too salty.
Dijon mustard: It's creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard. But any mustard will be good here. You can also use mayo or spicy mayo (mayo mixed with hot pepper sauce), as I do in the video below.
Lettuce: Use whatever you like! Iceberg lettuce is crisp, and it keeps well in the fridge, but it's not as flavorful as other lettuce varieties. My personal favorite is Romaine.
Tomato: Try to pick a plump, red and firm tomato. None of those pale mealy tomatoes! Beefsteak tomatoes are perfect, but I'd rather use a ripe smaller tomato than a large tasteless one.
Red onion: If you dislike the sharpness of raw onion, you can simply omit it. You can also use sauteed onions if you happen to have some (or if you have the patience for making them!)
Sliced cheddar: For the best flavor, I like using sharp or even extra-sharp cheddar.
Making a bunless burger is easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the full details. Here are the basic steps:
Season the beef patties with salt and pepper. You can add more spices if you'd like (onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika). I usually stick with salt and pepper.
Cook the burgers on a hot cast-iron griddle to your desired doneness. I cook them to medium, about 3 minutes per side. You can also grill them, as I do in the video.
Transfer the patties to a plate and allow them to rest, loosely covered in foil, for 5 minutes. While the meat is resting, gather the remaining ingredients.
To assemble the "sandwiches," grab two plates. Place one cooked patty on each plate. Spread it with mustard. On top of the mustard, layer the lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, and then top with another cooked patty.
It's important to let the burgers rest for 5 minutes before serving them. This rest period will allow the juices to redistribute and settle, ensuring juicy burgers.
Frequently asked questions
When I eat burgers (these broiled burgers are very good, as are these bacon burgers and turkey burgers), I usually just put them on a plate and use a knife and a fork.
This "sandwich" that you can hold with your hands is another way to enjoy meat, cheese and veggie layers without bread.
It's quite messy and will require extra napkins. But it's admittedly more fun than using a knife and a fork, and it is always a hit with kids, who find the "meat bun" funny - and fun. The kids enjoy not just eating these burgers, but also assembling them.
If you do miss hamburger buns, try making cloud bread - while not true bread, it's surprisingly similar to spongy white hamburger buns.
The best one apart from cloud bread is probably iceberg lettuce. It's pretty good at preventing drips and if you like crisp lettuce, it can actually add to the experience.
Variations and substitutions
Here are a few variations for you to try:
- Ass mayonnaise and hot sauce to the mustard, creating your own "secret sauce."
- Use sauteed onions instead of raw onions.
- Experiment with different cheeses. Good candidates include Swiss cheese, provolone, goat cheese, and crumbled blue cheese.
- Top your burger with tasty toppings such as avocado, a fried egg, and/or cooked bacon.
Recommended side dishes
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Juicy Keto Bunless Burger
- 4 (¼ lb) ground beef patties
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 lettuce leaves
- 2 thick tomato slices
- 2 red onion slices
- 2 slices sharp cheddar
- Season the beef patties with salt and pepper. Cook them on a cast iron griddle over medium-high heat to your desired doneness. I cook them to medium, about 3 minutes per side. You can also grill them.
- Transfer the cooked patties to a plate and allow them to rest, loosely covered in foil, for 5 minutes.
- While the meat is resting, assemble the remaining ingredients.
- To assemble the "sandwiches," grab two plates. Place one cooked patty on each plate. Spread it with mustard (or use mayo if you'd like). On top of the mustard, layer the lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese, and then top with another cooked patty. Serve immediately, with extra napkins. 🙂