This easy bunless burger recipe is the perfect recipe to use any time. Skip the bun and wrap your burgers in lettuce and top it with a homemade zesty burger sauce. You won’t miss the bun at all!
If you’re following a low-carb, gluten free or paleo lifestyle, you don’t have to miss out on your favorite foods. This easy method for bunless burgers is one of the best ways to enjoy a burger while still staying on track. And if you prefer a bun, then just add a bun and enjoy these juicy burgers.
The homemade burger sauce really makes this recipe great. It’s creamy, slightly smoky, and zesty which makes the perfect complement to a fresh burger. All you’ll need to do is cook your burgers, top them with sauce and your favorite burger toppings, then wrap them in a large leaf of lettuce for a burger that can be enjoyed any time of the year.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Great for those following keto or low carb lifestyles. But everyone loves them!
- The burger sauce is flavorful and easy to make.
- You can use any ground meat you enjoy to make the burgers.
- Bunless burgers are less filling which is great when it’s hot outside.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For The Burgers
- Ground Beef – Use lean ground beef if looking for a leaner burger patty, or higher fat beef if desired.
- Lemon Juice – Adds a hint of acidity and helps to tenderize the meat.
- Minced Garlic – Infuses the burger with fresh garlic flavor.
- Spices – You’ll need salt, pepper, onion, powder, and cayenne pepper to season the burger patties.
- Lettuce – A good choice is a green leaf or bibb lettuce for wrapping.
- Toppings – Cheese, pickles, sliced tomato, red onion, burger sauce are all great for topping and customizing your burger.
For The Burger Sauce
- Mayonnaise – Makes up the creamy base for the sauce.
- Ketchup – Adds a hint of sweetness, acidity, and tomato flavor.
- Chopped Dill Pickles & Juice – Gives the sauce a classic tart and sour pickle flavor.
- Spices – You’ll need smoked paprika, garlic powder, pepper to season the sauce.
How To Make Bunless Burgers
Step 1. Flavor the burger patties. In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne. Mix to combine.
Step 2. Make the burger sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir fully to combine. Set aside and store in the fridge.
Step 3. Form the burger patties. Divide the mixture into 4 portions, rolling each into a ball, then flattening them into patties.
Step 4. Grill the burgers. Grill or pan-pan fry the patties to your desired doneness, adding cheese in the last 30-60 seconds if desired. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before building the burgers.
Step 5. Assemble the burgers. Place each cooked burger on a large piece of green leaf or bibb lettuce. Top with burger sauce, your choice of sliced tomato, red onion, pickles, or your favorite burger toppings. Wrap the lettuce up over the top and serve.
- When forming the burger patties, make sure you don’t overwork the beef mixture as it can get tough.
- When grilling, let the burger patties stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before exposing to heat for a tender burger that’s juicy on the inside.
- Pick lettuce that has large leaves that will easily wrap around the burger patties.
- It’s important to let the burgers rest for at least 5 minutes before after to ensure they don’t melt the lettuce leaves.
- Don’t like beef? Try using ground turkey, chicken, or bison to make bunless burgers.
- Add veggies. Bump up the veggies by adding chopped onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms to the patties.
- Add spice. Spice it up by adding some diced jalapenos into the burger patties or a dash of cayenne pepper into the burger sauce.
- Make burger sliders by forming the burger patties smaller in size.
- Make it a double or triple by stacking the cooked burgers on top of each other.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Cooked burger patties can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container. To reheat, sear them on a hot skillet for a few minutes on each side until warmed through. The sauce can be stored in an airtight container or jar with a lid in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Freezing: While the sauce cannot be frozen, you can freeze uncooked burger patties for up to 3 months. Wrap each patty in plastic wrap, then add to a freezer-safe bag or container. You can thaw in the fridge overnight or cook right from frozen on the grill.
Serve these bunless burgers with some of your favorite burger sides. A few of our favorites are below.
- Crispy Sweet Potato Fries
- Fresh Garden Salad
- Grilled Asparagus
- Roasted Zucchini and Squash
- Mexican Corn on the Cob
- Watermelon Fruit Salad
Bunless Burgers with Homemade Burger Sauce
- 1 1/4 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Green leaf or Bibb lettuce, for serving
- Cheese, pickles, sliced tomato, red onion, for topping
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dill pickle, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon dill pickle juice
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, and cayenne. Mix to combine.
- Divide the mixture into 4 portions, rolling each into a ball, then flattening them into patties.
- Grill or pan fry the patties to your desired doneness, adding cheese in the last 30-60 seconds if desired. Allow them to rest for 5 minutes before building the burgers.
- Place each cooked burger on a large piece of green leaf or bibb lettuce. Top with burger sauce, your choice of sliced tomato, red onion, pickles, or your favorite burger toppings. Wrap the lettuce up over the top and serve.
- Stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and pepper in a bowl.