Loaded Burger Bowls
5/5 - (1 vote)

These stacked burger bowls with pickles, bacon, guacamole, and a “special sauce” are incredible!

They’re satisfying and healthful, and they’re Whole30, paleo, and low carb — a terrific alternative to the lettuce wrap burger!

I’m not delicate, however…

My burgers have been known to be eaten with a knife and fork. Have you ever tasted one of these low-carb lettuce burgers? Sister, Drip City.

Then one bite has three pickles and no bacon, while the next has a full slice of bacon and no pickles. When I can have even bites with beautifully dispersed components and spare my sleeves, I’m not interested in that life.

But what’s better?

Bowls of burgers

What exactly are hamburger bowls?

Loaded Burger Bowls Keto
Food: Loaded Burger Bowls (Source: 40 Aprons)

I’m pleased you inquired! Burger bowls are the burger version of a taco salad or burrito bowl. We strip a burger down to its most delicious components, placing copious quantities of classic burger toppings on a bed of lettuce.

Ground beef, red onions, bacon, pickles, guacamole, and tomatoes are included in this Whole30-loaded burger bowl.

Burger bowls combine all of the best aspects of burgers (savory meat, rich avocado, salty and crispy bacon, briny pickles, and that mildly sweet, creamy sauce!) with a healthier and more convenient method of preparation.

With each forkful, you get a taste of everything, and there’s no need to look for the perfect leafy lettuce to wrap your burgers in. Nope! Simply put everything in a dish and you’re done.

Bonus? These burger bowls are Whole30 compliant, paleo, and low carb because they only use whole foods.

Why Is This Recipe So Delicious?

  • Salty pickles, smoky bacon, sweet and creamy “special sauce,” rich avocado, fresh tomatoes, and uh, oniony onions are just a few of the amazing sensations in these burger bowls.
  • The majority of the prep can be done as the ground beef browns, making these burger bowls a quick weekday meal recipe.
  • They’re Whole30-compliant, paleo-friendly, and low-carb! Add them to your Whole30 food plan as soon as possible.

Crumbles vs. Patties

Burger bowls are frequently constructed with patties, in my experience. Burgers, for example. But I gave a lot of attention to how the ground beef would be delivered for these burger bowls, and I decided on crumbled for a few reasons:

  • Beef that has been crumbled stays more tender than beef that has been cooked as a patty and then chopped into.
  • When beef is crushed, you’re more likely to get beef in every bite.
  • Cooking crumbled beef is easier than cooking a burger to perfection.

Although I recommend browning and crumbling this garlicky ground beef combination, you are free to make it into patties as well.

Simply shape 4 equal-sized patties from the beef-garlic powder combination and fry in a cast-iron skillet with a little avocado oil until medium (thin pink line).


  • Replace ground beef with any other ground meat, such as turkey, chicken, bison, or pork.
  • Instead of disintegrating the meat mixture, cook it as patties. For more information, see the section above.
  • For a Tex-Mex twist, use lime juice instead of lemon in your guacamole. Chopped cilantro and red onion can also be added. If you go with this method, top the burger bowls with cilantro for added taste.

How Do You Make Loaded Burger Bowls?

Preparation is the most time-consuming aspect of making these burger bowls. You can prepare your toppings ahead of time or while the ground beef mixture is cooking.

Combine the meat, garlic powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a skillet with a little oil, crumble it until it’s browned and cooked through.

Combine the avocado, lemon or lime juice, and salt in a mixing bowl and mash until smooth.

Set aside after mixing all of your special sauce ingredients until smooth.

The final step is to build your burger bowls: in your serving bowls, start with a bed of romaine lettuce and top with 1/4 of the ground beef mixture. Serve the remaining toppings in dishes with lots of special sauce drizzled on top.

Loaded Burger Bowls

15-minute prep time
15 minutes to cook
30 minutes total

Pickles, bacon, fast guacamole, and a “special sauce” abound in these burger bowls. These Whole30 and paleo burger bowls are also low-carb.


For the Burgers

  • 1 pound ground beef any %
  • 4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon avocado or refined coconut oil

For the Bowls

  • 2 small heads romaine sliced, root discarded
  • 1 ½ cups cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • ½ cup pickles plus more to taste
  • 1 cup red onion thinly sliced
  • 8-10 slices bacon cooked ’til crisp and roughly crumbled
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 avocados peeled and pitted
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the Special Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos use if on Whole30, see Notes for details
  • 2 teaspoon maple syrup use if not on Whole30, see Notes for details
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • pinch salt

Instructions For Burger Bowls

Loaded Burger Bowls Paleo
Food: Loaded Burger Bowls (Source: 40 Aprons)
  1. Combine the meat, garlic powder, and salt in a medium mixing basin. In a big skillet, preferably cast iron, heat avocado or coconut oil over medium heat, then add meat and brown, crumbling with a spatula or spoon.
  2. Prepare the remaining ingredients for the burger bowls in the meantime.
  3. Make guacamole quickly: Combine avocado, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium mixing basin.
  4. Make the special sauce: whisk together all special sauce components, omitting the maple syrup and using only coconut aminos if you’re on a Whole30. If you aren’t doing the Whole30, leave out the coconut aminos and just use maple syrup. Place aside.
  5. Remove the meat from the skillet once it has browned and crumbled, then return it to medium heat. Cook red onions in a single layer on the bottom until faintly browned, then flip. Cook until the second side is lightly browned, then remove and repeat until all of the onions are lightly cooked.
  6. To assemble, place romaine in the bottom of the serving dishes, then scoop 1/4 of the ground beef mixture into the center. Arrange the other ingredients, including tomatoes, pickles, red onion, bacon, and fast guacamole, around the meat. Serve with a generous amount of special sauce.


  • If you like, you can substitute lemon juice for lime juice. I wanted to keep the flavor neutral, but a Tex-Mex twist would be fantastic!
  • In this dish, don’t scrimp on the bacon! The better. Find the nicest, thickest cut you can.
  • If you’re doing a Whole30, just use the coconut aminos instead of the maple syrup in the special sauce. If you’re not doing the Whole30, leave the coconut aminos out and use maple syrup instead.

Special Sauce for Whole30

  • 1/2 cup of ingredients
  • Whole30-friendly mayonnaise
  • a couple of tablespoons of Whole30-friendly ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon amino acids de coco
  • 1 tablespoon pickle relish (dill)
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried onion pinch of red pepper flakes
  • pinch salt

Special Sauce for Non-Whole30 Ingredients:

  • a half-cup of mayonnaise
  • ketchup, 2 tablespoons
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (pure)
  • 1 tablespoon pickle relish (dill)
  • 2 tablespoons minced dried onion pinch red pepper flakes pinch salt

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1burger bowl, Calories: 738kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 59g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 1487mg, Potassium: 1055mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1871IU, Vitamin C: 19mg, Calcium: 65mg, Iron: 4mg, Net Carbs: 16g