Whole30 Burgers Paleo
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These Whole30 burgers from a burger establishment taste as wonderful as they look.

Two thin hamburger patties smeared with mustard, piled high with pickle slices, caramelized onions, a creamy sauce spiced with my Whole30 ketchup recipe, coconut aminos, and relish, and sandwiched between two beautiful iceberg lettuce “buns.”

These paleo, Whole30, and low-carb burgers are created entirely with natural ingredients.

Maybe you’re completely committed to your Whole30/paleo/low-carb lifestyle, but every now and then you crave those delectable burger-joint burgers.

So, no more tears. I’m not lying when I say you can make even better, 100% compliant burgers in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Why Is This Recipe So Delicious?

Whole30 Burgers
Food: Whole30 Burgers (Source: Every Last Bite)
  • Juicy burger patties, luscious caramelized onions, and a creamy sauce. If the photos don’t make you salivate, the ingredients list certainly will! Everything that makes the burger joint version so excellent is packed into them.
  • The burger patties are cooked in mustard, and there are extra pickles, sauce, and caramelized onions on top. It’s downright HEAVENLY.
  • This recipe makes more burger sauce and grilled onions than you’ll need. If you can tolerate it, use them to make burger joint fries, which are sweet potato fries covered with a creamy, relish-spiked animal sauce and super-rich caramelized onions. Save it for food freedom and thank me later if that’s a steep food slope for you.

Important Ingredients

Mustard – Cooking the burger patties in mustard adds SO MUCH flavor to them that you’ll never want to cook them any other way.

Lettuce Buns — If the bread doesn’t play a prominent role in your eating habits, chances are you’ve wrestled with a sloppy lettuce-wrapped burger at least once.

So you’ll never squander your energy (or your lettuce) again. I’m about to show you how to wrap burgers in lettuce in the best, greatest, and most ideal method possible. WE WELCOME YOU.

Onions – Onions are another essential element. This Whole30 burger tastes AMAZING because to the rich, deeply caramelized onions. Take my word for it. Don’t forget about the onions.

Chef’s Advice

  • Make your burger patties as thin as possible. Thinner, not thicker. Now you’re even slimmer. Seriously! Make them as thin and wide as possible, then press them out even thinner on parchment paper. They’ll grow taller and narrower as they cook, and you want them to be thin and massive in the end.
  • Cooking the onions isn’t enough. Get in there and caramelize them completely. You want them to be dark and rich, like caramel or coffee, or the color of George Clooney’s eyes. You’ll be tempted to say “good enough” before then, but trust me when I say to wait. It’s crucial, and it’s well worth the effort.
  • These aren’t your average burgers. No, no. This is a huge burger with a lot of tasty toppings. Before serving, I strongly advise wrapping it in parchment paper (or foil) to help keep everything together. It also seems more genuine and enjoyable that way.

Whole30 Burgers

15-minute prep time
1 hour to cook
1 hour 15 minutes total

These Whole30 burgers from a burger establishment taste as wonderful as they look.

Two thin hamburger patties smeared with mustard, piled high with pickle slices, caramelized onions, a creamy sauce spiced with my Whole30 ketchup recipe, coconut aminos, and relish, and sandwiched between two beautiful iceberg lettuce “buns.” This paleo, Whole30, and low-carb burgers are created entirely with real ingredients.


For the Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise see Notes
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup see Notes
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos + another 1-2 teaspoons if on Whole30
  • ½ teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup do not use if on Whole30

For the Lettuce “Buns”

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce small to medium

For the Burgers

  • 3 teaspoons avocado oil divided
  • 2 medium white onions finely chopped, approximately 3 cups
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
  • 1-3 tablespoons water as needed
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 8 dill pickle chips
  • 2 slices ripe tomato ¼” thick slices


  • Small bowl
  • Large non-stick skillet
  • Large cast-iron skillet
  • parchment paper or aluminum foil to wrap burgers

Instructions For Whole30 Burgers

To Make the Sauce

Whole30 Burgers Healthy
Food: Whole30 Burgers (Source: Every Last Bite)
  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, dill relish, coconut aminos, vinegar, and maple syrup (only if not on Whole30). Stir everything together thoroughly, then chill while you finish cooking.

For the “Buns” of Lettuce

  1. 12″-34″ from the bottom of the iceberg lettuce head, slice off the stem. Cut each half in half to produce wedges, then cut each half in half again. Remove the middle two-thirds of each iceberg wedge, leaving a 34-inch thick lettuce “bun.” Place aside.

To make the burgers

  1. In a medium skillet (ideally non-stick), heat 2 teaspoons avocado oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until onions are browned.
  2. When onions are browned, they begin to sizzle and appear dry. Cook, stirring constantly, until the water evaporates and the onions begin to sizzle again. Repeat the process three times more with 1 tablespoon water until the onions are dark brown and highly caramelized, about 30 minutes total. Place in a bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Form the ground beef into four 2-ounce patties that are thin and wide, about 14″ thick and 4″ wide. Season the patties well with salt and pepper.
  4. In a large cast-iron pan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon avocado oil over medium-high heat. Swirl the oil around the pan to evenly coat it. Add the burger patties when the oil is extremely hot. On the raw side, spread 1 tablespoon mustard.
  5. Cook patties, without moving them, for about 2-3 minutes, or until nicely browned and crispy on the bottom. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on the other side, with the mustard side down.

Put the Burgers Together

  1. 1 scant spoonful of sauce on the inside of each lettuce “bun” (one lettuce quarter).
  2. Add 2 pickles to each lettuce quarter, then 1 tomato slice.
  3. 1 burger patty on top of each tomato slice, followed by 1 tablespoon caramelized onions. If you like, you can add more.
  4. 1 tablespoon caramelized onions, then the second burger patty.
  5. Cover with a scant tablespoon of sauce, two additional pickles, and the top lettuce “bun.” Wrap in aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  6. Assemble and serve the second double burger.


  • This recipe makes enough caramelized onions and sauce to serve with sweet potato fries or hash. Aside from what you need for the burgers, you will have more.
  • Make it Whole30 compliant: For this recipe to be Whole30 compliant, you must leave out the maple syrup in the sauce.
  • To make it Keto, leave off the coconut aminos and maple syrup and replace them with a maple-flavored keto liquid sweetener. Keto-friendly ketchup is also required (store-bought or make your own with my keto ketchup recipe).

The recipe makes two burgers, each with two patties. Your desired portion sizes will determine the number of servings. On your burgers, you won’t use all of the caramelized onions or sauce.

The nutritional statistics indicated are for one burger and are basic suggestions.

These macros do not include maple syrup in the sauce and represent half of the total recipe, even though you won’t use that much on your burger. The exact macros will vary depending on the brands and types of ingredients utilized.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1double burger, Calories: 861kcal, Carbohydrates: 44g, Protein: 34g, Fat: 65g, Saturated Fat: 13g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Trans Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 106mg, Sodium: 7293mg, Potassium: 1583mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 2438IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 363mg, Iron: 9mg, Net Carbs: 29g