Loaded Burger Bowls with “Special Sauce” (Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)


Loaded Burger Bowls with “Special Sauce” (Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)

I’m not dainty, but…


I have been known to eat my burgers with a knife and fork especially Low Carb lettuce burgers, because I mean have you ever had one? Drip city, sister and then you end up with three pickles and no bacon in one bite and a full slice of bacon and no pickles in the next I’m just not about that life when I can have even bites with beautifully distributed ingredients and I can save my sleeves.

Even better, though?

What are burger bowls?

I’m so glad you asked! Burger bowls are the burger equivalent of a burrito bowl or taco salad we take all the really awesome parts of a burger and strip it down layering heaping portions of typical burger toppings on a bed of lettuce.


Burger bowls marry all the beautiful things about burgers  the savory beef, rich avocado salty and crispy bacon, briny pickles and that lightly sweet, creamy sauce with a healthier and easier means. You get a bite of everything with every forkful and there’s no need to hunt for the perfectly leafed lettuce to wrap your burgers in just pile it all into a bowl and you are set.

Bonus? Because they include only whole foods these burger bowls are Whole30-compliant, Paleo, and Low Carb too.

Why These Whole30 Burger Bowls are So Good


There are so many fantastic flavors in these burger bowls: salty pickles, smoky bacon, sweet and creamy “special sauce” rich avocado, fresh tomatoes, and oniony onions.
These burger bowls are mostly prep and most of the prep can be done while the ground beef browns making them an easy weeknight dinner recipe.
They are Whole30, Paleo, and Low Carb add these babies to your Whole30 meal plan stat.

Patties vs. Crumbled

When I see burger bowls they are very often made with patties I mean burgers right? But I thought long and hard about the delivery of the ground beef for these burger bowls and I opted for crumbled for a few different reasons:


Crumbled beef stays more tender than beef cooked as a patty and then cut into.
You are more likely to get beef in every bite when it’s crumbled.
It’s easier to properly cook crumbled beef than to cook a patty just right.
I recommend browning and crumbling this garlicky ground beef mixture but you are absolutely free to form it into patties too simply form 4 equally sized patties from the beef garlic powder mixture and cook until medium thin pink line in a little avocado oil in your cast iron skillet.



Swap the ground beef for any other type of ground meat: chicken, turkey, bison or pork would all work!
Cook the meat mixture as patties instead of crumbling see the above section for details.
Spike your guacamole with lime juice instead of lemon for a Tex-Mex flair you can include chopped cilantro and red onion too Garnish the burger bowls with cilantro if you go this route mas flavor.

How to Make These Whole30 Burger Bowls

Prep is the biggest step in making these burger bowls you can prep your toppings before you get started cooking or while the ground beef mixture cooks.

Mix together your beef, garlic powder and salt crumble it in a little oil in a skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through.

Mash together your avocado, lemon or lime juice and salt till the desired texture.


Stir together all your special sauce ingredients until smooth set aside.

The last step is to assemble your burger bowls: start with a bed of romaine lettuce in your serving bowls and top with 1/4 of the ground beef mixture divide remaining toppings among bowls drizzle with plenty of special sauce and serve.

Burger Bowls (Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)


Loaded burger bowls with pickles, bacon a quick guacamole and a "special sauce" these Low Carb burger bowls are Whole30 and Paleo too.

  • Course Main Course
  • Cuisine American
  • Keyword burger bowl, burger salad, whole30
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Cook Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 30 minutes
  • Servings 4 burger bowls
  • Calories 897 kcal



  • Burger Bowls Meat
  • 1 pound ground beef any %
  • 4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon avocado or refined coconut oil

Burger Bowls

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

Special Sauce

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



  • In a medium bowl, mix together beef, salt and garlic powder: Heat avocado or coconut oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron over medium heat then add beef and brown crumbling with a spatula or spoon.
  • Meanwhile prepare remaining elements for the burger bowls.
  • Make quick guacamole: In a medium bowl, mash together avocado, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • Make the special sauce: whisk together all special sauce ingredients using coconut aminos only if you are on a Whole30 and skipping the maple syrup if you are not on a Whole30 skip the coconut aminos and use the maple syrup only. Set aside.
  • When beef is browned and crumbled remove from skillet and return skillet to medium heat. Add red onions in a single layer and cook till lightly charred on the bottom, then flip: Cook till lightly charred on the second side then remove and repeat till all onions are lightly cooked.
  • Assemble: start with a layer of romaine in your serving bowls then spoon 1/4 of the ground beef mixture into the center arrange remaining items around the beef: tomatoes, pickles, red onion, bacon and quick guacamole: Drizzle with plenty of special sauce and serve.

Recipe Notes


You can swap the lime juice for the lemon juice if you prefer I wanted to keep the taste more neutral, but a Tex-Mex flair would be delicious.

Don't skimp on the bacon in this recipe the nicest thickest cut you can find the better.

If you are on a Whole30, don't use the maple syrup in the special sauce only the coconut aminos if you're not on a Whole30 skip the coconut aminos and go for the maple syrup. 

Whole30 Special Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Whole30-compliant mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Whole30-compliant ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch salt
Non-Whole30 Special Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch salt

Nutrition Facts


Burger Bowls (Whole30, Paleo, Low Carb)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 897Calories from Fat 693
% Daily Value*

  • Fat 77g118%
  • Saturated Fat 20g125%
  • Cholesterol 121mg40%
  • Sodium 1491mg65%
  • Potassium 1221mg35%
  • Carbohydrates 24g8%
  • Fiber 9g38%
  • Sugar 7g8%
  • Protein 29g58%
  • Vitamin A 1935IU39%
  • Vitamin C 24.1mg29%
  • Calcium 66mg7%
  • Iron 3.7mg21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Before You Go: Cheeseburger Egg Rolls




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