This Low Carb Burger in a Bowl is inspired by Five Guys and is a healthier, lower calorie option for burger night – cheese and bacon included!
How to make this burger in a bowl recipe
- Cook turkey bacon on a skillet until fully cooked.
- While bacon is cooking, prepare the veggies and divide into four large salad bowls.
- Combine the mayo, ketchup, water and dijon mustard to make the salad dressing.
- Mix salt and pepper in the ground beef and then form 8 equal sized balls.
- Flatten and cook the burger patties in a skillet. Add cheese on top of 4 burger patties then top with another patty, so the cheese melts.
- Add double burgers to salad bowls, topping with bacon, jalapeno and then top the whole bowl with the dressing. Serve and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Turkey bacon – turkey bacon is the leaner, healthier option to use in this recipe. If you’d like, use real bacon but use half the amount to keep this recipe on the healthier side.
- Extra-lean ground beef – any other variation of ground meat can be used and may offer a leaner, healthier burger. Extra-lean ground beef will keep this recipe authentic.
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Cheddar cheese – shredded or a slice of cheddar cheese is recommended to keep this copycat recipe authentic but any other variation of cheese that you prefer can also be used.
- Iceberg lettuce – iceberg has a great crunch but use another leafy green like romaine, butter lettuce, or even spinach, if you prefer.
- Cherry tomatoes – cherry or grape tomatoes will store the best but if you’re planning on eating the dish right away, use another tomato variety like roma, heirloom, etc.
- Pickles – buy pre-cut pickles or regular dill pickles that you can slice. Leave out the pickles altogether if you’re not a fan of pickles.
- Red onion – yellow onions or white onions can also be used. If you’re not a fan of onion, leave them out entirely or sub in a veggie of your choice.
- Jalapeno – use a fresh jalapeno pepper finely sliced for an added kick to this recipe. If you have a low spice tolerance, feel free to leave them out altogether. To lessen the heat, remove the seeds or replace with pickled jalapeno peppers or banana peppers.
- Light mayo – use plain greek yogurt or sour cream as a healthier replacement to mayo. Note that this dressing will taste the best with mayo.
- Dijon mustard – another variety of mustard like yellow mustard can also be used in this recipe.
What is a burger in a bowl
A burger in a bowl is quite simply a burger that's been disassembled into the form of a salad. It includes all the parts you may expect from a traditional burger, without the bun! Burger bowls are truly a great way of satisfying your burger craving if you're on a low carb diet or if you have a gluten intolerance. This burger in a bowl is a great way of having a salad that is high-protein and tastes amazing!
How does this compare to Five Guys?
This recipe is a restaurant copycat of the burger bowls found at Five Guys! My recipe includes all the same great ingredients that you would find in their burger bowl, making it a delicious copycat recipe. The main difference between the Five Guys bowl and mine is that this recipe is more of a salad rather than a disassembled burger.
If you're not a fan of any of the ingredients that Five Guys includes (ex: the jalapeno peppers or the pickles) then you can switch them out using the substitutes I've listed above. You can also replace any of the veggies in this recipe with a veggie of your choice or add any additional veggies to the bowl.
Since this is a secret menu item, there aren't many sources on the nutritional facts of their burger bowls. I did find that Five Guys buns are roughly 290 pounds. This would still leave their cheeseburgers to be around 550 calories without the bun. This recipe creates an identical product with a calorie count of only 392 calories.
Is this recipe keto?
A keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet in order to achieve a state of ketosis. This state of ketosis allows you to burn fat fast. Those who are on a keto diet are limited to a maximum of 35 net carbs within their meals for the day. Since this recipe is 10g of carbohydrates per serving, this burger-in-a-bowl is definitely a great option for a low carb diet! Not only is this recipe low-carb, but it is also high-protein and full of great nutrients, so anyone can enjoy this dish!
Storing and reheating
The best way to store this salad, like any salad, is in a mason jar! Mason jars are the best way to store salads because you don't need any extra containers for the dressing and the salad doesn't get soggy or wilted after the first day! The best part, is that they're basically made for meal prep because the prepared salad jars will last in the refrigerator for up to five days.
This recipe is set to make four servings so you can have nearly a whole week’s worth of lunches ready in about 30 minutes! Use the slider in the recipe card to adjust the amount of servings if you want to make more or less.
If you're making extra dressing, it will last for a long time in the refrigerator so you can prepare it in advance to cut down on prep time!
Since this is a salad, you won't need to reheat this recipe but if you prefer to have warm beef and bacon, you can store them separately and warm them up when you're ready to enjoy the full salad. To eat, shake up the jar so the ingredients combine and serve your salad onto a bowl. If you're on the move, you can probably manage to eat it from the mason jar also!
Freezing leftover beef
To lessen meal prep time for a future meal, you can freeze the beef patties raw. Flatten the burger balls and stack them with a small piece of wax paper or parchment paper in between each patty. The parchment paper is used to ensure they do not stick together in the freezer. Place the stack inside of an airtight container or freezer bag and they will keep well frozen for 3 to 4 months.
You are also able to freeze any leftover cooked patties in the freezer for up to 3 months. Wait for the patties to cool down, then place them in an airtight container or a freezer bag until you're ready to enjoy them! To heat, cook on a pan from frozen until fully warmed or allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.
More burger-inspired recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this pasta into leftovers
- I get all my ground beef from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
- Here's the brand of light mayo I use to make the dressing
Low Carb Burger in a Bowl
- 4 slices turkey bacon
- 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 head iceberg lettuce
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sliced pickles
- 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced optional
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp water
- Cook turkey bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes until cooked through. Let cool, then cut slices in half.
- Meanwhile, prepare veggies, dividing everything up among 4 large salad bowls. Mix ingredients under the dressing heading together and set aside.
- Mix salt & pepper in with ground beef in a large bowl, then form beef mixture into 8 equal-sized balls. Heat a skillet over med-high heat, then smash each ball until super thin, frying for about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Add cheese to 4 of the burger patties, then top with another patty so cheese can melt. Add double burgers to each bowl, topping with bacon then drizzling the whole bowl with sauce. Serve and enjoy!