These Low Carb Burger Lettuce Wraps are made with double-stacked patties sandwiched between layers of cheddar cheese and special sauce!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Ground beef – if you’re looking for a leaner option, use ground turkey.
- Salt & pepper – to taste.
- Cheddar cheese – use either grated or sliced cheddar cheese or another cheese of your choice.
- Boston lettuce – iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves can be used if you can’t find Boston lettuce.
- Plum tomatoes – use heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes or red vine tomatoes in place of plum tomatoes.
- Red onion – yellow onions or sweet onions work wonderfully on burgers.
- Pickles – feel free to leave these out if you don’t like pickles. For a similar texture and crunch, use banana peppers (if you’re a fan of some heat!)
- Light mayo – use sour cream as a lighter alternative.
- BBQ sauce – mix ketchup and Worcestershire sauce together if you don’t have any BBQ sauce.
- Garlic powder – onion powder or garlic salt can also work.
- Paprika – use chili powder, cayenne powder or crushed chili flakes instead.
How to make burger lettuce wraps
Step 1: Mark the special sauce
Step 2: Prep the veggies.
Step 3: Form then cook the patties.
Season ground beef with salt and pepper before forming into 8 thin patties. Grill for until fully cooked. Stack one on top of another and add cheese, cooking until melted.
Step 4: Assemble your wraps and dig in!
The best lettuce for wraps
When it comes to your lettuce wrap burger, you want to make sure you’re choosing the perfect lettuce to hold all your yummy toppings:
- Boston leaf lettuce: Also known as Bibb lettuce, Boston leaf lettuce is my go-to for these burgers. It’s super nutritious and high in folate, iron and potassium, and is super malleable which makes it a great option for wraps.
- Iceberg lettuce: This lettuce doesn’t have as many nutritional benefits as Boston leaf lettuce, but it adds great texture to your dish. It has a higher water content, which makes it crunchier than other options, and the leaves have a sturdy structure, which means they’re the least likely to get soggy!
- Romaine lettuce: If you’re looking for the perfect middle ground between nutritious and crunchy, go for romaine lettuce! It has a lot of the nutrients that Boston lettuce has with the crunch of iceberg lettuce.
Frequently Asked Questions
Burger lettuce wraps are definitely a healthier option since you’re using lettuce instead of hamburger buns, but it all depends on what you add to them. As long as you don’t go crazy with the unhealthy toppings, these burger wraps should still be fairly healthy.
Since Boston leaf lettuce basically forms ‘cups’ for all your fillings, you don’t have to worry about any fancy wrapping. Just add the patty and toppings to the lettuce leaves and enjoy.
Boston lettuce has a carb count of 2.9 grams of carbs per 100g of lettuce. In comparison, hamburger buns have about 29 grams of carbs. If you use Boston lettuce for this recipe, you're looking at about 7 grams of carbs – which is significantly less than if you were to make burgers in the traditional buns!
I find that these lettuce burgers are plenty filling on your own, but if you’re looking for side dish ideas, you can’t go wrong with some sweet potato fries or even In N Out animal style fries if you’re feeling indulgent. You could also keep things simple and just serve this recipe with veggies and dip or kettle chips.
The number of leaves you need really depends on the kind of lettuce you use. I typically use Boston leaf lettuce, which means I only need one leaf per burger, but if you’re using romaine or iceberg lettuce, you might want to use two to form a lettuce ‘bun’ on either side. It’s totally up to you!
Storing and reheating
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. I recommend storing the lettuce, sauce and filling separately so the lettuce doesn't get soggy. When you're ready to enjoy your lettuce burger, warm up your patties in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or in a pan on the stovetop, then assemble your lettuce wraps with all the fixings and dig in!
Freezing the beef patties
You can’t freeze lettuce wraps, but you can freeze the beef patties! Stack them with a small piece of wax or parchment paper in between each patty to ensure they don’t stick together. Place the stack inside of an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. You can then cook them straight from frozen on the grill or in a pan on the stovetop.
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Meal Prep Tools
- Here's the brand of light mayo I use to make the special sauce.
- Or if you have no time to make the special sauce for this recipe, you can actually buy Big Mac sauce online.
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on storing leftover patties.
- I get all my grass-fed ground beef from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
- **Get my full list of tools here**
Low Carb Burger Lettuce Wraps
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 head Boston lettuce
- 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, sliced
- 6 sliced pickles
- 1/2 cup light mayo (or sour cream)
- 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Preheat BBQ to med-high. Mix ingredients for special sauce together and prep veggies.
- Mix salt and pepper into ground beef, mixing well to combine. Form 8 evenly-sized very thin (1/4 inch) patties and place onto grill, BBQing for 1-2 minutes per side. Remove from grill and add cheese to one patty, then stack with another patty and top with more cheese.
- Lay lettuce leaves on plates and topping with two slices pickles and two slices of tomatoes. Add beef patties with melted cheese, and top with red onions, then drizzle with special sauce. Serve and enjoy!