How to Turn a Burger Into the Perfect Food

Possibly questionable declaration alert: hamburgers are the most ideal food. 

Hear me out. 

Hamburgers are scrumptious. They are portable. As meat goes, hamburger is fairly budget friendly. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare a hamburger on the stovetop or grill. Kids and grownups like them similarly.

Many of all, they are constantly versatile. Hamburgers are the vanilla ice cream of main courses: excellent by themselves and likewise an ideal canvas upon which to develop your cooking work of art. 

The issue is, because hamburgers are common in the junk food world, they in some cases gather an unreasonable track record for being unhealthy. Not so! Sure, a drive-thru hamburger isn’t the world’s healthiest food. Nor is it the worst by a long shot. In any case, there are methods to take a fundamental hamburger and develop a much healthier meal. 

It’s time hamburgers rise to their rightful location in the food hierarchy—at the top, certainly. Initially, however, let’s provide a little radiance as much as ensure they are as nourishing as possible. 


5 Actions for a Much Healthier, More Delicious Hamburger

1. Ditch the Bun

Primal folks understand this currently, however it still needs to be stated.

A couple of brief years earlier, ancestral diet plans were identified as trends. Today, every dining establishment from junk food to great dining provides lettuce covers like it’s no huge offer. What a shift! Iceberg lettuce is the most typical bun alternative, however don’t stop there. Attempt red romaine or Swiss chard. Collard greens are my preferred. Attempt blanching them to make them softer and less bitter (see listed below).

Bun enthusiasts can make grain-free buns, obviously, however who states you require to consume hamburgers with your hands, anyhow? Cheeseburger salad is the very best method to delight in a hamburger if you ask me.

How to blanch collard greens:

  1. Cause 2 inches of water to a boil in a large, deep frying pan. Prepare a bowl of ice water.
  2. Cut the thickest part of the stem out of each collard green. Attempt to leave the leaf primarily undamaged, however you will most likely wind up with a 2- to 3-inch slit in the leaf.
  3. Lower the heat to a simmer. One at a time, immerse a collard green in the water for 1 minute, then move it to the ice water.
  4. Pat the leaves dry with a tidy cooking area towel. They are now all set to utilize.

Hamburger dishes to attempt:

Keto Bison Hamburger

BARBEQUE Cowboy Hamburger

Avocado and Egg Hamburger

2. Increase Your Beef

Mark has actually been beating the drum about grass-fed beef and why it’s superior to CAFO-sourced meat for as long as MDA has actually been around. That’s not the only method to update your hamburger, however.

From a nutritional perspective, the best thing you can do is add organs to your burger. Coarsely chop a few ounces of heart, liver, or kidney in a food processor, then mix it into a pound of ground beef before cooking. You won’t be able to taste it and neither will your kids, wink wink.

Pro tips: Quickly saute the liver or kidney before grinding it for a better texture. Heart can be raw or cooked. Your butcher might even be willing to grind it for you.

Don’t limit yourself to beef, either. Bison is almost exclusively pasture-raised, has slightly more protein and less fat, and is richer in omega-3s compared to beef. Lamb makes excellent burgers, too. Bison and lamb are usually more expensive than beef, so try a 50/50 blend to stretch your dollar. Poultry isn’t as nutrient-dense as beef, but for variety, maybe include a turkey or chicken burger on the menu now and then.

3. Elevate Your Condiments

Iffy condiments are usually the biggest strike against restaurant burgers, especially mayo or mystery sauce that are probably made with soybean oil. I happen to know a source for mayo, ketchup, mustard, and other condiments made only with ingredients that the Primal community would approve.

When you’re dining out, be willing to be that person—the one who asks for their burger to be lettuce-wrapped with no condiments and then pulls a bottle of ketchup or barbecue sauce out of their bag when the food arrives.

4. Add Avocado

Besides being a delicious source of mostly monounsaturated fats, avocados deliver prebiotic fiber to support a diverse microbiome. They may also help mitigate any postprandial inflammatory response to your meal.

Yes, I know there will be an extra charge for that avocado. Worth it.

5. Pile on the Toppings

One of my favorite things about burgers is that you can transform them in countless ways by adding different toppings. Balsamic glazed onions, mushrooms, and Swiss cheese? Yes, please. Blue cheese and buffalo sauce? Don’t mind if I do!

Use burger night as an excuse to add a variety of colorful vegetables to your plate. Think outside the classic lettuce-and-tomato box:

  • Hatch or poblano chile peppers
  • Pickled vegetables—not just cucumber pickles, but also sauerkraut, kimchi, or curtido
  • Coleslaw (made with avocado or olive oil mayo, naturally)
  • Sprouts or microgreens
  • Incorporate fresh herbs with chimichurri sauce, or make a Greek burger with lamb and minty tzatziki.

You can even mix vegetables directly into your ground beef for variety and flavor. Try finely chopped mushrooms or shredded carrots or beets. This is also a great method to use beet or turnip greens if zero-waste is your thing.

Don’t worry, carnivores, I haven’t forgotten you. Double or triple down on your hamburger by stacking corned beef, pastrami, bacon, eggs, or even pulled pork. I can’t say that this makes your burger healthier per se, but tasty? Absolutely.

The top of this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but in all seriousness, I’m struggling to think of another food that checks all the boxes: adaptable, delicious, portable, Primal-friendly, and kid-approved. Tell me why I’m right or wrong in the comments!

Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil

About the Author

Lindsay Taylor, Ph.D., is a senior writer and community manager for Primal Nutrition, a certified Primal Health Coach, and the co-author of three keto cookbooks.

As a writer for Mark’s Daily Apple and the leader of the thriving Keto Reset and Primal Endurance communities, Lindsay’s job is to help people learn the whats, whys, and hows of leading a health-focused life. Before joining the Primal team, she earned her master’s and Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also worked as a researcher and instructor.

Lindsay lives in Northern California with her husband and two sports-obsessed sons. In her free time, she enjoys ultra running, triathlon, camping, and game nights. Follow along on Instagram @theusefuldish as Lindsay attempts to juggle work, family, and endurance training, all while maintaining a healthy balance and, most of all, having fun in life. For more info, visit

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.