One of the best things in life is a big, classic juicy burger! And these Healthy Burgers are plenty juicy, super flavorful and so easy to make on the grill or stovetop. Plus, they’re lightened up, so you can enjoy them on repeat all summer long.
Last night was a GOOD one. It was so warm outside – Texas is really heating up! We went for a dip in the pool at my parent’s house, we fired up the grill for the first time this season AND we made the BEST healthier burgers I have EVER tasted. Seriously.
My family rated these a 10+!! And my kids are already asking me when I’m making them again! I know these burgers are going to be making many appearances at our cookouts this summer, which I totally don’t mind because they are so easy to make and they are outrageously delicious.
what makes this burger healthy?
We’ve actually got all of the classic burger ingredients with this healthy burger recipe – the bun, cheese, all the fixings and beef. However, by using ground beef that is 90% to 96% lean, we’re cutting lots of calories and fat.
If you’re unsure about using beef to make a healthy burger, don’t be! Many people might be surprised to learn that lean and extra lean ground beef actually has comparable and in some cases better nutritional stats to ground turkey. You might assume that ground turkey is going to be lower in fat and calories than beef, but when it comes to 93/7 ground turkey and 96/4 extra lean ground beef, the extra lean ground beef is lower in fat and calories.
Don’t be afraid to eat beef! It’s delicious and can even provide you with nutrients you might not otherwise be getting!
ingredients needed for this healthy burgers recipe
This healthy burgers recipe doesn’t require a long list of crazy ingredients or special equipment. For the best lean beef burger patties, it’s all about seasoning the meat. When you are using extra lean ground beef, it’s key to add some good flavor into the patties. Here’s everything you’ll need to make this stuffed burger recipe:
- Extra lean ground beef. we’re using extra lean ground beef as the base of these burgers. Feel free to use any ground meat that you prefer, though. Lean ground bison is another great option for a healthier burger that still tastes amazing.
- Ranch seasoning. ranch is such a great seasoning for burgers! I use just 1 teaspoon of the Hidden Valley packet.
- Dehydrated minced onion. you can find dried minced onion at any grocery store near the seasonings and spices. Substitute with 1/4 cup fresh minced onion, if you’d like.
- Worcestershire sauce. helps to make the burgers juicy and flavorful!
- Toppings. use your favorites here. We love American cheese, grilled red onion, lettuce, tomato and burger sauce. Here is the recipe for my burger sauce, I highly recommend using it for the ultimate burger experience!
- Buns. feel free to use any hamburger buns you’d like (even gluten free). Another option is to wrap your burger in lettuce for a low carb option. I like Pepperidge Farm Bakery Classics Buns. Sometimes we go all out and use fluffy brioche buns. Yum!
best ways to cook healthy burgers
You have two options when it comes to cooking your burgers – the grill method or the stovetop method.
- Make the burger patties – add meat, ranch seasoning, minced onion, and Worcestershire sauce to a large mixing bowl and combine. I use my hands to evenly disperse the ingredients. Do not over mix the meat because you’ll run the risk of ending up with a tough burger. Form the mixture into 4 patties. Press your thumb into the center of each patty to create a divot, so that when they cook, they stay flat and don’t puff up.
- Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour – This will help the burgers keep their shape on the grill. If you don’t have the time, don’t worry about this step.
- Prep burger toppings – While burgers are in the fridge, you can make the burger sauce (if using) and store in the fridge until the burgers are ready. Prep your burger toppings: slice tomatoes, tear lettuce, slice the red onion into four slices, etc.
- Grilling burgers – Place each patty over direct heat, 3 minutes per side, or until burgers register 160ºF. At the same time as the burgers cook, grill the red onion slices, if desired. If adding cheese slices, do this after the burger has been flipped to the second side and after about 2 minutes. Top each patty with a slice of cheese, cover and cook 1 minute.
how to grill burgers
I have to admit, I leave the grilling up to my husband, but here’s how it goes down.
- Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat.
- Place patties on the grill. Only flip one time and after about 3 minutes.
- If using, place sliced cheese on top of patties in the last minute or two of cooking.
- Butter buns and grill until golden. This will most likely only take about 30 seconds.
- Assemble your burgers with your favorite burger toppings!
how long to grill burgers
If you’re using 1/4 pound ground beef per burger, the grill times (per side) below will ensure you have your perfect burger.
- Medium rare – 2-3 minutes. It’s okay and safe for your burger to be pink in the middle as long as it has reached an internal temperature of 160ºF.
- Medium – 3-4 minutes. I like my burgers barely pink in the center and about 3 minutes per side usually does the trick.
- Well done – 5-6 minutes. In my opinion, an overcooked burger is a dry, ruined burger, but I know there are people that like a burger well done.
how to cook burgers on the stovetop
If you can’t or don’t want to grill your burgers, no worries – stovetop burgers will still be incredible. Simply add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet or grill pan and place it over medium heat. Once your pan is hot, cook your healthy burgers for 3-5 minutes per side until they’re no longer pink.
how to assemble the perfect burger
Once you’ve mixed together the burger sauce, prep all of the burger fixings. Slice tomatoes, wash and tear lettuce, slice the onion, and get together anything else you want to serve with the burgers, like pickles and all of the condiments.
To assemble your perfect burger, add lettuce to the bottom bun and stack the burger patty on top of the lettuce. Top the patty with plenty of burger sauce (or whatever condiment you’re using) and any other desired toppings and add the top of the hamburger bun. Enjoy!
tips for the best healthy burgers
Here are a few pro tips, so your healthy burger cooks up perfect every time:
- I use 90% lean or 96% extra lean ground grass-fed beef. It has plenty of flavor but is not overly greasy. You can use any ground meat that you prefer, even ground turkey or chicken.
- Burger patties should be evenly formed and more wide than thick. The patties will shrink up as they cook.
- While grilling, DO NOT push or press on your burger. When you press on it, all of the juices leave the burger and this can lead to dry burgers. It’s a good idea to have a food thermometer, so you don’t have to worry about making sure the juices run clear.
- To avoid dry burgers, be sure not to overcook the patties. Use your meat thermometer to make sure you’re removing the patties from the heat at the perfect time. You can always add the cheese to the patties after they have been taken off of the grill. The warmth from the patties, should still melt the cheese.
- The burger patties can be made up to 8 hours in advance and feel free to double the recipe, if you’re serving a crowd.
side dishes that pair perfectly with burgers
You have the perfect summer burger, now what are you going to serve with it? Here are some of our favorite burger sides:
- Grandma’s Best Potato Salad – always a cookout favorite.
- Best Deviled Eggs – because in my family deviled eggs go with everything.
- Irresistible Spinach Dip – break out the chips + veggies with this delicious, creamy dip!
- Best Coleslaw Recipe – the perfect coleslaw to go with your yummy burgers.
- Greek Pasta Salad – fresh, flavorful and perfect for serving a crowd!
- Greek Chickpea Salad – light + fresh salad that everyone loves!
- Fruit Pizza – don’t forget a little something sweet after the burgers!
If these photos haven’t convinced you to make these healthy beef burgers, I’m not sure what will. I hope you get a chance to try them out this summer. Maybe for a 4th of July cookout?!
check out my other burger recipes
- Easy Turkey Burgers
- Zucchini Turkey Burgers
- Chicken Parmesan Burgers
- Black Bean Veggie Burgers
- Bacon & Cheese Stuffed Burgers
- Salmon Avocado Burgers
If you try my healthy burgers, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves them as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more healthy delicious recipes straight to your inbox.
- 1 pound 96/4 extra lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning (I use Hidden Valley brand)
- 1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onion or substitute with 1/4 cup fresh minced onion.
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 medium red onion
Optional for assembly
- 4 hamburger buns (I like Pepperidge Farm Bakery Classics Buns)
- 4 slices cheese
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 cup torn mixed greens
- 1 batch burger sauce
- Make the burger patties by adding the ground beef, ranch seasoning, dehydrated minced onion and Worcestershire to a large bowl. Without overworking the meat, mix with your hands until evenly combined. Divide into four (4-ounce) portions and shape into 1/4 to 1/2-inch patties.
- Press your thumb into the middle part of the burger to create a divot. This will prevent the burger from puffing up when it cooks. I like to cover and refrigerate the patties for about 1 hour, if I have time. (This will help the burgers keep their shape on the grill.)
- While burgers are in the fridge, you can make the burger sauce (if using) and store in the fridge until the burgers are ready. Prep your burger toppings: slice tomatoes, tear lettuce, slice the red onion into four slices, etc.
- To grill, place each burger onto preheated grill or grill pan. Cook 3 minutes on one side and then flip and cook for another 3 minutes or until burgers register 160 degrees F. At the same time as the burgers cook, grill the red onion slices, if desired. If adding cheese slices, do this after the burger has been flipped to the second side and after about 2 minutes. Top each patty with a slice of cheese, cover and cook 1 minute.
- Serve as desired, on toasted buns with lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onion ring, and burger sauce or other condiments. Enjoy!
If you're using 1/4 pound ground beef per burger, the grill times (per side) below will ensure you have your perfect burger.
Medium rare – 2-3 minutes. It's okay and safe for your burger to be pink in the middle as long as it has reached an internal temperature of 160ºF.
Medium – 3-4 minutes. I like my burgers barely pink in the center and about 3 minutes per side usually does the trick.
Well done – 5-6 minutes. In my opinion, an overcooked burger is a dry, ruined burger, but I know there are people that like a burger well done. *If you'd like your bun nice and toasty. Place the open buns on the grill after flipping the burgers. They will need to toast about 2-3 minutes. **Feel free to cook the burgers on a grill pan or in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop. You may need to increase cook time by about 1 to 2 minutes. ***Nutritional information includes everything listed except burger sauce.