These healthy burger bowls with special sauce are the perfect way to get your burger fix with even more fresh veggies and flavor. These bowls are so easy to make, use only real food ingredients, and the delicious “special sauce” dressing pulls everything together. This recipe is Whole30 compliant, Paleo-friendly, and low carb. 

Healthy Burger Bowls with Special Sauce

Burger bowls or “burger salads” were one of the first meals that I regularly made when I switched to a Paleo lifestyle. Years later they are still my absolute favorite thing. Honestly, the burger bun just gets in the way at this point.

These healthy burger bowls with special sauce are packed with all the classic burger toppings and can easily be customized to add even more veggies and toppings. A delicious creamy special sauce ties everything together so you get that perfect burger bite.

Watch How to Make This Recipe

Serve your healthy burger bowls with a side of  crispy homemade air fryer to French fries or roasted potato wedges with chipotle lime aioli for the ultimate weeknight meal that is Paleo friendly, Whole30 compliant, and so GOOD.

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Flavorful Ground Beef  for Delicious Burger Bowls

When it comes to the ground beef in these burger bowls you have a few options. You can go the traditional route and serve your burger bowl with a burger patty or crumble the ground beef as shown here. Both are great options and there is really no “wrong” way. With either option you are going to get perfectly seasoned and flavorful ground beef.

Here are a couple of tips and tricks:

  • If you decide to make burger patties you can easily melt sliced or shredded cheese on each patty like you would with a traditional burger.
  • Making burger patties is a great option if not everyone wants to go the burger bowl route. You can make both traditional burgers and burger bowls with the patties.
  • If you crumble the beef, be sure to drain any excess fat from the meat or use a slotted spoon to remove it from the pan before adding it to the bowls.
  • Don’t overcook your beef! There’s nothing worse than dry, tough hamburger meat.
  • Don’t love ground beef? You could easily make this recipe with ground turkey!

The Best Burger Bowl Toppings

romaine lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, red onion in a white bowl

Next to the juicy ground beef, the toppings are really the best part of any burger. These burger bowls keep things a bit classic and use delicious toppings like:

  • Fresh tomato
  • Tangy pickles
  • Red onion
  • Herby dill

Of course, you can get even more creative with your toppings! What is great about burger bowls is that there is plenty of room for even more fresh toppings.

Here are a few more topping ideas to try:

  • Crispy bacon
  • Grilled veggies like zucchini, peppers, and onions
  • Creamy avocado
  • Shredded carrots
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Fresh or pickled hot peppers like jalapeños or pepperoncinis
  • Mushrooms
  • Shredded cheese
  • A fried egg
  • Fresh herbs like dill or parsley
  • Sliced green onion

special sauce in a white ramekin with a spoon dipped in the middle

How to Make the “Special Sauce”

Since these are burger bowls, there is no place to spread on your favorite condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, or mustard. So instead, this recipe using a special sauce, that includes all three, as the “dressing” for the burger bowls.

Special Sauce Ingredients

  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow mustard
  • Pickle juice
  • Dill relish
  • Spices and seasonings

To make the sauce, add all of the ingredients to a small mixing bowl and stir until they are well combined. Remember, you can always adjust a recipe to fit your tastebuds! If you want a little more tang in the dressing add more pickle juice. Want more mustard flavor? Add a little more. Do not be afraid to get in there and make this your own!

If you are concerned about making sure this recipe stays Whole30 compliant, be sure to check the labels on your ingredients before using them to make the sauce. You will want to use a Whole30 compliant mayonnaise, ketchup, and dill relish in this recipe to keep it Whole30 friendly.

ground beef, red onion, special sauce, tomatoes, pickles in a white bowl

More Delicious Recipes to Love

I hope you give these Healthy Burger Bowls a try! This makes a quick and easy dinner that everyone will love!

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

ground beef, red onion, special sauce, tomatoes, pickles in a white bowl

Healthy Burger Bowls with Special Sauce

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Lunch + Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Lunch + Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


For the Burger Meat

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 

For the Salad

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes 
  • Pickles 
  • Red onion

Special Sauce

  • ¼ cup mayo 
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup 
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice 
  • 1 tablespoon dill relish 
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika


  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and spices. Brown the beef, breaking it up as it cooks, until it is fully cooked through.
  2. While the beef is browning, make the special sauce. Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together until well combined.
  3. Assemble your burger bowls. Start with romaine lettuce then add the toppings and cooked ground beef. Drizzle the special sauce over everything and then enjoy!
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  1. Okay, I cheated a little and added croutons. But the bowl was so good, it didn’t really need it! Such a fun way to enjoy a ‘burger’ without the heavy extras.

  2. Tamara Delaplane says:

    Delicious and fast! I like to make crispy smashed potatoes to go with the burger bowl. Thank you!

  3. It was a hit. Everyone loved it (even the picky eater in our family!) The sauce is so delicious and the perfect burger sauce for normal burgers or the bowl. I think it fits perfect together with the meat. Making it definitely again!

    1. Natalie Perkins (ATHT) says:

      The sauce is my favorite too! Thanks, Melissa for taking the time to leave a review!

  4. Delicious! Will definitely make again!

  5. Sooo delicious! Great weeknight quick, healthy dinner. One of our go-tos!

  6. Made these for my boyfriend and me and we loved them! He had 3 servings, safe to say they were a hit. Will be making it in the future for sure!!!