The Ultimate Bunless Burger {paleo + gluten free}

Pretty sure your Wednesday dinner NEEDS this ultimate bunless burger!

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.
 
I mean, how excited would you be about dinner tonight if this ⬆️ is what you were coming home to?

Especially if it’s as easy as forming some patties, seasoning ’em, searing ’em and loading ’em up with your favorite toppings.

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.
 
There’s something about a burger that is so dang comforting and familiar. Perfect October food. Esp when the rain is coming down like it has been in Seattle. Gray skies are in full effect around here.

I have to say – I reaaaally really missed burgers when I gave up gluten and transitioned to a mostly paleo diet.

Obviously there’s gluten free (and even grain free) bun options out there for those who can no longer enjoy fluffy brioche rolls – (😭 yes I do still mourn the loss of these foods from time to time! I think that’s perfectly okay, and even healthy. Recognizing the weight of the thing that you’re giving up for health benefits has the ability to further strengthen your resolve and commitment to your positive lifestyle choices! They definitely have the ability to exist simultaneously and work in direct relation to each other), but it did take me awhile to find the same joy in them as I used to find in a classic OG burger.

Occasionally I do splurge in the gluten free bread option for a burger, but more often than not, I choose the bunless or lettuce wrapped option. I just FEEL better when I don’t have all those carbs added to an already indulgent meal.

This ultimate bunless burger = all the flavors of a classic burger and none of that heavy stomach feeling that can really weigh you down

 

AKA a guilt free win/win.

And now I’m here to tell you that this bunless burger will rescue you from any remaining bun-missing feels.

And that you can easily make it at home.

And that I SWEAR you won’t even think about what’s missing when you cut that first bite of this ultimate bunless burger, runny egg yolk and all.

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.
 
The most technical (and maybe the most daunting) part of this recipe is preparing the patties.

But never fear! You can do this. WE can do this.

Here’s how:

The very best advice that I ever got about making burgers at home can be summed up in four simple sentences

 

  1. Don’t overwork the meat.
  2. Dimple the center of the patty.
  3. Season like you would season a steak.
  4. Sear hot and don’t touch until it’s time to flip ’em.

Boom. It really is that easy, friends.

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.
 
How long you cook the burgers will obvi depend on what temperature you like them. Approximately 3-5 minutes per side is a good target range.

Setting a timer can be a super helpful tool so you don’t get distracted and forget about them! Nobody likes a dry hard burger.

Once you get the burger patty thing down, then comes the fun part of choosing your toppings 🙌🏼

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.
 

choosing your toppings

 

Obviously I went for pretty much every topping under the sun in my version. I guess I just don’t know when to stop, and you know, I’m really not sorry.

But this is your burger story, so take the topping suggestions you like and leave the one’s you don’t.

Starting with a nice crunchy lettuce leaf as a base is a pretty good idea, but beyond that the sky is the limit!

Here’s some topping suggestions:

  • Smashed avocado
  • Raw grass fed cheddar cheese (Trader Joe’s has a couple delicious and affordable options in this category!) or another cheese of choice
  • Red onion
  • Caramelized onions
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Fermented pickles – find these in the refrigerated section of your grocery store and check the label! Pickles that are naturally fermented will be probiotic rich and are made with salt, water and spices, not with vinegar
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Bacon – yesss, always yes
  • A fried egg
  • Clean mayonnaise – recipe coming to Nyssa’s Kitchen soon! You can also find this avocado oil mayo on Thrive Market, and get 25% off and free shipping when you use my (affilate) link!
  • Dijon mustard
  • Sesame seeds for that sesame-bun-vibe

With all these delicious options, Wednesday ultimate bunless burger night is looking REAL good, amirite?!

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying. The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.
 
Want more easy and healthy grain free dinner recipes? Check out these favorites!

Did you make this recipe? I would love to know how it turned out for you! when you rate my recipes and leave feedback it helps me continue to improve. you can leave me a comment below, or snap a picture and post it to instagram with the tag @nyssaskitchen or hashtag #nyssaskitchen! xo

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The Ultimate Bunless Burger {paleo friendly + gluten free}

The ultimate bunless burger! For those nights when you just NEED a burger in your life. Paleo, guilt free, and super satisfying.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers

Ingredients

for burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground grass fed beef (I used 85/15)
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1-2 tbsp avocado oil, or another high heat oil for searing

for toppings

  • romaine lettuce leaves
  • avocado 
  • fresh, ripe tomato slices
  • red onions, thinly sliced
  • pickle slices (fermented are best! probiotic bonus points)
  • cooked bacon 
  • grassfed cheddar cheese – or another cheese of choice (Trader Joe’s has an amazing option from New Zealand that comes pre-sliced for sandwiches!)
  • avocado oil mayonnaise 
  • dijon mustard
  • sesame seeds (for that sesame bun vibe)

Instructions

for burgers

  1. Divide beef into 4 equal parts. Form into patties that are about 3/4 of an inch thick, without overworking and smashing the ground beef too much. You will want it to maintain some of the texture of the grind.
  2. Season the exterior fairly generously with salt and pepper, the same way you would season a steak before pan frying. This helps create a nice brown crust on the outside of the burgers.
  3. Press a little dimple into the center of the patty, so they stay fairly flat when cooking and don’t dome up and shrink in size. 
  4. Preheat a large skillet (cast iron works best) to medium high heat. When skillet is hot, add about 1 tbsp avocado oil and two of the burgers. Cook for about 3 minutes, without moving them, on each side. Rotate the pan half way through each side to ensure they brown evenly. You may cook them a little more or a little less depending on exactly how thick your burgers are and how you like them cooked. 3 minutes on each side is for a burger that is about medium in temp. 
  5. If using cheese place sliced cheese on the burger after flipping to the second side to melt. (Or if you forget like I did, you can microwave a slice of cheese on your burger for about 20 seconds right before serving.)
  6. Move to a plate to rest for a minute or two before serving. 

for assembly

  1. On a plate start with a base of crunchy romaine, top with smashed avocado and then add your burger patty.
  2. Top with red onions, pickles (bonus points for fermented pickles!), fresh tomato slices, bacon, and if you’re really feeling fancy, a sunny side up egg.
  3. Sprinkle with a few sesame seeds to pull in the flavor of a seeded hamburger bun! 🙂 
  4. Serve with a side of homemade avocado oil mayo, mustard, and ketchup if that’s your style. Dig in with a knife and fork, or you can also use a few more romaine leaves on top to sandwich this meaty goodness. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Bunless Burger {paleo + gluten free}

    1. Nyssa Tanner Post author

      Ahh of COURSE! Glad it’s speaking to you too 😉 I have a weakness for a good burger, even if it’s without a bun!

      Reply

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