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Last updated March 16, 2023

Loaded Burger Bowls (Paleo, Whole30)

Forget the buns! These burger bowls are loaded with ground beef, onion, tomatoes, avocado, and sweet potato fries – all served over a bed of greens and drizzled with a “special sauce”. They are so easy to make, healthy, and filling! Paleo, Whole30, and gluten free too!

Loaded burger bowl with secret sauce

These easy burger bowls have been my summer staple! If you know me, you know that I will make any meal into a salad, AND that I only use giant bowls for my meals. ????????‍♀️

I can’t help it. I love salads, and anything that contains a lot of greens.

I don’t eat burger’s much anymore because I prefer to eat gluten free, and honestly I’m totally fine with it. These bun-less burger bowls are just as good, healthier, and more filling than a fried burger.

They are perfect to eat all year around because you don’t need a grill and made with real food ingredients, so they are Whole30 compliant, and paleo friendly too! ????????

How To Make Burger Bowls

  1. Prep your ingredients. Start by slicing the tomatoes, onion, avocado, and chopping lettuce (I used boxed mixed greens). Set the ingredients aside. If you choose to make sweet potato fries, prep those as well, and pop them in the air fryer before browning the ground beef. (See recipe instructions in recipe notes).
  2. Brown the ground beef. I found that ground beef is the easiest and most convenient for this recipe, but if you want to make burger patties, and grill them you can do that as well. Brown the beef in a skillet along with garlic and onion powder, until it’s no longer pink.
  3. Make the special sauce. While you brown the ground beef, whisk together the mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, yellow mustard, and apple cider vinegar in a medium-size bowl until smooth.
  4. Assemble. Now it’s time for the best part! Assemble the burger salads and load all your favorite toppings! Drizzle the special sauce over your burger bowl and chow down!
burger salad drizzled with special sauce

Making the “Special Sauce”

If you’ve ever had a Big Mac, this sauce taste very similar, but with healthier and fewer ingredients. My fiancé and former McDonald’s addict (sometimes current), says it taste exactly like the mac sauce. WIN!

It’s delicious on the burger bowls, as well as lettuce wraps and a dip for fries. It’s also so easy to make with just 4 ingredients:

bowl of mixed lettuce, tomatoes, ground beef, avocados, special burger sauce, red onions, and raw sweet potato

Just add the ingredients to a bowl, and whisk until well combined. You can adjust the ingredients to fit your taste preference.

If you want the sauce to be sweeter, add a little maple syrup; tangier: add some pickle juice; spicier: add some paprika or hot sauce; get creative and play with the flavors!

Ultimate Burger Bowl Toppings

Load your burger bowls up with the classic toppings tomatoes and onions, then get creative with some of your other favorite toppings. Here are some to try:

  • Sweet potato fries or russet potato fries
  • Avocado
  • Fried eggs
  • fried bacon
  • pickles
  • grass-fed, organic cheese (opt out for Whole30 and Paleo)
  • jalapenos
  • sauteed mushrooms
  • grilled zucchini or squash
  • shredded cabbage
  • sliced pineapple
Healthy burger bowl

Tips and Variations

  • To meal prep: store all the ingredients (onions, tomatoes, burger meat, lettuce, sweet potato fries, and special sauce) in separate containers in the fridge. This keeps all the ingredients fresh! Assemble the bowls the night before or morning of, and take a small container of sauce with you.
  • I use Primal Kitchen Mayonnaise made with Avocado Oil (for the special sauce): This mayonnaise is the best I’ve found and is Whole30 compliant and Paleo friendly. If you are using a different mayonnaise make sure to check the ingredients.
  • BBQ sauce: I also used my homemade BBQ sauce for this recipe that’s both Whole30 compliant and Paleo friendly. Primal Kitchen also sells good quality BBQ sauce (I recommend the classic BBQ sauce), if you are looking to buy some at the store.
  • Sub the ground beef for: ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground pork. Opt for grass-fed or pasture-raised organic meat. ButcherBox is a great option for this!

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Loaded burger bowl with secret sauce

Loaded Burger Bowls (Paleo, Whole30)

  • Author: Abbey Blackwell
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Forget the buns! These burger bowls are loaded with ground beef, onion, tomatoes, avocado, and sweet potato fries – all served over a bed of greens and drizzled with a “special sauce”. They are so easy to make, healthy, and filling! Paleo, Whole30, and gluten free too!



for the beef:

  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

for the special sauce:

for the toppings:

  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • mixed greens or romaine lettuce
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch fry shape, optional


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat add ground beef, minced garlic, and onion powder. Brown ground beef, breaking up chunks, until no longer pink. Remove beef from skillet and set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, prepare the special sauce by whisking together the mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, yellow mustard, and apple cider vinegar until well combined.
  3. Assemble the burger bowls by layering the mixed greens, ground beef, tomatoes, red onions, sliced avocado, and sweet potato fries.
  4. Drizzle the special sauce over the burger bowl, and serve.


  • To make air fryer sweet potato fries (optional)- Preheat your air fryer to 390 degrees. Slice the sweet potatoes into a fry shape, and place in the air fryer. Toss with avocado oil, sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until fries are crisp to your liking. (You may have to work in batches, don’t overcrowd the air fryer).
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Skillet
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 514
  • Sugar: 12.3 g
  • Sodium: 483.8 mg
  • Fat: 34.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.7 g
  • Protein: 27.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 79.4 mg

Keywords: burger bowl recipe, burger salad, salad burger, paleo burger bowl

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  1. I can’t wait to make these when my large family arrives. You talked about the sweet potato fries in the airfryer. I didn’t see that link. Would you mind sharing. Thank you