Cheeseburger Plate? Burger Bowl? Build a Better Bunless Burger.

Cheeseburger Plate? Burger Bowl? Build a Better Bunless Burger.

My rationale for this cheeseburger plate is that I haven’t made or found a burger bun that I want to waste calories on. But the burger bowl concept works for folks who are intentionally reducing carbs as part of their regular diets.

Think of building a bowl like you are getting dressed in the morning. Pick one item you want for the day and create something around it. In this case the cheeseburger is your new dress. You just need to add the underwear foundation, some bright happy shoes, and maybe a few accessories in order to pull it all together.

The burger (or mini-burger) is the focus of the cheeseburger plate. Make them flavorful, but remember we’re supposed to eat less than 6 ounces of lean meat every day. Two of my mini burgers have a total weight of 4 ounces and are packed with chopped capers, cornichons, and cilantro. Use mushrooms and Worcestershire if you prefer. Grill or broil.

My shoes are usually an equal co-star. You can’t have a burger without fries, right? Whether you prefer, shoestrings or wedges, it’s all good (see what I did there?). For oven baked sweet potatoes I figure about 1/2-1 potato per person. Peel; slice into wedges; toss in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika; then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes until they can be easily pierced by a fork.

Then add your favorite burger toppings: grated cheddar or other cheese, sliced tomatoes, a variety of pickles, and a bit of onion jam (recipe). The onion jam can be made ahead of time. Pull these on over whatever foundation of lettuce or greens you prefer.

Dunk your fries or dress the whole salad with your favorite dipping sauce. We used my homemade barbecue sauce (pic below), or you can have a “special sauce” with Thousand Island salad dressing.

a pan of barbecue sauce

Onion jam

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Author uglyducklingbakery


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • t tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp salt plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp black pepper plus more to taste


  • In a medium pot or frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.
  • Add the onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have caramelized, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Adjust sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.

What’s next?

If you make this cheeseburger plate or think it sounds delicious, please leave us a comment and/or share a pic!

Check out other burgers, meatloaves, and meatballs like this taco meatloaf, lamb meatballs with raisins and pine nuts, or a Peking Duck-inspired duck meatloaf.

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