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The Ultimate Bunless Burger {paleo friendly + gluten free}

  • Author: Nyssa Tanner
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 burgers 1x


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



for burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground grass fed beef (I used 85/15)
  • salt and pepper 
  • 12 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)


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.