Ditch the Bun with a Hamburger Salad

Photo: Thinkstock/Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN

With Labor Day coming up, it’s the perfect time to share one of my favorite healthy burger recipes. This classic food has a reputation for not being very nutritious, but there are lots of ways to adapt burgers to suit your needs without compromising flavor.

I often encourage my clients to think beyond the bun and try their burger over salad. It’s a great way to combine the tastes you love and get in your veggies. Ditch the Bun with a Hamburger Salad - An added bonus: Skipping the bread leaves more room to enjoy a favorite carb-rich side like sweet potato fries or corn on the cob. Feel free to customize and play around with different types of meat and toppings.

Hamburger Salad

Serves 1


  • 1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 hamburger
  • Optional add-ins: cheese, sauerkraut, avocado, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, roasted vegetables, etc.


  1. To make dressing, whisk together mustard, oil and vinegar. Set aside.
  2. To assemble salad, combine greens, tomatoes and cucumber in a large bowl. Include any desired additions and toss salad with dressing to coat.
  3. Cook burger to liking with a minimum internal temperature of 160°F, and top salad with cooked burger.
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Jessica Cording
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, INHC, is a registered dietitian, health coach and writer based in New York City. She works with individuals, corporations and the the media to help make healthy living approachable and enjoyable. She blogs at JessicaCordingNutrition.com and you can follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.