These Loaded Burgers are so much better than anything you get at a drive thru. A juicy grilled patty is topped with caramelized onions, bacon, a pickle and creamy special sauce and served between two wedges of crisp lettuce. Fire up the grill because summer is here and it’s time to make your new favourite Keto and Whole30 burgers.

Loaded Whole30 Burgers

One of my favourite things about summer (other than the hot weather) is barbecues and while I love grilled veggies and chicken, my favourite barbecue food is hamburgers. These loaded Whole30 burgers are something that I have been eating almost weekly every summer for years which makes them more than worthy of having a spot on the blog.  

The juicy patties are grilled to perfection and then topped with all of my favourite burger toppings, caramelized onions, bacon, pickles and a special sauce. I actually prefer using lettuce buns to a traditional bread bun because it really lightens up the burger and doesn’t make you feel as full after eating. The lettuce really lets the patty and toppings shine. 

Loaded Whole30 Burgers

Why you are going to love these Loaded Whole30 Burgers:

  • The patties have a lot of flavour: I love adding some flavour to my patties so they aren’t just beef. In these patties I’ve added grated red onion, garlic and paprika. I use store bought ground beef but if you are a beef patty snob (no judgement here!) I would recommend combining equal quantities sirloin and chuck in a food processor and blending into a mince.
  • The Sauce! It’s such a delicious mayo based sauce that you will find yourself smothering over the burger. It’s a mix of mayonnaise, mustard, tomato paste, vinegar, paprika and coconut aminos and tastes just like the burger sauce you get at places like In-N-Out or Shake Shack. 
  • Leftovers: I always make extra patties and toppings so that I can assemble all of the leftovers together the next day, or alternatively you can toss everything into a bowl with a lettuce base to make a hearty deconstructed hamburger salad. 
  • The lettuce bun is a game changer: I absolutely love using lettuce as a bun, they are easy to assemble and really add a nice freshness to the burger. I recommend wrapping the assembled burger with parchment paper to help hold them together and make the burgers much easier to eat. 

Loaded Whole30 Burgers

Let’s talk burger toppings:

  • Caramelized Onions: they take a bit of time to make but are so worth it. Plus you can make them a day or two in advance and quickly reheat before serving without sacrificing on taste or texture. They are sweet and sticky and melt in your mouth. Definitely don’t skip them. 
  • The Special Sauce: This is a cross between White Spot Triple O sauce (something I grew up eating) and the sauce served on In N Out Burgers. It is a mayo based and slightly tart, sweet and tangy. 
  • Sliced Pickle: I love sliced pickles in my burger. You can use store bought or make your one! My recipe for easy peasy pickles is incredibly simple to make. 
  • Crispy Bacon: let’s be honest, bacon makes everything taste even better. 
  • Thinly Sliced Tomatoes
  • Other topping options: Sautéed mushrooms, smashed avocado, melted cheese (for those who eat dairy), relish or mustard 

Loaded Whole30 Burgers

Here are a few other ground beef recipes:

If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!

Loaded Hamburgers with Special Sauce

Every Last Bite
These Loaded Burgers are so much better than anything you get at a drive thru. A juicy grilled patty is topped with caramelized onions, bacon, a pickle and creamy special sauce and served between two wedges of crisp lettuce.
4.34 from 9 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Diets Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nut Free, Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal
Servings 4
Calories 362 kcal



  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tbsp grated red onion
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Special Sauce

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp coconut aminos (or tamari/soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes thinly sliced
  • 8 slices cooked bacon
  • 3 large pickles thinly sliced
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce


  • Start by preparing the caramelized onions. In a non stick pan on medium heat add the oil and once hot add in the sliced onion and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 6 minutes until they begin to turn a golden colour. Reduce the heat to medium low, add 3 tbsp of water and leave the onions to cook for 20 minutes until soft and caramelized.
  • To prepare the special sauce combine all of the special sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust the flavouring as desired. Set aside.
  • In a bowl combine the ingredients for the burgers and use your hands to mix it together. Shape the mixture into four patties approximately 3/4 inch in thickness around the outside and slightly thinner in the middle for more even cooking.
  • Heat a barbecue or grill pan to medium high heat and brush with oil. Cook the patties for 3 minutes per side or until cooked to your liking.
  • While the burgers are cooking prepare the remaining toppings. Cut the iceberg lettuce into quarters and pull the leaves out from the inside to separate each quarter into two halves.
  • To assemble the burgers spread the sauce on the inside of the lettuce. Top with 2 slices of tomato, strips of bacon, sliced pickles and a large spoonful of caramelized onion. Add the beef patty on top and spread the special sauce overtop. Place the other half of the lettuce leaf on top like a sandwich and wrap the burger in parchment paper to make it easier to eat.
Calories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 32gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 89mgSodium: 1891mgPotassium: 868mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gCalcium: 81mgIron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let us know how it was!