Juicy Lean Burgers get fired up in a pan and simply seasoned that results in the juiciest and most flavorful burger using lean ground beef. Top with all your favorites and pair with French fries for the complete dish!Jump to Recipe
Burgers are on the menu this week as the weather starts to warm up! You know that my goal here is to prove that you can eat whatever you like by being in control. Whether you’re on a diet, tracking macros for muscle gain, or simply watching your sugar and sodium – flexible dieting is all about being able to pick and choose what you want to eat when you want to eat it while feeling good about your choices.
So, in that case, burgers are absolutely not eliminated. Actually, this is kind of a follow-up recipe to my previous post about Crispy Sweet Potato Fries! I mean, what else are you going to eat alongside your fries?!
BACK TO BASICS
This recipe is for a simple burger that you can customize whichever way you’d like. If that’s for a cheeseburger, hamburger, or different toppings and styles. Once you have a good foundation, the flavors and toppings become endless. But nothing’s worse than craving a juicy burger, biting into it, and being disappointed. Whether it’s because it dried out, lacks flavor, or it’s over or undercooked. Okay, maybe a few things are worse, but you know that feeling!
The best lesson I learned about cooking burgers is that simple is best. Many chefs use this approach when cooking steaks too. It’s a little counterintuitive that you don’t need to add many seasonings, but what actually makes burgers taste the best are simple ways to bring the beef flavor OUT. I’ve had to learn through trial and error that when I add tons of seasoning, you actually lose the burger. And while it might taste pretty good overall – the flavor of the meat doesn’t stand out and that’s really the goal in this recipe.
This recipe uses very minimal ingredients to season, but the technique of cooking the burgers is ultimately what’s just as important. In fact, the method for cooking these burgers is very similar to how Shake Shack makes their burgers! I became so in love with their thin crispy burgers years ago that I only make them this way. If I had a grill it might be contending, but for now – it’s pan-fried!
JUICY LEAN BURGERS TIPS
When you’re making lean burgers the biggest obstacle is getting a juicy burger out of very lean ground beef. Fatty meats are juicier just because they have fat in them – and fat makes things moist. Since fat is being taken out of the cut of meat and thus taking the moisture out too – we have to add a little back in so that it doesn’t dry out. This might sound like it’s defeating the purpose but adding fat back in a little at a time is a whole lot simpler since we’re in control.
This recipe uses a pan-frying method for these burgers. If you have a grill you can surely use that to make them. Pan-frying gives burgers a fast food or restaurant taste. The step-by-step cooking process here is really simple:
- Mix the meat in a bowl with seasonings
- Divide into four quarters
- Smash into patties
- Cook at a searing high temp!
- Shake Shack sauce – If you’ve been to shake shack, you know this sauce. This recipe includes how to make this sauce yourself! And if you haven’t been there – you should still try it so you know what its all about and how good it is.
- Sauteed onions & mushrooms – I also included instructions on how to make these really simple toppings because well, they’re my favorite to add!
- Fresh toppings to add – lettuce, tomato, pickles, avocado etc. Add a freshness, crunch, and possibly a serving of vegetables.
- Deluxe toppings – fun ideas to top your burgers with are things like bacon, egg, onion rings, mac & cheese…the list is endless really.
- Cheeses – change things up with different cheeses with swiss, cheddar, pepper jack, gouda, or blue cheese
The way we make food and the types of ingredients we use to make them can make all the difference. Take this recipe for example, by just using leaner meat and less oil – the recipe is suddenly entirely revamped and could be something you eat in your meal plan every day if you wish.
REHEATING & STORING
Store pre-made patties in the refrigerator for 1-2 days or in the freezer for up to a month. In general, cooked burgers do not reheat well. If you need to reheat cooked burgers, do it in a pan. Adding in a little butter might make sure that reheating doesn’t dry the meat out.
AS ALWAYS, IF YOU MAKE THIS – PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
Juicy Lean Burgers
- 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
- 1 tsp Worcestershire
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 buns
- 4 slices American cheese
- 1 small onion sliced crosswise
- ¼ cup mushrooms crumbled
- Olive oil drizzle
- Chopped lettuce, sliced tomatoes, pickles, bacon, egg, etc
Shake Shack Sauce
- 1/3 cup lowfat mayonnaise
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
To make burger patties: in a large bowl combine beef, Worcestershire, garlic powder, salt, and ground black pepper together with hands. Equally divide burger mixture into 4 parts.
Take one of the quarters and flatten between your hands. Roll a bit to make the edges less jagged if necessary. Press your thumb into the middle of the patty; this ensures even cooking.
If cooking right away place them on a plate to the side. If you’re prepping these for later, separate patties with parchment or wax paper and refrigerate.
Heat a skillet on high heat. Melt tbsp of butter and when hot, add the burgers to the skillet.
Cook burgers for about 4 minutes, the juices will start to come through – once they do, flip them over. Cook for another 3 minutes for medium rare. Add cheese right after flipping if making cheeseburgers.
To make the mushrooms - crumble sliced mushrooms by breaking them apart. Add them to a hot skillet, drizzle with oil or spray with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté and stir for 5-8 minutes or until browned.
To make sauteed onion – add them to a hot skillet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until browned, about 5 minutes. If caramelizing, add a pinch of sugar.
To make shake shack sauce – in a small bowl, combine ketchup, mayo, mustard, paprika, garlic powder, and salt.
Assemble burgers: placing them on buns, topping with sauce, and condiments.
Thank you to Tasting Table for revealing the Shake Shack sauce recipe!
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
If you make this recipe or any others on Bite your Cravings, please leave a comment and a rating below! I’d also love to see and feature your delicious creations on my Instagram page, so post your recipes on social media and tag them with #biteyourcravings!