Slow-cooked onions add moisture and flavor to these lean beef burgers. A quick blend of mayonnaise, ketchup, relish and vinegar makes a perfect tangy, sweet and creamy “special sauce” for this burger. We love the dill relish here, but use sweet relish if you prefer it. Serve with sweet potato fries.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2011


Recipe Summary

45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat grill to medium-high (or see Stovetop Variation).

  • Combine onion, oil and 1 tablespoon ketchup in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 5 to 8 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool for a few minutes.

  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon ketchup, mayonnaise, relish and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.

  • Add beef, Worcestershire (or steak sauce) and pepper to the onion and gently combine without overmixing. Form into 4 patties, about 3/4 inch thick.

  • Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

  • Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with the ketchup-mayonnaise sauce, tomato slices and lettuce.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare ketchup-mayonnaise sauce (Step 3) and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Stovetop Variation:
Coat a nonstick pan, preferably cast-iron (or a grill pan), with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add burgers, reduce heat to medium and cook, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer registers 155°F (for pork and bison) or 165° (for beef or chicken), 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Tip: To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutrition Facts

378 calories; protein 26.5g 53% DV; carbohydrates 31g 10% DV; exchange other carbs 2; dietary fiber 2g 8% DV; sugars 7.5g; fat 16.2g 25% DV; saturated fat 4.7g 23% DV; cholesterol 73.7mg 25% DV; vitamin a iu 2021.2IU 40% DV; vitamin c 9mg 15% DV; folate 97.6mcg 24% DV; calcium 112.9mg 11% DV; iron 4.5mg 25% DV; magnesium 39mg 14% DV; potassium 556.8mg 16% DV; sodium 540.5mg 22% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 35% DV; added sugar 4g.

Reviews (4)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 3
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
I thought it was very moist and tasty! Made it just like you wrote! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Best Healthy Beef Burger Recipe EVER This is my go-to burger recipe now. I use 93% - 96% lean ground beef but the burgers are very moist and flavorful due to the sauteed onion/ketchup mixture and small amount of oil for the saute (I use olive oil for a healthier choice.) I don't make the extra sauce but these burgers are a giant hit with everyone EVERY TIME. My 10-year-old niece and nephew BEG me to make these any time we visit! I hope your family will enjoy this recipe as much as mine does. Pros: Easy common ingredients Cons: None Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Made tonight for dinner my husband said it was the best burger he ate in years. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Delicious My go to burger recipe from now on - including the sauce. Totally yummy! Pros: Easy Read More