Recipe Image

Classic Hamburger

  • 45 m
  • 45 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“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.”


    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup, divided
    • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
    • 2 teaspoons dill pickle relish
    • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
    • 1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 4 sesame-seed or other hamburger buns, toasted
    • 4 slices tomato
    • 4 leaves green-leaf lettuce


  • 1 Preheat grill to medium-high (or see Stovetop Variation).
  • 2 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.
  • 3 Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon ketchup, mayonnaise, relish and vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • 4 Add beef, Worcestershire (or steak sauce) and pepper to the onion and gently combine without overmixing. Form into 4 patties, about ¾ inch thick.
  • 5 Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  • 6 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.)
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