Classic Hamburger for Two

May/June 2011

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

Slow-cooked onions add moisture and flavor to these lean beef burgers for two. 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.

Classic Hamburger for Two

Makes: 2 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


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


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high (or see Stovetop Variation).
  2. Combine onion, oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup in a small saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 4 to 6 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 1/2 teaspoons 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 2 patties, about 3/4 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.

Tips & Notes

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


Per serving: 378 calories; 16 g fat (5 g sat, 7 g mono); 71 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrates; 4 g added sugars; 27 g protein; 2 g fiber; 537 mg sodium; 529 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (41% daily value), Zinc (39% dv), Iron (26% dv), Folate (24% dv), Vitamin C (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Main Ingredient
Type of Dish
Main dish, meat
Preparation/ Technique

Super Bowl
Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
May/June 2011
Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner