Need a healthy dinner for busy weeknights? Try these loaded cheeseburger bowls for a tasty, filling, and super easy recipe that’s dietitian-approved!

Cheeseburger bowl with ground beef and frozen french fries assembled and un-mixed in a white bowl.

Everyone needs a solid rotation of go-to healthy recipes for busy weeknights. 

You know, the ones that are as easy as they are satisfying. The recipes that align with your health goals AND hit the spot so you don’t immediately head to the pantry after dinner is done.

These loaded cheeseburger bowls are one of those recipes for me. 

They’re essentially a deconstructed burger with all the tasty and nutritious toppings this dietitian could ask for. I eat them on the regular–and once you see how easy they are to make, they’ll be a favorite for you too. 

Why you’ll love these burger salad bowls

Cheeseburger bowls have it all:

Nourishment

Delicious-ness

And best of all, ease.

This recipe takes a little chopping, but otherwise it’s not a lot of prep

It’s also great because it takes all the tasty toppings of your favorite burger and puts it over lettuce. That means more volume (to fill you up), more micronutrients (to fuel your health), and more balance (so you finish feeling satisfied but not stuffed). 

You can also make a lot of ingredient swaps to fit your preferences, budget, and health goals.

Ingredient notes

Here’s what you’ll need to make these deconstructed cheeseburger bowls:

  • Romaine
  • Dill pickles
  • Tomatoes
  • White or red onion 
  • Banana peppers
  • Sharp cheddar
  • Frozen fries
  • Oil or cooking spray
  • Lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper

If you want to make the mustard vinaigrette that goes with it, you’ll also need mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, honey, garlic, and a few seasonings. 

Ingredients for cheeseburger bowls displayed in bowls on a whiter countertop.
Ingredients for mustard vinaigrette displayed in small bowls on a white countertop.

How to make cheeseburger bowls

Here are the step-by-step introductions to make deconstructed burger salad.

  1. Prepare romaine, pickles, tomatoes, onion, banana peppers, and shredded cheese. Set aside.
  2. Add all ingredients for mustard vinaigrette to a small bowl or jar and gently whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Cook frozen fries according to package directions and set aside.
  4. While your fries are cooking, prepare beef. Heat a large skillet with olive oil or cooking spray to medium heat. Add beef. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up beef into small, uniform crumbles throughout the cooking process. Cook beef until no pink remains and some crumbles begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  5. Assemble burger bowls in four separate bowls or meal prep containers. Add romaine, pickles, tomatoes, onion, banana peppers and shredded cheese evenly amongst the bowls. Spoon 2 tbsp of mustard vinaigrette or dressing of choice over each bowl, and if desired, toss each salad to coat ingredients. Add ground beef and fries and serve immediately.
Birdseye image of salad dressing being whisked in a glass bowl.
Overhead image of browned ground beef in a grey pan.
Overhead image of salad ingredients being assembled in a bowl.

Meal prep instructions

This recipe is perfect for meal prep! Here’s how:

Prepare all your ingredients as normal (steps 1-4). Wait for ground beef and fries to cool before assembling salads in four individual food containers. Portion salad dressing into 4 single-serve condiment containers and store separately. Add vinaigrette right before serving.

If you’d prefer to serve your salads with warm ground beef and fries, store those ingredients separately. Heat as desired and add to burger bowls with the salad dressing before serving.

Helpful tools

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Additional toppings

  • Pickled jalapeños 
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Sauerkraut
  • Fried egg
  • Kimchi 
  • Sautéed mushrooms 
  • Caramelized onion
  • Pickled red onion 
  • BBQ sauce 
Assembled and un-mixed burger salad on a white kitchen counter surrounded by ingredients and a grey tea towel.

Variations

The best part about this recipe is that it’s so customizable!

Try one of these variations to better fit your taste or dietary needs:

Swap frozen fries with crushed Doritos, hash brown, tater tots, air fried potato wedges, sweet potato fries, roasted chickpeas, or croutons.

Try a different protein like ground turkey, ground chicken, plant-based ground, frozen veggie burger, frozen burger, or chopped chicken tenders.

Experiment with dressings like ranch, BBQ sauce, garlic aioli, chipotle mayonnaise, caesar dressing, or big mac sauce.

Use a different cheese like feta cheese, fried halloumi, or shredded Mexican blend.

Cheeseburger bowl with ground beef and frozen french fries assembled and un-mixed in a white bowl.
5 from 2 votes

Healthy Cheeseburger Bowls

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Need a healthy dinner for busy weeknights? Try these loaded cheeseburger bowls for a tasty, easy recipe that’s dietitian-approved!

Ingredients
 

Bowls

  • 8 cups romaine, chopped
  • 4 large dill pickles, sliced thin
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced small
  • 1/2 white or red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup pickled and sliced banana peppers
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 1/3 cups frozen french fries
  • 2 tsp olive oil, or cooking spray
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Mustard vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prepare romaine, pickles, tomatoes, onion, banana peppers, and grated cheese. Set aside.
  • Add all ingredients for mustard vinaigrette to a small bowl or jar and gently whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  • Cook frozen fries according to package directions and set aside.
  • While your fries are cooking, prepare beef. Heat a large skillet with olive oil or cooking spray to medium heat. Add beef. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up beef into small, uniform crumbles throughout the cooking process. Cook beef until no pink remains and some crumbles begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  • Assemble burger bowls in four separate bowls or meal prep containers. Add romaine, pickles, tomatoes, onion, banana peppers and shredded cheese evenly amongst the bowls. Spoon 2 tbsp of mustard vinaigrette or dressing of choice over each bowl, and if desired, toss each salad to coat ingredients. Add ground beef and fries and serve immediately. See notes for meal prep instructions.

Notes

Meal prep instructions: Prepare all your ingredients as normal (steps 1-4). Wait for ground beef and fries to cool before assembling salads in four individual food containers. Portion salad dressing into 4 single-serve condiment containers and store separately. Add vinaigrette right before serving. If you’d prefer to serve your salads with warm ground beef and fries, store those ingredients separately. Heat as desired and add to burger bowls with the salad dressing before serving.
Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 657kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 36g, Fat: 41g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 0.4g, Cholesterol: 104mg, Sodium: 1793mg, Potassium: 1295mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 9292IU, Vitamin C: 33mg, Calcium: 304mg, Iron: 5mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course, Salad