Recipes

Burgers Unwrapped: We’ve Turned Your Fave Burgers Into Gorgeous Salads

Who needs a bun? We’ve subbed in lettuce and kept all of the flavors you love in these can't-miss burger salads.

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • * A $500 value with everything in the Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all publications in the Outside network like Oxygen, Yoga Journal, Outside and more
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons
  • More than 100 diet-specific meal plans
  • Extended member-only yoga pose library with how-to instruction
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine**
Join Outside+

Digital only
Intro Offer
$2.99 / month*

  • Access to all member-exclusive content on CleanEatingMag.com
Join Clean Eating

*Outside memberships are billed annually. **Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year.More Details

It’s hard to top the burger as a comfort food. A thick, juicy patty between the two halves of a bun, delicious sauces from simple ketchup to spicy mayos and rich dressings, plus slices of your favorite veggies and leaves of crunchy lettuce – it’s no wonder that the burger is such a staple sandwich. And just because you’re eating clean doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a super-stacked burger with all of your favorite fixings.

In fact, we’ve taken your favorite classic burgers (and some of your other go-to sandwiches, like the banh mi) and given them a slightly lighter twist. We’ve tossed the buns aside and layered all of the ingredients you know so well over a bed of leafy greens to create satisfying, stunning salads. And, if we’re being honest, we think this is an even better way to enjoy a burger. It’s less messy, low-carb and so full of textures, flavors and sauces.

Make your burger salads even better with a crunchy topping

While we’re talking about texture – a key element of any good salad – you’ve got to think about your toppings. Instead of sticking with the typical crunchy croutons, why not try something more burger-inspired? We’ve come up with some perfectly paired options you can make for these inspired salads. As an added bonus, they work wonderfully on other kinds of salads too.

Here’s how to make our burger salad croutons:

French fry croutons

Cut all-natural, frozen fries into half-inch pieces. Cook according to the package instructions until crisp and golden. Sprinkle onto salad while still piping hot.

Cheese croutons

Freeze-dried cheese, such as Moon Cheese or ParmCrisps, make perfect croutons. Use straight out of the bag.

Garlic chips

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Slice peeled garlic cloves thinly and evenly. In a small, unheated skillet, add garlic in a single layer. Cover with avocado oil. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden. Immediately strain through sieve, caching the oil in the bowl. Use garlic chips as a salad topping and save oil for dressings or drizzling over steamed veggies.

Now, you’re ready to dive into these burger salads and make one of the recipes below.

The recipes

Spicy Buffalo Chicken Salad

(Photo: Ronald Tsang)

Spicy Buffalo chicken, sliced veggies, blue cheese and lettuce – yes, please! Get the recipe here.

Deconstructed Banh Mi

(Photo: Ronald Tsang)

After pho, perhaps the best-known Vietnamese dish among Western populations, is the flavorful banh mi. Get the recipe here.

The California

(Photo: Ronald Tsang)

Eat like a Californian with this vibrant smorgasbord of healthy, Cali-classic gems: creamy avocado, veggie patties, microgreens and more. Get the recipe here.

“Big Mac” Salad

(Photo: Ronald Tsang)

Ground beef, special sauce, lettuce cheese, pickles, onions – we captured all the flavor (minus the bun!) of the fast-food icon in a protein-packed salad. Get the recipe here.

Mediterranean Burger Bowl

(Photo: Ronald Tsang)

Punch up the flavor by pairing beef or lamb with a medley of crunchy fresh greens and veggies. Get the recipe here.