When you can't decide between a cheeseburger and a salad, why not have both? Veggies are piled on in this salad, making it both delicious and nutritious. And yes, there are French fries involved. 😉
I love a good cheeseburger; always have always will. But as I got older and actually started craving actual things that are good for you (hello, big salad!) I grew less and less needy of the bun. Sometimes on a particularly health-craving day I'd just put the burger between two big pieces of romaine lettuce and call it a day! But even better, I thought I'd go ahead and turn the lettuce bun thing into something way more colorful and get some extra veggies in at the same time. (French fries count as veggies too, right?) 😉
And for anyone cooking for others who may not be into the whole bunless burger salad idea just yet, this recipe is totally easy to prepare while you get regular burgers on for the rest of the fam. I just wash a little extra lettuce, sliced tomato and red onions for the other burgers. And since you can't exactly have a family burger night without fries, you can be guaranteed that any leftover fries will not go to waste since this recipe will make at least enough for a few extra small servings...and they are delicious.
Not a red meat fan? Try these delicious homemade turkey burgers instead. 🙂
How to make a cheeseburger salad
The prep for this one is super straightforward since it's basically just like making a salad. However, here are a few planning tips if you do plan to add French fries.
First, go ahead get the oven heated up to 450 degrees F. While that's heating up, prepare a shallow baking pan with parchment paper (for easy cleanup) or nothing at all, and oil the entire surface with a little olive oil.
Pro Tip: I would recommend a shallow pan over a baking sheet for your French fries; the olive oil can spread and you definitely don't want oil dripping all over your oven!
Peel your potatoes, cut into thin pieces, place in a large bowl and soak in warm water for about 10-15 minutes to remove some of the starch. Then drain and dry the potatoes well. Pour some more olive oil over the potatoes and season with whatever spices you like. Plain old pepper and sea salt is always a good idea; I also like to add some garlic powder in to give them a little extra flavor. Mix well and pour onto the baking sheet in one layer. Place on a middle rack in the hot oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.
While the fries are baking, chop up all your veggies and start cooking the burgers in a warmed pan on the stove in a little more olive oil. After 20 minutes, take the baking sheet out of the oven and use a metal spatula to carefully turn over the fries in small batches. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
Next you can assemble the cheeseburger salad plates and any other burgers you might be assembling. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the salad if you'd like. Flip the burgers a few times until they are cooked to your liking and add the cheese on top to melt before removing from the pan and serving. Check on those fries and remove once they are a crispy golden brown. Place them on your plates and you're ready to dig in!
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Cheeseburger Salad Plate
For the French fries (optional):
- 1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or other yellow potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder if desired
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 1 head green leaf lettuce
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- ¼ small red onion
- ½ red bell pepper
- ½ cucumber
- 2 carrots
- ½ bunch red radishes
- 1 tablespoon salad dressing if desired (I used Chosen Foods Avocado Oil-Based Lemon Garlic Dressing)
- 1 pound ground beef grass-fed if possible
- 4 slices cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Make the French fries (optional): Heat the oven 450 degrees F. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup, and oil the surface with a little of the olive oil. Peel the potatoes, cut into thin pieces, and place in a large bowl of warm water for about 10-15 minutes. Then, drain the potatoes and dry well. Add the olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the potatoes, mix well and pour onto the baking sheet in one layer. Place on a middle rack in the hot oven and set a timer for 20 minutes. Take the French fries out of the oven and use a metal spatula to carefully turn over the fries in small batches. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until they are a crispy golden brown color.
- Prep the salad plates: While the fries are baking, wash the lettuce and chop up all the salad vegetables: halve the tomatoes, thinly slice the onion, and chop the red pepper, cucumber, carrots and radishes. Assemble the cheeseburger salad plates with a bed of lettuce and sections of veggies all around (or however you like), leaving space for the burger and fries.
- Cook the burgers: Heat the olive oil for the burgers in a large skillet over medium heat, shape the ground beef into four patties and place in the skillet. Cook for at least 5-6 minutes on the first side, flip and top each with a slice of cheese, and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until they are cooked to your liking.
- Assemble: Place one cheeseburger and a side of fries on each salad plate, top the veggies with salad dressing if desired, and serve immediately. Enjoy!