These burgers are so delicious, it’s hard to believe they’re lower calorie! Extra-lean ground beef is seasoned, then cooked and topped with melted cheddar cheese. Topped with sliced red onion, fresh avocado, lettuce, and a delicious dijon-mayo herb spread, this burger is piled high on an English muffin. Each bite of these healthy beef California style burgers is packed with flavor and fresh ingredients. This is a healthy recipe that is also family and kid-approved.
Why is this considered a California style burger? What makes this recipe lightened up?
Although I have never been to California (one day, I hope!) I seem to associate anything involving avocado with California cuisine. This burger is light and fresh, even though it is made with real ground beef and cheddar cheese. The fresh avocado slices, zesty mayonnaise spread with fresh herbs, and sliced red onion add such great flavor to this burger. I serve this burger on a toasted English muffin in lieu of a burger bun, and it’s perfect! This recipe is lightened up with the use of some modified ingredients: extra lean ground beef (only 4% fat), reduced fat cheddar cheese, light mayo, and light English muffins are the main ingredients used here that are lower calorie than their alternatives. Rest assured, you will not think that this burger is “healthy” or “lightened up” at all once you taste it. It’s all about building flavors, from the mix-ins in the ground beef, to the flavorful spread used on the English muffins.
What you will need to make this recipe
To make this recipe, you will need the following:
- 96/4 extra lean ground beef
- This is real ground beef, just super lean so it tends to be more calorie and macro-friendly.
- I used the brand Laura’s Lean, which I found at Target.
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- kosher salt
- Worcestershire sauce
- This ingredient is so key when it comes to flavoring burgers! A little goes a long way. I love the depth of flavor this ingredient offers.
- light mayo
- I like using light mayo to reduce the calories and fat content of my recipes; when combined with the other ingredients, it becomes very flavorful and makes for a great sauce.
- Dijon mustard
- lemon juice
- You can use bottled lemon juice, or the juice from a fresh lemon.
- fresh parsley
- light English muffins
- For this recipe, I used this brand, but any will do.
- mixed greens
- red onion
- light cheddar cheese
- This brand is my favorite; it does not taste light at all.
How to make this healthy beef California style burger
This recipe is super easy to make, but it has a few components:
Making the burger patties
To make the burger patties, combine the ingredients with your hands and mix thoroughly. Cook the patties on a grill pan or skillet until they reach your desired internal temperature; make sure not to overcook them, as the meat will become dry since it is so lean. Remove the pan from the heat, and add 1 ounce of cheddar to each patty. Cover with either tented foil or the pan lid to melt the cheese. In the meantime, prepare the other components.
Making the sauce
This sauce is absolutely delicious and simple! Combine the mayo, Dijon, lemon juice, and fresh parsley.
Assembling the burgers
Toast the English muffins, and then spread a heaping tablespoon on each bun. Next, add the patty with the cheese, and then top with the onion, mixed greens, and 1/2 ounce of avocado (or more, if desired). I love making and eating real beef burgers! Here are some of my other favorite burger recipes: Greek Mini Beef Sliders Lightened-Up Smash Burgers Taco Burgers with Pico de Gallo Bacon, Mushroom and Swiss Burger Lightened-Up Classic Burger Skinny Big Mac Burger Italian Burger with Crispy Prosciutto Reuben-Style Cheeseburgers
Healthy Beef California Style Burgers
- grill pan or griddle
- 1 lb 96/4 extra lean ground beef, used: Laura's Lean ground beef
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Herb Mayo Sauce
- 1/4 cup light mayo
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 light English muffins, used: Schmidt's 647 light English muffins
- 1 cup mixed greens
- 4 slices red onion
- 4 oz light cheddar cheese, used: Cabot 75% reduced fat cheddar
- 2 oz avocado, sliced
- In a mixing bowl, combine the lean ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Form 4 equal-sized patties.
- Cook the patties on a grill pan or griddle over medium high heat, a couple of minutes per side or until cooked to your liking (do not overcook, as this makes the beef dry).
- Turn the heat off the pan, and add 1 oz of cheese to each patty and cover the pan with foil or the pot lid for the cheese to melt.
- Combine the herb mayo sauce ingredients together to form the spread.
- Toast the English muffins. Spread a heaping tablespoon of the herb mayo spread on each English muffin.
- Top each English muffin with the cooked burger and cheese, a slice of red onion, mixed greens, and 1/2 ounce of avocado (or more to taste).
- 9 WW points (green, blue and purple plans)
If you are more into chicken or turkey burgers, try out these recipes: Greek Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Salad and Yogurt Sauce Southwest Chicken Burgers Cordon Bleu Chicken Burgers