Classic Paleo California Burger

By Jess

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Grilling has become one of my favorite cooking methods since I started eating Paleo and, when the weather is nice, I try to cook out on the grill at least two or three times a week. While there are plenty of Paleo meals I can make on the grill, there is one classic grill meal that trumps all the others: a good, juicy burger. What’s better than a fresh grilled burger with melted cheese and a perfect bun?


This Classic California Burger comes with a Paleo bun and Paleo cheese!

Now I know what you’re thinking: “hold on a second! Did she say CHEESE and BUN?”

Yup, I sure did.

Of course, if you want to forgo the cheese and bun, be my guest, but when you can make Paleo cheese and a Paleo bun, why would you leave them out? So read on, my friend! And learn about my Classic California Burger (my favorite version of a burger) and make sure you follow the links to my Paleo cheese and Paleo bun recipes so you can really go all out with this tasty grilling masterpiece.

California Burger Ingredients

There’s nothing really magical or mysterious about a hamburger. Actually, I think many people overthink hamburgers by adding an egg or breadcrumbs (or both) or “burger flavoring”. Aside from the breadcrumbs not being Paleo, I don’t think these things do any favors for the burger and are just a waste of money. In my personal opinion, the best burger is made by using ground beef (the fresher, the better) and just a little salt and pepper. That’s it!

Ground Beef

In the recipe below, you’ll see I suggest a grill pan, on the stove. That’s for anyone who doesn’t have an outside stand-alone grill or for those of us who live in areas where the weather doesn’t always accommodate cooking outside. If you ask me, the outside grill is always a better option, but it’s certainly not the only option, so don’t let not having a grill stop you from making these delicious burgers.

Served With Cheese

I suggest cooking each burger for about 3 minutes on each side. Depending on how you like your burger cooked, you may want to adjust this. I prefer medium rare to medium – cooked through, but still pink. If you like your burgers medium well (some pink left in the middle) or well done (no pink at all), up the cooking time by a minute or so. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get your preferred doneness on a burger down to a science, but once you do, you’ll always know how long to cook a burger how you like it.

Close Up

Please do NOT cut into a freshly cut burger, or any piece of meat. All the juices will run out and you’ll be left eating dry meat. Ick! If you haven’t perfected your cooking timing yet, use a meat thermometer and look up what the temperature for your preferred doneness is. But once you’ve cooked your burgers, take them off the grill and let them rest while you make the sauce.

Classic California Burger

This sauce is sort of like a thousand island dressing, but without all the sugar that would come in a store bought version. It adds a tangy and creamy zip to your burger that I just love.

Now, slice your Paleo buns, put your burgers on them, slather with sauce, and add layers of lettuce, tomato, red onion (I like my sliced paper thin), and Paleo cheese, top off with the other half of the bun – and there you have it: my Classic California Burger. Enjoy!

(Make this next: Classic Paleo Turkey Burger)


  • For the burgers
    • 1 pound ground beef
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ tsp black pepper
  • For the sauce
    • 3 tbsp organic, no sugar added, Paleo approved ketchup
    • 2 tbsp Paleo mayo
    • 1 dill pickle, minced
    • 1 tsp mustard
  • The rest of ingredients
    • 4 Paleo buns
    • 4 slices Paleo cheese
    • 1 tomato, sliced
    • ½ red onion sliced
    • 4 lettuce leaves
    • melted coconut oil for greasing pan


  1. In a bowl place the beef, salt and black pepper.
  2. Mix to combine.
  3. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape each into ½ inch thick patty.
  4. Heat a large grill pan over medium high heat.
  5. Brush with coconut oil.
  6. Add the patties and cook 3 minutes per side.
  7. To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  8. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  9. Serve the burgers on buns with lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, Paleo cheese and sauce.


Serving Size




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