The Low-carb Burger Recipe That’ll Help You Get Lean for Summer

You don't need to retire your grill while cooking for a six-pack. This lightened-up meal still packs a heavy dose of muscle-building protein, but hardly any carbs.

Lean burger recipe for grilling
 Brian Klutch

If your idea of a classic spring-summertime grillout involves bland beef patties thrown on potato rolls, you’re in need of a dire upgrade. This leaner, lower-carb recipe skips the bun and piles on a side of veggies. 

Portobello mushrooms are an excellent source of riboflavin (energy), selenium (cancer prevention), copper (iron production), and potassium (lowers blood pressure). And asparagus is loaded with vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, plus iron, copper, and calcium. It also contains asparagusic acid, which gives your urine that less-than-desirable skunklike odor. But, hey, it’s supremely healthy.

Cooking tip: To keep your burgers from becoming hockey pucks, push a dimple in the middle before cooking. For optimal juiciness, cook to medium-rare (130°F on a thermometer).

Nutrition info per serving: 427 calories, 28g fat, 5g carbs, 39g protein

Prep time

10 min.

Cook time

4 min.

  • 20 oz lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp chopped onion
  • 1 tsp chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped green bell pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp chopped parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and pepper (for patties)
  • 6 asparagus stalks
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper (for veggies)

Prepare half of a charcoal grill for direct high heat or turn on one side of a gas grill to high. 

Mix all burger ingredients (lean ground beef, onion, red and green bell pepper, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper) in a bowl, then wet your hands with cold water and shape meat mixture into 4 patties.
 

For the vegetables, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
 

When grill is ready, brush grate with oil and place burgers on the grill over direct heat, cooking for 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
 

Remove vegetables from  marinade and place on the grill to the side of the burgers. Brush vegetables with marinade as they cook.
 

Remove when tender and slightly charred all over and serve with burgers.