With warmer weather approaching, nothing is better than this caramelized onion burger (or French Onion Burger). This simple burger recipe is made with only 5 ingredients and topped with French style caramelized onions, peppery arugula, and steamed provolone cheese. All on a brioche or whole wheat bun. YUM
Summer is quickly approaching and that means cookouts, grilling, Mother's Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, any excuse to make these French Onion burgers am I right?
This was inspired by my love of Julia Child's French Onion Soup recipe and I have coveted and have made on repeat from her cookbook for many years. There is nothing quite like the aroma of browning caramelizing smell of these onions.
Ingredients you Need
Surprisingly not a lot! Only 5 ingredients needed to make this easy caramelized onion burger recipe!
- 85% lean grassfed ground beef - is my go to for all my beef burger recipes plus there are so many benefits to choosing grassfed
- Yellow Onions - the STAPLE onion. Meaning if a recipe doesn't specify what kind of onion to use, yellow onion is always the choice to go to. And the ONLY one that can be used "French Onion" style.
- Arugula - This peppery flavored green is the perfect addition to this burger to add some more veggies and fiber here!
- Provolone cheese (omit if dairy free) - Most "French onion soup" recipes call for swiss or gruyere (BOTH would be lovely here) but! I love provolone as it provides a slight sharpness and steams perfectly when you perform my secret trick to the perfect cheese burger.
See the recipe card below for quantities.
Caramelized Onion Burger Instructions
Lot's more to say about this caramelized onion burger, so let's get into the process.
Combine all spices into a large bowl and mix thoroughly into lean ground beef.
Form the mixture into 4 equal sized patties (roughly 3-4 oz each). Store in the fridge while you caramelize the onions. This helps the patties keep their shape while they cook!
Great Substitutions for our Caramelized Onion Burger
What's great about this basic beef and onion burger is you can make it your own!
- Lettuce Bun - Low Carb? No problem! Swap the bun for a lettuce wrap. I do this all the time (but buns do look prettier in photos 🙃). Bibb lettuce makes the best lettuce wrapped burger IMO
- Make it Dairy Free- You can totally omit the cheese here OR swap for your favorite dairy free alternative!
- Vegetarian - the beef hamburger can be replaced with a plant-based burger to make this vegetarian. I do this more often as I only eat meat 1-2x a week. I love making lentil or bean burgers as a swap here!
- Gluten Free - Use a gluten free bun instead here
This can even be made to fit Whole30 plant-based standards by following the swaps above. Omit the cheese, skip the teaspoon of coconut sugar on the onions (they will still brown), and skip the ounce of cognac.
Even if you aren't on a specific diet, maybe someone in your friend or family circle is and I LOVE providing options to accommodate ALL.
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Stone bakeware takes longer to heat up than metal pans, and also retain heat for longer, which could make the recipe more watery, or burnt on the outsides. For this recipe I recommend a large deep skillet with high edges and a lid to steam that cheese! Here is the one I use!
Or you can never go wrong with a classic cast iron pan. We also love using our heirloom pans handed down to use from Jake's grand parents.
Store the wet ingredients (lettuce, tomato, onion) separately from the dry ingredients (buns) in the fridge, and recombine when ready. Good for 2-3 days.
If you do make the patties ahead of time, you can freeze them and it will last up to 2 months in the freezer.
Food For Thought
Looking for more grilling recipes? 🔥
- The BEST Korean Bulgogi Burgers
- The BEST Maple Bourbon Bacon Burgers
- Summer Burger Charcuterie Board
- Whole30 Guacamole Burgers with a Jalapeno Aioli
- Grilled Peach Basil Turkey Burgers