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The Best Keto Cheeseburger

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Giving up grains is one of the most challenging parts of following a low-carb lifestyle, especially a very low-carb ketogenic diet. In fact, for most people it's far more difficult to give up bread than to give up sweet treats.

And I know a lot about that. I grew up eating bread and it was served with almost any meal so I couldn't imagine not having it. I didn't miss candies, cakes or sweet drinks. I craved warm, fluffy, soft bread with a nice crispy crust, ideally topped with butter, ham and cheese. And of course homemade burgers! Don't get me wrong, I love bunless aka naked burgers but there is nothing like a proper burger.

These burgers are delicious and very filling but with none of the carbs to spike your blood sugar levels and trigger cravings. You can finally enjoy a burger that tastes just like the real deal and even include it in your keto meal plan.

To make the burger sauce I used homemade ketchup and mayonnaise made with walnut oil. If you are short on time, any store-bought ketchup and mayo will do as long as they are sugar-free and ideally made with healthy fats. Pickles often contain added sugar and preservatives so I made my own using a healthy low-carb sweetener.

You can make smaller or larger burgers to fit your macros. Serve them on their own or with a big bowl of green salad, especially if you practice intermittent fasting and eat just twice a day.

If you can’t eat nuts, these nut-free burger buns are the perfect alternative. If you can’t eat dairy, just skip the cheese and make a regular keto hamburger. And it's not just burgers! There are keto-friendly food swaps for almost anything you can imagine!

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Hands-on Overall

Serving size cheeseburger

Allergy information for The Best Keto Cheeseburger

✔  Gluten free
✔  Nut free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free

Nutritional values (per serving, cheeseburger)

Net carbs8.8 grams
Protein47 grams
Fat72.1 grams
Calories887 kcal
Calories from carbs 4%, protein 22%, fat 74%
Total carbs18.2 gramsFiber9.4 gramsSugars3.9 gramsSaturated fat24.6 gramsSodium1,784 mg(78% RDA)Magnesium137 mg(34% RDA)Potassium1,012 mg(51% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 4 cheeseburgers)

Burger patties:
  • 600 g ground beef (1.3 lb)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ghee or lard for greasing (15 ml)
Burger sauce:
  • 4 Ultimate Keto Buns or Nut-Free Keto Buns
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted (30 ml)
  • 4 slices slices bacon, cut lengthwise (120 g/ 4.2 oz)
  • 2 cups green shredded lettuce (60 g/ 2.1 oz)
  • 16 slices sugar-free pickles (40 g/ 1.4 oz) - you can make your own pickles
  • 8 slices red onion (60 g/ 2.1 oz)
  • 4 slices tomato (120 g/ 4.2 oz)
  • 4 slices slices cheddar, provolone or Monterey Jack cheese (85 g/ 3 oz)


  1. Prepare the keto burger buns. If you don't have any, you'll need an extra hour to prepare them.
    I brushed a batch of these buns with one egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of water which gave them a shiny finish. I make mine in batches and freeze for future use. You can make any keto bread in advance, freeze and defrost at room temperature. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  2. In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the burger patties: beef, minced garlic, onion powder, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Do not overmix or the burgers will become tough. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  3. Using your hands, create 4 equal patties, 1/2 to 3/4 inch (1 1/4 to 2 cm) thick. Use your hands to smooth any cracks.
  4. Pierce the patties with a fork several times. This will loosen the patties and help them cook equally without curling or getting tough while enabling maximum caramelisation. Set aside.
    Note: Fat for greasing is not included in the nutrition facts. Some fats in the meat are lost during the cooking process. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  5. Prepare the burger sauce by mixing the mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle juice, salt and pepper. Set aside. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  6. To brown the keto burger buns, cut them widthwise. Brush them with melted butter and cook in a hot skillet cut side down for about a minute or until browned and crispy. Remove from the skillet and set aside. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  7. Grease the hot skillet with a tablespoon of ghee and add the burger patties. The patties should sizzle as soon as they touch the skillet. Do not crowd the pan - work in batches. Cook over high heat, until a crust forms on the bottom and the burgers are easy to flip on the other side. This will take 2-3 minutes.
  8. Once flipped, cook until the crust forms on the bottom and the sides are browned. Do not pierce the burgers with a fork or you will lose the juices. It will take another 2-3 minutes to cook through. The thicker the patties, the longer they will take to cook. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  9. In the same pan, cook the bacon slices. Cut each of the slices lengthwise and cook until browned and crispy. Alternatively, bake in the oven. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  10. To assemble the burger: Spread about 2 teaspoons of the burger sauce on each bun halve. Top each the bottom half with 4 slices of pickles and add a quarter of the shredded lettuce. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  11. Add a burger patty, 2 onion slices, 1 slice of tomato and 1 slice of cheese. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  12. Place under a broiler for a minute until the cheese is meted. Otherwise, you can add the cheese directly on top of the burger patty while still hot (see more in step 8). Finally, top with 2 slices of cooked bacon and add the top half of the burger bun. The Best Keto Cheeseburger
  13. Enjoy! Serve with leftover burger sauce, or low-carb ketchup and homemade Dijon mustard. Optionally, serve with more pickles or a big bowl of crispy vegetable salad drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. The Best Keto Cheeseburger

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, cheeseburger)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Beef, minced (ground), raw, grass-fed
0 g25.8 g30 g381 kcal
Garlic, fresh
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Onion powder, spices
0.8 g0.1 g0 g4 kcal
Apple cider vinegar
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, sea salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0.2 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
0.1 g0.2 g11.4 g102 kcal
0.4 g0.1 g0 g2 kcal
Lemon juice, fresh
0.2 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Ultimate Keto Buns, homemade (KetoDiet app)
4.3 g10.1 g15.9 g208 kcal
Butter, unsalted, grass-fed
0 g0.1 g5.8 g51 kcal
Bacon, crispy (bacon grease removed)
0 g4.8 g1.6 g34 kcal
Lettuce, mixed leaf salad
0.2 g0.2 g0 g2 kcal
Cucumbers, pickled
0.1 g0.1 g0 g1 kcal
Onion, red, fresh
1 g0.2 g0 g6 kcal
Tomatoes, fresh
0.8 g0.3 g0.1 g5 kcal
Cheese, cheddar, sharp, sliced
0.5 g5.2 g7.2 g87 kcal
Total per serving, cheeseburger
8.8 g47 g72.1 g887 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (11)

Thanks for sharing this amazing burger for National Cheeseburger day. We'd love to see some of your delicious recipes at our weekly party on Sundays (runs' through Saturday) - What's for Dinner. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Woah!! What a burger! We're celebrating National Cheeseburger day at the Lazy Gastronome by inviting other bloggers to share their amazing recipes. I would be honored if you shared this one!

Thank you Helen, I appreciate that!

Hi Martina!!! I have a question unrelated to this recipe, but I’m hoping you can help me 😊. I have found all of your recipes explain the nutrition of each serving perfectly. But sometimes the “ per serving” doesn’t state exactly the total amount of the serving in grams or oz. I like to meal prep and this number would really help me  when I put the serving in each container. Mostly recipes like soups or casseroles are missing that. Can you please tell me if I’m missing that information somewhere? Thank you so much for everything you do!!!!

Thank you for your kind words, Lina!
It depends. When there is a "burger" it's easy to determine the serving size but if it's say a casserole, you have to estimate it. In most recipes, it is always an estimate, even if you can separate the servings (such as burgers) as they are never exactly equal. I think that most soups should list what a serving is but maybe some old recipe are missing this piece of information. I'll update it where possible 😊
There are several factors that affect the exact amount you can weigh, for example:
- Evaporation. This can be different every time you make it and makes a difference to the volume and weight.
- Edible vs non-edible parts. If say you have a roast with bone in, or you have leftover juices from a roast or a casserole that you don't eat, then it's hard to get the exact weight.
If this helps, I don't think you need to worry about small differences or exact macros (e.g. eating a few more grams of protein or fat won't make a difference, and all meals are low in carbs anyway).

Thank you so much for your detailed response! You are right, I’m talking about old recipes. You are always so kind and professional. Keep the amazing work, and thank you for making our lives easier 😊

Thank you very much Lina, I appreciate your kind words!

Hi Martina!
Looking at your recipe for burger buns, and just wondering what “ defatted” sesame flour is.
Is all sesame flour defatted?

Hi Jude, the one I use is from Sukrin. I'm not sure about all the other brands but it's very fine sesame seeds flour (compared to ground sesame seeds which are not as fine and typically contain more fat - this looks similar to golden flax meal). I've tried both and the recipe works with either but the buns are best (more fluffy) with sesame seed flour (Sukrin). I hope this helps!

What is the purpose of adding vinegar to the hamburger meat? Thanks!

I use it for two 2 reasons. For flavour and because it makes cooking (especially grilling) meat healthier. Some research shows that vinegar and vinegar based marinades can reduce the chances of carcinogenic compounds forming.