Looking for something cheesy and easy that you'll want to make again and again? Look no further! These fabulous cheeseburger bowls are simple to make but so full of flavor you'll feel like you're at your local diner (but for a fraction of the cost)!

Image of a white bowl filled with lettuce, ground beef, onions, cheese, pickles, and sauce, to create a cheeseburger salad bowl. - Shelf Cooking

Mmm…cheeseburgers….need we say more? We love everything about this American classic. The smell, the flavor, the endless varieties, the convenience — there's so much to love! No wonder there's a list a mile long of places where you can order a cheeseburger!

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Sometimes that cheeseburger craving hits and it's not in the budget to hit up the local burger joint (again), and the process of making them at home feels a little more involved than we're prepared for. Enter: the cheeseburger bowl! A cheeseburger in a bowl is just as tasty, but easy on the wallet, easy to make, and maybe even a little healthier, too! Good news all around!

Cheeseburger Bowl Ingredients and Substitutions

Overhead image of a frying pan on a stove with ground beef and a wooden spoon. A cutting board with red tomatoes is next to it. - Shelf Cooking

Cheeseburger bowls utilize most of the basic ingredients of well, a cheeseburger, obviously! Items such as ground beef, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions will be staples for this bowl. However, in the spirit of shelf cooking we encourage you to use what you have on hand! Here are swaps you can make for some of the ingredients:

  • Beef – Instead of using ground beef, this recipe would be delicious using ground turkey! We bet your family wouldn't even notice the difference.
  • Lettuce – Our recipe calls for iceberg lettuce, but feel free to replace it with any preferred type of lettuce or greens. Green leaf, red leaf, butter lettuce, romaine, or any other salad blend is great!
  • Cheese – Cheddar cheese is the classic go-to for cheeseburgers, but why not try something else? Swiss, provolone, bleu cheese, or a spicy pepper jack would all do the trick.
  • Pickles – Dill pickles are usually the pickle of choice for cheeseburgers, but if you would rather go with sweet pickles or even hot and spicy ones we fully support you! Or, no pickles at all!

Toppings for Cheeseburger Bowls

Just like a cheeseburger can be made any way you like it, these cheeseburger bowls are begging for your creative customization! In addition to the basics mentioned above, there are a whole slew of topping options that may tickle your fancy. A few suggestions:

  • Bacon crumbles
  • Sliced avocado or a dollop of guacamole
  • Pickled or sautéed onions
  • Jalapeños
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Fried egg
  • Sprouts
  • BBQ sauce, mustard, ketchup, teriyaki sauce, or a garlic aioli

Did we miss anything? What would you top your cheeseburger bowl with? The options are endless!

Providing a variety of toppings also makes the meal exciting for kids, making them more likely to eat dinner with excitement instead of the usual whining. Win-win!

How To Make Cheeseburger Bowls

Cheeseburger Bowls

This delicious recipe comes together in only 15 minutes and can be customized any way you like it!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


For The Burger Meat

  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard or yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For The Salad

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup fry sauce or 1/4 c. ketchup + 1/4 c. mayo, mixed
  • other optional toppings bacon, avocado, pickles, olives, etc.


  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef with the salt, garlic powder, and pepper until the meat is browned and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and drain any excess grease.
  • Add the Worcestershire, dijon mustard, and cheddar cheese to the cooked meat, and stir to combine until the cheese is melted.
  • In a large serving bowl, layer the lettuce, cooked meat, tomatoes, red onion, shredded cheese, and any other desired toppings. Drizzle with fry sauce, toss to combine, and enjoy!
Keyword cheeseburger bowls, cheeseburger salad

Prepping Ahead and Storing Leftovers

Image of woman cutting lettuce and tomatoes on a wooden cutting board. - Shelf Cooking

We want our food to be delicious, but we also want it to be easy to make, right? Ain't nobody got time to spend hours in the kitchen every day! That's why a little advanced food prep can go a long way, and our cheeseburger bowls are a perfect recipe to use food already prepped, or allow you to prep ahead for another meal.

When making this recipe, we recommend doubling up on the amount of ground beef. Prepare it through Step 1, then freeze half the meat mixture to use for later! Simply allow it to cool and place it in a resealable freezer bag, label, date, and freeze! It will stay good in the freezer for up to 3 months.

You can use this frozen ground beef in future cheeseburger bowls (of course!), soups, quesadillas, spaghetti, lasagna, and more! Just let it thaw and then throw it in a skillet to heat it through. Such a time saver for busy, hungry nights!

If you find you have leftovers after making this meal, then yay! You have something delicious to look forward to tomorrow! Rather than assembling the ingredients into another cheeseburger bowl, we suggest storing each ingredient separately in an airtight container. They should stay good in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can then reheat the meat and quickly throw everything together for another lunch or dinner later on.

Pro tip: If you are looking to simplify your mealtimes, check out our Shelf Cooking Subscription Plan! You'll receive a weekly meal plan and grocery list delivered right to your inbox each week. In fact, this cheeseburger bowl recipe is one from the meal plan! You won't believe how much easier life is when someone else does the planning for you. You just have to cook and enjoy!

Close up image of a bowl of cheeseburger salad with the words at the top "Cheeseburger Salad Bowls Recipe".

We feel like this cheeseburger bowl recipe has big potential to be a family favorite! We hope you will try it and let us know in the comments what you think and how you made it deliciously unique!

Need more great shelf cooking ideas? Look no further!

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