Skip takeout this time! This crave-worthy gluten free burger recipe is easy, juicy, and a million times better. You just need some good-quality ground beef and a few pantry staples.
If you have celiac disease or a severe intolerance to gluten, finding a gluten-free burger that's not cross contaminated can be challenging.
That's why I like to make mine at home! These gluten free burgers are juicy, jam-packed with flavor, and contain zero gluten.
Are burgers gluten free?
You may be wondering why you even need a gluten free burger recipe. Burgers are just ground beef and ground beef is gluten free, right? Unfortunately, this isn't always the case!
Restaurant or takeout burgers often have seasonings, flavorings, or fillers that contain gluten. One example is Worcestershire sauce. A lot of burger recipes use it and most brands are not gluten free. Some burger joints use premade spice mixes that contain wheat starch or barley flour. Some recipes contain binders like breadcrumbs or flour.
On top of that, cross contamination is a real concern too. Burgers are often grilled on the same flat top as the buns. While it's not impossible to eat a safe gluten-free burger out, I prefer to be safe than sick, so I usually opt for a homemade burger.
Why you'll love this recipe
- The best gluten free hamburger recipe (and easy too!).
- Burgers are perfect for meal prepping! Make the patties and freeze for another time.
- You don't have to worry about cross contamination or sneaky ingredients.
- These burgers are naturally dairy-free and can be made paleo, whole30, keto, or low carb if you want.
- A million times better than McDonald's, Burger King, or Wendy's!
While you could just salt and pepper some ground beef and call it a day, I like to give my burger patties a quick flavor boost. Here's what you need:
Ground beef - The best burgers are made with 80 percent lean ground beef. If you go any leaner, the burgers will taste dry. Eighty percent is just the right amount of fat for a juicy burger that's not greasy.
Gluten free Worcestershire sauce - Notice how I specify gluten free Worcestershire sauce. That's because not all of them are, in fact, most aren't. Lea & Perrin's brand is widely accessible and gluten-free! It's what I use. Remember to always check the label though, because products DO change. It says it on the back bottom part of the label.
Gluten-free butter crackers - I prefer the taste and texture of crumbled crackers to gluten free bread crumbs. In my experience, the breadcrumbs can get gummy when moistened. Yuck!
Egg - Egg binds the meat and other ingredients together.
Garlic - A clove of garlic adds a depth of flavor to the patty. If you don't like garlic, you can omit it.
Spices - Salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder season the patties so they're not plain. You can add whatever seasonings you like though!
Toppings - A great burger is all about the toppings! Sliced tomato, crunchy lettuce, pickles, cheddar cheese, and sliced onions are all classics. I also enjoy homemade chipotle mayo, pickled jalapenos, crispy bacon, caramelized onions, pineapple slices, and a fried egg. The sky is the limit, friends.
Gluten-free bun - Here's where it gets tricky. Gluten-free buns are not created equal. Some of are flat-out gross! I will say, most gluten-free buns taste worlds better once they've been toasted in a hot skillet.
How to make a gluten free burger
You can pan-fry or grill these burgers! Both of these cooking methods are simple to do. If you plan to grill the burgers, preheat your grill to medium high.
1. Make the gluten-free burger patties
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, crushed crackers, Worcestershire sauce, spices, and minced garlic. Use your hands to mix it all together. Don't go crazy. Just mix until it's all incorporated.
Divide the mixture into four uniform balls. This makes it easier to shape the patties all the same size. Just don't work the meat too much. You don't want to make it tough.
Flatten the balls into burger patties about 4 inches wide. The patties shrink some as they cook, so keep that in mind as you make them.
2. Cook the burger patties
If you plan to pan-fry the burgers, heat a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. If you plan to grill them, preheat your grill to medium-high.
Place the patties into the hot skillet and cook the burgers until the bottoms brown. Carefully flip the burgers with a thin-set spatula and cook until there done the way you like them.
The USDA recommends burgers be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees to kill harmful bacteria. It's up to you and what you're comfortable with. These burgers taste juicy and delicious even when cooked to well done.
If you're grilling the burgers, place the patties carefully on the hot grill. Close the lid and cook the burgers, turning once, until brown on both sides and cooked through.
Add cheese to the burgers while they're still hot, if desired.
3. Assemble the gluten free burgers
When I use a gluten-free bun, I always toast it in a skillet first. It softens the inside and crisps the outside.
Place one patty in a gluten-free bun or large piece of iceberg lettuce. Top with sliced tomato, sliced red onion, pickles, or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- Don't overwork the ground beef. Handling the meat too much creates a tough burger. You don't need to beat it into submission. Just mix it until incorporated and no further.
- Use a bun you know you like! Not all gluten-free buns are created equal. Choose a brand you know you like. I do find that all gluten-free bread tastes worlds better once toasted in a skillet. I like Udi's buns when they're toasted, but you could also try Rudi's gluten free brioche buns, or Schar hamburger buns. Trader Joe's also sells gluten free buns.
- Finely crush the crackers. You don't want big cracker pieces in your burger. These just keep the patty nice and juicy.
- Make them gluten free cheeseburgers: Once the patties come off the grill or skillet, top with sliced cheese. American, cheddar, and gruyere are a few of my favorites.
- Lettuce wrap: If you'd rather skip the bun, serve them in a lettuce wrap. Romaine and iceberg both have a sturdy and refreshing crunch to them.
- Toppings: Don't forget the toppings! Bacon, sliced pineapple, BBQ sauce, ketchup, chipotle mayo, pickled jalapenos, caramelized onions, fried eggs, and pickles are good options. Just be sure whatever topping you use is gluten-free (ahem, looking at you barbecue sauce).
- Whole30 burger: Swap the crushed crackers with ½ cup of almond flour. Skip the bun and use a lettuce wrap instead. Serve with roasted sweet potatoes!
- Paleo burger: See the whole30 option! Serve on a paleo-friendly bun or lettuce wrap.
- Low-carb: Swap the crackers with ½ cup of almond flour and use a lettuce wrap. Serve with roasted brussels sprouts or mashed cauliflower.
Storage & Freezing
- Store leftover gluten free burgers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
- Reheat the patties in the microwave or in the oven until hot throughout. Don't overheat them or they will dry out.
- Uncooked burger patties and cooked burgers are both freezer-friendly and perfect for meal prepping. Transfer the cooked burgers to a ziplock bag and freeze. For best results, reheat within 3 months.
- Or to freeze the uncooked patties, place them in a single layer in a ziplock bag on top of a sheet pan. Freeze the patties for up to 3 months.
- Thaw the burgers in the refrigerator overnight before you reheat or cook them.
It depends on the burger. Ground beef is gluten-free, but other added ingredients may not be. Oftentimes burgers will have added spice mixes, fillers, or flavorings that contain gluten. Sometimes Worcestershire sauce is added and it's not always gluten-free, or breadcrumbs, or spices with barley flour or wheat starch. Always check the ingredients first to find out.
It depends on the brand. Some brands have a coating made from wheat. It's important to always check the label! Checker's brand and some store-brand fries are NOT gluten-free. If you plan to order them in a restaurant, they may be cooked in the same fryer as gluten-containing foods like chicken tenders.
More Gluten Free Recipes
Gluten Free Burger Recipe
- Large skillet
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups & spoons
- 1 pound ground chuck
- 2 teaspoons gluten free Worcestershire sauce I used Lea & Perrin's
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ⅓ cup finely crushed gluten free butter crackers I used Lance gluten free original crackers
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 gluten free buns, toasted
- Heat a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, egg, garlic, spices, and cracker crumbs.
- Use your hands to mix until everything is incorporated. Don't overmix the meat.
- Use your hands to divide the meat into four equal portions. Gently roll them into balls and flatten into 4-inch patties.
- Place the patties into the hot skillet and cook until the bottoms brown. Flip the burgers and continue to cook them until there's no pink left, or to your desired doneness.
- Use the spatula to transfer the patties to a plate. Place a patty onto a toasted gluten free bun and add your favorite toppings. Enjoy!