April 20, 2024

Beyond the bun: The irresistible hamburger salad

Diamond Dishes

Hamburger Salads are adaptable — just like you can add lots of different toppings to a hamburger, you can use the same ingredients in your salad.

In the realm of delicious salads, here is a dish that marries the worlds of fast-food indulgence and garden-fresh goodness.

Welcome to the Hamburger Salad — a creation that tantalizes taste buds, ignites nostalgia and brings even the most devoted salad skeptics to the table.

Imagine the blend of flavors and textures; the crispy lettuce, loads of tangy dill pickles, the gentle bite of red onions, juicy tomatoes and the perfectly seasoned, pan-fried hamburger. This salad is the perfect homage to the beloved fast-food burger.

The secret ingredient that gives this salad the fast-food burger vibe is dehydrated minced onion. For this recipe you’ll need 2 tablespoons of dehydrated onion, divided between the hamburger and dressing.

You can rehydrate both together in 2 tablespoons of hot water at the same time and divide when called for in the recipe. Or, you can use fresh onions, or a combination if you’d prefer.

Here’s another reason to love this recipe. With just 1 pound of ground meat, the Hamburger Salad is a generous feast. This is frugal cooking that doesn’t compromise on quality.

If you’re really pinched for time, you can skip the croutons and use bottled thousand island dressing in place of the dressing recipe.

So, this summer, as the warm breezes come to an end — we hope — the Hamburger Salad bridges the gap between classic comfort and feel-good freshness and is perfect for those last laidback alfresco dinners.

It’s the embodiment of simplicity — hearty, yet refreshing; substantial, yet light. Enjoy!

Hamburger Salad

Servings: 4

For the Special Sauce Dressing (optional):


1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons yellow mustard

2 tablespoons dill pickle, finely minced

1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onion, rehydrated

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

1/2 teaspoon sugar


Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

For the Sesame Croutons (optional):


2 sesame seed hamburger buns, optional

Cooking spray

Garlic powder


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each bun into 1/2-inch slices or cubes. Lightly spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little bit of garlic powder. Place the croutons on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until crisp.

For the Burger:


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground beef (85/15)

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onion, rehydrated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the ground beef, garlic powder, onion powder and dehydrated onion. Break the mixture into crumbles and cook until browned, about 7 minutes. Drain fat and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

You can serve this salad with the beef hot or at room temperature, so you can make this ahead of time.

For the Salad:


1 head (8 cups) iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup dill pickles, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


Place the lettuce on a cutting board and run your knife through it to chop it into pieces. Decide if you’re going to plate this in individual servings or make one giant salad and serve family style. Either way, start with the lettuce — 2 cups per serving — and drizzle lightly with salad dressing. Toss it well.

Depending on how artsy you wish to be, compose the salad as desired. Place lettuce in each bowl. Top with beef, pickles, onions, tomatoes, cheese and croutons. Drizzle with the dressing and serve.

Patti Diamond

Patti Diamond

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal Meets Fabulous!” at www.divasonadime.com. © 2024 King Features Synd., Inc.