No matter if you’re from the East Coast or the West Coast this juicy California Burger Recipe is going to wow you. The juicy, savory patty with onion forward flavors, smothered with plenty of avocado makes for a delicious burger you won’t want to pass up.
About these Burgers
What is a California Burger, anyway? So it actually can mean a lot of things. The burger patty itself isn’t anything atypical (although the recipe for this one is AMAZING), but the true ‘California’ part is really in reference to the toppings.
A California Burger originally was coined by the fresh ingredients added on top - lettuce, tomato slices, and onion, most notably because these are available year round in California. More recently, however, avocado has become the star of California Burger (like on the Burger King California Whopper), and I’m here for it.
Avocado on a burger absolutely takes it up a notch. I’m all about combining different textures and the creamy avocado against the crunch of fresh veggies and moist burger patty is delectable. Serve these up on toasted brioche buns for a next level handheld.
And if you’re looking for other burger recipes to try, also check out this Spinach Feta Turkey Burger, these Oklahoma Onion Burgers, or these Mini Burgers on a Stick that I think you’ll love, too!
- Ground Beef - I used 92% lean beef. I find this the sweet spot of not too much grease and just enough flavor.
- Onion Seasoning - Seasoning packets are my secret weapon for burgers. They add so much flavor with minimal effort.
- Worcestershire Sauce - A staple burger ingredient. It adds an extra depth of flavor to the patties.
- Toppings - Lettuce, tomato, onion, and avocado are classic for a California Avocado Burger. I also added pickles, Pepper Jack cheese, mayo, and spicy mustard.
- Buns - I highly recommend a GOOD bakery fresh bun. See recipe for toasting notes.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and Variations
- Meat: You can make these burgers with ground chicken or lean ground turkey, too!
- Veggies: I used white onion, but red is also fine. You can also add up to ½ cup of finely chopped spinach to the mixture, too.
- Worcestershire: If you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute with any steak sauce (like A1), soy sauce, coconut aminos, tamari, miso paste, fish sauce, oyster sauce, or malt vinegar. Use something with umami flavors.
- Mustard: Spicy brown is my favorite, but any mustard will do. Yellow mustard, honey mustard, dijon mustard, stone ground, etc.
- Seasoning: I opted for a seasoning powder out of convenience. They pack so much flavor in with minimal effort. You can replace with 2 teaspoons of onion powder, or try another seasoning packet like Ranch, Garlic & Herb, Italian, etc.
- Cheese: If Pepper Jack isn't your jam, a slice of Swiss cheese, American Cheese, Cheddar, or Provolone.
- Bun: If you’re looking to make this lower carb, use bibb lettuce wrapped around your burger instead of a bun! Or I’m also a fan of using english muffins, too.
How to Make This Recipe
1. First thing you'll want to do is finely dice the white onions. You want them small and uniform. Then, combine beef with all the burger ingredients to a large bowl.
2. Stir the burger mixture until everything is combined.
3. Use your hands to form the mixture into 4 equal sized patties. Season each patty lightly with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
4. Use cooking spray or a little olive oil to grease a large skillet and heat to medium heat. Place burgers into the pan.
5. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side in the hot skillet or until the burger reaches desired doneness (minimum internal temperature: 135°F Medium-Rare, 145°F Medium, 150°F Medium-Well, 160°F Well Done).
6. Add a slice of cheese to each burger 1 minute before removing from the pan. If needed, add a lid to the pan to trap the heat in so the cheese melts.
7. Build the burger to your liking, just don’t skimp on the avocado! That’s the main topping in a California Burger Recipe! My preference: lots of pickles, light mayo, sliced avocado (or mashed avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice and lime juice), slice of tomato, shredded lettuce leaves, AND with a toasted bun.
8. For a perfectly toasted bun, spread a little butter on both the top bun and bottom bun and place on a baking sheet under the broiler, cut side up for 30-60 seconds until golden brown.
- Do not over mix your meat mixture! This’ll result in a tough patty texture once it’s cooked
- These burger patties have flavorful seasonings throughout, but I also always sprinkle salt and pepper on the formed burger patties before cooking for extra flavor!
- For the juiciest burger, avoid pressing down on the burgers while cooking. It forces the juices to escape. It’s best to let the burgers rest for a minute or two after removing from the heat to absorb the juices throughout. As always, the higher the fat content of the ground beef, the juicier and more flavorful patty you’ll eat.
Store cooked patties in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Leave off the toppings, and assemble on the bun just before enjoying.
These burgers freeze super well! Wrap each burger individually shaped burger with plastic wrap and you can freeze them raw or cooked for up to 3 months. If freezing raw, let the patties come to room temperature before cooking.
While the actual burger doesn’t change much, the toppings are influenced from California. You’ll see healthier ingredients like, fresh sprouts, lettuce, tomato, avocado, tangy red onion, and special burger sauce.
Serve your burgers with a side of these tasty Sweet Potato Fries some Waldorf Broccoli Salad, and you've got yourself a MEAL. If you want to keep it simple, just pop open a bag of potato chips to enjoy with your burger instead.
More Recipes You'll Love
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California Burger Recipe
- Mixing Bowl
- rubber spatuala
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- skillet or grill pan
For the burger
- 1 lbs lean ground beef, 92% lean
- ⅓ cup white onions, diced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
- 1 packet onion dip seasoning
- pinch salt and pepper
- 4 hamburger buns
- 4 slices Pepper Jack cheese
- 2 avocados
- 12 pickle coins
- 1 tomato, sliced
- light mayo, to taste
- spicy mustard, to taste
- First finely dice the white onions. You want them small and uniform. Then, combine beef with all the burger ingredients to a large bowl.
- Stir the burger mixture until everything is combined.
- Use your hands to form the mixture into 4 equal sized patties. Season each patty lightly with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Use cooking spray or a little olive oil to grease a large skillet and heat to medium heat. Place burgers into the pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side in the hot skillet or until the burger reaches desired doneness.
- Add a slice of cheese to each burger 1 minute before removing from the pan. If needed, add a lid to the pan to trap the heat in so the cheese melts.
- Build the burger to your liking, just don’t skimp on the avocado! That’s the main topping in a California Burger Recipe! My preference: lots of pickles, light mayo, sliced avocado (or mashed avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice and lime juice), slice of tomato, shredded lettuce leaves, AND with a toasted bun.
- For a perfectly toasted bun, spread a little butter on both the top bun and bottom bun and place on a baking sheet under the broiler, cut side up for 30-60 seconds until golden brown.
Looking for this in MyFitnessPal?
If you're using MyFitnessPal, search 'A Paige Of Positivity' and find California Burger calories and nutrition facts. Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved or just say hi!
Courtney Paige says
These are DELISH!! I added extra avocado and sprouts to mine and it was so flavorful.
Sydney Van Acker says
i never want a burger without avocado again. SO good
These burgers are incredible! The toasted onion mix is genius! We actually bbq’d them and they came out juicy and perfect! So easy to make and soooooooo filling. 10 out of 10 recommended by my family!
Jack Allen says
I mean these are exactly what you want after being out in the sun during the summer. Absolutely love it!