A California Burger Recipe Is a west coast delicacy and my all-time favorite burger to make for my family.
My recipe has a juicy, savory patty with onion-forward flavors and is smothered with plenty of avocado. Plus, it cooks on the stovetop in less than 10 minutes.
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Avocado on a chicken burger absolutely takes it up a notch. I’m all about combining different textures -- the creamy avocado against the crunch of fresh veggies and a moist burger patty is delectable. Plus, I consider myself a California Burger enthusiast because if it's on the menu, I'm ordering it.
Our #1 tip for the juiciest California 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.
What You Need to Make a Juicy California Burger
- 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.
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! My Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwiches aren't burgers, but equally as delish.
Substitutions and Variations
- Meat: You can make these California 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.
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.
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.
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How to Serve a California Burger
Since California burgers are truly a full meal in themselves, we like to keep things simple and serve them with potato chips or sweet potato fries. I always go for a simple tossed green salad on the side, too.
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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 (at least 165ºF).
- 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.
- 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!
- Grilling instructions: grill California burger patties at around 400ºF for 3-4 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF. Add the slice of cheese and cook for 1 more minute to melt.
- Storage: Store cooked patties in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Leave off the toppings, and assemble on the bun just before enjoying.
- To freeze: wrap each burger individually shaped burger with plastic wrap, add to a ziplock and you can freeze them raw or cooked for up to 3 month
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