Juicy burgers that are bursting with flavor!
Burgers? On a healthy eating plan? Is that legal? Is it even POSSIBLE? Yes, yes it is. For those of you who equate “diet burgers” with boring, flavorless meat discs, you will be hugely surprised with this recipe. Our low-carb burgers with creamy mushroom sauce may just change the way you view “burgers.”
Burgers with SAUCE?
You may not think about burgers being accompanied by a sauce, but it’s actually not that unusual. Our recipe may remind you a bit of Salisbury steak, where you have meat patties smothered in a creamy, rich mushroom sauce. We kind of have that going here, but we’ll aim for reducing the things that make that dish less-healthy — like heavy, rich cream or sour cream-based sauces — and lighten that up while still retaining the best of what makes that dish so yummy.
First, the Meat!
It’s not a burger (truly), without some meat. Our recipe calls for lean ground beef. By FDA standards, “lean” beef is considered to be either 80% lean, 20% fat (80/20 for short), or 85% lean/15% fat. 80/20 is a typical type of mix for burgers, but feel free to use which version you prefer.
While we can use extra lean ground beef (93% lean/7% fat), the reality is that we like a little fat for two reasons: 1) I’m sorry to say, but the fat is where the flavor and the juiciness lives. Notice we aren’t using anything in the pan to cook our patties in. The natural fat in the meat will do what normally an oil or butter would do. The second reason for fat is that it keeps us full. A little fat, added to a primarily lean dish will give our stomach something to “chew” on and adds to both our feeling of fullness and our level of satisfaction.
Besides…some of the fat “in” the burger will be cooked out, so trust us, it’ll be okay!
Oh, Creamy, Dreamy Mushroom Sauce
While your burgers are cooking, add a splash of oil and butter into another skillet. We’ll add some onions and garlic (yum!) to the pan and cook it over medium-high heat for a bit, being careful not to scorch the mixture. Reduce the heat under the skillet if it looks like your onion/garlic mixture is getting brown before they are fragrant and somewhat softened.
Now, we’ll add some sliced mushrooms to the mix and cook those until they are softened and slightly browned.
To create the “cream” part of the sauce, we are going to use Neufchâtel cheese. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a soft, crumbly unripened cheese, originally coming from France. It may be a little harder to find these days, so if you aren’t able to find true Neufchâtel cheese, feel free to substitute an equal amount of “light” or “reduced-fat” cream cheese.
We will add the cheese to the pan, along with a cup of milk. You’ll want to reduce the heat under the pan a bit so the mixture does not boil, but do stir and cook until the cheese is fully melted. Once the cheese is melted, add the remaining flavor elements: thyme and Dijon mustard. Finally, season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper, and you are ready to serve!
Last step: grab some plates, pop a burger patty on each, top with some of that creamy mushroom sauce and devour!
Oh, so you might be asking yourself, “How can it be a real burger without fries?” Don’t worry…we got you. If you want to add a side of fries to your burger order, consider some of these:
See, it’s as we say: eating healthy does not mean eating “diet food.”
Did you try this or some of our yummy fries? Let us know what you think! We always love to get your feedback.
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ½ sweet onion thinly sliced
- 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup milk
- 2 ounces Neufchatel cheese
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Shape the ground beef into 6 patties and season both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place the burgers in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until heated through.
In another skillet, heat the butter and olive oil over medium/high heat. Add the garlic cloves and onion to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Stir frequently.
Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned, stirring occasionally.
Add the milk and Neufchatel cheese to the pan, making sure to stir until the Neufchatel is melted. After it is melted, reduce the heat to low and add the dried thyme, mustard, black pepper and salt. Stir until combined and let this mixture simmer for 5 minutes and then spoon it on top of the burgers.
These would be great served with mashed cauliflower.
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
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If you enjoyed these low-carb burgers with creamy mushroom sauce, you might also like to try our Keto-Friendly Flavor-Packed Turkey Burger recipe!