Gluten-Free Hamburger Salad with Creamy Jalapeño Dressing

Serves 3

Over the years of living a mostly gluten-free, grain-free lifestyle, I’ve come to appreciate that a bun-less burger is a super simple and satisfying weeknight meal. You still get the big juicy burger and all the fixings, just no bun. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss the bun on occasion, but when you dress a burger with this creamy jalapeño dressing and make a big salad out of the affair, it certainly makes up for it.

Alex Snodgrass, The Defined Dish


  • Creamy jalapeño dressing
  • ¾ cup homemade mayo (see next recipe)
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 small jalapeños, seeded and roughly chopped (⅓ cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Hamburgers
  • 1 pound ground beef, 80 percent lean
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Other Ingredients
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce (1 large head)
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • One-Minute Immersion Blender Mayo Base
  • 1 cup avocado oil or other light-flavored oil
  • 1 large egg
  • Optional
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • Kosher salt to taste


For the salad:

Make the creamy jalapeño dressing: In a food processor or blender, combine all dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.

Make the hamburgers: Using your hands, form the ground beef (try not to overwork the meat) into 3 even hamburger patties. Season the patties on both sides generously with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, or brush the oil over the grates of a grill over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until you’ve reached your desired doneness. (I do mine for 3 minutes per side for medium.)

To assemble: Divide the lettuce, onion, tomato and avocado between 3 bowls. Top each salad with a hamburger patty, and drizzle with your desired amount of creamy jalapeño dressing.

For the dressing:

Pour the oil into a wide-mouth glass jar with an opening a little bit wider than the head of your immersion blender. Crack the egg into the oil and let settle into the bottom of the jar.

Place the immersion blender into the jar and position the blade directly over the egg yolk. Turn the immersion blender on low and hold in place, while the blender is running, until the bottom of the jar starts to turn into a creamy emulsion, about 10 seconds. Once you see that creamy emulsion at the bottom, start lifting the blender up a bit and pressing it back down, essentially emulsifying the mixture above the mayo at the bottom, bit by bit, until you reach the top and the entire jar is emulsified.