How to Cook a Low Fat Burger at Home

Choosing lean protein is key to creating a delicious, low-fat burger.

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Burgers are rich in the macronutrient protein, but depending on their ingredients and preparation method, they may not always fit into a healthy eating plan. Traditional ground beef hamburgers can be high in saturated fat and calories, especially if they are fried in additional oil. Fortunately, creating a low-fat burger at home is simple and allows the chef to select high-quality, nutritious ingredients. Grilled or broiled burgers made with a lean protein source are a healthful alternative to typically greasy, cholesterol-laden fast food fare.

Prepare the Burgers


Select a low-fat protein source such as lean ground beef or ground turkey. recommends using select or choice cuts of beef such as ground round, roast, round, sirloin or tenderloin. Try coarsely pureed black beans and brown rice for a high-fiber, low-fat vegetarian burger option.


Combine the chosen protein in a bowl with spices such as black pepper, a touch of kosher salt, ground cumin or freshly minced herbs. Mix in any aromatic vegetables such as minced garlic or onion at this time.


Shape the protein and spice mixture into individual, circular patties. Create patties that are of uniform thickness and circumference to ensure that they cook evenly.

Cook the Burgers


Coat a grill rack or broiler pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Set the rack or broiler pain approximately 5 inches from the chosen heat source. Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill, heat a gas grill or turn the oven to the "broil" setting.


Grill or broil the burger patties, flipping once with a spatula, until they reach the appropriate internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer. Ground beef should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit and ground turkey should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.


Remove the burgers from the heat, cover with aluminum foil and allow them to rest for approximately 5 minutes to seal in flavor and juices.


Place each patty on a whole-grain bun and serve with a variety of toppings and low-fat condiments such as brown mustard or hot sauce. Grilled or fresh vegetables such as onions, lettuce and tomato pair well with burgers and contribute nutrients and fiber to the meal.

Things Needed

  • Lean protein source
  • Bowl
  • Spices
  • Cooking spray
  • Spatula
  • Food thermometer
  • Aluminum foil
  • Whole-grain bun
  • Toppings
  • Condiments


  • The USDA warns that raw and undercooked meat may contain harmful bacteria. To be sure all bacteria are destroyed, always cook meat to its safe minimum internal temperature as measured by a food thermometer.