Burgers on Wheat Buns | Weeknight Meal Planning

Burgers on Wheat Buns

You’ll see several variations on the burger from me throughout the summer — traditional (as I did today) with ground beef, ‘bork’ (beef/pork combination), turkey and even chicken.

The best thing about burgers — if you’re buying rolls or have made them ahead, it’s a lightening fast weeknight food and it’s easy to modify for kids that may not be ‘ready’ for burgers yet.


Prep takes about 5 – 10 minutes max.  I use one very large frying pan to pan sear all at once (4 burgers) and at 3 – 5 minutes per side at most this dinner easily comes in at 20 minutes or less total time.

This is a 1X (feeds my family of 4 people once) meal… if you have kids (or a spouse) that will eat more than one burger, consider doubling & save any excess burger patties in the the freezer (frozen flat in freezer safe bags or if stacking; in a container, oil parchment paper to place in-between raw patties before freezing).

While the burgers are cooking, I made a quick salad and sliced additional vegetables for the kids.

Number of Servings:

4 people (I vary mine to make 2 larger ‘grown up’ burgers and 2 small ‘kiddie’ burgers, if you have a larger package of beef you can make 5 burgers or could possibly make 6 smaller burgers evenly sized). As mentioned above, any excess if your family is smaller or there are less burger eaters, the meat can freeze for another time.


  • 1 to 1.25 pounds (one package from a typical grocer) of ground beef, ideally 85% lean. If using leaner beef, watch the cooking time and consider adding 2 tbsp of olive oil or an extra egg yolk to keep it moist and yummy.
  • Salt & pepper to taste (I use about 1 tsp. of kosher salt or substitute 2 tbsp. of soy sauce)
  • Optional: Sweet Paprika 1 teaspoon
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons of aged balsamic vinegar
  • Optional: 1 large egg. This is more important if you’re using leaner meat (i.e. 90% + lean beef or if you substitute with poultry, like turkey, etc.)
  • Optional:  4 Burger rolls: If you’re interested in making your own, I use this recipe from King Arthur Flour and I keep partially risen rolls (that have gone through the 1st rise only) in my freezer for quick access. I made a 50/50 blend of all purpose & white whole wheat flour to add a bit of whole grain or use a mix of traditional whole wheat & white wheat.

Steps to Put this On Your Table:

  • Preheat a large (i.e. 12 inch) frying or saute pan over medium-high heat, spray or coat with cooking oil (i.e. coconut or olive oil).
  • In a small bowl throughly combine all of the ingredients except for the burger rolls with a spatula.  If using, the egg will make the mixture slightly ‘loose’ but it really it makes for super-moist burgers.
  • Form 4 (or 5) burger patties from the meat mixture (using your hands).  If making ahead, will keep covered in the fridge 1 day or in the freezer for up to 4 months).  My children are young so I made 2 small burgers for them and two larger (about 1/3 pound) burgers for the grown ups.  You can configure the size (or save extra in the freezer) based on the number of burger eaters you’re serving.
  • Watch the burgers to see when the ‘cooked’ (brown colored part that is no longer red) at the bottom looks to be about 1/3 to 1/2 way ‘up’ towards the center of the burger — this takes about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Using a large spatula, ‘flip’ the burgers from the ‘cooked’ to the ‘uncooked’ side and continue to cook for about another 3 to 4 minutes (3 for medium rare, 4 for medium – perhaps longer, up to 5 minutes if you want well done). To check for doneness, using a small fork or knife cut (lightly) into the center and take a look for any remaining pink/uncooked meat.
  • They should take 6 – 10 minutes total time to cook.

Kid Modifications:

Serve with (on or alongside — as I did for my kids, see picture below) burger rolls and top with your favorite burger condiments: i.e. slice of cheese for Cheeseburgers, ketchup, salsa, avocado, mustard, slow cooked onions…. whatever brings you burger happiness.

Did you try this?  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Beef burgers - kid modifications
Kid modifications to beef burgers. My kids are still not aware of ‘burger magic’ but they’ll eat the components. I place a bun on the side, sometimes spread with a little hummus. A small beef patty is cut and placed on the side. salad (peas, zucchini


Beef burger on a wheat bun with Zucchini & Pea Salad
Beef burger on a wheat bun with zucchini & pea Salad, farmer’s market tomato on the side with a touch of salt.

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