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Best Juicy Burgers with Caramelized Onions

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These restaurant style best Burgers with Caramelized Onions are amazing — afraid of bison, try ground turkey, beef or chicken! Plus easily convert to gluten free, Paleo, Keto and Whole30! These are the best juicy burgers around!

Have you ever had a bison burger before though? If you haven’t, I promise you it is not gamey, it is lean and so delicious, especially when amped up a bit with a few ingredients!

You might enjoy these delicious summertime salads to go with your bison burger! Asian Ramen Noodle Salad, Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad or this yummy Tropical Fruit Salad.

A plate of juicy hamburgers, topped with grilled onions on pretzel rolls. www.thefreshcooky.com

I think of juicy, hot, fresh burgers, preferably with grilled or caramelized onions, smothered in melted cheese. Can you picture it with me? It’s dinnertime on the 4th of July; after a long day of parade’s, pool games and belly flop contests; families retreat to regroup (or nap).                                                              

Closeup of turkey burger, grilled with caramelized onions topped with a pretzel roll. thefreshcooky.com


Wafting in on the evening summer breeze is the aroma of barbecues fills the air all over the neighborhood — people gathering to celebrate our great country, kids (young and old) lighting fireworks, something grilling, fresh salads being brought out, bright red watermelons...Land of the free, home of the brave!

I love our country and I hope I never take our great freedoms for granted. Give this amazing burger a try, it’s simple, moist, juicy, popping with flavor!

juicy burgers on the grill with grill marks and pretzel buns in the background. thefreshcooky.com

Best Onions for Burgers

I love caramelized onions on my burgers, after all if I show up to a restaurant and a Patty Melt is on the menu, I shut the menu, decision made! Soft, buttery, caramelized onions are in my opinion the best onions to put on your burgers! No harsh bite, doesn’t leave you with onion breath and oooh are they delicious!

Back to our regularly scheduled post about burgers!! Have you ever tried bison or elk? They both make DELICIOUS Juicy Burgers! Bison is more readily available in the grocery stores and Costco here in Colorado, but if you can get your hands on ground elk, go for it! Or of course try ground beef, turkey or chicken as well!

Tray of 4 grilled burgers (beef, bison and turkey) with a side of grilled onions. Some burgers with melted cheese others plain.

I love bison, it’s so lean and flavorful! Some people think it’s gamey, I don’t and I think I’m slowly converting my husband…because he really likes these bison burgers!


You can certainly swap out beef (or ground turkey or chicken for that matter) for the bison, they are just as good!

If you haven’t tried bison, give it a whirl, it’s leaner, healthier, and SO delicious!

Close up of a grilled cheeseburger with crisp edges cheese, tender, stringy caramelized onions topped with a salty pretzel bun. thefreshcooky.com


  1. Take 5 minutes to add a few key ingredients for the juiciest burger ever!
  2. Thumbprints work! When forming burgers, make a well in the center of the patty, this allows for shrinkage and helps the burger cook evenly.
  3. Allow the burger mixture to “mingle” while you prep your grill, get your sides and toppings out, etc. 
  4. Use tools from your kitchen to make uniform burgers; like the lid to a mason jar (small for sliders, large for regular), but there’s nothing wrong with the old fashioned way, shaping with your hands!
  5. Make sure your grill is clean, oiled and hot! Kind of a no brainer. Especially if you want grill marks!
  6. LID OPEN! Leave the lid to your grill open, not only so you can keep an eye on things, but also so you don’t end up smoking the burgers. 
  7. Once cooked, remove burgers to a plate and let them rest again for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices that would have normally escaped to return to the burger. 
closeup of turkey burger, grilled with melting white cheddar cheese, topped with sweet grilled onions caramelized perfected and topped with a hearty pretzel bun. thefreshcooky.com
This burger made with turkey! MMMMM good!


  1. Everyone likes their burgers cooked differently. Me, I used to be a “burn it baby” kind of burger eater, but in my later, more mature years I’ve come to enjoy burgers that aren’t hockey pucks and can even tolerate a smidge of pink, just a smidge mind you.
  2. So how do you know when your burgers are done? Here is a fabulous and simple guide from DELISH on temps and tips for the best, perfectly cooked burgers.
  3. I’ve started using a meat thermometer more frequently, takes a lot of the guesswork out of when your meat is done. This brand one of my favorites and it won’t break the bank either, for the Cadillac version, try this one.


Plop your ground meat into a mixing bowl and add your Panko bread crumbs (Gluten Free if needed), most of these items are pantry staples. But feel free to swap things out.

A bowl with ground beef, spices in the background and breadcrumbs being tossed into the bowl. thefreshcooky.com

Mix in dry mustard, onion powder, seasoning salt, Worcestershire, ketchup and cream.

Adding cream into ground beef for hamburgers in a bowl with ketchup, worcestershire and ground mustard. thefreshcooky.com

Mix well and form into 4 or 5 patties, makes about five ¼ lb burgers (our bison comes in 1.25 lb packages, if your meat only comes in 1 lb, packages you don’t need to adjust a thing, they will taste just fine). Or if you need 6 burgers, it’s fairly easy to stretch this recipe to another burger.


Using the back of a tablespoon or simply your thumb, squish an indent into the center of the burger to form a little well. This enables the burger to cook more evenly and prevents significant shrinking.

plate of raw hamburger patties using the back of a tablespoon to make a depression in the center or a well to help avoid shrinkage when grilling. thefreshcooky.com

Plus it creates a great well to pour a little more Worcestershire sauce into, totally optional. Allow burgers to rest at room temp while you caramelize the onions and gather your toppings and condiments. 


In a pan, on medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.

Slice onions and toss into the hot oil/butter in a skillet, I love using cast iron for grilled onions. Cover, reducing temp to low and stir occasionally until beautifully caramelized and they have made your home smell so wonderful that your people come from hither and yon to see what in the world you are making!

Can you tell I love caramelized onions, their natural sweetness is brought out by slow cooking. Adding such scrumptious flavor! Cook, covered for about 20 minutes over medium to low heat.

About the last 10 minutes of caramelizing, start your grill or get your grill pan ready on the stovetop to cook the burgers.

cast iron pan with wooden spoon grilling or caramelizing onions for burgers. thefreshcooky.com

Grill or cook your burgers about 5 minutes over medium heat for medium to medium well burgers, but see my guide above.

hamburgers on the grill with grill marks, pretzel buns awaiting burgers in background. thefreshcooky.com

Flip and grill 3-4 minutes longer, add a slice of your favorite cheese during the last minute of grilling. Allow to rest for a few minutes to allow juices to fully absorb.

If desired, get out your griddle and slather a little butter onto your buns; grill on medium-high heat for a few minutes until golden, remove. Or place on the grill just until grill marks show on inside of buns.

These burgers are super lean, don’t overcook them…this coming from a girl who likes her red meat dead, but seriously, don’t overcook them.

When you flip them they tend to crumble a bit, but have no fear, just use a nice large spatula and get under it fast. If you lose a little piece, just pluck it out when you are ready to serve and place back on bun!

provolone cheese topped hamburgers on grill with one burger left without cheese, pretzel buns warming on side of grill. thefreshcooky.com

Place burger on pretzel roll or your favorite hamburger bun (or go bun-less), spoon on some of those wonderful onions and voilà! A lovely, juicy, so very flavorful bison burger!

Serve alongside with sliced cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes, or maybe some kettle chips, or tater tots, fries or watermelon…you get the idea.

By the way, this would be lovely paired with this Mile High Mud Pie or the Best Chewy Chocolate Chip cookies.


Gluten Free, Whole30, Paleo and Keto Juicy Burgers

  • Gluten Free | Omit or replace breadcrumbs with GF Panko and replace bun with lettuce wrap or GF bun
  • Whole30 & Paleo | Omit breadcrumbs, replace cream with water, careful of your Worcestershire sauce or omit, omit ketchup, replace with clean tomato paste, no cheese, check seasonings and omit if needed. Replace bun with lettuce wrap.
  • KETO | Omit panko, watch ingredients in condiments and seasonings, replace bun, wrap with lettuce.

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  1. Oh, boy these burgers look so good! I live in Colorado too and often see Bison at Costco but haven’t cooked with it yet. the next time I go I’m going to grab it and make this recipe! Those caramelized onions are drool-worthy. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  2. I just made these and the texture was really icky. We have a Treager grill that grills evenly like an oven. The burgers were like soft meatloaf. Perhaps it was the fine grind of the bison but this recipe did not work out for us. I do appreciate knowing about making a well on top.

  3. We will love your Bison Burger and those caramelized onions will just make it perfect! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Full Plate Thursday and have a great week!
    Miz Helen