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Protein Smash Burger with Spicy Garlic Mayo

A Protein Smash Burger is a bun-less burger featuring a juicy, crispy-edged beef patty cooked on a frying pan. It’s crowned with caramelized onions and slathered in a spicy garlic mayo sauce, then wrapped in fresh lettuce leaves for a satisfying, low-carb meal. This burger offers the flavors and textures you’d expect from a restaurant-quality burger, all while being easy to make at home.

Best protein smash burger served on a plate with melting cheese, tomatoes and spicy garlic mayo sauce.

How to make Protein style Smash Burger?


  1. Prepare the spicy garlic mayo sauce by mixing together Mayo, Sriracha, and grated garlic in a small bowl.
  2. Next, make patties about 1/4 lb each, and shape them into meatballs.
  3. Heat up a frying pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, place the meatballs inside and use a spatula to press them down into patties about 1/2 inch thick.
  4. Now, layer thinly sliced onions on top of each patty and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the patties until they well-browned and reach an internal temperature of 160°F.
  5. To assemble the burger, place a lettuce leaf on a serving plate, followed by a beef patty onion-side up. If you’re using cheese, add it next, then place another beef patty on top, onion side down. Generously spread the spicy mayo you prepared earlier over the patties and add any other optional toppings you like. Cover with another lettuce leaf. To secure everything, you can insert a toothpick in the middle.

What ingredients do I need to make lettuce wrapped burger?


  • Ground Beef – use at least 20% fat or greater.
  • Onion – yellow or brown onion.
  • Salt – sea salt preferred.
  • Black Pepper – ground.
  • Green Lettuce – use your preferred lettuce.
  • American Cheese – optional, use American cheese or your preferred burger cheese.
  • Mayonnaise – use Japanese Kewpie Mayo. Can substitute with regular mayo but will alter flavor.
  • Sriracha – Asian style chill sauce.
  • Garlic – fresh grated garlic.

What lettuce to Use for Protein Burger

We favor green leaf lettuce for its tenderness, yet for those who love a crunchier texture, iceberg lettuce is also a great choice.

Additional Toppings for Smash Burger

  • Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Mushrooms
  • Avocado
  • Fried Egg

Lettuce, cheese, sliced tomatoes, slices onions to be used for homemade smash burgers.

Are protein style burgers healthy?

If you are watching your carb intake, these lettuce wrapped burgers are the way to go. They are low in carbs, gluten-free, not to mention ultra filling so you will be satisfied.

Looking for other beef recipes?

Best protein smash burger served on a plate with melting cheese, tomatoes and spicy garlic mayo sauce.

Watch How To Make It

Best protein smash burger served on a plate with melting cheese, tomatoes and spicy garlic mayo sauce.

Protein Smash Burger with Spicy Garlic Mayo

Who needs the bun when you can get your burger fix with this juicy protein style smash burger! Made easily on a frying pan, this burger cooks up quickly and makes for a perfect meal any day of the week!
4.58 from 7 votes
Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy burger, lettuce wrapped burger, protein style burger, smash burger sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2
Print Recipe
Calories: 852kcal



  • 1 lb Ground Beef use at least 20% fat or greater
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Onions
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 4 Leaves Green Lettuce
  • 2 Slices American Cheese optional


  • 3 tbsp Kewpie Mayo you can sub with American mayo but will alter taste
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 Clove Garlic


  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Thinly slice onions with a knife or slicer.
  • Grate garlic with a grater.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine mayo, Sriracha, grated garlic, and set aside.
  • Take about 1/4 lbs of the ground beef and roll it into 2-3 inch diameter meatballs. Repeat until you end up with 4 meatballs.
  • Bring a large frying pan up to temp on medium high heat and place meatballs inside. Use a spatula to press down on the meatballs to form a patty until they are around 1/2 inch thick. Note - you may need to spray cooking oil depending on the pan.
  • Place the sliced onions on top of the patties followed by sprinkling salt and black pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then flip with the onions going on the bottom as shown below. Cook for 2-3 more minutes until patties are browned or an internal temp of 160F is attained.
  • Take a lettuce leaf and place it onto a serving plate. Next, add a beef patty with onion up, followed by optional cheese, beef patty onion side down, a generous spread of spicy mayo, other optional toppings and finally another piece of lettuce on top. Use the lettuce to form a wrap and enjoy! Note - a toothpick in the middle will help hold everything together.


Calories: 852kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 70g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 220mg | Sodium: 1092mg | Potassium: 703mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 365IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 254mg | Iron: 5mg
*Values Based Per Serving
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