Bring the flavors of California to your kitchen with this juicy Avocado Burger with pickled red onion, cucumber, and sprouts. Ready in under 30 minutes!
In December 2021 I was supposed to fly to NYC for Christmas. However, cases spiked and I had to cancel.
Devastated, I rescheduled it for San Diego in March 2022, a destination I had on my list since I was a kid thanks to the San Diego Zoo.
Luckily I made it! I’ve only been to California once before for a photography workshop, so I never had the chance to fully explore until now.
Since I can’t stop thinking about that trip, it inspired me to make this Avocado Burger.
Normally I don’t eat a huge breakfast. However, when traveling I pick coffee shops who also sell food so I can be properly fueled for the day.
Usually it’s a bagel with cream cheese or a greasy breakfast sandwich, but San Diego was different. Almost everything on their menu had avocado, a California staple.
I used to hate avocados growing up, but as an adult I’ve learned to embrace them. They’re a super healthy protein that fills you up so I’ve been adding them to my Chicken Fajita Salad and Easy Steak Fajitas.
In San Diego, my favorite breakfasts were an avocado toast with cucumber, pickled red onion, and hard boiled egg then a bagel sandwich with avocado, cucumber, sprouts, arugula, and dill.
Taking inspiration from both sandwiches, I came up with a California Avocado Burger with pickled red onion, cucumber, and sprouts. On the plate I served them with my Homemade Pita Chips.
It’s an easy weeknight dinner you can bring to your table in under 30 minutes.
Ingredients For Avocado Burger
To make your avocado burger recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Ground beef: Choose a good fat-to-lean ratio such as 80/20 for a juicy, flavorful burger. You can even take it one step further and grind your own, but pre-ground beef is perfectly acceptable too.
- Avocado: Using fresh avocado helps balance the greasiness from the meat. Plus it’s a healthy protein which makes the meal more satisfying.
- Mayonnaise: Mayo is used to bind your mashed avocado together, but you can easily substitute Greek yogurt or sour cream. You can even add a bit of a kick with horseradish sauce from Foodie and Wine.
- Lemon Juice: Not only does lemon juice help prevent the avocado from turning brown due to oxidation, it adds a pop of freshness.
- Garlic Powder and Salt: These seasonings add a little extra flavor to your avocado.
- Cucumber: Adds a bit of crunch and freshness to your burger.
- Pickled Red Onion: Not only do they add color, their acidity balances the fat from the avocado and burger.
- Sprouts: California sure does love its sprouts, so I had to include them! I used alfalfa sprouts, which can usually be found near the herbs.
- Buns: Any hamburger bun will do! I personally went with brioche buns since they were prettier for photos (what can I say? Food stylist at heart!)
How To Pick an Avocado
Buying avocados at the store can be challenging. Sometimes they’re too hard and you have to wait a few days to ripen. Sometimes they’re too soft and you have to eat them the same day.
So how do you pick the best avocado? By paying attention to color and firmness.
First, darker green usually indicates they are riper than lighter green. It’s not an absolute fact, but it’s a great place to start.
Once you find one you like, give it a gentle squeeze. If it’s rock hard, you likely have to wait 4-5 days for it to ripen. That’s great if you’re doing weekly shopping and don’t need it until the end of the week.
If your avocado is a little soft but still mostly firm, you likely have to wait 2-3 more days until it’s ready.
Your avocado is perfectly ripe when it yields to pressure without being too soft. This means you need to eat it within 24 hours. However if you’re not ready to eat it just yet, you can refrigerate it for 1-2 days to slow down the ripening process.
If your avocado is so soft it almost mashes in your hand, it’s overripe. Definitely don’t pick these.
How do you cut an avocado?
Since avocados have a giant pit in the middle, you have to cut them a certain way. However, it’s still quite easy!
First, cut your avocado in half lengthwise. You won’t be able to go all the way through thanks to the pit, but once you hit the seed rotate your avocado until you cut all the way around.
Next, separate the two halves by gently rotating and twisting. However, if you need an extra push you can use your knife for extra leverage.
Now it’s time to remove the pit! You can safely whack it with your knife then pull it out, but if that’s not working you can also use a spoon to dig it out.
Next step is to score the flesh (the part you eat). Since you’re going to dice then mash for your avocado burgers, slice them diagonally in one direction (being careful not to cut all the way through the skin). Then rotate and slice diagonally going in the opposite direction, like you’re making a diamond.
Using a spoon, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into your bowl. Now you’re ready to go.
How To Make an Avocado Burger
To make your burger with avocado:
- Mix together your ground beef and salt. Gently shape into two 1/2 inch thick patties that are slightly bigger than your buns. Don’t overwork shaping the patties or your meat will get tough.
- Make an indent in the middle with your thumb as this will help prevent shrinkage.
- Heat a large skillet with oil. Once hot, add your patties.
- Cook for 4 minutes then flip and cook another 4 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F. Only flip once and do not press down with your spatula.
- Make your avocado mixture as the burgers are cooking.
- Assemble your burgers then enjoy!
Can I make Avocado Burgers ahead of time?
Yes, you can make your burger with avocado ahead of time! This allows you to meal prep as well as spend less time in the kitchen if you’re having guests over for dinner.
After shaping the patties, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Cover with plastic wrap to minimize exposure to the air.
Refrigerate for up to 2 days. Any longer and you’ll have to freeze them for up to 3 months.
Let your chilled burgers sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to warm up then cook as directed.
Cooking cold burgers straight from the fridge means the middle won’t cook as fast as the outside. That means either your middle will be raw or the outside will be overcooked.
What To Serve With Avocado Burgers
Every burger needs sides! Here’s what you can serve with your burger with avocado:
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces) ground beef (80/20 blend)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ripe avocado, diced
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 8 slices cucumber
- 1/4 cup pickled red onion (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts
- 2 hamburger buns
- In large bowl gently mix together beef and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Shape into two patties that are roughly 1/2 inch thick and slightly larger than your buns, making a slight indent in the middle with your thumb. You don't want to overwork your meat or they'll become tough.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add patties. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip then cook another 4 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 160F degrees.
- While the burgers are cooking, add the avocado, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a bowl. Mash together until smooth.
- To assemble: spread some of the avocado mixture on the bottom of one bun. Add 4 cucumber slices then 1 burger. Add half the onion, sprouts, and avocado. Finish with the top bun.
- Repeat with the remaining ingredients.