California Burger Recipes

Different regions in the United States have their take on a burger. The ‘California burger’ rose to popularity on the west coast with the establishment of In-n-Out, a fast-food burger joint, in 1948. Since then, the California burger has been famous throughout the country.

This burger consists of fresh vegetable toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Many other creative toppings can be used to make California burgers. One can use avocado and guacamole as well as sprouts and classic sauces.

Let’s discuss some great California burger recipes that you can easily make at home in this blog.

The Classic California Burger

This recipe requires a total cook time and preparation time of 20 minutes and serves 4.


  • Two tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
  • Two tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • Two tablespoons of Sour Cream
  • One pound of ground beef
  • Two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • One and a half cups crispy fried onions
  • Half teaspoon of Garlic Salt
  • One-fourth teaspoon of black pepper
  • Half small avocado – sliced
  • Half cup of sprouts
  • 4 Hamburger buns


  • Start by making the burger patties. Take a large bowl and place the ground beef. Add the crispy fried onions and the Worcestershire sauce to the meat. Mix with your hands until well combined. Be careful not to overmix, as that will make the patties chewy.
  • Form four patties out of the mixture and lay them on a plate. Cover the plate loosely with foil and let it sit for 20 minutes.
  • Take off the foil and sprinkle garlic, salt, and pepper on the patties.
  • Light up your outdoor grill and oil it well so the patties don’t stick. Grill over high heat until the patties reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • While the burgers cook on the grill, prepare the burger sauce. Combine the mustard, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Mix well and set aside.
  • Next, toast your burger buns. You can use sesame seed buns or brioche buns. If you want gluten-free options, go for oat flour buns or potato flour buns. Simple gluten-free buns will also do. Toast your buns on the grill until the sliced underside is nicely browned. The buns should be warm and soft.
  • To assemble the burgers, lather the burger sauce we made earlier on the top and bottom bun. Place the burger patty on the base bun and top with sprouts, avocado slices, and the remainder of the crispy fried onions. Cover the buns and enjoy immediately.

Delightful California Burgers

This burger requires a total cook time of 22 minutes and makes four servings. One serving contains a total of 389 calories.


  • Tomato Ketchup – three tablespoons
  • Mayonnaise – two tablespoons
  • Sweet pickle relish – two teaspoons
  • Dijon mustard – one teaspoon
  • Salt- one-eighth teaspoon
  • Black pepper – One-eighth teaspoon
  • Olive oil spray
  • Low-fat swiss cheese – 4 slices
  • hamburger buns – 4
  • One-fourth inch thick red onions, four pieces
  • One-fourth inch thick tomatoes – 8 pieces
  • Pickle chips
  • Ground sirloin – one pound


  • Start by combining the ketchup, mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Put aside.
  • Next, prepare the beef patties. Take a bowl and place the ground sirloin. Make four patties, each half-inch thick.
  • Make a nickel side indentation on each patty with your thumb. This will prevent the patty from shrinking. Sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper.
  • You can either make the patties in a grill pan or a skillet. Start by heating the pan on medium-high heat. Once nicely heated, spray the pan with cooking oil.
  • Add the patties to the pan and cook for three minutes on each side. Place the slice of cheese on each patty and keep cooking until the cheese melts. This will take about two minutes. Take the patties off the heat once they reach the level of doneness you desire.
  • To assemble the burgers, take the burger buns and slice them. Toast them on the grill pan or skillet until light brown from the underside and soft.
  • Place lettuce on the base bun and then the beef patty. Top with one onion slice, two tomato slices, two avocado slices, and some pickle chips. Lather the sauce on the top half of the bun and cover. Enjoy the burger immediately.

How are California Burgers Different?

California burgers are usually different from regular cheeseburgers in some ways. Sliced avocado is a popular addition to California burgers as California is the biggest grower of avocado in the United States. California burgers often also contain a topping of bacon or guacamole. The beef patties are also a tad spicier, with paprika and cayenne pepper being standard additions to the ground beef.

One of the oldest burger chains in California was In-n-Out, founded in 1948, the same year as Mcdonald’s. In-n-Out topped their burgers with American cheese, onions, tomato, and crispy lettuce. Whereas Mcdonald’s topped their burger with ketchup, mustard, and a pickle, thus creating a distinction in both burger styles. This is one of the reasons the ‘California burger’ is topped similar to the In-n-out burger way in many eateries. Another reason the California burger uses fresh vegetable toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, and onions is that California is warm and sunny and has fresh vegetable produce year-round, an advantage compared to more wintry regions.

Different parts of California also have different variations of the ‘California Burger.’The recipe may vary from coast to coast, but one thing is for sure they all may contain avocado or guacamole, a regional favorite.

Our Final Thoughts

Do try out these California burger recipes at home. Both the recipes discussed in the blog are quick and easy to prepare. Requiring a few key ingredients, you will have delicious burgers in minutes. You can prepare the beef patty for the California burger differently. You can grill the patties on an outdoor grill or cook them in a skillet or grill pan on the stove. Choose the method you like the most! These recipes are great to try out on a lazy weekend, especially if you have friends or family coming over.