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Protein-Style Smash Burgers

Cook Time:
5 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

Mastering the art of a smash burger is a lot easier than you think — even though it may seem scary, all you need are a few tips and tools to crush it. This recipe creates an amazing smash burger stack with thinly sliced onions (inspired by NYC's Gotham Burger) and a thin slice of melted cheese in the middle. The special sauce is made with a yogurt-base to add extra protein. The burgers are served in a lettuce wrap rather than a bun for a healthier alternative that is still super satiating.

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. 

Technique Tip: To avoid a juicy mess, serve your burger in a parchment paper bag. To easily remove the patty from the skillet, use the back of a metal spatula or a bench scraper.

Swap Option: You may use mayo or sour cream instead of Greek yogurt. If using mayo, do not add water.



  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet relish
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and grated
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads iceberg lettuce, cored and leaves separated
  • 1 large beefsteak or heirloom tomato, sliced into four 1/4-inch-thick slices and placed on a paper towel to drain (optional)
  • 16 ounces ground beef, formed into 2-ounce balls
  • 1 white onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
  • 4 slices cheese, preferably American or cheddar
Fulfilled by



In a small mixing bowl, combine Greek yogurt, ketchup, yellow mustard, sweet relish, garlic, and 1 tablespoon of water. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.


Add two stacks of two lettuce leaves onto 4 plates, totaling four per-plate — These will act as the bun. Top one stack of lettuce with optional drained tomatoes and set aside.


Place a large cast-iron skillet or stainless-steel skillet over high heat for 2 minutes until almost smoking. Place 2 beef balls in the skillet, top each with sliced white onion and, using a sturdy metal spatula and a second metal spatula or sturdy metal spoon, smash the beef balls into flat patties. Season with salt and pepper and cook until you can see a crust starting to form on the edges of the patty, about 1 minute.


Flip the burgers and top one with a slice of cheese. Take the other burger and place it on top of the cheese — the heat from the burger will melt the cheese. Transfer the burger directly onto two lettuce leaves, top with sauce and seal with remaining lettuce leaves. Repeat 3 times until all burgers are made.