Healthy Cheeseburger Bites: the Best Parts of Burgers Minus the Calories
I don’t know about you, but I could eat cheeseburgers all day, every day. Unfortunately, that’s kinda frowned upon, for whatever reason. This bright side of this calamity, however, is that I’ve been forced to get creative with my cheeseburger love. And in this case, I’ve created healthy cheeseburger bites than have all the delicious qualities of a cheeseburger in a finger food shell.
Since the world healthy means something different to every person, I’ll clarify that these cheeseburger bites are healthy in my book because of their low calorie and high protein content. This is a protein-focused food blog, after all.
Each cheeseburger bite is the size of a mini muffin and contains 48 Calories, 6.8 grams of protein, 2.3 grams of carbs, and 1.3 grams of fat. So, I guess these would qualify as low carb cheeseburger bites as well. You can see where naming my recipes gets tricky. Since nobody wants to read High Protein, Low Carb, Low Calorie Bunless Cheeseburger Bites, I’m sticking with healthy.
Ingredients for Healthy Cheeseburger Bites
After making BBQ Pulled Pork Poppers for Stronger U members leading up to the Super Bowl, I was inspired to make more mini versions of awesome sandwiches. A cheeseburger was the first sandwich that came to mind, for obvious reasons. Before we get to the cheeseburger bites recipe, I’ll drop the BBQ Pulled Pork Poppers recipe below.
Okay, for the cheeseburger bites, you won’t need much. I’ll touch on the breadcrumbs and how you can substitute them below but first, I’d like to touch on the condiments that will make up your cheeseburger bites.
The recipe calls for the standard ketchup, mustard, and pickle. If you want to leave pickles out, you can do so without needing to tweak anything else since they’re in limited quantity. On the other hand, if you want to remove the ketchup or mustard, you may need to add a bit more liquid or add some of the remaining condiments.
As far as the meat goes for your cheeseburger bites, you can use any ground meat. The only note I have here is if you’re going to use a fattier cut of meat, you may want to reduce the egg whites in the recipe since you’ll have some fat run-off during cooking. If you go with a meat below the 85/15 mark, you’ll want to keep an eye to ensure no fat is at risk of dripping off the muffin tin.
Now that I say this, it’s probably best to stick to a leaner cut of meat for this recipe.
How to Make Higher Protein Cheeseburger Bites
Want to make higher protein cheeseburger bites? You could always swap the breadcrumbs for unflavored protein powder. I made this swap in my high protein black bean burgers recipe, and people are raving about those!
If you’re interested in using unflavored protein powder, I use Now Sports Whey Concentrate unflavored.
And if you’re hesitant to buy unflavored protein for the fear of not using it outside of this recipe, know that you can easily flavor it with stevia, cocoa powder, and other sweeteners. Most of my recipes call for vanilla protein powder and end up as totally non-vanilla dishes. Here are a few recipes I’ve made recently with unflavored protein:
- Waffle Fries and Garlic Parmesan Fries
- Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks
- Chili Cheese Tots
- Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
One final note before you get to the recipe. You can use any muffin tin you’d like but because people tend to ask, this is the one I use.
Healthy Cheeseburger Bites
Enjoy all the best parts of a cheeseburger without all the calories with these cheeseburger bites.
- 1 lb Lean Ground Beef macros with 96/4
- 3/4 C (184g) Liquid Egg Whites or 4 whole egg whites
- 1/2 C (56g) Fat-Free Shredded Cheddar
- 1/2 C (56g) Shredded Parmesan
- 1/2 C (56g) Breadcrumbs
- 1/4 C (68g) Reduced Sugar Ketchup
- 3 T (45g) Mustard
- 5 small (50g) Dill Pickles finely diced (relish may work here as well)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Brown ground beef (or meat of choice) in a skillet over medium-high heat.
While meat cooks, mix remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
After briefly cooling, add cooked meat to the remaining ingredient mixture, stirring until even.
Spoon mixture into the mini muffin tin, making sure to remove any excess between slots.
Bake for 23-25 minutes or until muffin tops are golden brown.
- Per popper (recipe makes 24): 48 Calories | 6.8P | 2.3C | 1.3F
- Per popper with full-fat cheddar: 54 Calories | 6.6P | 2.2C | 2.1F
- If you're tracking your intake, be sure to account for any additional condiments you top your cheeseburger bites with.
I mentioned my black bean burgers recipe above and wanted to link it here again for you. I’d be interested to see someone make a black bean cheeseburger bites re-creation. If you give that a shot or make any of my recipes, I love sharing recipe remixes on Instagram. Be sure to tag me in your creations!
And hey, if there’s any chance you’re in the market for high protein chocolate recipes, you’ll love my free cookbook for chocolate lovers. You can check it out here or enter your info below to download a copy.