Cowboy Burger

  • By KJ

The Cowboy Burger is the perfect burger recipe when you can’t choose between toppings. Why not choose them all? 

A juicy, savory burger is seared on the grill and piled high with melty cheddar, smoky cowboy sauce, fried onions, crispy bacon, and tangy pickles. 

Top with a toasted bun and saddle up for a mouthwatering dinner.

A cowboy burger loaded with sauce, bacon, pickles and french fried onions on a bun.

The Cowboy Burger is the perfect burger recipe when you can’t choose between toppings. Why not choose them all? 

A juicy, savory burger is seared on the grill and piled high with melty cheddar, smoky cowboy sauce, fried onions, crispy bacon, and tangy pickles. 

Top with a toasted bun and saddle up for a mouthwatering dinner.

A cowboy burger loaded with sauce, bacon, pickles and french fried onions on a bun.

Why KJ Loves

Cowboy Burger

The Cowboy Burger

We are obsessed with these burgers! Don’t even get me started on that sauce. Giddy up for a flavor bomb in your mouth! 

A cowboy burger loaded with sauce, bacon, pickles and french fried onions on a bun.
INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT INGREDIE

Certified Piedmontese Grass Fed, Grass Finished 85/15 Ground Beef

This post and recipe is sponsored by Certified Piedmontese. All words and photographs are my own. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make KJ & Company possible!

I love using Certified Piedmontese 85/15 ground beef for my cowboy burgers. Here’s why it stands out:

  • Derived from a rare Italian cattle breed, known for its lean yet tender meat
  • Naturally contains less fat and fewer calories than typical beef (without sacrificing flavor!)
  • Raised in the Midwest using sustainable practices
  • No hormones, antibiotics, or steroids 
  • Available in convenient 1-pound packages
  • Can be ordered online with free shipping on larger orders

Using Certified Piedmontese beef in these burgers is a win-win-win. You get amazing flavor, healthier beef, and support a company that values sustainability and animal welfare.

Beef contains higher amounts of iron than white meat like chicken. It’s usually consumed as roasts, ribs, or steaks, and it’s also commonly ground and cooked into patties.

Generally, grass fed beef is considered to be a healthier option than grain-fed beef. Pound for pound, it has less total fat, and therefore less calories.

The nutritional content of that fat is also different. For example, grass fed beef has as much as five times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as regular grain fed beef.

Ground beef in a bowl.

Cowboy Burger Ingredients

What you’ll need for the hamburger patties:

Ground Beef

I use 85/15 Certified Piedmontese beef.

Egg

A little bit of egg helps hold the cowboy burger together.  

Seasonings

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder add the perfect savory flavor to this recipe.

BBQ Sauce

Who says BBQ sauce is only a topping? Adding it to the beef mixture makes this burger extra special. 

The burger ingredients being mixed into the ground beef.

Cowboy Burger Toppings

Here are some fixins’ you can rustle up for this loaded burger:

Cheddar Cheese

Cheddar is the classic way to go, but you can substitute any cheese you’d like! 

Bacon Strips

Cook these in whatever way is easiest for you. I like to line the bacon on a foil-covered cookie sheet and bake it until it’s nice and crispy! 

Cowboy Sauce

A little mayo mixed with BBQ sauce creates a next-level topping.

Fried Onions

Grab a bag at the store (most likely in the salad dressing & crouton aisle). Or whip up a batch of your own homemade fried onions! You can also look in the freezer aisle for frozen onion rings to bake in your oven. 

Pickle Slices

Hamburger Bun

Formed hamburger patties.

Grilling the Perfect Cowboy Burger

Topping tip: I recommend starting your bacon before you grill your burger. If you’re making homemade fried onions, I’d also fry those up ahead of time. That way, you don’t have to run back and forth and worry about timing for everything! 

01) Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Make sure you’re using clean, oiled grill grates for the best results. 

02) In a large bowl, gently combine all the ingredients for the burger patties, being careful not to overmix. 

03) Form the mixture into 8 even hamburger patties (or 4 jumbo ones). I like to press my thumb in the center of the burger so it cooks at the same rate as the edges. 

04) The grill should be nice and hot to get a good first sear. Grill your burger on one side until it naturally releases. (If you flip it earlier, it can stick or crumble.) Then, grill on the other side until it reaches your desired doneness. 

05) Add the cheddar cheese slices during the last 30 seconds so it can get nice and melty.

06) Serve your cowboy burgers on your favorite hamburger bun with all the toppings. Dig in and enjoy!

Burger Internal Temperature Levels 

While 160 degrees is recommended for safe beef consumption, some people prefer their burgers less done. Here’s a lineup of different levels of doneness. 

  • Medium-rare: 125 to 130 degrees
  • Medium: 135 to 140 degrees
  • Medium-well: 145 to 160 degrees
  • Well done: 160 degrees and up
A cowboy burger loaded with sauce, bacon, pickles and french fried onions on a bun.

Cowboy Burger Recipe Variations

The Spicy Cowboy 🌶️

The fiery outlaw, with a kick of heat (and a lot of swagger). 

  • Swap in pepper jack cheese.
  • Use a spicy BBQ sauce. 
  • Add sliced jalapeños. 

The California Cowboy 🥑

The laid-back and effortlessly cool cousin of the classic cowboy. 

  • Use a brioche bun.
  • Swap in white cheddar cheese.
  • Layer on avocado slices.
  • Add some tomato slices.

Other Burger Recipes

Print
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A cowboy burger loaded with sauce, bacon, pickles and french fried onions on a bun.

Cowboy Burger


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  • Author: KJ & Company - Kate Poskochil
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 burgers 1x

Description

The Cowboy Burger is the perfect burger recipe when you can’t choose between toppings. Why not choose them all? 

A juicy, savory burger is seared on the grill and piled high with melty cheddar, smoky cowboy sauce, fried onions, crispy bacon, and tangy pickles. 

Top with a toasted bun and saddle up for a mouthwatering dinner.


Ingredients

Scale

For the burger:

For the cowboy sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1/4 cup bbq sauce

Toppings:

  • Cheddar cheese slices
  • Bacon, cooked
  • Pickles
  • French fried onions

Instructions

For the burgers:

  1. Preheat your grill to high heat. Add the ground beef to a large bowl along with the egg, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and bbq sauce. Gently mix together until combined, being careful to not over-mix.
  2. Evenly form the beef mixture into 8 patties. Gently press the inside of each burger patty down with your thumb to insure even cooking.
  3. Grill on high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, or until desired cooking tempered is achieved. Top with cheese slices during the last minute or so of grilling.

For the cowboy sauce:

  1. Mix the mayo and bbq sauce together in a small bowl.
  2. Assemble the burgers by layering the sauce, bacon, pickles and french friend onions on top of the burger with a bun. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. Nutritional information will also differ with toppings used.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grilling

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 383
  • Fat: 15.2g
  • Protein: 22.3g

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