Oklahoma onion burgers are a delicious way to reduce your grocery budget and help your meat stretch. It’s a Great Depression classic that needs a comeback.
In the 1920s cafes in western Oklahoma needed a way to stretch beef to help them stay afloat. They found that a delicious way to stretch their ground beef was by frying up some thinly shredded onions with ground beef pressed into them.
El Reno, Oklahoma is known as the Onion Burger capital of the world with three famous diners serving the burgers and even an onion burger festival.
While onion burgers were born out of necessity they have survived because they are delicious. They are my favorite kind of hamburgers by far.
Right now ground beef seems to be hard to come by and I think most of us are trying to reduce our spending so it’s time to introduce more people to this delicious, frugal dish.
The goal is to get the hamburger really thin, pressing them into the onions, and it’s best when cooked on cast iron but any pan will do. You also want to cut your onions really thin so they will cook down fast.
I am usually in the anti-American cheese camp but it does work well with this burger since it melts so nicely. You can top the burgers with whatever you want and can get ahold of but they are delicious with just the onions if you are running low on ingredients.
This is not only great for your budget but if you are cutting back on red meat this is good because you can have a delicious burger with a lot less meat.
I also recommend trying out my homemade hamburger buns with your onion burger. They are so good and pair perfectly with these burgers.
What are the best onions for burgers?
What onions should you use for onion burgers? There are a few options that work well. Traditionally yellow onions would usually be used. You really can use any of the following for this recipe since you will be cooking the onions.
- Yellow Onions
- Sweet Onions
- Red Onions
Those are the onions I’d choose from when grilling onions for a burger. Since these are almost caramelized you do want a sweeter onion.
My favorite place to get high-quality meat is Crowd Cow. It’s very high-quality meat and it comes from small farmers. Right now you can get free beef for life!
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 slices of American Cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- salt and pepper
- Thinly cut onions into strips, they don't have long to cook so you want them very thin.
- Form four very thin burgers and season with salt and pepper.
- Place onions in a paper towel or flour sack dishtowel and wring out any moisture.
- Oil your pan or griddle place small handfuls of onions in four stacks with room to flip burgers.
- After 3-4 minutes of browning place burgers on top of each stack firmly press the burgers into the onions they should be less than a 1/2 inch thick.
- Allow the burgers to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Scrapping up the onions with the meat flip your burgers and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- About 30 seconds before removing the burgers add the cheese to the top.
- Place the burgers and onions on the buns and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 667mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 39g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
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Looking for even more vintage recipes? Try some of these delicious options and don’t forget to download my free Vintage Desserts Cookbook!