Spicy Jalapeno Burger (w/ garlic crusted eggplant bun)

This SPICY JALAPENO BURGER with a garlic crusted eggplant bun has been the recipe to get me through my burger cravings during my Whole30 reset… and to be completely honest, I don’t even miss the bun at all. Since their is no bun, obviously it’s low carb, gluten & grain free. It’s SO good. Like really, truly GOOD. Perfect for anyone trying to eat healthier (or doing paleo, keto, etc) while not wanting to sacrifice flavor.

Jalapeno Burger with garlic crusted eggplant bun

Y’all, I can’t believe I’m about to say this…. but I made a burger with an eggplant bun…. and….

It. Was. Delicious. 

I can’t believe I just typed that. But it’s the absolute truth!

And I love carbs… bring on all the bread as far as I’m concerned. But, I’m doing Whole30 right now and bread is a big no-no. I had heard of using sliced eggplant as a bun, but no way did that sound good to me. But, I wanted a burger.. and I’m not someone who likes lettuce on a burger anyway so the whole wrapping the burger in lettuce was completely out for me. I like my lettuce on a salad, not on a burger. Personal preference.

So, I bought an eggplant. <insert completely shocked faces from anyone & everyone who has EVER known me here> I don’t buy eggplant.

Jalapeno Burger with garlic crusted eggplant bun

But that changed. And buy an eggplant I did. I sliced it, blotted it dry with a paper towel on both sides, & seasoned it liberally with garlic powder, salt & pepper… then (reluctantly, I might add…) seared it over medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes on each side.

I slathered one side of each slice with some PK Chipotle Mayo layed a hot burger on top of one slice, poured some sautéed jalapeños, onions, & garlic over the burger, then topped with the other slice of the garlic crusted eggplant.


Jalapeno Burger with garlic crusted eggplant bun and sweet potato fries

And this cheese lover didn’t even miss the cheese. Somehow, the eggplant bun combined with the mayo gave it a cheesy flavor/feel to it. I dunno how, but it did. I felt like I was eating cheese although there was not one bit on it.

Jalapeno Burger with garlic crusted eggplant bun

Spicy Jalapeno Burger w/ Garlic Crusted Eggplant Bun


For the burgers:

  • 1 pound ground chuck or sirloin
  • 1 small onion diced
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the topping:

  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3-4 jalapeños diced - seeds & membranes discarded if you don't like the heat
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil butter, or ghee
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the eggplant 'buns':

  • 1 eggplant with the diameter about the same size as you're planning on making your burgers
  • garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef & small diced onion. Season with salt & pepper. Form into 4 patties. Sear on each side on a grill or large skillet (I like to use a cast iron skillet) until they've reached the doneness you desire.
  • In a medium skillet, heat the oil, butter or ghee. Add the diced onion & jalapeño. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Sauté until the onions are translucent on medium-high heat. Add in the garlic & cook, while stirring, for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Heat a dry skillet, grill, or cast iron pan (I love cast iron!). Slice your eggplant into 1/4"-1/2" rounds. Blot each side dry with a paper towel. Season each side liberally with garlic powder. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Sear on a dry, hot skillet over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side.
  • Make your burger! Top the burger with the onion/jalapeno mixture & sandwich it between your eggplant 'bun'. Garnish it however you like. I like mayo on mine - since Im doing Whole30, I really love this chipotle mayo on this burger.

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Jalapeno Burger with garlic crusted eggplant bun