Whether it’s summertime and grilling season is in full swing or a craving has you hunched over the stove in the middle of winter, there’s nothing quite like a juicy, topping-loaded burger.
If you’re keeping a close eye on carbs, though (ahem, keto dieters), fresh-off-the-grill (or skillet…) burgers suddenly become tricky to navigate. Lucky for you, the current anti-carb crusade means you have plenty of delicious, low-carb hamburger buns to sandwich your patty between these days.
Nope, you’re totally not doomed to eating your burger with a knife and fork and ending up with toppings and condiments all over your plate. Foodies are more creative than ever with fun veggie bun swaps, and low-carb alternatives are pretty much taking over the bread aisle.
“Even if you’re not a low-carb diet devotee, swapping a traditional white flour hamburger bun–which has 140 calories and 26 grams of carbs–for a veggie-based alternative cuts calories and boosts nutrition,” says nutritionist Eliza Savage, RD, of Middleberg Nutrition in New York City. “Plus, it will also keep you fuller longer due to higher fiber content.”
Another reason to get creative with your definition of “bun” or try one of the latest low-carb alternatives? “People generally feel better when they reduce highly-processed, carbohydrate-rich foods and eat a cleaner diet filled with fiber-rich vegetables and satisfying proteins and fats,” Savage adds.
Whether you’re trying to go strictly low-carb or just want to be more mindful about your burger accessories, these low-carb hamburger buns will help make every bite even better.
Containing just six grams of net carbs, these are the ultimate low-carb wheat buns. “Each bun also has 11 grams protein, so you don’t need to overdo it on the meat fillings,” says nutritionist Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, CPT. Don’t worry, they taste great, too.
Per serving: 140 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 10 g fiber, 11 g protein
How have you never thought of this before? “These grain-free English muffins are made with eight simple ingredients, and have just two grams net carbs a piece,” says Martin.
Thanks to the eggs and almond flour in the recipe, each muffin also packs major protein.
Per serving: 170 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein
It’s one of the more bun substitutes (and a popular order at fast-food chains like Five Guys and In-And-Out Burger). Iceberg lettuce tends to be best for lettuce wraps, but Savage says you can really use any type, including romaine, butter, Boston, and green leaf lettuce.
Per serving: 15 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
With only eight grams of carbs and 60 calories per half, this whole-wheat lavash is a great when you’re like “give me bread, but make it healthier.”
Per serving: 60 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 9 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein
“The on-trend cauliflower bun can be a bit more challenging to make from scratch, but is a tasty, high-fiber substitute to typical buns,” says Savage. These pre-made will make getting on the cauli train way easier.
Per serving: 50 calories, 2.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 2 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein
“I love grilling these on an outdoor grill, grill pan, or even a George Foreman,” says Savage. “Portobellos pack extra protein and hold together well.”
Per serving: 35 calories, 2.7 g fat (0 g saturated), 5.37 g carbs, 2.73 g sugar, 2.7 g fiber, 3.98 g protein
Give your meal a Hawaiian spin by sandwiching your burger between two pineapple slices.
“Pineapple is a great source of vitamin C,” says Savage. “If you are using grilled pineapple slices to wrap a beef burger, you will boost your ability to absorb the iron in the burger.”
Per serving (2 slices): 80 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 0 g protein
A different spin on Hawaiian: These 100-calorie flatbreads, which are perfectly shaped to wrap around your next burger.
Per serving: 100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 21 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 6 g fiber, 5 g protein.
If you’re vegan and down to wrap up your next burger, these versatile Thrive Market wraps contain just four grams of net carbs per serving.
Per serving: 70 calories, 5 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 2 g fiber, 1 g protein
These gluten-free, sugar-free buns pack 12 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein thanks to their proprietary fiber blend. They’re probably the most satisfying buns in the game.
Per serving: 72 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 16 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 12 g fiber, 10 g protein
“Grilled eggplant can add a ton of taste to a burger, but be sure to slice them thick enough so that they don’t get too slimy and fall apart easily,” says Savage.
Think that eggplant tastes bitter? Sprinkle your slices with salt and let them sit for about an hour, says Savage. to grilling, wipe or rinse the salt off.
Per serving: 100 calories, 8 g fat (0 g saturated), 6 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
“This is one of my favorites!” says Savage. “You get the vitamin C to boost the iron of your beef burger, uber-filling fiber, and flavor all in one.”
Short on time? Throw the slices in your toaster.
Per serving (2 slices): 38 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 9 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 1 g fiber, 0.5 g protein
Okay, this one requires a tiny bit more work than your standard grab-and-go bun, but these buns can be ready in just 20 minutes–for a totally low-carb-friendly
Per serving: 90 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 8 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 7 g fiber, 5 g protein
, how is cauliflower so versatile? This grain-free tortilla is made of cauliflower, chickpea flour, and pea protein–for a tasty tortilla that wraps perfectly around your burger. Bonus: It only contains carbs.
Per serving: 140 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein
If you want your low-carb hamburger bun to also pack in a dose of nutrients, opt for this , which contains wheat protein, oat fiber, and flaxseed. All of these ingredients bring this burger holder to 14 grams of protein per bun.
Per serving: 90 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated), 14 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 14 g fiber, 14 g protein