Maple Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Burger with Red Onion Jam (Paleo / AIP)

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Oh, the burger. It remains, for me, among the most comforting of comfort food. Burgers and fries just seem synonymous with a good experience, no? Being something of a foodie, when I want a burger, I want something more than just your basic. A bit of glamour. A bit of pizazz.  Burgers have actually been getting a makeover for a while now. The beauty is in the varieties popping up. You could, if you wanted, even spend 5k on the aptly named “most expensive burger in the world”, in Paris.  (GASP!!) But the truth of the matter is, with some creativity, you can have among the very best of the best – at home. (And with leftovers, to boot!) Now that’s a win, in my book.

That’s One Beautiful Burger

This Mushroom Burger comes together more easily than you might at first imagine. The red onion jam requires a little forethought, but it is just the thing to have around for any number of different dishes. You’ll have plenty at your fingertips for whatever your future culinary purposes may be, plus more than enough for the four burgers this recipe makes.

Caramelization is a key part of this recipe, both in the mushrooms, the jam, and the onions (which you won’t want to skip). Even though this may seem monotonous, there’s enough variety in flavor and texture here to keep things more than interesting. The red onion jam is more tart than sweet, so it plays nicely off the sweeter onions. The mushrooms simply lend their earthy, robust flavor to the burger itself, another nice contrast to the onions atop.

Buns are optional of course (I’ve had many a burger wrapped in a collard green). Still, if you want that more traditional burger experience, thankfully there are buns a-plenty in the AIP / Paleo world these days. These are the ones I made for the burgers pictured here; although my photographer said they were too “dense” for her taste, I found them perfect! Hearty enough to hold up all this deliciousness, for sure. But there are many other recipes out there to try if you are looking for another option. These plantain buns look pretty delish!

Burgers, Anytime!

If you’ve been eating AIP for a bit, you may find that the distinctions between breakfast, lunch and dinner are blurring. I can remember that phase of not wanting to switch up my “sweet” breakfast routine for more dinner-esque fare. Now, I am happy to eat the dinner leftovers, and these burgers are no exception. Add some salad or sauteed veggies and you have a balanced meal, no matter what the clock may say. Or calendar, for that matter – although I created the recipe for these over the summer, burgers are definitely one of those all-season meals.

What I Used to Make This Recipe:

I hope you love these burgers as much as my family and I do. They are the perfect weekend meal, served with a side of parsnip or sweet potato fries (I’ve been using my mandoline to make waffle fries and loving it).

Enjoy friends! If you make these, tag me #letscreatethesweetlife!

Maple Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Burger with Red Onion Jam (Paleo / AIP)

Tart red onion jam tops caramelized onions and a burger that's loaded with maple caramelized mushrooms. Paleo and AIP-friendly.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people, with leftover red onion jam
Author Alyssa Reaves


  • 2 Tbsp cooking fat, divided
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 shallots
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)
  • 1 lb ground beef

Toppings: Red Onion Jam (see recipe below), avocado slices, lettuce, plantain chips


  1. Turn pan to medium high heat. While pan is warming, rinse and slice mushrooms and onion. Mince shallots.

  2. When pan is hot, add 1 Tbsp fat and swirl to coat. Add onion and leave, without touching until onions begin browning, several minutes. Flip and cook another ~5 minutes longer, so that onion is caramelizing but not getting overly brown. 

  3. Remove onions to medium sized bowl (you'll be making your burgers in this bowl). Add remaining Tbsp fat to pan. Add shallots and cook several minutes until softened. Add mushrooms and thyme; cook until mushrooms have reduced and are caramelizing, about 5 minutes. 

  4. Add maple syrup and cook several minutes more. Then add your apple cider vinegar, coconut aminos, and sea salt, to taste. Cook, uncovered, until liquid becomes syrupy, about 15 minutes more. 

  5. Remove entire mixture to bowl with onion and let cool a few minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add ground beef and work mixture together. I always find my hands the easiest for doing this. Keep in mind here that you don't want to overwork the beef - that will make it tough. 

  6. Make four patties with hands and return them to the pan. Cook until desired doneness. Serve with Red Onion Jam (recipe below) and suggested toppings. Enjoy!!

Recipe Notes

NOTE:  If you want to include the red onion jam (and you'll want to), see recipe below. I make the jam before I make the burgers (often a day or so in advance) so it's ready to go once my burgers are done!

Red Onion Jam

Perfect for these burgers (or just about anything you're eating) this red onion jam is tart, tangy and Paleo / AIP-friendly.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Alyssa Reaves


  • 2 lbs red onions
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)


  1. Heat large pan over medium heat. Slice onions thin. 

  2. When pan is hot, add oil and swirl to coat. Add onions and cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes. 

  3. Add apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, balsamic vinegar, thyme and sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to an active simmer and cook 45 minutes until liquid is absorbed and onions have taken on a darker color. Store for ~a week in fridge OR freeze in individual sized portions for longer storage. 

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