Lean Air Fryer Burger Patty (+Meal Ideas & Benefits)

It’s time to dive into the world of lean air fryer burger patties, their benefits, and how to enjoy them throughout the week.

Join me as I blend these beef patties with a variety of nutrient-packed vegetables for an extra nutritional punch. Curious about ways to savor them beyond traditional burger buns? I’ll guide you through seamlessly integrating these lean beef patties into your meal-planning routine. It’s all about prioritizing convenience without sacrificing nutrition, no matter the time of day.

I’ve partnered with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a Contractor of the Beef Checkoff to bring you this recipe, tips, and meal ideas.

High Quality Protein Matters

If you’ve seen some of my other videos, you’ve probably heard me talking about protein, protein, protein. And while the amount of protein you eat each day is very important, the quality is too. Let’s take a closer look at beef’s protein profile.

Beef is a Complete Protein

Not all protein is created equal. But beef is a high-quality protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are ones you need from food that your body can’t create on its own. This is why beef is known as such a key player in tissue repair and muscle building, to support your weight and fitness goals and overall health.

Among the essential amino acids are the three branched chain amino acids.

Benefits of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs offer several benefits, including their ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and aiding in muscle recovery. They’re known for their ability to promote protein synthesis and may help minimize muscle soreness after intense workouts, making them popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

Amino Acids in Beef: Leucine and Glutamine

There are two BCAAs in particular that are worth noting. One is leucine, a key player in muscle protein synthesis. Four ounces of ground beef contains 1.76g of the branch chain amino acid leucine, which is higher than most other food sources. It has been hypothesized that 2-3g of leucine is needed to activate the muscle building pathway.

Beef also contains high amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which can aid in muscle recovery.

Versatility of Ground Beef

Lean beef, like the 90% lean option we’re using today, is a heart-healthy option.Plus, lean ground beef can be more affordable than larger cuts of meat. It’s also extremely versatile – make patties, add it to soups, use in lasagna and other pasta dishes, and more.

Washing Ground Beef to Decrease Fat

If you find yourself with only access to 80/20 ground beef, there’s a little trick you can use – the draining and rinsing method. Simply cook the meat, drain the excess fat in a colander, and give it a good rinse under hot water. This can help reduce the fat content, making it closer to the leanness we’re aiming for.

How to Make These Lean Beef Patties

Start by mixing the vegetables into the ground beef with your hands in a large bowl. This adds even more nutrients to these patties. We’re combining the power of plants with the goodness of beef. Divide into 4 patties.

Preheat your Air Fryer for 3 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the patties in the Air Fryer for 16 minutes, turning halfway through, and voila! The most perfect lean beef patties. Serve warm. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Lean Air Fryer Beef Patties Manuel Villacorta
CourseMain Course
DietGluten Free


  • Air Fryer


  • 2 pounds 90% lean ground beef
  • 16 ounces Cremini Mushrooms
  • 1 cup carrots shredded
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 2 teaspoons Sea salt and
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • In a food processor or blender blend the mushrooms and carrots well.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beef, the mixture of mushroom and carrots, green onion, garlic and seasoning. Using your hands, mix all the ingredients well.
  • Divide the mixture into 8 patties and set them on a plate.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
  • Add the patties and cook for 16 minutes, flipping halfway through. You’ll want to use a meat thermometer to register an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
  • Serve warm. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze up to 6 months.
Tried and enjoyed this recipe?Mention @manuel.villacorta in your post or story!

Different Ways to Enjoy Air Fryer Burger Patties

While I can promise these patties make for the perfect burger, they can be enjoyed in many different meal combinations. I’m all about prioritizing meal planning convenience without compromising nutrition any time of the day. So here are a few ideas. Make them once, store the extras in the fridge or freezer, then try them these different ways:

  1. Throw them in a salad with farro and garbanzo beans for a power-packed meal.
  2. Cut them up and add them to eggs with spinach for a breakfast that’ll keep you fueled all day.
  3. Use as the base of a sandwich with added vegetables.
  4. Add them to soups.
  5. Pair with an apple for a snack.

Having these lean beef patties on hand means you’re ready for a high-quality meal any time of the day. And the best part? They can be reheated at your convenience.

Other Ways to Enjoy Beef

So, there you have it – lean air fryer burger patties, packed with amino acids, flavor, and versatility. Keep exploring the flavors of beef with these other recipes:

To learn more facts about beef and for recipe inspiration, visit Beef It’s What’s for Dinner.


  1. Lopez MJ, Mohiuddin SS. Biochemistry, Essential Amino Acids. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; March 13, 2023.
  2. di Corcia M, Tartaglia N, Polito R, et al. Functional Properties of Meat in Athletes’ Performance and Recovery. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022;19(9):5145. Published 2022 Apr 23. doi:10.3390/ijerph19095145
  3. Kaspy MS, Hannaian SJ, Bell ZW, Churchward-Venne TA. The effects of branched-chain amino acids on muscle protein synthesis, muscle protein breakdown and associated molecular signalling responses in humans: an update. Nutr Res Rev. Published online September 8, 2023. doi:10.1017/S0954422423000197
  4. Khemtong C, Kuo CH, Chen CY, Jaime SJ, Condello G. Does Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) Supplementation Attenuate Muscle Damage Markers and Soreness after Resistance Exercise in Trained Males? A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2021;13(6):1880. Published 2021 May 31. doi:10.3390/nu13061880
  5. FoodData Central. Accessed January 4, 2024. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174030/nutrients

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