Skinny Cheeseburger Boats

5 from 1 vote

Skinny burgers? Yes, please!

You might know this about me, but I’m a bit of a cheeseburger fiend. I find myself breaking my diet and ordering a cheeseburger at a restaurant all too often, even if there’s a really good-sounding salad on the menu. So, knowing this about myself, I’ve come up with a rule for myself: I cannot, under any circumstances, deprive myself of cheeseburgers. So, I developed this recipe for skinny cheeseburger boats. It means that I can satisfy my burger craving without destroying my weight-loss plan. Pretty great, right?

The best thing about this skinny cheeseburger boats recipe is how you can load it up with a bunch of toppings. We’ll get to the specific topping options in a minute, but for now I want to spend a minute telling you about how good this burger is by itself. Really, it’s all about the bell peppers. They make the perfect gluten-free, Keto-friendly sandwich “buns!” Once you remove the seeds, they’re a perfectly empty shell just waiting to be stuffed with your favorite ingredients.

Then, you season up the ground beef. Or, if you prefer, swap in ground turkey or this incredible recipe for vegan, plant-based beef. After seasoning it up with ketchup and mustard (because, those are classic burger ingredients- am I right?), you place the beef inside the shelled-out peppers. Bake ’em up and top them with cheese, and you have a fully functional, tasty burger!

Skinny Cheeseburger Boats Topping Choices

Okay, I promised to talk about some of the topping choices. Just like a real cheeseburger stuffed inside a bun, you can top these burgers with all your favorite accoutrements. That includes the standard vegetables as well as some unusual choices. Check out this list of our favorite skinny cheeseburger boats toppings:

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Diced avocado
  • Bread and butter pickles (or, dill pickles if you prefer)
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Pineapple pieces
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Diced onion

Really, the options are endless when it comes to burger toppings, so feel free to load them up. Keep in mind that you might be able sneak to some more vegetables onto your burger as a topping – like spinach or kale. This means you’ll get some bonus flavor and you’ll also benefit from extra servings of vitamins and minerals. That sounds like a win-win to me!

At the end of the day, these skinny cheeseburger boats make a perfect snack, or enjoy them with a side of healthy baked asparagus fries as a main dish. Let us know in the comments below if you have a favorite burger topping that we missed. We love hearing from you, so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Check out this video to see how to make the recipe:

5 from 1 vote

Skinny Cheeseburger Boats | Low-Calorie Burger Recipe

These delicious and nutritious savory morsels are perfect as an appetizer, snack, or even a light dinner.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 9 servings
Serving Size 2 cheeseburger boats
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American


  • 1 pound lean ground beef optional ground turkey
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 bell peppers medium, varied colors (remove core, seeds, and membrane)
  • 2/3 cup ketchup divided
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 5 slices cheddar cheese reduced-fat (any cheese will work)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Slice each bell pepper into 6 vertical pieces, along the indention line. Set peppers aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine meat, onion, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup ketchup, and mustard.
  • Add meat mixture to boats. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook until meat is done, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove boats from the oven, drizzle with remaining ketchup, then top each with 1/4 cheese slice, place back in the oven and bake just until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove boats and enjoy will hot!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 2cheeseburger boats | Calories: 237kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 396mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 5
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Keto, Kid-Friendly, Low-Carb

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Gale Compton

Gale co-founded SkinnyMs. with a goal to provide women with delicious recipes, fitness routines, and ways to reach their ideal weight. Gale has been featured on the Today Show in which she won a cook off for the best Lasagna. Be sure to search for her winning recipe, Skinny Lasagna Rolls.

Guided by her firm belief in healthy eating and the power of exercise, Gale has written two cookbooks and several fitness ebooks. She earned her Fitness Training Certification from, National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association. Gale loves to run with her dog Maggie and has completed numerous half-marathons.

More by Gale


  1. this cheeseburger boat recipe looks great and looking forward to making it but im wondering about the shredded cheese. not sure if that is supposed to be part of the recipe although its listed as an ingredient…

    1. Karlij, We cook the meat after adding to the peppers. You could could the meat first, if preferred. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Any vegetable that can create a “boat” would work – for example a scooped out zucchini or squash, tomatoes, or protabella mushrooms.

    1. Hi Kenda, the comment was referring to shredded cheese which is no longer in the recipe. Only the cheese slices remain in the recipe.

  2. Would love to take these to a cookout, but I’d have to make a day ahead and reheat on the grill. Will that work out as far as looking appetizing and still be flavorful?

    1. Toni, In order to look super appetizing, I recommend preparing in advance and baking before the cookout. Yes, it should be fine to reheat on the grill. Try placing them on foil and maybe even loosely wrapping in foil. You don’t want to burn the peppers and sometimes grills can get really hot.

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