SCD Recipe: Hamburger Patties in Sauce

I’ve always had trouble making a good sauce that’s Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) friendly. They’re either watery or just not that flavorful. The sauce for these burgers is the opposite of both of those things. It’s thick and has a great tangy flavor reminiscent of sweet and sour sauce.

This recipe came to me via my mother-in-law who had learned it from her mother-in-law and I was excited to adapt it for SCD. I love these kind of recipes that have been made in families for years. Though I’d never had this particular dish before it reminded me of recipes my own grandmother used to make.

I’ve shared this with other SCD followers and it’s always been a favorite. You can make it quickly in about a half an hour or you can let the burgers simmer in the sauce for 90 minutes for even more flavor!

You can use whatever ground meat you like for this recipe. I like using ground turkey beacause turkey is a little drier than beef and the sauce really livens it up. The original recipe called for ketchup, but I changed to tomato juice to make SCD-compliable. If you have an SCD ketchup (a couple places  now make these – scroll down to see them on Amazon) or you can make your own.

SCD Hamburger Patties in Sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Paleo, SCD
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 patties


  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 cup tomato juice or SCD ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar (you can subsitute another kind if you like)
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey omit if using a honey-sweetened ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper


  1. Heat butter over medium heat until melted

  2. Add onion and sautee until softened

  3. Add garlic and sautee onions and garlic until onions are translucent

  4. Whisk together tomato juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, and spices 

  5. Add tomato juice mixture to onions and garlic

  6. Simmer mixture for 10 minutes

  7. While sauce is simmering, form burgers into patties

  8. Add burgers to sauce

  9. Turn heat to medium-low

  10. Cover pan and simmer for at least 30 minutes - flipping halfway  through cooking. You can simmer these for up to 90 minutes for maximum flavor (be sure to keep an eye on the heat, you may need to turn it down lower for a longer cooking time)

  11. Saucy burgers are great servced with cauliflower rice as pictured

Sherry Lipp
Latest posts by Sherry Lipp (see all)

Sherry Lipp

Sherry is a writer/blogger specializing in entertainment and food writing. She has been following a gluten, grain, and sugar-free diet for over 15 years and is the author of Don't Skip Dessert: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free & Sugar-Free Sweet Treats. She also enjoys writing about movies and television. You can find her entertainment articles at

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