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Juicy bison patties are combined with sun-dried tomatoes, spices and chipotle sauce for some kick. The buns are lightly toasted on the grill and the burger is finished off with some melted Havarti cheese, caramelized onions and fresh greens. This is a summer burger you need to try at least once! Dig into this bison burger recipe below.

Bison burger front view on wooden cutting board.

Bison Burger Ingredients

Bison burger prepped ingredients on light background.

For the Bison Burgers:

  • Ground bison meat
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – the kind that are oil-packed
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Chipotle sauce – you can make your own or use store-bought
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Hamburger buns

For the Caramelized Onions (optional topping):

  • Yellow onion
  • Balsamic vinegar

Other Toppings

  • Havarti cheese slices
  • Salad greens
  • Tomato slices
  • Chipotle sauce or burger sauce

If you are pressed for time, you can skip the caramelized onions, but they do add some great flavor and texture to the burger.

Ground raw bison meat in a white dish.

Grilling Tips

Here are some tips on how to make a bison burger on the grill:

Leave the grill lid open while you are cooking the burgers because they cook quickly and you want to watch for flare-ups. When you are melting the cheese towards the end, the grill lid can be closed to contain the heat.

Bison burger with condiments in the background.

Bison meat is easy to overcook because it is lower in fat than beef, so keep a close eye on it while you’re barbecuing. Ground bison burgers are juiciest and at their best cooked between medium-rare and medium. If cooked beyond medium they can end up on the drier side.

However, the USDA recommends cooking ground meat to an internal temperature of 160°F for safety purposes, so this is the temperature we recommend. Cooking it under this temperature should be done at your own discretion.

According to ThermoPro, to get around this, you can pasteurize the meat by maintaining the temperature of the burgers at 140°F for roughly 12 minutes, and/or you can grind the meat yourself to avoid the contamination that can occur in commercial settings.

Bison burger on wooden cutting board with chips on the side.

Burger Cooking Temperatures

The bison burgers are grilled over medium heat in this recipe so that they aren’t cooked too quickly. Getting to the right temperature can vary in time, so using a meat thermometer is useful.

  • Medium-rare: 130°F to 135°F
  • Medium: 140°F to 145°F
  • Medium-Well: 150°F to 155°F
  • Well-done: 160°F
Bison burger with condiments in the background.

Recipe Tweaks

If you’re pressed for time you can skip the caramelized onions; the burger will still be full of amazing flavor. The bison patties have just the right amount of spices and aren’t overloaded with filler ingredients.

Chipotle sauce adds a bit of spicy, smoky taste to the meat that I absolutely love, but if you’re not down with spicy foods, just skip on the sauce and go with your favorite condiments.

This burger would also taste good with some crispy bacon strips, but keep in mind that this will increase the amount of fat and calories you intake.

Best Cheese for Bison Burgers

White cheddar cheese slices on white background.

You can’t go wrong with your classic white cheddar for bison burgers. It is bold and tangy and compliments all types of burgers nicely.

Havarti cheese slices on white background.

For a good melty cheese that is buttery and pairs well with the lean bison meat, you could go with a slice of Havarti like we did in this recipe.

Pepper Jack cheese slices on white background.

Monterrey Jack also melts well and is mild and buttery. You can get it in Pepper Jack style to add some heat to your burger.

Bison burger front view on wooden cutting board.

Did you enjoy these healthy bison burgers? Let us know in the comments and please share the recipe!

Bison burger front view on wooden cutting board.

Bison Burgers

Joss Dyckson
Juicy bison patties are combined with sun-dried tomatoes, spices and chipotle sauce for some kick and then topped with melted Havarti.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Canadian
Servings 4
Calories 419 kcal


For the Caramelized Onions (optional):

  • 2 cups yellow onions - sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the Bison Burger:

  • 1 pound ground bison meat
  • ½ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes - diced (Drain and reserve the oil)
  • ½ cup yellow onion - diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic - minced
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns - split


  • 4 slices Havarti cheese
  • Salad greens
  • Tomato slices
  • Chipotle sauce


For the Caramelized Onions (optional):

  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved sundried tomato oil over medium heat.
  • Add the sliced onions and sauté them for a few minutes, until soft.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden brown (for 30 minutes or more). Reserve.

For the Bison Burger:

  • Mix the ground bison meat with the sun dried tomatoes, diced onions, garlic, chipotle sauce and spices. Shape into 4 patties.
  • Oil the grill grates and preheat to medium. Alternatively, you can use a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat.
  • Grill the burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F for well-done. If you want the cheese melted, place the Havarti slices on top of the patties about 2 minutes before the burgers are done, with the grill lid closed.
  • Place the buns cut-side-down on the grill until toasted (1 to 2 minutes).
  • Serve the burger patties on the toasted buns with the caramelized onions (if using) and other toppings.


Outdoor grill


  • The nutrition information does not include the caramelized onions or toppings.
  • If you are pressed for time, you can skip the caramelized onions.
  • Make it keto by skipping the bun.


Calories: 419kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 27gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 684mgPotassium: 697mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 207IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 132mgIron: 6mg

Nutrition information on In the Kitch is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It may not include toppings and/or sauces.

Keyword bison
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Bison Burger Frequently Asked Questions

What is a bison burger?

It’s a type of hamburger made with ground bison meat, which is leaner than beef. Sometimes it is mistakenly called a buffalo burger, but buffalo and bison are not the same, so this is incorrect.

How much protein is in a bison burger?

There is about 17 g of protein in each 4 oz. bison patty. For this recipe, in the entire burger with cheese there is about 34 g of protein.

What does a bison burger taste like?

The taste is going to be similar to a beef burger but less fatty and a tad sweeter. You don’t need to worry about it tasting gamey.


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Recipe Rating

  1. these bison patties are combined with sun-dried tomatoes are SO flavourful. We made these over the weekend for bbq party and everyone asked for more! i shared this recipe with them

  2. Oooo this reminds me that I have ground bison in the freezer. Burgers are one of my favourite things to use it in and these flavours are perfection. Saving this recipe for when the bison thaws!

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