WF2 Recipe: Elvis Burger

Fasten your seatbelts, because I’m about to tell you a story that will eventually weave together Thanksgiving; Elvis; a restaurant in Venice, California; Sunbutter; and indoor grilling.

Ready? Let’s begin.

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since I was old enough to start naming things as favorites. According to family lore, I once protested that we couldn’t start Thanksgiving dinner because, “They’re not here yet.” When my mom asked me who wasn’t here yet, I said, in all seriousness, “The pilgrims.”

I was three years old.

Aside from the food, which I adore — I am an expert at making a “perfect bite” of turkey, stuffing, gravy, cornbread, and cranberries — I love the relaxed vibe. There are no presents, no overwhelming decorations, and except for the “Five Fat Turkeys” song, no official carols. It’s just good food with people you love. Perfect.

Over the years, Dave and I have sometimes spent Thanksgiving with my family, sometimes crashed other peoples’ families, hosted friends at our house, and once, in 2002, we reveled in the fact that we’re adults and can do whatever we want, and we made Elvis Sandwiches for Thanksgiving dinner.

In case you’re not familiar with the wonder that is the Elvis, allow me to enlighten you. It’s a grilled peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich with an optional drizzle of honey. We committed to that thing like Elvis zipping up his spangle suit: squishy white bread, Peter Pan peanut butter, thick bacon, plenty of honey, and tons of butter in the pan for frying. It was glorious — and a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Fast-forward to 2011. We ate a life-changing peanut-butter-and-jelly burger at the 26 Beach restaurant in Venice, California, and when we got home, I invented the SB&J Burger — made with Sunbutter and strawberries sautéed with ginger. Last year, when I started testing recipes for Well Fed 2, I revisited the SB&J Burger, and in a blinding flash of inspiration (and dare I say “rock-n-roll genius”), I realized I could combine the SB&J with the Elvis.

As my sweet friend Summer has been known to say, “Awesome kicked me in the face.”

Elvis Burger with bacon, banana, and sunbutter |

Elvis Burger

Serves 2-4 | Prep 10 min | Cook 10 min | Whole30 compliant

The Elvis Burger is one of the “You Know How You Could Do That?” variations included in the SB&J Burger recipe in Well Fed 2.

  • 4 slices sugar-free bacon

  • 2 medium bananas, peeled and diced

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed or almond butter (no sugar added)


Preheat a gas grill with all burners on high, lid closed, 10-15 minutes.


Mix the ground beef with salt and pepper and shape into four patties. Gently press down the center of each patty until it’s about 1/2-inch thick to make a slight depression; this will prevent them from turning bulbous when you cook them. Grill patties, uncovered and without pressing down on them, until they’re seared on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers and continue grilling to desired temperature: 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium, and 5 minutes for well-done.

Note: You can also pan-fry or bake the burgers. On the stovetop, cook in a nonstick skillet, 5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook: 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium, 5 minutes for well-done. In the oven, bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes.


While the burgers are cooking, cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Place in a cold, nonstick skillet, then turn heat to medium-high and cook until browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel to drain. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat out of the pan. Add the bananas and ginger to the pan and sauté until soft and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.


Place the sunflower butter in a microwave-safe dish (or saucepan) and heat until thinned, about 40 seconds in the microwave.


When the burgers are good to go, top each with 1 tablespoon of melted sunflower butter and a few tablespoons of the bananas, then sprinkle with bacon. Feel free to sing your favorite Elvis tune while you chow down. I like this one because this burger is a hunka hunka burnin’ yum.


Print this recipe
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    • Jan Baker says:

      Am I getting Mel? I just wanted to tell her I got Well Fed from a library shelf just for the recipes, cooked my way through it (got my own copy eventualy) and I have just realized that my arthritis pain is just gone! Gone! In my hips and my hands. I’ve lived with it for like fifteen years, and sometimes it’s taken me right off my feet, but always a dull ache. And it’s gone. It must have been the dairy because I cut out grains a long time ago, carb control. I would never have tried it, cooked with much cheese, except the recipes in Well Fed are just good, and I had to try them all, plus the cooking techniques are really good, too, so it held me long enough for the effect of the no-dairy to show. Actually I still use a little cream in the coffee, but that’s all. Hey, thank you. Thank you. A life with dull pain is way more difficult than life without it.

    • Ash says:

      THIS. IS. AWESOME. 🙂 My hubs and I got married on Thanksgiving in Vegas by Elvis a few years ago. He has developed some unfortunate food sensitivities (on top[ of being Type I diabetic anyway). This is perfect in too many ways to describe.

      • Mel says:

        I love that you got married on Thanksgiving. In Vegas. By Elvis. That is too much awesome for one day.

        Glad you like the recipe. Happy almost Anniversary!

  • Summer says:

    Thanks for the shout out my dear doppelganger! I can’t wait to try this one. My copy of WF2 is already speckled with random spices, mayo and is starting to look well worn… it’s been a cooking frenzy and I love it!

    • Mel says:

      I’m delighted that your book is broken in already. That kicks so much ass. I was really excited yesterday ’cause I spilled on mine. YAY!

  • Melissa says:

    My book is here and I am making kickass ketchup right now!!!
    How about a book signing gig in Portland?.

    Lots of followers!

    Hope to see you here!!! Thx for WF2!!

    Helped me with Holiday gifts already!

    • Mel says:

      We’re tossing around the idea of the Pacific northwest, so I can get there, I’ll definitely let you know.

      Happy Well Fed 2 cooking to you!

  • Margaret Ray de Arenas says:

    My copy of WF2 arrived last night and I’ve already whipped up some Kickass Ketchup, GoTo Vinegarette, Sunrise Spice, Tod Mun Chicken Cakes with sunshine sauce from WF1 and Cucumber Relish. Tomorrow I look forward to creating more yummy goodness from this wonderous collection of truely inspired recipes. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Holy cow! You went on a cooking frenzy — I LOVE IT! And you picked some of my favorite recipes. Right on.

      Thank YOU so much for taking the time to let me know you like them. I really appreciate it!

  • JamesD says:

    I wish i could put my fork through the screen and get those lil bacon bits! Thanks for the rid to the future also.

  • Lydia says:

    OH. MY. GOD. Ohmygodohmygodohmygod. This recipe sounds like it could be LIFE CHANGING. o_O

  • Julie says:

    AMAZING!! This was so delicious, I might have considered licking my plate. (Okay, so I did it).

    I’m headed to order your new cookbook. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Katie says:

    I already tweeted about this but holy deliciousness! I made this tonight and it was easy and so frigging good. I substituted the ground beef for ground bison (grass fed). Yum yum yum!

    Thank you for another great, newly favorited recipe!

  • Jan Baker says:

    Now I got the WF2 I ordered, and not only do the recipes look fabulous, but the print is BIGGER. Well done.

  • Mel says:

    I’m so glad you guys like this recipe… especially since it makes me want to throw Elvis lyrics into every sentence.

    Happy cooking!

  • Mel, you’re crazy, but this might actually be awesome… Lots of protein going on here!

  • Jan Baker says:

    WF2 has more technique instruction than WF1 and it even has tips for not drinking at a party!

  • Marilyn Siverson says:

    Love this recipe! If you’re looking for a grass-fed beef source that is CLEAN meat for the Paleo diet, this farm in Florida supplies all of our meat. They’re a small family producing some of the finest grass-fed beef I’ve ever eaten.

  • Amanda C says:

    WOW! Really good. I have never eaten so much ground meat in my life! These recipes make it yummy every time. I am always looking forward to the next creation I get to make using your cook books and recipes. Thank you.

  • Stufz says:

    Using bananas on a burger seems like an interesting twist on a burger. Thanks for posting your recipe.

  • Stacey says:

    Made this last night and it was AH-MAZING! I was intrigued but the ingredients and didn’t know what it was going to taste like and they all complemented each other so good!

  • Heather says:

    LOVED this burger! I’m a sucker for “elvis” special anything – music and food – but with no longer consuming peanut butter the almond butter and bacon in this recipe are to die for! I actually cooked the burgers on the stove top in bacon fat and they were amazing! My husband loved it. Also, I wanted to let you know that Well Fed and WF2 were my best friends through our Whole 30 and we never had a boring food day for the duration and I have loved every recipe I have made… which have been many! Thanks for the delicious ideas and food!

  • Glen says:

    We’re on the Whole 30 plan and yesterday was day five. We tried the Elvis Burger recipe and it rocked harder than Elvis. VERY tasty!

  • Heather says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and LOVED it! I used the organic sunflower butter and followed the recipe exactly as written. SO GOOD! My husband said it was strange, but then ate two. So I guess he didn’t think it was too strange. I loved the mix of flavors. Unexpected and delicious!

  • Seraphina Chew says:

    Can I just say that I made this after my workout, but didn’t cook the strawberries cos my husband works from home and our kitchen is attached to the working room. Anyway, I just had my beef patty, dollop of almond butter, whole strawberries, and steam/sauted broccoli (from your cookbook!). SO. GOOD. One of the things I miss from my pre-paleo days is PBJ, and this was so much better. Thanks 🙂 (P.S: my husband says your cookbook is one of the best investments ever)

    • Right on! I’m really glad you liked it. It’s hard to go wrong with Sunbutter, right?!

      I’m so happy you and your husband are enjoying the cookbook. Thanks for letting me know!