Burger Boat with special sauce (Whole 30 approved)

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

When I think Thousand Island dressing, I think animal style burger at In N Out- my guilty pleasure. When Primal Kitchens released a new Thousand Island dressing, I knew I had to make a healthy rendition. As you may know, Primal Kitchens dressings are my favorite bottled dressings and pretty much the only ones that I use (this is not sponsored by the way). They have clean ingredients and taste really great, without the sugar, preservatives, and chemicals found in most salad dressings, in other words, exactly how salad dressing should be. And a huge perk: it is Whole30 approved!

If you know the secret menu at In N Out, you know that you can order fries and burgers "animal style" which basically means it comes smothered in creamy thousand island dressing, onions and pickles. Not healthy, but so comforting.

As I am looking around my kitchen with Thousand Island in hand, a hamburger on my mind and a delicata squash that needs to be used, the burger boat creation was born. You can use any sort of squash for this, or even potato. Also, I had leftover meat and toppings and ended up making a few burger salads (without the squash) that were equally delicious. Make it your own, be creative. But the key ingredient here is the Primal Kitchens Thousand Island Dressing.

Burger Boat with Special Sauce (Whole30)


- Delicata squash, cut in half, long-ways (can sub for any squash or potato)

- Olive oil or Avocado oil

- 1 lb ground beef (sub ground turkey or chicken as well)

- 1/2 medium to large onion, chopped

- 2 cloves of garlic (or garlic powder)

- Primal Kitchens Thousand Island dressing

- Romaine

- Lettuce

- Tomato

- Pickles

- Salt

- Pepper

- Cumin


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half (carefully) and spoon out the seeds from the squash. Coat with a small amount of oil, salt and pepper and lie face up on an oven sheet. Place in the oven and cook until lightly browned (time will depend on the size and type of squash). *I usually put it in for 30 minutes, then check on it in 10 minute increments after that.

2. While the squash is cooking, prepare the burger mix. Add oil to skillet on medium heat. Saute chopped onion and garlic until browned. Push onion and garlic to the side and add in the ground beef and cook all of the way through, pushing through the pan with a spatula. When beef is fully cooked, mix the onion mixture in with the beef, add salt, pepper, garlic powder and a dash of cumin. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Take the lightly browned squash and scoop in the desired amount of meat into the squash, and top with Primal Kitchens Thousand Island Dressing. Dress with lettuce, tomato, pickle and sliced onion as desired. Serve or pack in glass airtight containers for leftovers.

4. For a salad option, or to utilize any extra meat, chop up lettuce and serve the meat on top and top with dressing.

Remember, keep it simple and have fun! Drop comments for any questions and let me know if you've tried this or something similar!

Be well,

#RecipeIdeas #RoughRecipe #whole30 #Nutrition #MealIdeas #burger #squash #comfort


My name is Kelli and I am a NASM-certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and nutrition and functional medicine graduate student (2020).  I help individuals build a strong foundation in wellness through functional nutrition and functional fitness.  


Every health journey is different because every BODY is different.  I recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to nutrition and fitness.  My goal is to provide you with the knowledge to take control of your health, reach your goals and live your very best life. 

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