Nut-Free Sesame Hamburger Buns

May 4, 2012 in Categories: , by

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I have a secret.  I actually have always preferred my hamburgers sans bun.  So, paleo hamburgers are a frequent meal for us.  Most of the grass-fed meat that we eat is ground beef (because it’s the most economical) and you really can’t beat the simplicity of hamburgers.  I don’t do anything special.  I form some ground meat into a patty (typically ground beef, ground bison, ground beef heart or a mix) and either pan fry it or cook it on the barbecue.  No spices, no fillers, just meat.  I typically serve them with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, grilled avocado or guacamole, fresh raw vegetables and kale chips on the side (my husband and kids like ketchup and mustard on them too).  However, with my mother-in-law visiting, I suddenly felt like our normal presentation was lacking and decided to challenge myself with making a hamburger bun that was both paleo for us and nut-free for her (she is allergic).  The result was so yummy that my husband asked if I can make him these buns every time we eat hamburgers.  The answer was yes because they are quite easy to make!  This recipe makes two buns.

Nut-Free Sesame Hamburger Buns


1.    Grind sesame seeds in a blender, spice grinder or food processor until ground fine.
2.    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease lightly with palm shortening.  Preheat oven to 350F.
3.    Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
4.    Let batter sit to thicken slightly, about 2 minutes.
5.    Spoon out into four globs of batter spaced at least 4” apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Using the back of your spoon or rubber spatula spread the dough out to form a uniform circle about 3” in diameter and something like ½” thick. (You are making two tops and two bottoms of your buns).
6.    Sprinkle extra sesame seeds over two of your batter circles (for the tops), if desired.
7.    Bake for 12 minutes.  Enjoy warm or make ahead and cool on a wire rack.


These look awesome. Nothing I ever make with yeast ever turns out so I’m bread shy. Since these dont’ have yeast I can’t WAIT to try these… THANKS! I’m also going to try to smoke a pork shoulder for pulled pork and a good bun is always nice to serve it on (although it’s been so long since I’ve had bread, I’m not sure I remember how it is supposed to taste) THANKS again for taking the time to share this with us.

Yum! I totally want to go out right now and buy a pork shoulder!

It’s probably good that you can’t remember what bread tastes like. I find not quite remembering helps me to enjoy what’s in front of me for what it is rather than comparing it to what it’s supposed to be. 🙂

You are killing it over here.
I always thought a good cook is also a good scientist or good at science. Do you find this to be true? Especially for converting recipes to paleo ones.

Thank you! Actually, I find that I am very scientific about the way that I approach baking (it is basic chemistry after all). Even my note keeping is reminiscent of a lab book! But I’ve always enjoyed cooking so I’ve also got a few decades of earned instinct to work with. 🙂

Hi there! Can you tell I’ve been searching your blog for recipes? 🙂
What can I sub for palm oil? I have refined coconut oil, butter, coconut ghee, or Earth Balance soy free natural buttery spread (bought some & used it once–won’t buy again). I do not eat strict paleo.
Thanks for all you do here! xx

Hello just found our website and I LOVE IT!!! I was ondering what can you use instead of cream of tartar and can coconut oil or regular olive oil replace the shortening? We don’t eat any dairy. Thanks so much!

I use cream of tartar instead of baking powder. The formula I use is 1tsp baking powder=1/4 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. As for substituting coconut oil, I think you could use any fat in this recipe: tallow, lard, palm shortening, palm oil, evoo… I hope this helps!

You are a genius! I just found you a few days ago & have already made the hamburger buns twice & the plantain crackers once. By far the best & easiest recipe I’ve found for a bun so far. No need to search further! My plantain crackers, I over baked them (shouldn’t have went for a walk while they were in the oven), but even though they were dark brown, they didn’t taste burnt. I will definitely make them again & again, as I can only imagine how great they’ll be if I cook them the proper amount of time & adjust my oven temp. I have found so many of your recipes that I can’t wait to try…thank you!!

These were very good. Nice and firm and not overwhelmingly dry and coconut-y like some things with coconut flour can be. They reminded me a bit of English muffins, so I ended up eating two with some grass-fed butter and strawberry jam–yum! My husband’s response was, “It’s the best bread-type thing you’ve made, by far.” And that’s quite the compliment since I have tried (and we’ve disliked) many paleo and gluten-free breads! I made the recipe as stated with the exception of using coconut oil in place of palm oil shortening. Thank you for a great (and quick!) recipe!

Oh, and just to add onto the praises, I made an egg, bacon, and cheese breakfast sandwich out of the remaining two, and my husband stole half of it and then suggested we make up full batches of breakfast sandwiches and freeze them. Haha. Thanks again!

Hi! I am allergic to eggs but would love to make this recipe. Do you have any suggestions for egg subsitutes that are SCD/Paleo approved?

Hi — I’m curious if you can make these with tahini rather than sesame seeds (since you’re throwing it all in the blender anyway)?

I doubled the recipe, and it turned out fine. They spread a bit more than I expected and ended up touching each other, but they still tasted great. Next time I will just make them a little smaller and thicker to start with.

We tried these the same day I found the recipe and you are right-they are pretty good! My husband loves them! We are fairly new to paleo and so are happy to have buns again for our burgers. Thank you.

Hi…just came across this recipe and made it last night. I substituted sunflower seeds for sesame seeds. Very tasty with my organic, grass-fed beef burgers! I doubled the recipe and it worked great. One question: why were the buns green? I didn’t use any green ingredients!

Sometimes baking with sunflower seeds and baking soda will cause foods to have a green tint (it’s totally safe to eat when it does this). — Tamar (Sarah’s assistant)

These buns are awesome. First time I made them I did a single batch. Next 2 times I doubled the batch but was disappointed in the results: very thin (they spread out in oven) and I think I tasted the baking soda.

Shouldn’t I have doubled the baking soda and cream of tartar? Maybe that was my mistake. Please help cause we really like these!

Bacon fat is Paleo. But since Sarah has not used bacon fat in this recipe, I don’t know how using it would affect the final product. If you use it, please leave another comment and let us know how it worked. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Hello! I love your blog. Unfortunately, I cannot use a lot of your recipes because my boyfriend both hates the taste of coconut and also apparently has a heightened ability to taste it. Is there anything I could sub for the coconut flour in this? What if I just used extra arrowroot?

I used 2 tbsps. Chia meal/flour in place of arrowroot & it worked great. Enjoyed tgse buns, smelled wonderful & tasted delicious!!

I love when you post nut free recipes. I treasure them because my son is allergic to all nuts and I run out of ideas after a while. Thank you and please post more

I do not believe Sarah has made this recipe without coconut flour. Coconut flour has unique properties, so you may not be able to sub evenly for other flours. You can learn more about the flours used in Paleo baking here: The Paleo Approach Cookbook will be available in August and will include many coconut-free recipes. You can learn more about the book here: — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

I enjoy your website. I have recently started reading about the Paleo diet. It all sounds great, but my question about the hamburger is why create a bun? I’m sincere when I ask, isn’t the idea of Paleo to get away from process cooking ingredients?

If you and your family enjoy burgers without buns, then by all means do so! Sometimes the difference between sticking with it and falling off the wagon entirely is a treat that makes Paleo seem more “normal”, and hamburger buns certainly qualify. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

For this recipe as written I’m coming up at 42 carbs for the whole thing. I think the recipe makes 4 buns so… you can do the math and decide if it’s worth your carbs. I’m on the fence. lol.

Are you sure the ingredient measurements are correct on this? It does NOT seem possible that just 2 tablespoons of arrow root and coconut flour with 2 Tbsp of sesame seeds and a few wet ingredients can equal enough for 4 plops of dough to make two buns. As that would be roughly 1/2 cup of dough. I want to try the recipe but I think that tiny bit of dough would become a failure for a bun. Can you share how to make it work? Thanks so much.

Made these as hot dog buns today, but substituted 1Tb chestnut flour and 1Tb tapioca for the arrowroot since I was missing that ingrediant, as well as swapping raw butter for the palm oil. While I was stupidly shocked when I dumped the apple cider vinegar into the pile of ingrediants topped by the baking soda and had a foam reaction (hello, I clean with white vinegar and baking soda – should have seen it coming…), it otherwise came together nicely, though mine were more dense than I thought they would be. Perhaps the arrowroot flour and allowing the butter to soften first will remedy that? Regardless, we shaped them into three flat-bread-esque hot dog cozies, added mustard and grass-fed beef hot dogs pan-fried in evoo, and gnoshed away happily. My 5-yr-old said, “Thanks a lot! It was delicious! Make sure to tell everybody. And done!”

Made these last night and can confidently say they are the BEST paleo buns I’ve ever made/tasted. I swapped the cream of tartar and apple cider vinegar out for 1 3/4 tsp lemon juice… and also used coconut oil instead of palm shortening. They were crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and my non-paleo partner couldn’t believe how AMAZING they tasted! Thank you.

am also low fodmap so it was great to see the low amount of seeds and use of non-nut flours which makes it totally allowed for me! 🙂

Sorry if this is a duplicate question, but with an egg allergy is it possible to make these with chia or flax eggs instead?

Hi, just wondering if you know something non starchy I could substitute the arrowroot flour for? I’m on gaps diet & can’t eat starchy things at the moment..

Anything to sub for Palm oil? I won’t buy products with this because if it’s environmental and wildlife impact.

I made these for our supper tonight. They were nice and sturdy, and tasted good. I found them a bit sweet for my taste-almost like a Ritz cracker, I will use less honey next time. Once again, my finished product was more white in color. could the Palm shortening be what gives your food it’s color? I use either coconut oil or butter. The other thing is, mine did not fluff up, but stayed flat like a pancake. I’m not sure what could have gone wrong. I had to triple the recipe…maybe I miscalculated the baking soda? Anyway, another recipe that I will be using again. Thanks!

Very cool. How would you say they compare to “oopsie rolls”?

Also have you experimented with long term storage like freezing them?

I made these for dinner tonight and they were very well received. I needed to double the recipe but I only got three buns out of doubling the recipe because I think I made them too big. They do spread out, so don’t do what I did and make them the size of the bun you want. Stick to the three inch suggestion!

My husband and I LOVE these! We’ve had to eat our burgers bun-less for so long but then I thought I’d give this recipe a try and it’s a winner! So quick to make and nice and fluffy!

I’ve made these twice and both times the batter ran all over the pan. I let it stand 2 minutes as directed before putting on the cookie sheet. But they all ran together when I baked them. And they are VERY thin, not like your picture. I love so many of your recipes but I can’t seem to get this one to work. Not sure what I am doing wrong. Any suggestions?

I use coconut oil for just about everything, but I’m assuming that I can’t substitute it for the palm shortening. Is that right? Just hate to buy something that I’ll only use once.

These look great but I have to say I, also, prefer my burgers without buns. I had, for about 6 months, gone bread free and enjoyed my burgers either simply placed on my plate or wrapped in lettuce leaves and I really enjoyed them like that but I found a recipe for a bread that tasted so good alone that I though I’d put a burger on it one day and quickly found that my lettuce wraps were far better and quickly removed the bread! I was saddened to find that I lost the taste of the burger. That being said I may give these a try…worse comes to worse I have another bread/bun to eat as a side to my meal.

Just made these this morning with coconut oil. They came out great! I also used a little lemon juice in place or cream of tartar, about 1/4 tsp.
I have found when I refrigerate batter it bakes better. I put the batter in the fridge for 10 minutes or so, although I did not find it to be runny going in.
I cannot wait to have a grass fed burger on them!

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