Healthier and tasty alternatives to the classic that will build muscle—and blow your guests’ minds.
Lindsay Brown 1 / 11
Who says that when serving burgers at a backyard BBQ you have to serve gut-busting ones made from fatty chopped beef, American cheese slices, and starchy white buns? With a few simple tweaks and fresh ingredients, you can creae a healthier version of the old standby that wont add inches to your waistline. From salmon to black beans to lean ground beef, we compiled 10 of the most delicious burgers featuring fat burning ingredients that will help you build muscle and will have your guests begging for seconds.
Super Healthy Turkey Burger with Blood Orange Aioli
For the Blood Orange and Roasted Garlic Aioli:
1 room temperature egg
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves roasted garlic, mashed to a paste
zest and juice (2 teaspoons) of 1 blood orange
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Patties:
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup pinions (pine nuts)
2 Hatch or poblano chiles, roasted and diced
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
Zest of 1 orange
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup panko
1 pound 85% ground turkey
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon mexican oregano leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
A few grinds pepper
4 hamburger buns
1. Make the Blood Orange Aioli: Add the eggs and dijon mustard to the processor bowl. Process until smooth and creamy. Using the chute on the processor (yes, this is a requirement) pour the oil in a thin, steady stream while the processor is in the locked "on" position. This process allows the eggs to emulsify the oil. Add the orange juice and zest, and garlic paste. Pulse to combine.
Remove the lid. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, processing to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
2. Make the Patties: To the clean processor bowl, add the onion. Process until very finely minced. Spoon the onion into a strainer, and press with a rubber spatula to remove liquid. Add back to a dry processor bowl. Add the cilantro leaves, and process until the onion and cilantro are both very finely minced and well-combined. Add the pinions. Pulse a couple of times so that pinions are just slightly chopped.
3. Scoop this mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Using your hands, very thoroughly combine. Don't wreck the texture by combining all of the ingredients in the food processor!
4. Divide ground turkey mixture into 4 large patties. Cook thoroughly on medium heat, and all the way through (undercooked ground turkey isn't tasty and could be dangerous). Times will vary according to the cook top and size and thickness of patties.
5. Generously spread each bun half with the blood orange aioli. Top with lettuce, tomato, and a patty.
Recipe and photo courtesy Tamara Andersen @ Beyond Mere Sustenance
1. Make the Sriracha mayo: In a small bowl, combine mayo, and Sriracha. Mix until fully incorporated.
2. Make the burgers: In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Form meat mixture into 4 equal sized patties. Heat grill or indoor grill pan to medium high heat. Cook patties for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Pile burgers onto whole wheat buns. Serve with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Sriracha mayonnaise (optional).
Chicken and Goat Cheese Burgers with Peaches, Corn and Cherry Tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ear corn, kernels removed
2 ripe (but still slightly firm!) peaches, peeled and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound ground chicken breast
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Romaine or butter lettuce leaves (for serving)
1. Start by cooking your corn. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a small sauté pan. When hot, add the corn kernels and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender and slightly browned. Transfer to a mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature.
2. Add the peaches, tomatoes, basil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt to the bowl with the corn, and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Place the chicken in a medium mixing bowl and add the goat cheese, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients until well combined. With damp hands, form the chicken into 4 patties about 1-inch thick.
4. Heat a lightly oiled grill or grill pan over medium heat. When hot, place the burgers on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes per side until cooked through.
5. Serve burgers over lettuce leaves and top with the peach mixture.
4 hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
For the Cilantro Mayo:
2 Tbs mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 Tbs lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
For the burgers:
1 lb ground chicken
½ tsp salt and pepper
½ tsp cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices pepper jack cheese
3 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted
1. Make the relish and cilantro mayo: Combine all relish ingredients in a bowl and season w/salt and pepper, to taste. Repeat with mayo ingredients in a separate bowl.
2. Make the burgers: Preheat grill or heat a large nonstick grill pan over med-high heat. Add oil and wait until it begins to sizzle. Season ground chicken with salt, pepper, and cumin. Divide into 3 equal portions. Cook burgers until golden brown on both sides and internal temp reaches 165 F, about 8-10 minutes per side. Top with cheese and place under broiler until cheese is melted.
3. To serve, place hatch chile relish on cheese-covered patty. Spread a generous amount of cilantro-mayo on lightly toasted top bun. Pop the top on and enjoy!
Portobello Burger with Caramelized Balsamic Tomatoes
2 medium Portobello mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cherry tomatoes (or grape tomatoes)
2 slices Provolone cheese (optional)
2 hamburger buns, toasted (toasting is optional)
Optional garnish, lettuce, onions etc.
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside. Clean mushrooms and remove stems and gills.
2. In a small bowl combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey , garlic and salt and pepper. Pour the balsamic mixture into a zip-lock bag with mushrooms. Shake gently to coat the mushrooms. Let marinate for at least 15 min.
3. Cut tomatoes in half and place in a pyrex or other oven safe dish. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. When mushrooms have finished marinating, remove from zip-lock (reserving marinade) and place open side up on foil lined baking sheet. Pour remaining marinade over dish of tomatoes.
Bake both for 20 min. (turning mushrooms over after 10 min.) until mushrooms are fully cooked and tomatoes are slightly browned. (Broil for the last couple of minutes if you like your tomatoes more charred).
5. Cut buns in half, place bottom layer on a plate. Assemble burgers by layering on the bun, one Portobello mushroom, a slice of provolone cheese (if using) and top with half of the caramelized tomatoes and top half of bun. Add any garnish you like (lettuce, onions etc.)
1. In a small saucepan, heat soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until thickened, about 5-6 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Add salmon to a food processor. Pulse until ground. Remove blade and add in ¼ cup of teriyaki sauce, green onions, panko, and 2 tablespoons pineapple juice from can. Mix just until combined. Form into 4 patties, if you have time, chill for 10 minutes. (This step isn't necessary, it just helps the patties to stay compact.)
3. Heat a large non-stick skillet to a medium-high heat. Add coconut oil. Once the oil has melted, add patties, cook until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Glaze with more teriyaki sauce at the last minute.
4. Brush pineapple with sauce, remove patties from pan and add pineapple. Cook until caramelized on both sides, about 30 seconds per side.
5. In a small bowl combine cabbage and sesame oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Place cabbage on bottom of bun, top with patty, and pineapple.
1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, chipotle, adobo sauce, ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper together. Be careful not to overwork the meat. Form into patties, making an indentation in the center of each burger so that they will cook evenly.
2. Mix all of the avocado crema ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Brush the grill rack with oil. Place the burger patties on the rack and cook 4-5 minutes on each side for medium. Place the cheese on the patties during the last 2 minutes of grilling. Place the buns, cut side down, on the outer edges of the rack to toast lightly during the last minute of grilling.
4. To assemble the burgers, place a cheese-topped patty on each bun bottom and top with a slice of tomato and ¼ of the avocado crema. Add bun tops and serve.
2 15.5oz cans of black beans, drained but not rinsed
1 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup of red onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
Fresh brioche buns
Slices of Pepper Jack Cheese
Baby spinach leaves
1. Drain the black beans and shake them around in a strainer, but do not rinse. Put the beans in a large bowl and, with a fork, mash them until 3/4 of the mixture is mashed. Leave 1/4 of the beans in full form for texture.
2. Add the panko bread crumbs, egg, and seasoning. With the fork, fold the ingredients in until everything is completely combined.
3. With clean hands, start forming the patties. A heaping handful should make one good-sized patty. If not making the patties right away, wrap and place in the refrigerator.
4. Heat a lightly greased skillet over moderate heat. Carefully place the patties onto the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes or until lightly browned, then carefully flip. Cook for another 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Place cheese slices on top of patty and cover with a lid to steam the cheese. Remove the patties from the skillet, place on brioche bun, and dress the burger as you wish.