Any cookout needs some seriously good eats to make it a standout, and that means a juicy burger is definitely on the menu. Unfortunately, that harmless patty can pack quite a wallop to your waistline once it’s draped with cheese, drowned in ketchup, slathered with mayo, and piled onto a massive bun. When you consider that a bacon cheeseburger from Red Robin will run you over 1,000 calories, this warm weather favorite starts to sound like a diet disaster.
Instead of skipping the fun and trying to satisfy your grumbling stomach with a veggie platter, try making something that’s healthy and delicious. Vegetarians, pescatarians, and even vegans can all find something to love in this lineup. When burgers taste this good, no one will suspect they’re missing out on anything.
1. Walnut Mushroom Veggie Burgers
When you want a juicy patty with plenty of umami, look no further than this veggie creation. The burger itself is packed with mushrooms, some miso, and soy sauce to give it beefy flavor without all of the fat. And it’s a great recipe for those who aren’t grill masters and might tend to overcook things. “Chopped up mushrooms add a sort of meaty quality without becoming dry,” Jeanine Donofrio says.
Lots of veggie burgers are made with beans or grains, but Donofrio wanted to go a different route with them. “I don’t love them between bread; they can get a little dense and starchy for my taste.” One thing she does love is topping these off with a mixture of ketchup and chile sauce for a sweet and spicy kick. Whether you’re vegetarian or a die-hard meat eater, you’ll love these tasty burgers.
Visit Love & Lemons for the recipe.
2. Greek Turkey Burgers with Creamy Tzatziki Sauce
The thought of a turkey burger makes most people shudder because they’re usually bland. Not these sandwiches! These ones go Greek thanks to a delicious tzatziki topping. “The cool, creamy garlic and dill yogurt sauce is the ultimate topping for my juicy turkey burgers blended with Greek spices,” says Liz Della Croce. And it couldn’t be easier to make. Just mix all of the sauce ingredients and adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Packed with lean protein and hardly any fat, turkey breast is a great burger option. The meat is seasoned simply with a bit of garlic and oregano to enhance the Greek theme. Della Croce attributes her love of the cuisine to the similar ingredients found in foods she grew up with. One bite of this burger will transport you to the Mediterranean.
Visit The Lemon Bowl for the recipe.
3. Thai Salmon Burgers
Pescatarians often miss out on all the grilling fun when they show up to a barbecue. There are often veggie patties, but some seafood would be a welcome sight every now and then. For your next bash, try taking salmon to burger town with these exotic patties. Full of omega-3s, protein, and minerals, salmon is one superfood worth working into your diet.
Want to throw a burger party, but scared of working with fish? You’re not alone. “I am so intimidated by fish,” says Tieghan Gerard. That didn’t stop her from coming up with this phenomenal recipe, though. They’re so flavorful, she says you won’t even want ketchup.
Visit Half Baked Harvest for the recipe.
4. Ahi Tuna Burgers with Spicy Sriracha Mayo
Tuna sometimes makes an appearance at picnics, but it’s usually a salad swimming with mayo and a few sad pieces of celery. Give a little life back to the nutritious fish by cooking up a batch of these flavorful burgers. To get the best texture, Tina Jeffers likes to dice the fish instead of grinding it in the food processor, which can make it mealy.
Even burger purists can rest assured that this recipe will offer something to love. “I find that these ahi tuna burgers are just as satisfying without the guilt,” Jeffers says. And keep in mind, these will fall apart on grill grates. No worries; if you’re headed outdoors, you can set a heavy skillet right on the grill, and it will get plenty hot.
Visit Scaling Back Blog for the recipe.
5. BBQ Beef Beet Burgers with Avocado Goat Cheese Smash
Beets? In a burger? You bet. Mixing some of these root veggies into the meat provides fiber and minerals, such as folate and manganese. It’s also completely delicious. Gina Matsoukas says, “It’s basically like marrying the best veggie burger out there with a real one and topping it with a creamy avocado goat cheese mixture for good measure.”
The idea for this unique sandwich came from a trip to a restaurant that had a beet and grain burger on the menu. Matsoukas actually got confused for a moment and thought it was a meat and veggie patty, but even when she realized her mistake, she couldn’t shake the idea. Turns out, it wasn’t so crazy after all.
Visit Running to the Kitchen for the recipe.
6. Chickpea and Quinoa Veggie Burgers
Frozen veggie burger options are nearly endless at the grocery store, but some of those options can actually be pretty unhealthy. Making them at home is definitely the way to go, and it offers a lot more room for creativity. These satisfying burgers are packed with quinoa and beans, ensuring they’re a great source of fiber and protein. But these don’t taste like health food. Alexandra Stafford spikes these burgers with fresh herbs and spices for plenty of flavor.
Good news for vegans; these patties are perfect for you thanks to the pureed beans. Stafford says, “the reconstituted, pureed chickpeas act as a binding agent, rendering additions such as eggs, yogurt, breadcrumbs, etc., unnecessary.” Healthy and heavenly; sounds like a perfect meal.
Visit Alexandra’s Kitchen for the recipe.
7. Black Bean Teriyaki Burgers
It’s pretty typical to see black bean burgers paired with salsa or other southwestern ingredients, but that can seem a little bit boring after a while. This recipe takes them to a completely different place with some unexpected ingredients. Teriyaki sauce and pineapple offer up a sweet and tangy taste that pairs perfectly with the earthy flavor of beans.
Meat eaters might be skeptical, but Tiffany Azure admits she was “strictly a red-meat burger gal up until about a year ago.” She started branching out with turkey burgers and finally started playing around with vegetarian versions. “If you haven’t tried a black bean burger, stop thinking that you’ll hate it, because you won’t,” she says. We suggest you take her advice and make these tonight.
Visit Creme de la Crumb for the recipe.
More from Life Cheat Sheet:
- 7 Quick And Easy Snack Recipes That Are Fun to Make
- The Possible Health Risks of 5 Popular Diets
- Will New Dietary Guidelines Hurt The Food Industry?
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