Beyond Basic Burgers


While I always enjoy a good, basic burger, with BBQ season in full swing, I’m looking for ways to kick my burgers up a bit and try something new and different with it. So, I’ve decided I should round-up a bunch of burger recipes and ideas to last me through the summer.

Where’s the Beef?

One of the easiest ways to move beyond the basic beef burger is to move away from beef to meats like pork, chicken, turkey or salmon. Here are a few ideas for alternate meat burger recipes:

Oprah’s Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger

Recipe courtesy of Jeff O’Neill/

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco™
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey’s Chutney, pureed (*See Note Below)

Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool.
Place the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers. Refrigerate for 2 hours. (*Very important to refrigerate or burger will fall apart on the grill).
Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Serve with a side of Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.
Serves 6

* Major Grey’s Chutney is a type of chutney (mango), as opposed to a brand name. You should find it easily in the International Foods section of your grocery store. In my small town, I found several brands at my local A & P and also at Walmart. Look for Sharman or Pataks brand products.

Salmon Rosemary Burgers

Source All Recipes

2 1/2 pounds king salmon fillet, skinned and de-boned
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup minced red onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Prepare the salmon by cutting into strips, cutting the strips crosswise, and chopping the fish until well minced. Be sure to remove any remaining bones.

In a large bowl, mix the minced salmon with bread crumbs, red onion, Dijon mustard, horseradish, and eggs. Season with rosemary, salt, and pepper. Chill at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

Form the salmon mixture into 8 burger patties. Lightly coat each patty with olive oil.
Place salmon patties on the grill, and cook 4 or 5 minutes on each side.

Thai Chicken Burgers

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1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup flaked coconut, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 pounds ground chicken
2 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons minced green onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and toasted

In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, coconut, and mint. Cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

In a large bowl, mix together ground chicken, panko crumbs, Thai peanut sauce, curry paste, green onion, parsley, soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce. Be careful not to over-mix. Divide into 8 equal size balls. Flatten into patties about 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat the grill for medium-high heat.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill burgers for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until well done. Serve on toasted buns with Coconut-Mint Mayonnaise.

Pork Apple Burgers

Source All Recipes

2 pounds ground pork
1 Granny Smith apple – peeled, cored and chopped
1 sweet onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 egg
8 hamburger buns
1 (20 ounce) can sliced pineapple, drained
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, mix together ground pork, apple, onion, garlic, teriyaki sauce, and egg. If too dry, add some juice from the can of pineapple slices. Form into eight patties.

Lightly oil grill grate. Grill pork burgers for 10 minutes, or until well done. Toast buns on grill. Serve burgers on toasted buns topped with pineapple slices.

More Beyond Basic Burger Recipe Links:

Mustard Chicken Burgers (
Thai Shrimp Burgers (All Recipes)
Mushroom Feta Turkey Burgers (All Recipes)
Summer Feta Burger with Gourmet Cheese Spread (All Recipes)
Burgers with Mozzarella and Spinach Arugula Pesto (Epicurious)
Andouille and Beef Burgers with Spicy Mayo and Caramelized Onions (Epicurious)
Crab Burger Po’ Boys (Epicurious)
Salmon Burgers with Ginger Mustard Mayonnaise (Epicurious)
Beef and Andouille Burgers with Asiago Cheese (Epicurious)
Blue Cheese Burgers (All Recipes)
Seared Tuna Burgers with Ginger Garlic Mayonnaise (Epicurious)
Portobello Burgers with Red Pepper Mayonnaise (Epicurious)
Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burgers with Beet, Red Onion and Orange Salsa (Epicurious)

It’s all about the toppings!

Another great way to move beyond basic burgers is to move beyond ketchup, mustard and relish. Here are some great burger topping ideas:

Semi Dried Tomatoes with Goat or Feta Cheese
• Feta Cheese with sliced olives and roasted red peppers
• Pineapple slice, cooked bacon, and mozzarella cheese.
• Brie cheese and cranberry, orange and marmalade relish (nice on turkey burger)
• Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, and provolone cheese.
• Brie, warmed and placed over granny smith apples. (on beef burger with mustard)
• Grilled fresh pineapple and smoked Gruyère cheese
• Caramelized onions, Brie cheese and crisp bacon
• Bean dip, guacamole and sour cream
• Cooked spinach, Mozzarella cheese and pesto sauce

Beyond the Basic Bun

Finally, some bread ideas to try instead of the regular bun include any kind of bread, sliced and toasted; ciabatta, brioche and other types of rolls; flavoured rolls such as onion; pita bread.

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