Memorial Day weekend is official kickoff of summer barbecue season, but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to traditional fare like hot dogs and burgers. Although delicious, your standard beef burgers can be high in unhealthy saturated fat and should be considered an occasional treat. Lucky for us, when it comes to burgers, beef is just the beginning! If you’re firing up the grill, try these healthy burger ideas as a lower-fat and flavorful alternative to red meat all summer long.
Apple Turkey Burger
By swapping in lean turkey for beef in this apple and turkey burger recipe, you’ll cut down on saturated fat, while keeping all of the meaty flavor. Turkey is a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, and zinc. By adding apples, cranberry sauce, and spices to the mix you’ll boost the flavor and keep the patties moist and juicy.
Smokey Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Brown Rice Veggie Burgers
Making your own veggie patties at home is an easy way to adapt the meal to each guest’s dietary needs and tastes. This sweet potato burger from She Likes Food is both gluten-free and vegan, and full of tasty spices like cumin, paprika, and garlic powder. Plus, using a sweet potato base offers a big nutritional boost, delivering a dose of vitamins A and C.
Tropical Salmon Burger
Another meaty option is this grilled pineapple, avocado, and salmon burger from Wicked Spatula, which you can customize to your liking. Keep sodium levels in check by spicing up the fillets with your favorite herbs and seasonings before throwing them on the grill. Top with grilled fruit, like pineapple, which is a great source of vitamin C and manganese and adds a touch of sweetness.
Quinoa & White Bean Veggie Burger
This quinoa and white bean burger from The Simple Veganista is another flavorful option for vegetarians — and it’s anything but boring. This patty gets a spicy kick from chipotle powder, smoked paprika, and sriracha. Made with fiber-rich white beans and quinoa, these burgers are just as filling as their meaty counterparts. You can make the patties up to two days in advance so they are ready to toss on the grill when guests arrive.
Epic Low-Carb Chicken Burger
Another great lean protein option when making burgers is lean ground chicken. This low-carb chicken burger from Fit Men Cook is low in saturated fat, blood sugar-friendly, and cooks up within ten minutes. If you prefer to grill your chicken burgers, use a meat thermometer to make sure the minimum internal temperature of the chicken patties is 165°F when ready.