Nothing says summer quite like an outdoor cookout complete with burgers, hot dogs, and corn on the cob. But who says those burgers have to be beef? Whether you’re a vegan, omnivore, or simply looking for a new burger recipe, you can change up your usual burger routine and throw in ingredients like juicy mushroom caps or a tender lamb patty in lieu of ground beef.
From an array of cookbooks and all-star chefs, here’s plenty of inspiration for your next burger, covering it all: patties, buns, toppings, and condiments. And if you’re swapping out a meat-based burger for something plant-based, there are tons of possibilities beyond a slab of grilled tofu, proving that veggie burgers are far from bland and boring. By no means are these recipes a sad replacement for a traditional barbecue burger. In fact, there are a million and one ways to make a veggie burger your own, and these authors give their input on what works best for them. Each is healthy, unique, and delicious in their own right, widening the definition of what constitutes as a burger, meat or no meat.
With all of these possibilities, mixing and matching are encouraged. Make vegan sweet potato buns from VBQ and stuff it with the Earth Burger patty from A Burger to Believe In, or use Craft Burgers & Crazy Shakes’ buttermilk-dill dressing as a dipping sauce for your fries on the side. Whatever it may be, find your signature burger combo, and make it a new summer cookout tradition for years to come.
Sign up to receive inspiring, expert advice on living your best life from Books for Better Living and Penguin Random House.
An ode to Greek-American diners, this lamb burger serves as an enhanced option to a traditional beef patty. The pickled red onions and half-sour pickles bring in a perfect balance with their acidity, and the homemade herby buttermilk-dill dressing is infinitely better than store bought ranch. For the best results, cook the lamb medium-rare.
This veggie burger recipe was a journey of trial and error. After much experimentation, author Chris Kronner decided on a mushroom-loaded patty with a slew of other vegetables and tofu, rather than the typical grain or bean filling. This gives the patty a better hold, and packs it with plenty of savoriness.
Despite sounding oxymoronic, vegan barbecuing is a thing. The homemade sweet potato buns bring in bites of pillowy sweetness amongst the rice and black bean-based patty seasoned with thyme, cumin, turmeric, and red pepper flakes. The addition of breadcrumbs breaks up the soft texture, leaving you with a satisfying crunch.
Bobby Flay takes a different approach here, combining chickpeas, quinoa, and mushrooms for the ultimate veggie burger in his health-conscious cookbook. While he was never a fan of veggie burgers in the past, this recipe turned him into a believer, eventually ending up on the menu at all Bobby’s Burger Palace locations.
If mashing up vegetables and grains seem too involved to make your veggie burger, look to portobello mushrooms to serve as the entire patty. Combined with confit peppers, these bring a nice amount of heat to complement the juicy mushroom patty, while the crumbly blue cheese topping will ooze out of the sides.
Ever think of turning a salad into a burger? It may sound counterintuitive, but this Turkey Cobb burger absolutely works in sandwich form. A turkey patty is topped with the salad classic components: crispy bits of bacon, sliced avocado, fresh tomatoes, creamy blue cheese, and a crisp bite of romaine.
While there’s no raw meat in this dish, diced beets can mimic the appearance of a traditional beef tartare. There is some cooking involved here, since the beets are actually roasted. Nonetheless, this brings out a beautiful hue of deep magenta, resulting in a sweet and earthy dish that pairs beautifully with crumbled goat cheese.