On a warm summer day, nothing is more delicious than a burger cooked on your backyard barbecue grill. But that doesn’t mean the meat you use has to be beef — or meat at all. If you’re tired of only eating beef patties, prefer something healthier, or want an animal-free option, here are some unique burger ideas that are just as tasty.
Grilled salmon burgers with avocado salsa
Fish is a healthy alternative to traditional red meats on burgers and offers its own unique flavor when cooked over a fire. An easy way to make salmon burgers is following this recipe by Kathi and Rachel Kirk on their blog Laughing Spatula.
Skin and dice a 1-pound salmon fillet. Put the raw meat in a bowl and mix in 1/2 cup panko crumbs, 1 egg, 2 green onions (chopped), 1/2 poblano pepper (chopped, with seeds removed), 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and pinches of salt and pepper.
Form the blend into patties that you’ll cook on the grill over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes per side (long enough to cook through but not dry the meat out).
Top with avocado salsa, which consists of a large avocado (chopped), 1/2 poblano pepper (chopped, with seeds removed), 2 green onions (chopped), 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and pinches of salt and pepper all mixed together.
Grilled portobello mushroom burger
If you prefer a vegetarian burger that forgoes the meat in favor of something just as juicy, check out this recipe for grilled portobello mushroom burgers from Gina Homolka on her blog Skinny Taste.
Toss four large portobello mushroom caps in a sauce consisting of 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, and 1 1/2 teaspoon steak seasoning.
Remove the mushrooms from the bowl and grill them over medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side. Keep the remainder of the marinade from the bowl so you can keep basting the mushroom caps as they cook. Top with baby spinach and slices of grilled red onion, Swiss cheese, tomato, and avocado.
Sweet and spicy tofu burgers
If you’re vegan and want to avoid any animal products, you can still enjoy a smoky, juicy burger straight from the grill. Just follow this recipe from Jordan and Clark Cord on The Fitchen for sweet and spicy tofu burgers.
Drain a package of extra firm tofu and cut the block in half side to side. Use a large round cookie cutter to create two patties.
In a sealable food storage bag, pour 2 tablespoons tamari or sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey. Shake it up and then gently put the two tofu patties in the bag so they’re coated.
After letting the patties rest in the bag in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, fire up the grill to high heat. Take the patties out of the grill and place them directly on the grating, giving them 10-12 minutes to char on each side. Then put the meat on vegan-friendly buns with your favorite toppings.
If you want a delicious topper sauce for extra heat, you can whisk together 1/4 cup vegan mayo, 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce, and 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice.
Change up the usual, tired hamburger formula by trying something different for your next cookout. You might find your new favorite go-to grill grub!