Oh, the burger. It’s the quintessential comfort food. Perhaps, it is the most iconic culinary creation of mankind. But this juicy classic has gone way beyond the traditional beef patty sandwiched between two buns. Whether it’s a vegetarian alternative or simply more exotic meat you crave, the alternative burger recipes options are endless.
Here are the top 5 alternative burger recipes that are mouthwatering…
1.) Quinoa Burger
Location: Burger Lounge
Quinoa has been around for centuries. Especially, it was a staple in the Incan diet. Recently, it’s been enjoying a major moment in the “healthy food” spotlight. And the folks at Burger Lounge, home of the original grass-fed burger, have created a tasty meat-free alternative without any processed soy.
“Our organic quinoa veggie burger is handcrafted with organic quinoa and fresh veggies. It’s not intended to be a meat impostor,” said Dean Loring, CEO & Co-Founder of Burger Lounge. “It stands alone as a favorite among vegetarians, meat-eaters and those looking to add a protein to one of our healthy salads. It comes grilled, topped with organic cheese and served ‘Lounge Style’ with lettuce, tomato, and our housemade thousand islands.”
Ingredients (makes 10):
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for sautéing
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1 carrot and a medium onion
- A cup corn, fresh or thawed if frozen
- 1cup garbanzo beans, drained
- 1cup cooked quinoa and cooked brown rice
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- ½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- ½ cup chopped garlic
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 10 hamburger buns
- Preheat oven to 365 degrees; wash the mushrooms, cut them in half, toss with salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes; once cooked, puree the mushrooms in a blender and set aside.
- Roughly chop the zucchini, carrot and onion and place in a large bowl.
- Puree the corn and garbanzo beans; add to the bowl of vegetables.
- Add the remaining ingredients and the cooled pureed mushrooms; mix to combine.
- Form a tiny patty and sauté; taste and adjust seasoning in the vegetable mixture if necessary; form 10 five-ounce patties. Heat some olive oil in a pan until hot; lightly sauté the patties.
- Serve on hamburger buns with preferred accouterments.
2.) Ahi Tuna Burger
This wildly popular California chain is known for conjuring up that ‘fifth taste’ (umami) with their house-ground, hand-formed beef patties, and unusual sauces. But, if you want something lighter but no less flavorful, try the ahi tuna.
“The secret to a great ahi tuna burger is to just sear it on one side and combine it with things that blend together well,” said Umami founder Adam Fleischman. “We use pickled daikon and crushed avocado. You don’t want to over handle the tuna, either. At Umami Burger, we don’t grind the ahi, we just cut it with a knife and hand-form the patty.” In addition, you can find ingredients like wasabi flakes and picked daikon at most Asian grocery stores.
Ingredients (makes 4):
- 1 pound fresh ahi tuna
- 1 cup sunflower sprouts
- 2 avocados, crushed
- Pickled daikon
- Gingered carrots
- Wasabi flakes
- Wasabi tartar sauce
- 4 brioche hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- Hand-chop the ahi tuna and form into the shape of a patty; sear it on one side.
- Assemble your burger with a layer of crushed avocado on the bottom bun; add ahi tuna patty and top with wasabi tartar sauce.
- Combine the remaining ingredients and dust with wasabi flakes to taste.
3.) Bison Burger
Location: The Counter
There’s another burger chain that promises burgers your way, but The Counter really does it. Therefore, you can build your own burger from a clipboard list of ingredients that allows countless configurations and multiple protein options, including bison. Also, check out the benefits of grass-fed products.
“The Counter’s bison burgers are made from certified organic bison that are 100% grass fed and antibiotic- and hormone-free,” said Andrew Evans, Director of Culinary Operations. “Bison is leaner than skinless chicken and has a sweet, rich beef flavor and texture,” he said.
- 24 ounces of organic bison
- 3 ounces of shredded lettuce
- 4 slices of tomato cheddar cheese, and fried eggs
- 16 slices of bacon
- 4 English muffins, toasted
- Sweet Sriracha sauce
- Divide the bison meat into four (4) six-ounce portions and form into patties approximately ¾” thick.
- Salt and pepper the patty, making sure both sides are evenly covered.
- Then, place the patties on a grill at high heat for two minutes, then rotate each patty 90-degrees for nice grill marks.
- Grill an additional two minutes, flip the patties, wait two minutes and again rotate each patty 90-degrees for nice grill marks.
- Add one slice of cheddar cheese to each patty, continue to grill and let cheese melt for two minutes.
- Remove burgers from the grill—this should result in a “medium” cooked (pink throughout) burger, but cooking times will vary depending upon the temperature of your grill.
- Then begin assembling your burger by placing the shredded lettuce and tomato slice on one half of the English muffin. Place the bison patty and cheese on top of the tomato.
- Add the egg on top of the bison burger and cheese.
- Place the bacon slices so they encircle the yolk on the egg.
- Serve with the remaining half of the toasted English muffin leaning against the burger so your guests can admire your creativity.
- Finally, serve with sweet Sriracha sauce on the side.
4.) Lamb Burger
Location: Cafe Del Rey
Giving the classic American burger a Mediterranean makeover, the Moroccan lamb burger at the seaside Cafe Del Rey in Marina Del Rey is a flavorful option. First, there’s ground lamb in place of beef. The lamb is mixed with sheep’s milk Manchego cheese and Harissa paste (made from hot chiles and garlic). This makes for a juicy, oozy and spicy burger.
“What I like about the Moroccan lamb burger is that all the flavors work so well together from the harissa that is mixed into the ground lamb to the small diced Manchego cheese studded throughout and the tzatziki spread on the housemade bun,” said Executive Chef Daniel Roberts.
- 2 pounds of ground lamb
- 1/3 pound Manchego cheese, cubed
- Tzatziki (you can buy it or make your own; recipe below)
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste (can be found at high-end grocery stores and ethnic food stores)
- Lettuce and tomato
Tzatziki Sauce Ingredients:
- 2 cucumbers
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups Greek yogurt
- Mint chopped, to taste
- Cilantro chopped, to taste
- Hand mix lamb burger, cheese and harissa paste in a bowl; portion lamb into 4 rounds and set aside.
- Prepare tzatziki:
- Peel and de-seed cucumbers and grate into yogurt
- Add lemon and grated garlic into yogurt mixture
- Add mint and cilantro to taste
- Grill (or saute) burgers 5 minutes per side or to the desired temperature.
- Finally, spread the tzatziki on both sides of the bun, top with a patty, lettuce, and tomato.
5.) Turkey Burger
Location: Zov’s Bistro
For a Mediterranean twist on the turkey burger, it doesn’t get much better than the deliciously seasoned version from Zov’s Bistro. “The heat from the Aleppo pepper and the smokiness from the cumin add an interesting layer of flavor,” said Zov Karamardian, chef, and owner of the Zov’s chain and best-selling cookbook author. The chef continued, “the burger is further enhanced with the combination of tangy feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes.”
Most noteworthy, instead of burgers you can shape the meat mixture into kebabs on flat metal skewers and grill them.
Ingredients (makes 8):
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 onion, finely grated
- 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper (you can get this at a gourmet shop)
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, dried oregano, granulated garlic, and tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, ground coriander, kosher salt, seasoned salt, olive oil
- 8 burger buns
- 3 cups lightly packed baby arugula leaves
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- Prepare the patties by mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl.
- Form the mixture into 8 one-inch-thick patties.
- Then place the patties on a baking sheet, then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Next, prepare barbecue (medium-high heat) and rub the grill rack with oil.
- Grill the patties until they are nicely charred on the outside, turning once, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
- Grill the buns until warm and toasty, about 30 seconds.
- Meanwhile, toss the arugula, feta cheese sun-dried tomatoes and red onions in a small bowl.
- Then, top each bottom bun with a cooked patty, then with the arugula mixture.
- Spread the sauce on the bun tops and set the tops on the burgers.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Having another meat option at a restaurant is helpful! What are your favorite alternative burger recipes? Let us know.
For more helpful food articles, check out Top 5 Vegan Mexican-Inspired Recipes The Whole Family Will Love and Unique Breakfast Foods From Around The World.